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 2014 legislative session? 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: March 10, 2014
We have reached the halfway point of the 2014 Session of the Colorado General Assembly. To date, 489 bills and resolutions have been introduced, and 35 have completed the process. Most who are engaged in the legislative process state that to this point it has been a relatively quiet session - unlike last year, which was full of hot-button issues such as gun control, civil unions and mandated renewable energy standards that led to numerous late-night hearings and frayed nerves on both sides of the political aisle. The fact that we are in an "even-numbered" year - which means an election cycle come November - is most routinely cited as the reason for a more moderate approach to issues currently under debate beneath the gold dome.
That said, there are a handful or more measures expected to be introduced in the coming weeks - some we support and others we likely will oppose - that will make the next 60 days key on how we will judge the outcome of this legislative session.
Included in that list are items we support - such as the
ballot integrity bill we have mentioned previously. Additionally, Colorado Concern has been working with other business associations and industry groups, along with the Metro Mayors Caucus and affordable housing advocates, to craft a solution focused on addressing a lack of multifamily, for-sale development (condominiums). Current state law is crafted in such a fashion that class action litigation over construction defects is the norm, not the exception. As a result, the costs of condominiums rise out of the reach of many entry-level buyers - including young families with children. And that's if the condominiums are built at all. Realtors report that they know there are condo buyers looking for properties - and can't find them. This is a market that the developers would like to serve, but simply cannot shoulder the risk.
Today, most multifamily projects being built are for-rent properties. This segment serves an important purpose, but creates a vacuum for a segment of our community that seeks a more urban-style living environment. We would prefer that the market - not the legal environment - shape Colorado's housing inventory, and we believe there are reasonable common sense remedies to open the door to attainable housing for Coloradans.
On the other side of the coin - measures we likely would oppose - we still believe it is possible that a proposal to make changes in the worker's compensation system will be introduced. Three areas of modification have been suggested.
Click here to review a previous column on those items.
Meanwhile, tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. we have lunch with Governor John Hickenlooper at the Carriage House at the Boettcher Mansion. I know we are all interested to hear what our state's chief executive thinks of the session so far, his expectation of the next several months before the final gavel drops, and his thoughts about the ballot issues currently under consideration for voter review in November. We look forward to seeing you there. If you have not registered but would like to join us, a few seats opened up late last week. Contact Paige at email@example.com to sign up.
Should you have questions about any of the items outlined above, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamra J. Ward
President and CEO
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-six percent believe Colorado’s economic situation will be better a year from now. Almost 33% feel the economy will be “about the same”.
- Forty-seven percent feel operating their business in Colorado is about the same as operating in most states. Just 16 percent feel it is harder to operate in Colorado.
- Nearly 73 percent of respondents opposed the 2013 ballot measure implementing a graduated income tax to increase funding for education.
Colorado Concern's Top Five Issues for Elected Officials
- Recruit and retain companies/job growth strategies
- Protect tax credits and sales tax exemptions
- Address issues in current construction defect law that limits “for sale” multi-family building
- Ensure the regulation and enforcement of Amendment 64 (marijuana) is sound
- Ensure transparency and fiscal solvency of PERA, the public sector retirement system
Policy Issues Facing the State of interest to Colorado Concern members
- Electing statewide candidates who have an understanding of business issues
- Increasing financial resources to programs like P-20 education, roads and bridges through a statewide ballot issue
- Protecting Colorado’s business climate by stopping bad legislation, supporting measures that enhance job growth
- Ninety percent of Colorado Concern members provide health insurance benefits to their employees, but 80 percent do not believe federal reform will reduce the cost of care for them, or those they cover.
- Frustration with partisanship is at an all-time high, both in Washington and here at home. More than half of Colorado Concern’s members are interested in learning about modifying our current political primary candidate election process, either allowing unaffiliated voters to directly part pate in primary elections, or removing the use of the party caucus system.
- Eighty percent of Colorado Concern members have a clear understanding of hydraulic fracturing and how it is utilized by the energy industry. A similar amount – 82 percent – do not support efforts by local government to add additional levels of regulation, on top of state law, on the industry.
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