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: April 14, 2014

At this week's meeting of the Title Board, a statewide ballot measure will be vetted that would require the fiscal impact of any constitutional amendment or statutory proposition be included on the petition circulated by the proponents of the proposal. This fiscal impact would provide citizens with an understanding of the costs or benefit associated with the measure, Initiative 137. Sound familiar? It should - it mirrors language in the proposed legislation we and a coalition of 14 other statewide groups focused on for increasing the integrity of our ballot process. And we contemplated running this legislation this session. However, even-numbered-year politics and heated debates over proposed changes to state law around recall elections were clouding the discussion around our measure. Therefore, to ensure it received the full and thoughtful review it deserves, we and our bill sponsors chose not to proceed this session.

Initiative 137's proponents are leaders in the business community: Pat Hamill, chairman of Colorado Concern, and Bob Diebel, chair-elect of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. This effort is in concert with Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), an effort focused on educating the general public about the energy, economic and environmental benefits of safe and responsible oil and natural gas development.

Should the Title be set - there is always the possibility of someone contesting the proposal, which leads to a longer process - the next step is approval of the template to collect signatures. That process takes several months, and the total number of valid signatures required is 86,105. To ensure success, the total collected is usually double the required amount. More to come as this measure moves forward. As a follow-up to last week's column, facing defeat of his proposal in its first committee, Representative Salazar chose instead to postpone indefinitely his proposed legislation that took aim at the heart of education reform - HB14-1268, "Nonprobationary Teachers No Indefinite Unpaid Leave" (Salazar/Todd). However, the litigation over the issue continues, making it a critical one to monitor.

Should you have questions about these issues, or any other policy matter, 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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