Strategic | Where We Engage

Each year the Colorado General Assembly considers 500 or more pieces of legislation. Are you interested in which bills Colorado Concern is tracking during the 2015 legislative session and where each bill is in the process? Click here for an "At a Glance" status sheet, or for a real-time status sheet with additional details, click here.

Colorado Concern Advocacy

Click here to find out what issues Colorado Concern is working on and how you can help, find and contact your elected federal, state and local officials, and learn more about important issues facing businesses in Colorado.

United | Weekly Legislative Update

Colorado Concern produces a weekly newsletter for its members during the Colorado State Legislative Session, January through May. Click here to view archives of these newsletters.

From the President and CEO

The Week in Review: April 20, 2015

It's that time of year: Hurry up and wait. Thirteen working days remain in this legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly. More than 600 bills and resolutions have been introduced in the House and the Senate, and many of those measures remain in play. Colorado law requires that any bill introduced receives a hearing in the chamber of origin, so many late nights - and likely frayed tempers - will occur between now and the final gavel dropping by midnight May 6th.

This time of year you also see more vividly the intersection of policy and politics. That is certainly the case for two key measures of interest to Colorado Concern: HB15-1057 - Concerning the process for a statewide initiative to be based on the ballot (Court-DelGrosso) and SB15-177 - Concerning prerequisites to the authority of a unit owners' association to pursue resolution of disputes involving construction defects (Scheffel-Ulibarri). Both these measures are at the mercy of the leadership of the House of Representatives, and both measures appear to have the votes for passage should they receive a full and fair hearing and proceed to the floor of that chamber for action.

You will recall HB15-1057 is all about providing more information to Colorado citizens as they consider signing a petition that could lead to a measure being placed on the November statewide ballot. The bill calls for a preliminary fiscal note to be added to the petition document utilized by circulators so you have an idea of the cost, and/or benefit of the proposal. This process is utilized with every bill debated by the General Assembly, as well as any measure it considers to refer to voters. As the old saying goes, "If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander." Who could be against transparency and good government? It appears this is where the far left and the far right meet. As it relates to the State House, some key constituencies most often aligned with the Democratic Party - organized labor and environmental organizations, for example - dislike the approach. For that reason the bill remains in limbo. Some say it is based on a concern that fiscal transparency around the impact of banning hydraulic fracturing in Colorado would limit the ability of proponents of such an effort to secure ballot placement for a measure in 2016. We say, regardless of the issue, voters deserve all the information available to assist them in making thoughtful decisions.

SB15-177, the construction defects measure, passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 24 -11. Six Democrats joined with all Republicans in adopting the measure last week. The Speaker of the House is on the record noting her concerns with the proposal, which include a dislike of arbitration as a remedy to construction disputes. This is a position also held by many trial lawyers who sue builders and developers. The Homeownership Opportunity Alliance, of which Colorado Concern is a member, is simply asking that the measure be provided a full and fair hearing, in a committee of appropriate jurisdiction. Last week the group took its plea to the public with a targeted media and advocacy campaign. You can add your voice to the effort by clicking the links below to sign a petition in support of a fair hearing, or a link to send a message directly to key legislators.

Petition: http://housing4co.org/petition_1.asp?g=HOA&id=91814

Action Alert:
http://housing4co.org/issue_alert.asp?g=hoa&issue=FairHearing_SB177&parent=HOA

Stay tuned for updates as it relates to what transpires with this critical measure focused on re-starting construction in the multifamily, for-sale product arena.

Colorado Concern will be focused full throttle on these measures between now and the end of the legislative session. Should you have questions regarding these bills, or any other measure, please do not hesitate to contact me at tamra@coloradoconcern.com.

Warmly,

Tamra J. Ward
President and CEO
Colorado Concern

Archived legislative updates can be viewed here.

Committed | Member Survey Highlights

Member engagement is critical in setting our agenda. Each fall our CEOs, business and community leaders provide their feedback to a public policy survey.

Jobs and the Economy

  • Fifty-two percent believe Colorado’s economic situation will be better a year from now. Almost 43 percent feel the economy will be “about the same”.
  • Forty-eight percent feel operating their business in Colorado is about the same as operating in most states. Twenty-four percent feel it is harder to operate in Colorado..

Colorado Concern's Top Five Issues for Elected Officials

  • Recruit and retain companies/job growth strategies.
  • Strengthen the process to put measures on the Colorado ballot.
  • Ensure attempts to ban energy development are stopped.
  • Address issues in multifamily construction defect laws.
  • Further K-12 education reform.

Policy Issues Facing the State of interest to Colorado Concern members

  • Protecting Colorado's business climate by stopping bad legislation and supporting measures that enhance job growth.
  • Recruiting, vetting and electing statewide candidates who have an understanding of business issues.
  • Stopping any attempt to ban energy development in Colorado, legislatively or at the ballot box.

Health Care

  • Nearly all of Colorado Concern members provide health insurance benefits to their employees.
  • A full 76 percent of them have experienced health insurance premium increases in the past year.
  • The majority of members seeing increases experienced premium bumps of 10 percent or more. This has caused half of those members to make changes to how they provide health insurance coverage to their employees.

Elections

Frustration with partisanship is at an all-time high, both in Washington and here at home.

  • Sixty-seven percent of Colorado Concern’s members are interested in learning about modifying our current political primary candidate election process by allowing unaffiliated voters to directly participate in primary elections.
  • Seventy-six percent support or removing the use of the party caucus system.

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