The 2018 State Legislative Session has officially closed, and the Jewish Community Relations Council, JCRC, celebrates passage of several bills that it feels will have a positive impact on Colorado and its Jewish community. The JCRC is a coalition of 38 Jewish organizations and 15 at-large members that serves as the Colorado Jewish community’s voice.
The JCRC tracked 30 bills this legislative session that fit within the coalition’s priority areas. Member organizations are particularly proud of the following policy actions:
- HB 1004: Continuation of the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit. Over 6,000 Colorado child care and youth organizations, including several JCRC member organizations, rely on contributions provided through this tax credit. The legislation allows individuals to receive tax credits equal to 50% for child care-related donations. JCRC members attended the bill signing with Governor Hickenlooper.
- HB 1256: Reauthorization of the Civil Rights Division and Commission. JCRC joined a broad coalition supporting legislation to ensure the Division and Commission receive funding for another year.
- SB 087. The JCRC advocated for undocumented students to receive in-state tuition at Colorado’s higher education institutions.
- State Budget: Alternative Care Facilities Provider Rate Increase. The JCRC worked with the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Joint Budget Committee to ensure a 25% provider rate increase for alternative care facilities. This rate increase helps affordable care facilities, including some JCRC member organizations, meet their budgets without having to turn away low-income individuals in need of services.
- HB 1402. The JCRC supported efforts to make sure Colorado’s Treasurer can invest in Israeli bonds as well as the bonds of other sovereign nations if they meet the necessary criteria.
- The JCRC also opposed two discrimination bills, HB 1206: The Live and Let Live Act and SB 241: The Colorado Children’s First Act. Both bills died and did not become law.
In addition to supporting legislation, the JCRC served as the go-to resource by taking action on issues of importance to the Jewish community, including:
- Worked with State Legislators to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem on the Senate Floor. Senate President Kevin Grantham and House Majority Caucus Chair Daneya Esgar led the presentation.
- Secured bipartisan sponsorship for the 2018 Holocaust Remembrance Resolution on the House and Senate Floors.
- Official recognition by Governor Hickenlooper on the 70th Anniversary of the State of Israel.
The JCRC has cultivated relationships with several legislators on both sides of the political spectrum through high impact events, including JCRC’s biennial Date with the State and Public Officials Mission to Israel. Advocating for sound policy and community services is a key role played by the JCRC on behalf of the Jewish community.