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State Policy News
At Long Last: Bipartisan Transportation Funding Bill Introduced Amid Bipartisan Concerns
Following more than half-a-year of negotiations between Democrat House Speaker Crisanta Duran (Denver) and Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham (Canon City), a bill addressing long-term transportation funding was introduced Wednesday with all interested and involved parties cautioning that the introduced bill is just the opening gambit in what promises to be a political chess game with the session now half over.
The 20-year bill, which needs voter approval this November, would increase the state sales tax from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent to generate about $677 million per year. The proposal also would use the revenue stream from the sales tax increase to allow the issuance of $3.5 Billion in bonds to quickly kick-start priority projects.
In addition to the two leaders, the sponsors of 40-page HB-1242 include the chair of each chamber’s transportation committee: Representative Diane Mitsch Bush (D-Steamboat Springs) and Senator Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulfur Springs).
The bill was assigned to the House Transportation and Energy Committee, and is scheduled for March 22nd for its first hearing. A fiscal note has not yet been issued for the bill.
Here’s the bill summary:
Section 15 of the bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to the voters of the state at the November 2017 statewide election that seeks approval for the state to temporarily increase the rate of the state sales and use tax for 20 years beginning in 2018. If the voters approve the temporary sales and use tax rate increase, the new revenue generated is allocated solely for transportation infrastructure funding purposes, with specific projects to be funded required to be included in the 2017 ballot information booklet provided to the voters of the state, as follows:
- $300 million annually to the state highway fund for use by the department of transportation (CDOT); and
- Of the remaining new revenue:
- 70% to counties and municipalities in equal total amounts; and
- 30% to a newly created multimodal transportation options fund (fund).
- If the voters approve the temporary state sales and use tax rate increase:
- CDOT may issue up to a specified amount of transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) for the purpose of funding transportation projects that are part of CDOT’s strategic transportation investment program and are on CDOT’s priority list for funding and the transportation commission must covenant that amounts it allocates on an annual basis to pay TRANs shall be paid: First, from $50 million from any legally available money under its control other than the new sales and use tax revenue; next, from the new sales and use tax revenue; and last, if necessary, from any other legally available money under its control any amount needed for payment of the TRANs until the TRANs are fully repaid;
- The revenue allocations to counties and municipalities are further allocated to each county and municipality in accordance with certain existing statutory formulas used to allocate highway users tax fund (HUTF) money to each county and municipality;
- The existing statutory requirement that at least 10% of the sales and use tax net revenue and other general fund revenue that may be transferred or appropriated to the HUTF and subsequently credited to the state highway fund must be expended for transit purposes of transit-related capital improvements is repealed;
- A transportation options account and a pedestrian and active transportation account are created in the fund and the transportation commission is required to designate the percentages of fund revenue to be credited to each account subject to the limitations that for any given fiscal year no more than 75% of the revenue may be credited to the transportation options account and at least 25% of the revenue must be credited to the pedestrian and active transportation account;
- A multimodal transportation options committee of gubernatorial appointees representing transit agencies, transportation planning organizations, local governments, and CDOT is created as a type 1 agency within CDOT for the purpose of allocating the money in the transportation options account of the fund for transportation options projects throughout the state. Under the supervision and guidance of the committee, the transit and rail division of CDOT is required to solicit, receive, and evaluate proposed transportation options projects and propose funding for interregional transportation options projects. Any transportation options project receiving funding from the transportation options account of the fund must also be funded by at least an equal total amount of local government, regional transportation authority, or transit agency funding.
- CDOT is required to allocate the money in the pedestrian and active transportation account of the fund for projects for transportation infrastructure that is designed for users of nonmotorized mobility-enhancing equipment;
- Transfers of 2% of general fund revenue to the HUTF that are scheduled under current law to be made for state fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 are eliminated;
- The state road safety surcharges imposed on motor vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less are reduced for the same period during which the rates of the state sales and use taxes are increased. The resulting reduction in state fee revenue is taken entirely from the share of such fee revenue that is kept by the state so that county and municipal allocations of such revenue are not reduced.
- CDOT must annually report to the joint budget committee, legislative audit committee, house transportation and energy committee, and senate transportation committee regarding its use of TRANs proceeds and must post the reports and certain user-friendly project-specific information on its website; and
- The transportation revenue anticipation notes citizen oversight committee is created to provide oversight of the expenditure by the department of the proceeds of additional TRANs. The committee must annually report to the transportation legislation review committee regarding its activities and findings.
For more information about transportation funding and HB-1242, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.
For news media coverage of the bill, read:
“Conservatives rip transportation tax hike, reflecting deep split among Republican leaders,” by Brian Eason and John Frank, The Denver Post, March 9th.
“Colorado transportation bill gets criticism from conservatives, praise from business groups,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, March 9th.
“At last, Colorado lawmakers get serious about our besieged roads,” editorial, The Denver Post, March 9th.
“GOP Senate prez under fire for state transportation tax plan,” by Marianne Goodland, The Colorado Independent, March 9th.
