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2020 Legislative Session

Each session we take positions on current bills that stand to impact the business community and our economy, focusing on education and workforce, health and wellness and infrastructure. Guided by those focus areas, data and member feedback, our policy decisions are guided by a committee of members and our board of directors.

Have a question about a position we’ve taken? Call us at 303-620-8088 or email us at publicpolicy@denverchamber.org.

  • Position Key
  • Support
  • Oppose
  • Neutral
  • STATUS Key
  • Passed
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  • Active
Bill # Title Summary Position Justification Materials Pillars Status
HB20-1002 College Credit for Work Experience

This bill puts in place a multi-year plan to develop and implement a program that will award college credit for work-related experience including self-employment, internships and apprenticeships. By 2022, the process for the program must be created, and beginning with the 2023-24 academic year, the program must be implemented.

Our competitive advantage is our talented workforce, but if we don’t get more of our kids to and through college, we could jeopardize that advantage. This bill increases the value of work-based learning for students (something the Chamber is an advocate for), because those apprenticeships and internships will be tied to post-secondary credit, transferable to credentials.

HB20-1003 Rural Jump-start Zone Act Modifications

The Rural Jump Start program allows “Tax-friendly Zones” to be created in the state’s highly distressed counties. This bill extends the program for an additional five years. Businesses approved to locate in a rural jump-start zone are entitled to tax-friendly zone program benefits including income, sales and use and property tax credits as determined by the Colorado Economic Development Commission. It restricts the approval of a new business that directly competes with a similar business in the zone and adds economic development organizations, in addition to institutions of higher education, to entities that can participate in the program.

This bill provides targeted support in rural, distressed communities for job creation and business attraction. The Chamber supported the development of this program and is supportive of this legislative change to add economic development organizations as eligible entities for funding and amends restrictions on competition. It continues to support overall economic development for the state and increases the likelihood of approval for companies in rural areas.

HB20-1022 Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force

The Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force develops recommendations that streamline sales and use tax between the state and local government. This bill extends the authorization for the task force for an additional five years and removes the requirement that the task force undergo an evaluation by the Department of Regulatory Agencies prior to the task force’s repeal.

The current patchwork of sales and use tax laws throughout Colorado is particularly challenging for Colorado businesses. The recommendations derived from the sales and use tax task force are especially helpful to businesses with locations in multiple jurisdictions operating under multiple tax laws in Colorado.

HB20-1023 State Address Data for Sales and Use Tax Collection

This bill establishes a hold harmless provision for vendors who use the state’s geographic information system database to determine the jurisdictions to which their sales or use tax is owed and to calculate appropriate sales or use tax rates. It also requires the Department of Revenue to ensure accuracy and notify vendors when the database is verified as operational and available for use.

This bill comes out of the Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force and protects businesses that use the state’s geographic information system database to calculate their sales and use tax rates.

HB20-1024 Net Operating Loss Deduction Modifications

Under current law, Colorado businesses can carry forward their net operating loss deduction for the same number of years as allowed federally. The federal “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” enacted in 2017 removed the 20-year limit set previously to allow businesses to carry forward their deductions in perpetuity.

This bill returns Colorado to the 20-year limit, which many businesses are already accustomed to. Therefore, we are neutral on the bill.

HB20-1025 Sales Tax Exemption Industrial and Manufacturing Energy Use

The sales tax exemption for energy use exempts the sale and purchase of electricity, coal, gas, fuel oil, steam, coke or nuclear fuel for specific uses outlined in the exemption. This bill would require businesses to meter separately for those specific uses in order to qualify for the exemption.

This bill would substantially increase costs for businesses because they would need to meter every room to separate those that are directly tied to manufacturing and those that are not, making it cost prohibitive for many.

HB20-1033 Live And Let Live Act

This bill will allow an employee to refuse to serve a customer based on their own religious beliefs.

The Chamber is committed to helping Colorado companies grow and thrive, attract new businesses and build a strong and healthy workforce. We advocate for policy that makes Colorado the best place to do business and oppose legislation that hinders our ability to do so. If passed, this bill will set Colorado back several decades and allow for rampant discrimination, sending a message that conflicts with the inclusive and collaborative culture the business community has worked hard to build and maintain here in Colorado. This bill would put our ability to attract top companies and workers at risk.

