COVID, Delayed Session and Numerous Anti-Business Bills Mark 2020 Session
The 2020 session was full of challenges – some we anticipated, but others – like the COVID-19 pandemic – we couldn’t have imagined. In the weeks since lawmakers left the Capitol in June, we’ve had time to reflect on the session, which started with a budget surplus and troubling proposals for a state health insurance option and a state-run family leave program and ended with a budget deficit and several bills that could have crippled our economic recovery.
After the pandemic brought lawmaking to a halt in March, legislators thankfully abandoned the state health insurance option and any legislative proposal for paid family and medical leave. But when the session resumed in May, new challenges emerged, from a bill that would have upended the current workers’ compensation bill to tax reform legislation that would have slowed our economic recovery. We worked hard to lessen the blow of these bills and others that could have reduced confidence, created uncertainty, slowed potential hiring and hurt our state’s recovery.
While unable to kill many harmful bills introduced in the second part of the session, we were able to work with legislators to heavily amend several proposals. We worked hard to negotiate amendments on bills related to sick leave for employers (Senate Bill 205), unemployment insurance contributions (Senate Bill 207), reinsurance (Senate Bill 215), whistleblower rules (House Bill 1415) and tax reforms (House Bill 1420). The workers’ compensation bill to establish a COVID-19 presumption for essential workers (Senate Bill 216) was postponed indefinitely.
You can learn more about these bills, as well as issues that legislators referred to November’s ballot, such as a repeal of the Gallagher Amendment, in our End of Session Report.
You can also view a recording and read our recap of the Chamber’s State of the State on June 23, when Chamber President & CEO Kelly Brough spoke with Gov. Jared Polis, Joint Budget Committee (JBC) Vice Chair Sen. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) and JBC Member Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale).
We know we have our work cut out for us when the 2021 session launches in January. In the meantime, we’ll be working with you and lawmakers to strengthen relationships, ensure your voices and perspectives are heard and share data to help inform future policy.