“Colorado transportation funding bill arrives, calling for sales-tax hike, $3.5B in bonds,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, March 8th.
“Lawmakers draft bill that relies on sales tax hike to pay for state’s transportation needs,” by Marianne Goodland, The Colorado Independent, March 8th.
“Colorado’s bad roads are costing drivers more than frustration and stress,” by Hayley Sanchez, The Denver Post, March 1st.
“19 states have raised gas taxes since 2013. In Colorado, Republicans want to cut them,” by Brian Eason, The Denver Post, February 6th.
CACI’s Cybersecurity Dinner with the U.S. Department of Justice
On February 28th CACI hosted a Cybersecurity Dinner with the Department of Justice sponsored by Coalfire Systems and US Chamber of Commerce. Our guest speaker was Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Department of Justice, Mary McCord. The conversation focused around how the national security threat landscape and the Justice Department is trying to mitigate threats and protect our critical infrastructure, financial security and the innovations that power the American economy, how public-private partnerships can achieve shared goals, and the importance of collaboration and information sharing regarding cyber-incidents and best practices for working with the government before, during and after a cyber breach.
David Tabor, CACI Senior Vice President of Business Partnerships and moderator of the evening, commented, “I had three key takeaways. First, that the Department of Justice and FBI work closely and constructively with businesses to prevent or resolve breaches. Second, a greater awareness of current threats and methods of attack. Third, I left quite concerned about how our increasingly IoT-connected world increases vulnerability from cyber security threats that we’ll have to protect against.”
CACI member executives were joined by the US Attorney’s Office as well as the Denver FBI to discuss how industry and government can better partner with each other to tackle cyber issues.
Ardent Mills hosted CACI Manufacturers this week
On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, CACI’s Manufacturing Leadership Group of roughly 25 Colorado manufacturers and supporters toured Ardent Mills, the nation’s largest flour miller. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Ardent Mills is a joint venture between ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS. Ardent Mills offers the industry’s broadest range of flours, mixes, blends and specialty products supported by more than 40 flour mills and bakery-mix facilities along with a specialty bakery and Mobile Innovation Center, all located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information about the Manufacturing Leadership Group, please contact Dave Tabor, Senior Vice President of Business Partnerships at (303) 866-9650.
CACI to present the Skunkworks Innovation Award
Please join CACI on Thursday, April 13th at the ART Hotel from 5:00-8:00 PM for the 2017 Colorado Manufacturing Awards presented by CompanyWeek and Manufacturer’s Edge.
CACI and Manufacturer’s Edge are co-sponsoring the Skunkworks Innovation Award. This award is to recognize mid-to-large sized manufacturing companies who, through an internal effort, develop breakthroughs in their market space, industry, or product category. It’s likely the result of a dedicated team or department that sets out to create something new or solve a particularly thorny problem.
CACI’s Legislative Agenda
Below is a list of bills and their status on which CACI Policy Councils and the Board of Directors have taken positions. For more information on the bills, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.
|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|
|SB 188 by Sen. Marble||Repeal Income Tax Credit Motor Vehicles||Oppose|
|HB 1227 by Reps Winter & Sen. Priola||Electric Demand-Side Mngt Program Extension||Support|
|HB 1256 by Rep. Foote||Oil & Gas Set-Backs/Schools||Oppose|
|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|
|SB 206 by Sen. Gardner & Rep. Singer||Out-of-Network Providers Payments||Oppose as Introduced|
|HB 1236 by Rep. Kennedy & Sen. Coram||Annual Report on Hospital Expenditures||Oppose|
|HB 1247 by Rep. Danielson & Sen. Sonnenberg||Patient Choice Health Care||Oppose|
|HB 1286 by Rep. Esgar & Sen. Crowder||State Employee Health Carrier Requirements||Oppose|
|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|
|SB 187 by Sen. Tate & Rep. Carver||Reduce Regulatory Burden Rules on Business||Support|
|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|
|HB 1216 by Rep. Kraft-Tharpe/Sen. Neville||Sales & Use Tax Simplification Task Force||Support|
|Governmental Affairs Council Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|SB 191 by Sen. Tate & Rep. Wist, Willett||Market Based Rates/Interest on Judgments||Support|
|SB 218 by Sen. Hill||Automated Driving Motor Vehicles||Support|
|HB 1254 by Rep. KC Becker & Sen. Kagan||Removal of Caps on Non-Economic Damages||Oppose|
|CACI Board of Directors’ Bills||Bill Title/Description||Board Position|
|SB 45 by Sen. Grantham & Rep. Duran||Const. Defect Claim Allocation of Defense Costs||Support|
|SB 155 by Sen. Tate & Rep. Saine||Statutory Definition of Construction||Support|
|SB 156 by Sen. Hill & Rep. Wist||HOA Const. Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines||Support|
|SB 157 by Sen. Williams & Rep. Melton||Const. Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval||Support|
|HB 1169 by Rep. Leonard & Sen. Tate||Const. Defect Litigation Builder's Right To Repair||Support|
|HB 1242 by Speaker Duran & Prez. Grantham||New Transportation Infrastructure Funding||Support as Introduced|