HB20-1039 Transparent State Web Portal Search Rules

This bill requires a state agency conducting a rulemaking to post notifications of the proceedings on a centralized website and mobile app.

This would make it easier for businesses of all sizes to be aware of rulemaking proceedings that impact them.

HB20-1048 Race Trait Hairstyle Anti-discrimination Protect

This bill protects against discrimination on the basis of hairstyle(s) historically associated with race.

The Chamber is committed to creating safe and inclusive workplaces for our employees and this bill supports those efforts.

HB20-1053 Supports for Early Childhood Educator Workforce

This bill facilitates the recruitment and retention of Colorado’s early childhood educator workforce by directing the State Board of Human Services in the Department of Human Services to establish additional licensing standards, including approving additional credentials, applying points to a credential based on previous experience, developing resources to support concurrent enrollment opportunities, creating a retention grant and scholarship program (funding decided by General Assembly) and creating an apprenticeship program.

Access to quality childcare is important to our entire workforce, allowing more parents to engage in the economy; addressing this educator shortage by creating relevant experiences to fill these roles; and laying a foundation of knowledge for our future workforce. Every dollar spent on early childhood education services contributes $2.25 to the state’s economy by enabling parents of young children to work.

HB20-1064 Public Utilities Commission Study of Community Choice Energy

This bill would study community choice energy, also known as community choice aggregation, which would allow communities to choose their wholesale electricity suppliers and be able to purchase energy outside of the local utility while still utilizing the infrastructure and delivery of that utility.

This bill requires taxpayers to pay for an expensive study of a concept that we do not support. The concept allows communities to choose an outside utility to provide services but use the existing utility’s infrastructure without paying to support that infrastructure. It raises costs for those who remain on the existing system – businesses and consumers alike – and does nothing to decrease carbon emissions or improve the environment.

HB20-1070 Local Government Liable Fracking Ban Oil and Gas Moratorium

This bill specifies that local governments that ban fracking are liable to the mineral owner for the value of the mineral and shall compensate oil and gas operators, mineral lessees and royalty owners for all costs, damages and losses associated with any moratorium placed on oil and gas activities.

The Chamber maintains a firm position that local fracking bans are unconstitutional. This bill recognizes the private property rights of mineral owners and compensates owners for the financial loss if they are precluded from accessing resources that belong to them.

HB20-1089 Employee Protection Lawful Off-duty Activities

This bill prohibits an employer from terminating an employee for the employee's off-duty activities that are lawful under state law even if those activities are not lawful under federal law.

The Chamber supports employers’ rights to maintain a drug-free workplace as upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court. This legislation undermines an employer’s ability to create that safe environment and, for certain employers, could cause them to violate federal law.

HB20-1109 Tax Credit Employer Contribution to Employee 529s

This bill extends the income tax credit for an employer who contributes to an employee’s 529-qualified state tuition program account for an additional 10 years.

Investment in professional and educational development for our workforce not only creates a competitive edge for companies to recruit and retain employees but also ensures our workforce can meet the demands and access the knowledge and training necessary to fill the jobs vital to our economic success.

HB20-1137 Broadband Grant Certification of Unserved Area Requirement

This bill will allow a local government to certify that an area is unserved for the purposes of receiving grants from the Broadband Fund. To overturn a local certification, a supermajority (10 out of the 15 members) of the broadband deployment board must vote and determine otherwise.

While we fully support broadband access for our rural and unserved communities, this bill creates a more subjective process that potentially politicizes how broadband grants are awarded and risks that fewer unserved areas receive access.

HB20-1160 Drug Price Transparency Insurance Premium Reductions

This bill enacts the Colorado Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act of 2020 that requires insurers, drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers to submit relevant information to the Colorado Insurance Commissioner that will be posted to the Division of Insurance’s website.

While we support efforts to increase transparency, this bill risks exposing proprietary information that has no direct tie to consumer benefit. The bill also provides no oversight on the Commissioner’s role as arbiter to decide what drug information to release.

HB20-1169 Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union Participation

This bill prohibits employers from requiring that an employee become, remain or pay dues, fees or other assessments to a labor organization and creates civil and criminal penalties for violations. It will repeal the Labor Peace Act in favor of “Right to Work.”

The Chamber has consistently opposed any efforts to weaken the existing Labor Peace Act because its statutory framework has provided a balance to ensure a healthy relationship between business and labor in this state. Colorado’s Labor Peace Act is a unique legal middle ground between right-to-work and union states that has contributed to Colorado’s economic well-being.

