fbpx

2019 Legislative Session

Each session we take positions on matters 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
  • Failed
  • Vetoed
  • Active
Bill # Title Summary Position Justification Materials Pillars Status
HB19-1008 Include Career and Technical Education in Building Excellent Schools Today Program

This bill amends the Building Excellent School Today (BEST) program, established in 2008, and allows the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Board to provide grants to support career and technical education-based construction.

It is important that we invest in our career and technical education system statewide and equip our students with the skills that will prepare them for the workplace of the future. Colorado employers in every industry face challenges finding skilled, talented workers, and that impacts their own productivity and our economy. This bill will enhance opportunities across Colorado for students following a technical career path and assist in alleviating an across-the-board labor market shortage.

HB19-1010 Freestanding Emergency Departments Licensure

This bill creates a new license, referred to as a “freestanding emergency department license,” for a health facility that offers emergency care and is located more than 250 yards from a hospital, whether or not it’s affiliated with the hospital. Community clinics are exempted.

This bill ensures that free-standing emergency departments align with other specialties in that they have their own specific license. It allows better tracking of data related to free standing emergency departments, which is helpful for consumers and other components of the healthcare industry.

HB19-1025 Limits On Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries

This bill prohibits an employer from advertising that a position is not open to a person with a criminal history and prohibits them from asking applicants about their criminal history on an initial application. This bill does not apply to positions where the law prohibits employees with a certain criminal history and does not create a protected class for people with criminal histories.

We strongly oppose mandates that dictate how our members do business, because we believe that businesses should be allowed to determine a hiring policy that works best for them. However, we recognize the work the bill sponsors have done to address serious concerns in prior versions of the bill, the significant stakeholder effort and willingness to help with the additional minor technical concerns that remain in this version.

HB19-1058 Income Tax Benefits For Family Leave

This bill creates various income tax credits for employers and employees in an effort to incent businesses to offer family and medical leave benefits to their workers. An employer and employee receive a state income tax deduction for any amount up to $5,000 they contribute to an employee’s leave savings account. An employer also receives an income tax credit if they pay an employee for leave that is between six and 12 weeks for a family or medical leave. For employers with fewer than 50 employees the credit is equal to 50 percent of the amount paid, and for employers with 50 or more employees the credit is equal to 25 percent of the amount paid.

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 this legislation gives to businesses while also encouraging them to provide a program of this kind to their employees.

HB19-1075 Tax Credit Employer-assisted Housing Pilot Program

This bill creates an income tax credit pilot program to promote employer-assisted housing projects in rural areas.

This bill encourages local workforce housing in rural Colorado, which supports the growth of our state’s economy by providing diverse housing options for our workers throughout Colorado communities.

HB19-1096 Colorado Right To Rest

The bill creates a protected class in Colorado called persons experiencing homelessness and explicitly outlines their right to use and move freely in public spaces without discrimination, to rest in public spaces without discrimination, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one's property.

While the needs of those experiencing homelessness must be addressed, this proposal does not impact the underlying issues causing homelessness and comes significantly short in providing the resources necessary to help communities struggling with homelessness. By creating a right to legal action, the bill will subject the state and local governments to frivolous and costly lawsuits. As a community, we can and should do better when addressing the needs of our homeless population.

HB19-1101 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 would 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.

SB19-006 Electronic Sales And Use Tax Simplification System

This bill would require the Department of Revenue to create a centralized remittance system to collect sales and use taxes electronically from remote sellers. Home rule cities and municipalities, those that choose to impose and administer local taxes, could elect to voluntarily participate in the centralized system.

Colorado has one of the more complicated sales and use tax systems in the country. This bill would allow the state to create the framework for a system to ease tax collection for cities and municipalities at point of sale and begin the conversation about how to simplify and create a sales tax system that serves the interests of Colorado businesses and our local governments while moving our economy forward.

SB19-051 Increase General Fund Funding For Transportation

Current law enacted by SB18-001 dedicated a total of $150 million from the general fund to fund transportation as the following: $105 million to the state highway fund, $22.5 million to the highway users tax fund and $22.5 million to the multimodal transportation options fund. This bill increases the total amount to $340 million for the transfer, increasing the amount to the state highway fund to $226.5 million, the amount to the highway users tax fund to $51 million and keeping the amount to the multimodal transportation options fund the same.

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. The Chamber is supportive of proposals that will provide ongoing investments in our transportation system. Without significant investment in our state’s infrastructure, our economy and ability to attract workers will suffer.

SB19-059 Automatic Enrollment In Advanced Course Grant Program

This bill would create a grant program to provide funding for school districts that automatically enroll students who are in the ninth grade or higher in an advanced course in a subject related to one in which the student demonstrated proficient on the prior year’s statewide assessment.

The Chamber is supportive of advanced courses, as research shows that access to college-level classes while in high school prepares students for post-secondary success – a critical component of future workforce development. This bill helps ensure that more students access advanced courses.