April 22, 2019

Denver, CO – The Colorado State Senate today voted 21-to-13 with 1 excused to pass HB19-1189, Wage Garnishment Reform, a bill sponsored by Senators Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village) and Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) that would protect Coloradans from the unfair practice of wage garnishment. It now heads back to the House of Representatives for consideration of amendments.

Wage garnishment happens when a court orders that an employer withhold an amount of an employee’s paycheck and give it directly to a creditor or person to whom the employee owes money. It is a practice that disproportionately impacts low-income individuals, according to a 2017 national study.

“Too many Coloradans feel like no matter how hard they work, they just can’t get ahead,” said Senator Bridges. “This bill clarifies a confusing practice used by debt collectors to pick the pockets of low and middle-income individuals, giving hardworking Colorado families some much-needed relief.”

“Wage garnishment is an unfair practice of picking Coloradans’ pockets, and it disproportionately impacts low-income communities,” said Senator Fields. “Wage garnishment is confusing for many hardworking Coloradans who are just trying to do their best, and I am proud that the Senate stood up for them today.”

HB19-1189 would make wage garnishment intentions more clear, reduce the disposable earning subject to garnishments, and create a general hardship exemption. The exemption would permit individuals to prove in court that the amount of their pay subject to garnishment should be further reduced or eliminated all together.

For more information on HB19-1189, please visit: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1189.