HB20-1193 Income Tax Benefits for Family Leave

This bill creates various income tax credits for employers and employees in an effort to incentivize businesses to offer family and medical leave benefits to their workers. Employees receive a credit for contributing to their own leave savings account or for their employer’s contribution to their savings account. Employers receive a credit for paying employees for leave that is between 8 and 12 weeks long, as long as they pay at least 50% of the employee’s regular salary, or for contributing to an employee’s leave savings account.

This bill encourages businesses to create and invest in a family and medical leave insurance program for their employees and incentivizes employees to contribute to their own accounts. It also rewards companies that are already providing such programs to their employees. The Chamber supports the flexibility that this legislation gives to businesses while also encouraging them to provide a program of this kind to their employees.

HB20-1195 Consumer Digital Repair Bill of Rights

This bill requires original digital electronic equipment manufacturers to provide resources to independent repair providers for repair services.

This bill risks consumer cybersecurity by allowing a third-party to enter private data networks to preform repairs. In addition, it puts manufacturers in a challenging position to guarantee work of a third party that is out of their control.

HB20-1203 EITC Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit and Income Definition

This bill removes the pass-through tax credit allowed under this statute for small businesses and moves the tax credit to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 10% to 20% beginning in 2021.

This bill circumvents the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) by increasing taxes on small business and using the funds to offset a decrease in taxes for a separate population. The Chamber is a strong supporter of TABOR’s requirement that voters should decide all tax increases.

HB20-1222 Veterans Hiring Preference

This bill clarifies that an employer can give hiring preference to a veteran or their spouse if they are as qualified as other applicants for employment.

We’re committed to supporting our veterans as they transition into the civilian workforce. We know our veterans have the kind of transferable knowledge, leadership skills and work ethic that make them valuable employees. With more than 400,000 vets in Colorado, there’s a huge opportunity for businesses to engage this talented workforce.

HB20-1233 Basic Life Functions in Public Spaces

This bill prohibits municipalities or government entities from restricting sheltering in public spaces or a motor vehicle unless they can offer alternative adequate shelter.

This legislation causes great concern for public safety and health, and not just for those of us who work in Colorado, but for those who are experiencing homelessness as well. It does not address the underlying issues causing homelessness and comes significantly short in providing the resources necessary to help communities struggling with homelessness. In fact, it creates barriers for service providers and outreach workers to approach someone who is homeless and provide support and much-needed services. In addition, by creating a right to legal action, the bill will subject the state and local governments to frivolous and costly lawsuits.

HB20-1265 Increase Public Protection Air Toxics Emissions

The bill creates a new program to regulate hazardous air pollutants specified by the air quality control commission (AQCC), including hydrogen cyanide, fluoride, sulfide and benzene. The AQCC would set health-based emission limits for covered air toxins if not already covered by state or federal regulation, require covered facilities to monitor their emissions of covered air toxins, and create a real-time community alert system for incidents that occur at a covered facility. The bill directs the AQCC to set standards that are stricter than the federal clean air act.

This bill assumes outcomes and directs the AQCC to set emissions standards stricter than those of the EPA for the four air toxics outlined in the bill rather than relying on long-standing, evidence-based and scientifically valid means for establishing regulations. The Chamber supports the thoughtful, evidence-based approach we take with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment today.

HB20-1298 Treat Economic Development Income Tax Credits Differently

Current law allows the Colorado economic development commission to allow certain businesses that make a $100 million strategic capital investment in the state to treat certain income tax credits allowed to the business as either carry forwardable for a 5-year period or transferable. This bill extends the program for another three years.

The Chamber was supportive of the initial legislation that created this program, HB17-1356, as it created a new economic development tool that would encourage important capital investment and job creation in our state. It continues to support overall economic development for our state and extending this program.

HB20-1309 Income Tax Credit for Telecommuting Employees

This bill creates an income tax credit for employers in the amount of $1,000 for each employee that is allowed to telecommute at least two-thirds of the time that the employee is expected to work.

By incentivizing the hiring of employees that telecommute, this bill encourages businesses to expand their workforce across our state. Additionally, it could reduce traffic congestion by having more employees work from home.

