The Fight for Space Command Continues and Bills to Watch

The Fight for Space Command

The Chamber has been an active voice on the continued tug-of-war over keeping U.S. Space Command headquarters in Colorado versus its potential relocation to Alabama. Space Command is a key military and economic asset to Colorado, and with the nation’s second-largest aerospace economy, Colorado offers one of the country’s most highly educated workforces, a dynamic atmosphere for business growth and a hub of high-tech innovation.

Our president and CEO, J. J. Ament, made a point to discuss the importance of keeping Space Command in Colorado during our 2022 State of City address.

Ament expressed that U.S Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper must urge President Joe Biden to add an amendment to the Inflation Reduction Act to keep U.S. Space Command in Colorado. Ament said during the address, “That can be both a national security imperative as well as the first step in reducing inflation by saving that billion or more dollars it would cost to move the headquarters to Alabama.” This was met with some criticism from a Hickenlooper spokesperson saying, “it’s not even possible under reconciliation” but as time has gone on, Hickenlooper and Bennet have shown increasing willingness to take a hard stance on this important issue.

As the Chamber, Colorado Space Coalition and other partners have continued to press the issue, it seems as though our collective hard work is having an impact.

What Happened?

On Jan. 23, the battle to keep Space Command in Colorado intensified with both Sen. Hickenlooper and Sen. Bennet voting against the Secretary of Defense nominee Brendan Owens, symbolically protesting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s refusal to discuss keeping Space Command in Colorado.

  • Sen. Bennet tweeted saying, “The Department of Defense has repeatedly ignored my request for a meeting with Secretary Austin about Space Command basing decision. For that reason, I voted against Brendan Owens’ nomination tonight, and will consider holds on other Pentagon nominees until a meeting takes place.”
  • Sen. Hickenlooper joined Senator Bennet by tweeting, “We’ve asked for two years to meet with Secretary Austin about the flawed proposal to move Space Command out of Colorado. Two years later, we’re still waiting. That’s why we voted against Mr. Owens’ nomination today. Keeping Space Command in Colorado it too important.”
  • With little patience left, Colorado has been eagerly waiting for a location decision since early December when General James H. Dickinson, the commander of U.S. Space Command, mentioned during an event that “we should hear a decision any day now.” The final decision should come from the Secretary of the Air Force when the report analysis is completed.

What’s Next?

Potential stalling is on the table for Sen. Hickenlooper as he threatens to place a hold on pending Pentagon nominations. A hold which would delay the process of confirmation and prolong consideration for the nominees. Sen. Hickenlooper urges Austin to schedule a meeting so that he and Sen. Bennet don’t have to interfere with the upcoming nominations.

The Chamber applauds both Sen. Hickenlooper and Sen. Bennet for making audacious moves to keep Space Command in Colorado. We appreciate how members of Colorado’s congressional delegation in Washington have been fighting back in order to keep the base, as well as the 1,400 jobs and millions of dollars of economic impact it brings to our region. Moving Space Command from Colorado to Alabama is an ill-advised decision, and we will continue to work diligently to ensure U.S. Space Command remains at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Two Major Bills to Watch

House Bill 1115 Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent Control

Introduced this past week, this bill would repeal statutory provisions prohibiting counties and municipalities from authorizing any ordinance that controls rent on private residential property or private residential housing.

Why it matters: Any county of municipality could put a price ceiling on housing that differs from other counties and municipalities, drive landlords out of the market, and disrupt the housing supply, further complicating the housing crisis that already exists.

House Bill 1118 Fair Workweek Employment Standards

Introduced this week, this bill would add significant new regulations and restrictions on how an employer could manage workweek schedules and pay for their employees.

Why it matters: This bill is yet another mandate on employers trying to navigate a slate of recently adopted laws surrounding employment in Colorado. This legislation will create sweeping impacts on thousands of businesses with little consideration for the basic operational needs of employers and their employees.

Once it has taken a final position, the Chamber will provide more on these issues in the coming week.

Bills We Took a Position On


Senate Bill 35 clarifies that the middle-income housing authority has the ability to enter into public-private partnerships under certain specifications. This legislation provides clarity to the operationalization of the middle-income housing authority, so that our state can increase sorely needed housing inventory.


Senate Bill 58 prohibits employers from asking a job seeker about their age, date of birth or dates of attendance or graduation from an educational institution. This bill is misaligned with what employers are experiencing in the current labor market. It is an intrusion on the hiring process in an attempt to address a problem that is not an issue in the current labor market.

Oppose Unless Amended

Senate Bill 16 commits Colorado to a net-zero target by revising its 2050 goal to 100% emissions reductions and sets additional interim targets at five-year intervals. We trust that the current targets for the state’s emission reduction plan are sufficient to meet the net-zero goal by 2050. We oppose changing interim targets on emission reduction standards because it places an onus on businesses to retrofit their property in time to meet these targets. We encourage the sponsor of this bill to remove the interim targets and clarify the incentive language.

Read our full stances.

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