Looking Towards the 2019 Legislative Session

We know that policy significantly impacts our companies, and it’s critical that no matter how big or small your organization is that your voice is heard at the Capitol. The Chamber works with all 3,000 of our members to ensure our business voice is heard during each session. With members from such diverse industry, size and geography, we talk policy with you all year long and ensure we know what you need to be successful, particularly around the three pillars of policy that build a sustainable economy:

  • Strong infrastructure, from a transportation system that efficiently moves goods and people; consistent and cost-effective energy; connection to broadband; and systems that efficiently and effectively use our water resources.
  • Access to affordable health care and wellness strategies that ensure we have the healthiest and most productive workforce in the country.
  • And an educational pipeline and a workforce advancement system that starts early to prepare our kids for success, meets the changing needs of our economy and connects every Coloradan with opportunities to help them succeed.

While you can trust that we will engage any time legislation will impact our business community, we have also identified some critical priorities for the 2019 legislative session:

Rural Partners: In the last few years, the Chamber has worked deliberately to strengthen our understanding of our shared challenges and the unique issues some of our partners face throughout the state. These issues align closely with our pillars, and we will only support solutions that help ensure all of Colorado can thrive. Further, we are more committed than ever to finding solutions to some of the constitutional issues that are debilitating rural Colorado and posing challenges to our economy throughout our state.

Health Care: Chamber members have consistently identified cost as their biggest health care concern. Over the past two years, we have worked closely with Chamber members to understand their health care challenges and identify solutions with health care industry partners that can meaningfully impact cost while ensuring quality.  Many of those solutions are not legislative but will still be valuable to help inform policy that the legislature might consider in this arena.

Economic Development: While we are not a big incentive state, we recognize the role that business incentives play in Colorado. We are very unique in how we award any incentives as part of our economic development strategy:

  • Colorado’s incentives are performance-based (awarded after the investment is made and jobs are delivered to Coloradans).
  • Incentives are uniformly awarded. (The incentives don’t change no matter how big or small the company is nor how many jobs a company might bring to our state.)
  • The formula is transparent and can’t be changed without a public process. (The legislature establishes the incentive program in Colorado.)

You can get a preview of what to expect for 2019 at our Business Legislative Preview on Jan. 3. Partnering with our statewide policy affiliate, the Colorado Competitive Council, and the Denver Business Journal, we’ll hear from leaders of the Colorado General Assembly about their business priorities for the year.

Colorado Open to All
When a business opens its doors, it should be open to all the community. That’s just part of the inclusive, welcoming nature that makes us Coloradans.

And, for the past several legislative sessions, we’ve opposed bills that would have sent a message that conflicts with that inclusive, collaborative culture and spirit the business community has worked hard to build and maintain here in Colorado.

That’s why earlier this month we were proud to partner with Open to All to support that inclusive environment for businesses – because we’re open to business for all here in Colorado. So far there are nearly 2,000 businesses who have taken the pledge to be Open to All – join them!

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