HB20-1325 Low-emission Vehicle Managed Lane Access

This bill allows low-emission vehicles access to toll lanes for free or at a reduced cost regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle.

We have underfunded transportation for decades, and it’s costing us $7.1 billion each year because of traffic congestion delays, damage to vehicles, accidents and lost gas efficiency – and those costs will only continue to increase if we don’t fund transportation appropriately. This bill will further reduce funding for transportation and encourage single occupant driving by exempting certain vehicles from paying toll lane fees regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle. This will exacerbate the underfunding and congestion problems we face rather than helping to fix them.

HB20-1326 Create Occupational Credential Portability Program

This bill allows the transfer of credentials to those that hold occupational licenses from other states that meet or exceed Colorado standards.

Permitting this transfer of credentials would allow skilled workers to enter Colorado’s workforce more quickly. By shortening the timeline for these workers to be credentialed, the state will foster economic development, attract skilled workers and strengthen our economy. This will also support the spouses of our military members in finding employment as they move to our state.

HB20-1346 Extend Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program

This bill extends the Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program that reimburses businesses for up to one-half of its expenses of a qualifying internship for an additional five years. It also appropriates $900,000 from the general fund to be used for program reimbursements.

This bill helps build the workforce pipeline for innovative industries by supporting and incentivizing companies to provide work-based experience via internships.

HB20-1348 Additional Liability Under Respondeat Superior

This bill overturns a recent Colorado Supreme Court decision that prohibits a plaintiff from asserting additional claims against an employer when the employer admits liability for the actions of its employee and allows a plaintiff to bring multiple claims against them.

This bill greatly expands employer liability not only when an employee acts negligently in the course of regular business but also for the actions of independent contractors for whom the employer typically has little to no control.

HB20-1349 HB20-1349 Colorado Affordable Health Care Option

This bill directs the Division of Insurance (DOI) to develop and implement an insurance plan for the state in the individual and small group market, known as the “Colorado Option,” led by the Commissioner of Insurance. The Colorado Option plans would require that private health insurers administer the plans and hospitals participate, while the Commissioner of Insurance sets reimbursement rates and terms. The bill gives the Commissioner of Insurance the power to expand the Colorado Option plan to the small group market, establish a hospital reimbursement rate formula, and force carriers to offer the Colorado Option plan in specific counties. A hospital that does not participate in the Colorado Option could be fined up to $40,000 per day and have their license suspended or revoked.

This proposal is a one-size-fits-all approach that gives sweeping authority to an appointed individual, shifts costs to the employer-based coverage market, adds inefficiencies and puts us at risk for unintended consequences that harm Coloradans on subsidies and increases rates in parts of the state. Although language in the bill intends to prevent cost shifting, there is no assurance that premiums will not have to be adjusted in the fully insured market to make up for the decreased reimbursement rates from the Colorado Option. While the Chamber supports a market-based effort that increases access to health care, drives down costs for all, and is flexible for the wide range of communities, workers and businesses that make up our state, that simply isn’t what is being proposed.

HB20-1413 Small Business Recovery Loan Program Premium Tax Credits

This bill creates a small business recovery loan program and an oversight board, funded by the state and private investors. The state portion will be funded through the sale of insurance tax credits. To be eligible, a business must have five to 100 employees and be able to show two consecutive years of positive cash flow. The oversight board may establish other requirements. Loan size will be between $30,000 and $500,000, and investments will be made in $10 million tranches, 90% of which must be invested in small business loans before more money can be dispersed.

Businesses in Colorado have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to stay afloat and keep workers on payroll. The federal CARES Act was necessary to help provide critical resources to businesses, but many were not able to access these loans and many of those that did are now running out of funds. This bill will create a loan program that will support small businesses and aid in the state’s recovery.

HB20-1415 Whistleblower Protection Public Health Emergencies

This bill prohibits employers from discriminating or taking adverse action against a worker who raises concern about a workplace violation of health and safety rules related to a public health emergency and allows workers to take civil action against the employer.

This bill creates a new, expanded definition for worker for the purposes of whistleblower protection and includes independent contractors in certain situations. Different definitions for these common terms in different pieces of legislation cause confusion for employers and employees alike. The bill also allows a person to bring a civil action against an employer after exhausting administrative remedies but does not define those remedies, allowing for a multitude of interpretations. Lastly, employers are effectively held liable for conflicting federal, state and local health guidelines.

