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State Policy News
CACI Councils Take Positions on 13 Bills
As the legislature completes its fourth full week of the session, CACI’s policy councils have begun meeting for the second time to consider, debate and take positions on bills that affect the statewide business community, which CACI has represented at the State Capitol for more than five decades.
The position of CACI Council’s on a bill may change as it progresses through the legislative process. A Council, for example, may oppose a bill in its introduced form, but move to a “neutral” position if the sponsors agree to amend the bill to address the Council’s concerns.
An example of this is HB-1049, which is sponsored by Representative Dan Thurlow (R-Grand Junction) and a former member of the CACI Board of Directors. The CACI Tax Council initially opposed the bill in its introduced form. The bill concerns eliminating the refund interest on erroneous property tax abatements. Here is how the introduced version is described by non-partisan legislative staff:
If property taxes are levied erroneously or illegally and a taxpayer has not protested the valuation within the time permitted by law, then the taxpayer has 2 years from the start of the property tax year to file a petition for abatement or refund. The board of county commissioners is required to abate the taxes, and the taxpayer is entitled to a refund for the incorrect amount and, in some circumstances, refund interest equal to 1% per month. The bill eliminates the refund interest related to a property tax abatement.
After discussing the bill with Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, Representative Thurlow offered a “strike below” amendment to the bill when it was heard by the House Finance Committee on Wednesday. A strike-below amendment essentially replaces the entire text of the introduced bill with new text.
Representative Thurlow told the Committee that he had spoken to Loren and that CACI supports the amendment, which reinstated the interest refund due a taxpayer by county commissioners. (The CACI Tax Council today voted to take a neutral position on the amended bill.)
Below is a list of the CACI policy Councils and the positions that they have taken so far in the session on various bills:
|Energy & Environment Council Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|SB 14 by Sen. Baumgardner/Rep. Becker, J.||Inspection requirements/Underground Tanks||Support|
|SB 89 by Sens. Fenberg & Lundberg||Installation Electricity Storage Systems||Oppose/Dead|
|SB 145 by Sen. Fenberg & Rep. Foote||Electric Utility Distribution Acquisition Plan||Oppose/Dead|
|Health Care Council Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|SB 003 by Sen. Smallwood & Rep. Neville||Repeal of CO Health Benefit Exchange||Monitor|
|SB 57 by Sen. Guzman||Hospital Provider Fee Enterprise||Support|
|SB 88 by Sen. Holbert & Rep. Hooten||Network of Providers||Oppose as Introduced|
|SB 151 by Sen. Crowder & Rep. Ginal||Consumer Access to Hlth Care/Intermediaries||Oppose/Dead|
|Labor & Employment Council Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|SB 001 by Sen. Neville & Rep. Neville||Alleviate Fiscal Impact of State Regulations||Support|
|HB 1001 by Rep. Buckner||Parental Leave for Academic Activities||Neutral|
|HB 1119 by Rep. Kraft-Tharpe & Sen. Jahn||Payment of Workers Compensation Benefits||Oppose as Introduced|
|Tax Council Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|SB 009 by Sen. Crowder||Increase Per-Schedule Exemption on BPPT||Support|
|HB 1049 by Rep. Thurlow||Elimination of Interest/Tax Abatements||Neutral as Amended|
|HB 1063 by Rep. Leonard/Sen. Neville||Concerning Reduction in BPPT||Support/Dead|
|HB 1090 by Rep. Kraft-Tharpe/Sen. Gardner||Continuation Advanced Industry Tax Credit||Support|
|SB 112 by Sen. Neville & Rep. Pabon||Intergovernmental Tax Disputes||Support|
CACI Labor and Employment Council Takes Positions on Two Bills
On Tuesday, January 31st, the CACI Labor and Employment Council held its first meeting of the legislative session and took positions on two bills, HB-1001 and HB-1119.
This morning, the House approved the bill on final, Third Reading, which sends it to the Senate. The House Education Committee Monday approved the bill on a 7-5 vote, which sent the bill to the House Floor for Second Reading by the “Committee of the Whole.”
The bill’s fate in the Republican–controlled Senate is, however, problematic. Last year, the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee–known as the Senate “kill committee”—torpedoed a similar bill, HB-1002, on a partisan 3-2 vote.
