Our 2018 Legislative Priorities

As we celebrated 150 years of being in business in November, we said we were just getting started. And as we ring in the New Year, you will see that is true with our laser focus on policy issues at the 2018 legislative session.

Here are our top priorities for the session and why these issues are important to business. You can hear more about these priorities at our Business Legislative Preview on Thursday, Jan. 4 (don’t forget to save your seat), where we will ask legislative leadership to share their views on these critical policies.

Cost of health care
Salaries are typically the largest cost for any employer, and health care usually comes in as the second largest cost. And, the cost of health care is getting out of reach for more of our employers and employees. During this next session, we’ll support strategies to stem the rising costs of health care. We are working with our members right now to identify strategies you think could help address these costs—contact us at publicpolicy@denverchamber.org to ensure your voice is heard.

Improve the financial soundness of Colorado PERA
We’ll advocate for policy changes that improve the financial soundness of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), ensuring that the state is able to honor its commitments to workers while being financially accountable to taxpayers.

Promote workforce development for our youth
We’ll push for policies to ensure we are helping more residents find their path from education to employment. We have been focused on best practices that re-engage youth who are disconnected from school and work and helping them find their path to advance their education and find their career. Some of policies that we’re looking at include:

  • Encouraging more youth to stay in school by increasing or eliminating the school attendance age limit;
  • Expanding the reach of current programs to better serve youth who have left the educational system;
  • Defending accountability measures for educators, principals and schools; and
  • Exploring strategies that close the gap between learning and working so that more students get the opportunity to learn on the job while they’re in school.

Expand uses for reclaimed water in Colorado
In line with our recommendations to the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) as the Colorado Water Plan was being finalized in 2015, we strongly support the use of reclaimed water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational and other uses. In this session we’ll advocate for:

  • Reusing 100 percent of water obtained through current trans-mountain diversions, providing confidence that the Front Range is maximizing the water we already receive.
  • Reusing graywater and other recycled and industrial wastewater while protecting public health and the environment.

So, you can see, we are still going strong and are excited to continue to ensure Colorado is THE best place to do business and live.

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.