HB20-1420 Adjust Tax Expenditures for State Education Fund

This bill rolls back several federal tax exemptions and credits passed in the CARES Act, removes the Tax Credits and Jobs Act business deduction for many sole proprietors and small businesses, removes the state sales and use tax exemption for supplies needed to manufacture goods, and severely limits annual net operating loss deductions. It also requires transfers from the general fund to the state education fund.

This bill eliminates much-needed tax relief for Colorado employers of every size, including sole proprietors. It complicates Colorado’s tax laws, creates more uncertainty and drives up the cost of doing business in Colorado, slowing the economic recovery we are working so hard to achieve. This bill creates even more uncertainty for employers and hurts their confidence, putting more Coloradans’ jobs at risk, slowing economic recovery, hurting our small businesses and putting Colorado at a major disadvantage compared to other states.

HB20-1421 Delinquent Interest Payments Property Tax

This bill allows cities and counties to temporarily reduce, waive or suspend delinquent property tax interest payments.

Allowing local governments to extend property tax relief to businesses, should they decide to do so in their communities, will allow businesses to better manage their available cash for a few months to survive these unprecedented times. This much-needed flexibility will help our businesses to stay operational and continue to keep Coloradans employed, which should be a focus for all of us to help with our state’s economic recovery.

SB20-010 Repeal Ban on Local Government Regulation of Plastics

This bill allows local governments to ban or restrict the use of plastic materials of any consumer products.

This bill could result in a patchwork of local regulations, which increases administrative burden, makes compliance more challenging and raises costs for businesses and consumers.

SB20-013 Promote Innovative and Clean Energy Technologies

This bill would allow an investor-owned public utility to seek approval from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to implement an innovative energy technology project which would allow them to test emerging technologies in an effort to lower emissions. It would also allow the public utility to recuperate costs it incurs from researching, testing and implementing the project.

The Chamber is supportive of efforts to reduce emission of greenhouse gases. This bill creates a pathway for investor-owned utilities to test emerging energy technologies which, if successful, would allow them to achieve aggressive carbon emission reduction goals.

SB20-080 Consumer Protection Act Damages

This bill amends the Colorado Consumer Protection Act to state that a plaintiff in an individual action may be awarded damages of $500 per violation and allows a class action lawsuit to be brought under the act.

This bill will result in increased unnecessary and costly lawsuits making it much more expensive for businesses to operate in Colorado and dampening economic development efforts currently underway to attract more good paying jobs to this state. It also incentivizes bringing class actions for smaller classes by making attorney fees available, as opposed to only being available in individual claims, as they are currently.

SB20-084 Prohibit Requiring Employee Immunization

This bill prohibits discriminatory employment practices based on employee’s immunization status, including health facilities.

This bill would hinder a business’s ability to create a safe and healthy work environment and potentially cause non-compliance when certain standards, for example OSHA, direct them to require vaccinations for their employees. The Chamber’s primary interest is lowering the cost of health care, and preventive care, like immunizations, is a documented way to do that.

SB20-093 Consumer and Employee Dispute Resolution Fairness

This bill creates the “Consumer and Employee Dispute Resolution Fairness Act,” prohibiting a number of provisions in standard consumer and employment contracts, making binding arbitration clauses in these contracts difficult to enforce.

This bill makes binding arbitration clauses in consumer and employment contracts very difficult to enforce, which could drive up unnecessary litigation, increase costs for businesses and consumers and undermine the progress the Chamber helped make on construction defects reform.

SB20-094 Plug-in Electric Motor Vehicle Registration Fees

This bill authorizes the High-Performance Transportation Enterprise to impose fees on the registration of plug-in electric motor vehicles. Fees would contribute to funding for surface transportation infrastructure projects.

We have underfunded transportation for decades, and it’s costing us $7.1 billion each year because of traffic congestion delays, damage to vehicles, accidents and lost gas efficiency – and those costs will only continue to increase if this issue goes unaddressed. Because transportation system is primarily funded through gas tax, it cannot account for electric motor vehicles and their impact. While we prefer a system where usage is tied directly to fees, we recognize that there are challenges in doing so at this time and support efforts to ensure all drivers are contributing to maintaining the roads they use.

