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 tracked during the 2013 legislative session? Click here for an "At a Glance" status sheet, or for a real-time status sheet with additional details, click here.
Do You Know Your Legislator?
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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: December 9, 2013
As we move into December, the focus of our efforts at Colorado Concern turns to the upcoming session of the Colorado General Assembly and what issues we expect will emerge for debate and action during the 120-day gathering of our state's elected leaders.
The coming year includes an election in November with the Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State and seats in both the House and the Senate in play. Historically, an "even-numbered year" means that partisan offerings
are toned down - so as not to provide campaign fodder for opponents - but it is too soon to tell if that will be the case in 2014. One certainly hopes so!
While we certainly prefer focusing on supporting measures we believe benefit Colorado, we often find ourselves playing defense, a role we believe is critical to preserve and protect our state's business climate. In advance of the coming session we are hearing of several measures that fall in that category that will require our playing defense.
The first is a multi-pronged proposal from organized labor that makes substantive changes to our current workers' compensation system. Colorado's current system is stable, and the rates are reasonable. In fact, economic development professionals are able to use it as a carrot in their efforts to bring new employers to our state. The draft proposal moves to a "doctor choice" model for injured workers, as well as makes changes in the safety rules guidelines and dictates how employee separation and settlement agreements are crafted. We believe, as drafted, this measure will increase costs, litigation and the amount of time it takes for an injured worker to receive the care they desire and deserve. Conversations will continue with organized labor, legislators and the governor's office around this measure and its likely impacts.
Another area of concern is the reintroduction of legislation focused on slowing or banning the extractive industry. Colorado's oil and gas production is a key driver of our economy, employing thousands of citizens and providing tax revenue for local and state government. We all agree that appropriate guidelines should exist to ensure public safety, but attempts to stop the energy industry from performing its work go a step too far. We will stand with our energy partners to oppose such attempts.
Last, we will be watchful for legislation that impacts our current tort system or modifies the balance between labor and management.
If you have any questions about the measures noted above, or if a specific piece of legislation is of interest or concern, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you this evening at our Holiday Reception at the Governor's Residence.
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
- Forty-three percent believe Colorado's economic situation will be "about the same" a year from now.
- Forty percent state their company's economic situation is "about the same" as last year at this time.
- Forty-nine percent say they will "grow and expand" in 2012; 50 percent will remain "status quo."
- Fifty-one percent say Colorado's personal income tax is "about average." Thirty-one percent say it's "lower than most states."
- Colorado's corporate income tax is "about average," according to 45 percent of members. Fourteen percent say it's lower than most states.
- Colorado's corporate property tax is "higher than most states," according to 45 percent. Thirty percent call it "about average."
Tax Options and Where You Would Spend It
- If taxes were to be raised, 35 percent would like to see the state sales tax on goods increased. Thirty-three percent would consider a graduated personal income tax but need to know more specifics on how the tax would work. Thirty percent would like to see an increase in the state’s gas tax.
- 71 percent believe higher education is underfunded.
Ease of Business Operations
- Forty-three percent say operating their business in Colorado is "about the same" as other states. Twenty-three percent say it's easier.
Separation for Pinnacol Assurance?
- 50 percent say "yes."
- 30 percent are undecided.
Colorado Concern's Top Five Issues for Elected Officials
- Protect and enhance business climate: 72 percent
- Recruit / retain business, job growth: 72 percent
- Further K-12 reform: 55 percent
- Support higher education: 49 percent
- Support transportation funding: 40 percent
- Business regulation reform: 27 percent
- Support early childhood education: 27 percent
Key Areas for Colorado Concern Focus / Engagement
- Address the state's structural constitutional challenges
- Increased funds for the state's General Fund
- Ballot initiative reform
- Electing statewide candidates who have an understanding of business issues
- Sixty-two percent would like to see funding for quality prekindergarten child care for those who are unable to pay.
- Sixty-two percent would like to make the school day and school year longer.
- Forty-two percent are interested in a statewide tax measure for additional K-12 resources.
- Reducing the availability of Tax Increment Financing (TIF's) would negatively impact redevelopment projects.
- Additional construction defects legislation remains troubling.
- Reclassification of agricultural lands causes concern.
- Fifty-six percent feel a lack of adequate funding is the biggest problem with Colorado’s transportation system.
- Half would like to see more bonding for transportation projects.
- Forty-four percent would support increasing the state’s gas tax.
- Forty-two percent would support increasing the vehicle registration fee to better fund transportation.
- Ninety-six percent of respondents offer health insurance to their employees.
- Seventy-two percent do not feel the Affordable Care Act will reduce the cost of health care for employers and their employees.
- Seventy-five percent oppose local governments taking action to regulate the oil and gas industry on top of current state regulations.
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