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 and how they each fared 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: August 11, 2014,

Last week when Governor John Hickenlooper and U.S. Representative Jared Polis (D-CD2) outlined the components of the agreement that would avert a battle at the statewide ballot over oil and gas development in our state, a piece of that truce was the withdrawal of Initiative 137, Fiscal Transparency in the Initiative Process. That was a measure Colorado Concern and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce - in conjunction with the energy industry - was supporting. The previous Friday, Initiative 137 proponents Pat Hamill (on behalf of Colorado Concern) and Bob Deibel (on behalf of the Denver Metro Chamber) had submitted 137,000 signatures to the Secretary of State to secure ballot placement. That said, when a deal that would remove Initiatives 88 and 89 - measures that would ban oil and gas development in Colorado - became possible, and pulling down this measure was required to achieve success, we agreed to do so.

The business community is well aware that citizen-initiated ballot measures in Colorado are a tradition. In fact, 81 ballot initiatives and legislatively supported referendums have gone before voters between 2000 and 2013. Realizing this process is part of the fabric of our state, Initiative 137 was an attempt at additional transparency by requiring that all initiated ballot measures include a fiscal impact statement on the petition circulated for signatures, the step required to place a measure before voters each November. In the simplest of terms, by informing voters earlier in the process about the fiscal components of a proposal, Coloradans can begin to contemplate the cost-benefit of an initiative. Of the 21 states that permit citizen-initiated changes to state statutes, six states - Alaska, California, Maine, Missouri, Montana and Utah - have similar laws.

If this concept sounds familiar you are correct; it was included in a piece of draft legislation we worked on with Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) and Rep. Lois Court (D-Denver) last session. When Initiative 137 began to move forward, we chose to set aside our legislative approach. I expect we and other interested parties will work with elected leaders from both parties to dust off the proposal we crafted last year and consider its introduction in 2015.

If you have questions about Initiative 137 or the proposed legislative approach, 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-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.

Colorado Taxes

  • 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

Health Care

  • 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.

Elections

  • 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.

Energy

  • 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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