SB20-099 Thresholds for Sales Tax Collection Requirements

In December 2018, the Department of Revenue adopted various rules related to sales tax collection, including a destination sourcing rule that requires retailers without a physical presence in a taxing jurisdiction to collect sales tax based on the goods and services that are delivered to that jurisdiction. This bill adjusts the exemption to retailers that generate less than $200,000 in gross revenue outside of its local taxing jurisdiction.

Colorado is among the states with the most complicated sales and use tax systems in the country, with over 550 jurisdictions that levy sales taxes. This bill eases the burden for small businesses while minimizing the impact on jurisdictions.

SB20-127 Committee Actuarial Review Health Care Plan Legislation

This bill creates a committee in the division of insurance to review introduced bills that impose new requirements or amend existing requirements of health benefit plans. Among other things, the committee must analyze the number of Colorado residents directly impacted by the bill, estimates in changes to consumer cost sharing, the financial impact on group benefit plans offered under the State Employees Group Benefits Act and the financial impact on business employers.

This bill will allow for legislators to more fully understand financial implications of legislation on health care plans, allowing them to make more informed decisions when voting on and sponsoring legislation.

SB20-133 Business Fiscal Impact Statements

This bill requires the staff of the legislative council to prepare business fiscal impact notes on legislative bills in each regular session of the general assembly, using available data to analyze the potential direct economic effects of a legislative bill on Colorado businesses, including costs related to compliance, impacts on hiring or job losses, savings or cost reductions, and other fiscal impacts.

This bill will allow for legislators to more fully understand impacts of legislation on Colorado’s businesses, allowing them to make more informed decisions when voting on and sponsoring legislation.

SB20-138 Consumer Protection Construction Defect Time Period

This bill increases the statute of limitations for actions based on construction defects from six years to 10 years.

This bill undermines the progress the Chamber helped make on construction defects reform by increasing the likelihood of litigation, driving up building costs and making for-sale housing, a critical component in our housing market, more expensive.

SB20-153 Water Resource Financing Enterprise

This bill will create an enterprise fund to finance water providers including drinking water suppliers, wastewater treatment suppliers and raw water suppliers. The fee will be 25 cents per 1,000 gallons of water, collected after the first 4,000 gallons of water.

This program essentially taxes water customers twice, once for the water services they already receive through water rates and a second time to fund the enterprise. Furthermore, the enterprise makes water customers pay for projects in other communities from which they see little to no benefit themselves.

SB20-168 Sustainable Severance & Property Tax Policies

This bill adds a severance tax on coal production to reimburse local governments on the property tax revenue lost from the additional exemptions of the Community Solar Garden Tax Exemption.

This bill circumvents the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) by increasing severance taxes and using the surplus from those taxes to fund the Community Solar Garden Tax Exemption. The Chamber remains a strong supporter of TABOR and will support refunds when the formula accurately dictates. Additionally, severance tax revenues should be spent in the communities where they are raised.

SB20-184 Add to Public School Financial Literacy Standards

This bill adds personal finance education, including post-secondary degree affordability, credit card comprehension and retirement planning, to the suggested financial literacy curriculum standards for high school students.

Increased financial literacy contributes to the economic stability of individuals and our community, so the Chamber is supportive of efforts to increase financial literacy in our education system.

SB20-186 Colorado Redistricting Commissions

This bill makes necessary technical changes to statutory law regarding redistricting based on the 2018 voter-approved ballot initiatives, Fair Maps Colorado.

The Chamber supported the initial legislation to refer these measures to the ballot, as well as Fair Maps Colorado. Designating a new commission that is balanced, equally comprised and representative of all Coloradans will avoid gerrymandering and ensure a more transparent and competitive redistricting and reapportionment process for Colorado.

SB20-200 Implementation of CO Colorado Secure Savings Program

This bill directs the Colorado Secure Savings Board to establish the Colorado Secure Savings Program, specifies the boards duties and creates the program fund.

The Chamber recognizes that the economic growth of our state depends in part on our aging population having sufficient income in retirement. However, the Chamber is opposed to a mandate that will create an additional burden on businesses, adding costs to businesses at a time when they need to focus on retaining employees and rebuilding. Products offered in the individual market offer more flexibility than this one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, new federal policies were recently passed that expand access to retirement savings plans. We should allow these changes to take effect before making further changes and imposing new mandates on retirement savings.

