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Legislative Year: 2022 Change
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Bill Detail: HB22-1259

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Title Modifications To Colorado Works Program
Status Governor Signed (06/03/2022)
Bill Subjects
  • Human Services
House Sponsors M. Duran (D)
I. Jodeh (D)
Senate Sponsors D. Moreno (D)
House Committee Public and Behavioral Health & Human Services
Senate Committee Finance
Date Introduced 02/23/2022
Summary

The bill allows the state board of human services (state board) to
utilize eligibility processes from other public assistance or entitlement
programs when promulgating rules for redetermining and verifying
eligibility for the Colorado works program (works program).
When determining income requirements for the works program,
the bill requires the department of human services (state department) to
use an income conversion ratio for converting weekly and biweekly
income to a monthly amount using the lowest ratio or methodology that

results in the lowest monthly income amount allowable under federal law.
Current law prohibits a person convicted of a drug-related felony
offense from being eligible for assistance under the works program unless
the person is determined by a county department of human or social
services to have taken action toward rehabilitation. The bill removes the
ban on eligibility.
The bill requires the state board to promulgate rules establishing
statewide standards and procedures that require counties to offer an
extension:
  • Beyond the 60-month lifetime maximum for all households
that demonstrate good cause, which includes an applicant
or participant who is a child-only case, the head of a single
parent household and has a child under one year of age,
experiencing hardship, or addressing family or medical
needs; and
  • From work requirements to all households that demonstrate
good cause, which includes for an applicant or participant
who is the head of a single-parent household and has a
child under one year of age, experiencing hardship, or
addressing family or medical needs.
The bill requires the state department to annually review and
promulgate rules as necessary to update the standard of need to ensure the
standard of need is equitable, promotes economic mobility and
self-sufficiency, and reflects the current economic status of the state.
The bill requires the state department to disregard any earned
income for at least the first 6 months an applicant or participant is
employed while enrolled in the works program. The bill requires that the
state department determine the amount of earned income that must be
disregarded after the first 6 months and ensure a gradual step down of the
amount of earned income disregarded and that the appropriate work
supports are made available to the applicant or participant.
Current law requires the state department to ensure the amount of
a basic cash assistance grant that an applicant or participant receives is
equal to or exceeds 102% of the need standard for a participant in a
similarly sized household on January 1, 2008. By the 2027-28 state fiscal
year, and each state fiscal year thereafter, the bill requires the amount of
the basic cash assistance grant to equal or exceed 50% of the federal
poverty guidelines established by the federal department of health and
human services for a similarly sized household for that fiscal year.
No later than January 1, 2023, the bill requires the state department
to begin phasing in the increase in basic cash assistance that is equal to or
exceeds 50% of the federal poverty guidelines.
The bill requires a county department to attempt to contact each
participant using each method of communication provided by the
participant in order to conduct exit and follow-up interviews upon case
closure. The bill expands the purpose of the exit and follow-up interviews
to include evaluating the participant's experience with the works program,
how well the program met the participant's needs and assisted the
participant in meeting the participant's goals, and informing the state
department of any changes to rules that are needed to improve the
participant's experience.
The bill requires the state department to monitor impacts to
counties' workload in the works program and consult with counties
regarding additional need for money to administer the works program.
Beginning January 2023, and each January thereafter, the state
department is required to submit a report to the general assembly on the
effectiveness of the works program.
Current law requires the state board to promulgate rules that
require a percentage reduction in the basic cash assistance grant upon the
imposition of a sanction affecting the grant, with the percentage to be
specified in the rules but not to be less than 25%. The bill requires the
percentage not to exceed one dollar.
No later than September 30, 2022, the bill requires the state
department to develop an outreach and engagement plan to promote
access to the works program for eligible persons.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (05/02/2022) (most recent)  
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