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: October 13, 2014
Last Monday Colorado Concern joined with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and 14 organizations across the state to sponsor a United States Senate and Gubernatorial Debate.
Sitting Senator Mark Udall and challenger Representative Cory Gardner, and Governor John Hickenlooper and former Representative Bob Beauprez squared off on a series of business-related issues before a sold-out house of Colorado's business leadership. Manu Raju of Politico, a multi-media political outlet based in Washington, D.C., moderated the event.
Key issues in the Senate debate focused on national energy policy, the Keystone XL Pipeline, carbon taxes and climate change, immigration reform and what components are necessary to move a comprehensive package through Congress; the Affordable Care Act and its benefits and/or impacts, the Obama Administration's use of Executive Orders to move policy forward and tax reform.
Governor Hickenlooper and Congressman Beauprez sparred over the role of regulation and what level is appropriate, the depth and breadth of the state's economic recovery, where they stand on Common Core standards in K-12 education, the level of funding Colorado receives back from the federal government, energy development and their approach to the ballot measures withdrawn in August, immigration reform and the role of the state, increasing the minimum wage and Amendment 64's impacts on Colorado.
A link to a video feed of the debate is available here:
Senator Mark Udall/Congressman Cory Gardner and Governor John Hickenlooper/Congressman Bob Beauprez.
Later in the week I had an opportunity to join with other members of Vital for Colorado, a statewide organization of business and civic leaders who support reasonable energy development, for an editorial board meeting with the leadership of The Durango Herald. Our focus was on the economic impact of energy development in our state, and the need for certainty in rules and regulations. The trip to southwest Colorado was timed in coordination with the second meeting of the Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force, which is tasked with seeking common ground between energy development and local control of land use.
The candidates for both offices will meet again this week in an energy focused debate. Click here for the invite, and here to register.
Meanwhile, remember to watch for your ballot as soon as this week. This is Colorado's first all-mail election. The sooner you complete the ballot and return it to your county clerk the quicker the deluge of direct mail and robocalls to your home phone will end. I wish I could tell you the onslaught of television advertising would end, but you'll have to wait for November 5 for that!
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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