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: November 24, 2014
Many of you were able to join us for breakfast with Governor John Hickenlooper last week. A special thank you to Colorado Concern Board member Rick Sapkin, managing principal at Edgemark Development, for serving as our host.
As the Governor prepares for the opening legislative session of his second term - the first with split party control in the General Assembly - he noted an interest in both sides of the political aisle in moving past the caucus "lock down" behavior evident in recent years, and leaders coming together to find Colorado-focused solutions.
Key issues with an economic impact that require that type of focus include balancing the importance of oil and gas development with local control and private property rights, as well as modifications to the state statute that dictates the process related to construction defect litigation. Current law has created an imbalance that leads directly to the courts. In response, the development community has chosen to forgo building for-sale, multifamily units, leaving an important part of the housing market unavailable. The Governor also referenced a measure Colorado Concern has been working on - and plans to see introduced as legislation this session - a proposal that requires that a fiscal impact statement noting the cost or benefit of a proposed ballot measure be included on the petitions utilized to collect signatures prior to ballot placement. This may sound familiar to you. It mirrors Initiative 137, a measure that Colorado Concern Chairman Pat Hamill and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bob Deibel served as the proponents for this past election cycle. The measure was poised for action by voters in November, but was withdrawn as part of the grand bargain that removed U.S. Rep. Jared Polis' proposals that would have banned energy development in our state.
Colorado Concern will be engaged with all the issues noted above, and we are in agreement that both legislative chambers and parties must work in a pragmatic fashion toward solutions.
Meanwhile, last week at the State Capitol leadership elections occurred. Click here for a synopsis of who will be in control the next two years. Committee assignments have been announced by Senate Republicans, and some assignments have been posted by House Democrats. Look for more assignments to be announced this week.
Your Colorado Concern team wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving, and we look forward to seeing you at our Holiday Party at the Governor's Residence on Dec. 8th. If you have not yet registered, please do so here.
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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