With the session in full swing, the Denver Metro Chamber has been sharing your views on current and draft legislation by testifying, engaging our lobby team and sending letters to legislators.
On Monday, Chamber President and CEO Kelly Brough submitted testimony to the Senate Committee on Business, Labor and Technology in support of Senate Bill 80, which would protect entities from liability related to COVID-19 if they comply with public health guidelines.
“This has certainly been a learn-as-you-go situation, but employers who have aligned with state best practices and not acted negligently should be recognized for their work,” Brough said. “This bill is a bipartisan, collaborative effort to do just that.”
Read our full testimony. The bill was postponed indefinitely.
Brough also submitted testimony last week in front of the Committee on Business Affairs & Labor in opposition to House Bill 1049. This bill would prohibit an employer from requiring union membership or payment of union dues as a condition for employment and undermine the delicate and hard-earned balance of the Labor Peace Act, established in Colorado in the 1940s. It ensures employees who seek union representation can organize while also giving fellow employees a voice with regard to paying union dues.
“We recognize that many existing and prospective businesses would prefer Colorado adopt the right-to-work model, given its flexibility in defining jobs and assigning duties and assurance that no employee ever be forced to pay into a union that they don’t support,” Brough testified. “Even so, our business community has held on to this carefully crafted compromise and continues to oppose efforts to modify it.”
Read the full testimony. This bill was also postponed indefinitely.
Finally in testimony, Brough shared the business community’s views on Senate Bill 125 with the Committee on Transportation & Energy, which clarifies that the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) may give notice of rulemaking prior to 60 days before a hearing and requires the notice to include a description of the classes of people and entities that will be affected by the proposed rule. It also adds requirements for the AQCC related to timing and deadlines, governance, economic impacts and stakeholder outreach and impacts for any alternate proposals submitted in a rulemaking process.
“At its core, this bill will help all parties at the AQCC know the lay of the land and work accordingly prior to hearing. If we all know the rules of the game, we can work more efficiently and effectively with state resources and create more equitable rules for the state,” Brough said.
Positions on 9 New Bills
The Chamber also took positions on nine new bills, including two that support our work through Prosper CO to create an economy that works for all Coloradans, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. House Bill 1134 would create a voluntary pilot program to help Coloradans establish credit through rental payments. We know that many Coloradans struggle to build credit, which presents a barrier to homeownership and entrepreneurship. This pilot program may be effective in providing another avenue for building good credit.
We also support House Bill 1028, which would require the Colorado Division of Housing to provide an annual public report on the money the state has received from federal, state public or private sources and how the state has used that funding to promote providing affordable housing. This would give legislators and constituents information to ensure taxpayer dollars address affordable housing in a meaningful way and anticipate future needs and priorities.
Here are the positions we took on seven other bills this week.
- Chamber supports HB21-1065: “Veterans’ Hiring Preference,” Rep. David Ortiz (D-Littleton) and Rep. Terri Carver (R-Colorado Springs)
- Chamber opposes SB21-087: “Agricultural Workers’ Rights,” Sen. Jessie Danielson (D-Lakewood), Rep. Karen McCormick (D-Longmont) and Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton)
- Chamber opposes HB21-1207: “Overpayment Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits,” Rep. Lindsey Daugherty (D-Arvada), Rep. Adrienne Benavidez (D-Commerce City), Sen. Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs), and Sen. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora)
- Chamber supports SB21-091: “Credit Transaction Charge Limitations,” Sen. Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs), Sen. Robert Rodriguez (D-Denver), Rep. Shannon Bird (D-Westminster) and Rep. Colin Larson (R-Littleton)
- Chamber supports SB21-163: “Cost-benefit Analysis For Rules Additional Requirements,” Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale)
- Chamber opposes SB21-169: “Restrict Insurers’ Use Of External Consumer Data,” Sen. Janet Buckner (D-Aurora)
- Chamber supports HB21-1161: “Suspend Statewide Assessments For Select Grades,” Rep. Emily Sirota (D-Denver), Rep. Barbara McLachlan (D-Durango), Sen. Rachel Zenzinger (D-Aurora) and Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose)
You can read more about what these bills do and why we are supporting or opposing them on our website