Here is the legislature’s description of the bill:
In 2009, the general assembly enacted the ‘Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act’ (2009 act), which allowed an employee of an employer who is subject to the federal ‘Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993’ to take leave from work for the purpose of attending academic activities for or with the employee’s child. Under the 2009 act, academic activities included parent-teacher conferences or meetings related to special education services, interventions, dropout prevention, attendance, truancy, or discipline issues. The leave was allowed for an employee who is the parent or legal guardian of a child enrolled in a public or private school or in a nonpublic home-based educational program in this state in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Leave under the 2009 act was limited to 6 hours per month and 18 hours in any academic year. The 2009 act permitted employers to:
- Restrict the use of leave in cases of emergency or other situations that may endanger a person’s health or safety or if the employee’s absence would halt the employer’s service or production; and
- Limit the leave to 3-hour increments at a time and require the employee to submit written verification from the school or school district of the activity necessitating the leave.
An employee was required to provide the employer with at least one week’s notice of the leave except in emergency situations.
The 2009 act specified that the 2009 act would repeal on September 1, 2015. The repeal provision was never amended, so the 2009 act repealed on September 1, 2015.
The bill recreates and reenacts the 2009 act with the following modifications:
- School districts and institute charter schools must post on their websites, and include in district-wide or school-wide communications sent to parents and the community at large, information about the act;
- The Colorado state advisory council for parent involvement in education must also provide information about the act to the extent possible within existing resources; and
- The act continues indefinitely and the original repeal date in the 2009 act is amended to specify that the repeal was to apply only to the 2009 act.
Last year, CACI took a neutral position on HB-1002 after opposing an effort by the bill’s sponsors to expand the bill beyond the 2009 law.
Members of the CACI Labor and Employment Council have reported that companies had adjusted to the 2009-2015 parental-leave law and that, moreover, many companies have more generous leave policies when parents need to leave work to go to their children’s’ schools.
The Council voted to oppose HB-1119 as introduced by Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Arvada), which concerns payment of unemployment insurance benefits to works whose employer did not carry unemployment benefit insurance. Here’s how non-partisan legislative staff describe the introduced bill:
The bill creates the ‘Colorado Uninsured Employer Act’ to create a new mechanism for the payment of covered claims to workers who are injured while employed by employers who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance. The bill creates the Colorado uninsured employer fund, which consists of penalties from employers who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance.
The bill creates the uninsured employer board to establish the criteria for the payment of benefits, to set rates, to adjust claims, and to adopt rules. The board is required to adopt, by rule, a plan of operation to administer the fund and to institute procedures to collect money due to the fund.
The bill has bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. The bill is reportedly being pushed by the Division of Labor within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The CACI Labor and Employment Council, however, has concerns about a number of provisions of the bill.
The Council was especially concerned that the bill “pierces the corporate veil,” a long-held principle that CACI has long protected, which means that a corporation’s officers, board directors and shareholders cannot be held personally liable for any wrongdoing that the corporation may have carried out. A corporation is normally are treated as separate legal entity and is responsible alone for the debts it incurs, the credits it is owed and the actions it takes.
CACI is working with the sponsors to address its concerns about the introduced bill.
HB-1119 contains the following provision:
(7) The officers and directors of any corporation and members of any limited liability company or other legal entity determined to be an employer as defined in Section 8-40-203 may be held personally liable for payment of any amounts order paid to the injured employee and Colorado Uninsured Employer Fund under this section upon showing that the corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity was not in compliance with the insurance provision of Articles 40 to 47 of this title 8 at the time an employee became entitled to receive benefits.
The bill has been scheduled for its first hearing on February 23rd when the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee convenes at 1:30 p.m. in Legislative Services Building Room A. Representative Kraft-Tharp chairs the Committee.
For more information about HB-1001 and HB-1119, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.
Federal Policy News
CACI Federal Council Meeting - "1st 100 days of President Trump & the 115th Congress"
Guest Speakers will be Chuck Poplstein, District Director U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Ashley Verville, Communications Director U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter
Special thanks to FCI Constructors for sponsoring our upcoming 2/14 council!