SB20-205 Sick Leave for Employees

This bill requires that all employers provide paid sick leave to their employees starting Jan. 1, 2021, accruing one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours. Sick leave may be used for mental or physical illness, the care of a family member, domestic abuse or school closures due to a public health emergency. OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED

While the Chamber supports providing paid sick leave to employees, we must ensure that employers who are today providing these types of benefits are recognized as meeting the requirements in this bill, even if they have different terms of use. As it is currently written, the bill would also interfere with collective bargaining agreements, which are thoroughly negotiated private contracts between businesses and union representatives. The current language in the bill would force employers and employees in collective bargaining agreements to apply different sick leave terms and conditions in Colorado and result in the need to renegotiate national agreements years in the making.

SB20-207 Unemployment Insurance

This bill makes changes to unemployment insurance by reducing cuts in benefits if an individual receives some income and expanding reasons an individual may qualify for unemployment insurance. It also creates a new definition for who is considered an independent contractor for the purpose of unemployment insurance. OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED

By changing the definition of independent contractor, this bill would create conflicting definitions in various parts of statute, causing confusion for employers and independent contractors alike.

SB20-215 Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise

This bill creates an enterprise to assess a fee on health insurance carriers and hospitals in order to fund the state’s reinsurance program. In addition to paying for the reinsurance program, the funds would be used for expanded services and programs not included in the initial reinsurance program.

Rather than addressing the root cause of health insurance premium growth, this bill simply shifts costs from the individual market to the fully insured market, a market comprised of small and medium-sized businesses. Carriers will be forced to pass on the new fee to employers in the form of premium increases, which businesses cannot afford during this challenging time. Rather than just picking up the state’s share of reinsurance funding, this bill also aims to create additional revenue for a variety of other programs and expansion on the backs of the businesses. While we understand many Coloradans are challenged to pay for health insurance premiums today, increasing the affordability for one group by decreasing affordability for another is not the way to solve this challenge. Many small and medium-sized Colorado businesses were already struggling to provide health insurance benefits for their employees before the public health crisis and this bill only exacerbates those challenges for employers and their employees.

SB20-216 Workers’ Compensation For COVID-19

The bill establishes a workers’ compensation presumption that an essential worker with COVID-19 contracted it at work unless an employer provides “clear and convincing” evidence otherwise. Essential workers eligible for the presumption include first responders, corrections officers, medical/health workers, home health care workers, certain commercial cleaning workers, nursing home workers, utility workers, certain service technicians, certain construction or maintenance workers, certain workers at residential care facilities, food processing and agricultural workers, grocery store workers, public transportation workers and airline employees.

The current proposed legislation would essentially eliminate the requirement that a worker prove his or her injury arose out of and in the course of employment as is required for other workers compensation claims. There is nothing that precludes an employee from filing a workers’ compensation claim if they can provide they contracted COVID-19 at work. Unlike other presumptions, which are typically limited to a small subset of workers, this presumption is expansive and includes many employees who do not regularly have sustained physical contact with individuals confirmed to have COVID-19. The presumption of coverage under the workers' compensation act will result in raising costs for Colorado businesses when they can least afford it. Additionally, the burden of proof that an employer provides clear and convincing evidence that COVID-19 was contracted outside the workplace is nearly impossible to satisfy given the rate of community transmission.

SB20-222 Use CARES Act Money Small Business Grant Program

This bill creates a small business COVID-19 grant program, financed by $20 million from the federal money allocated to the state through the federal "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act," also referred to as the "CARES Act.” The federal money must be spent by Dec. 30, 2020. To be eligible, a business must have fewer than 25 employees and have been affected by economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preference is given for small businesses that did not qualify for or receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan, are majority owned by veterans, women, or minorities, or are located in a rural area.

Businesses in Colorado have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to stay afloat and keep workers on payroll. The federal CARES Act was necessary to help provide critical resources to businesses, but many were not able to access these loans and many of those that did are now running out of funds. This bill will create a grant program that will support our smallest businesses and aid in the state’s recovery.

SCR20-001 Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates

This bill will refer a measure to the November 2020 ballot asking voters to repeal the Gallagher Amendment from the Colorado constitution.

Our board has taken a position that formulas in our constitution make it exceedingly difficult to prioritize our state’s investments or respond to changes in economic conditions. The Chamber supports the removal of all formulas in our state’s constitution, including the Gallagher Amendment.