Colorado Capitol Report

Transportation Funding Bill Awaits First Senate Committee Hearing


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State Policy News

Transportation Funding Bill Awaits First Senate Committee Hearing

Last Friday, the House gave final approval to an extensively amended HB-1242, which sent the transportation funding bill to the Senate.  If approved by the legislature, the referendum would go before the voters in November as required by TABOR.

The  Senate majority Republican leadership assigned the bill to the Senate Transportation Committee.  A hearing date for the HB-1242 has not yet been set.

One Senate prime sponsor of the bill is Senator Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulfur Springs), who chairs the Committee.  The other Senate prime sponsor is Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City).

The current version of the bill would increase the state sales-and-use tax by 0.62 percent from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent for 20 years to generate a projected $705.2 million in new revenue during the first full fiscal year (2018-2019) in which it would be in effect.

The proposal would use the revenue stream from the sales tax increase to allow the issuance of up to $3.5 billion in State bonds to kick-start priority projects.   Funds also would be provided to local governments and for “multi-modal” projects.

On March 16th, the CACI Board of Directors voted to support HB-1242 as introduced.

The most recent fiscal note, which is 13 pages long, was issued yesterday.

For more information about 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:

Transportation bill passes Colorado house with some bipartisan backing,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, March 31st.

House Sends Transportation Bill to Senate,” CACI Colorado Capitol Report, March 31st.


Return of “Ban the Box”: HB-1305

For the second legislative session in a row, House Democrats are advocating a proposal, HB-1305, known colloquially as the “ban the box” proposal, that would, among other things, bar employers from asking job applicants to acknowledge on a job application form whether or not they have a criminal history.

Last year’s bill, HB-1388, was passed by the Democrat-controlled House but died in the Republican-controlled Senate’s ”kill committee,” the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

Once again, the CACI Labor and Employment Council has taken a positon of strong opposition to the proposal.

Co-sponsors of the bill are Representatives Mike Foote (D-Lafayette) and Jovan Melton (D-Aurora).

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for HB-1305 when it convenes for a session at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 13th, in Room 112 at the State Capitol.

Here’s the summary of the introduced bill:

The bill applies to employers with 4 or more employees and prohibits those employers from:

  • Advertising that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position;
  • Placing a statement in an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position; or
  • Making an inquiry about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application.
  • An employer may obtain a job applicant’s criminal background report at any point during the hiring process.
  • An employer is exempt from the restrictions on advertising and initial employment applications when:
  • The law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a particular crime from being employed in a particular job; or
  • The employer is participating in a program to encourage employment of people with criminal histories.

The department of labor and employment is charged with enforcing the requirements of the bill and may issue warnings and orders of compliance for violations and, for second or subsequent violations, impose civil penalties. A violation of the restrictions does not create a private cause of action, and the bill does not create a protected class under employment antidiscrimination laws. The department is directed to adopt rules regarding procedures for handling complaints against employers.

For more information about HB-1305, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.



“Colorado Secure Savings Plan” Calendared for First Hearing

Representative Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood), House Majority Whip, and Representative Janet Buckner (D-Aurora) have proposed a bill, HB-1290, to create a state-chartered retirement system for low-income workers whose employers do not offer retirement plans.  Workers would contribute a portion of their compensation.  Last year, the two legislators pulled a similar bill, HB-1403.

The House Business Affairs and Labor Committee has scheduled a hearing on HB-1290 when it meets in Room A, Legislative Services Building, for a session beginning at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 17th.

Here’s the legislature’s summary of the bill:

The bill establishes the Colorado secure savings plan (plan), which is a retirement savings plan for private-sector employees in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction individual retirement account.

Employers with a specified number of employees in the state are required to participate in the plan, but any employer may choose to participate in the plan.

The Colorado secure savings plan board of trustees (board) is created and consists of the state controller, the director of the governor’s office of state planning and budgeting, and 7 additional trustees with certain experience who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. The trustees on the board have a fiduciary duty to the plan’s enrollees and beneficiaries and are required to:

  • Establish investment options that offer employees returns on contributions without incurring debt or liabilities to the state;
  • Establish the process for allocating investment earnings and losses to individual plan accounts on a pro rata basis;
  • Make and enter into contracts and hire staff as necessary for the administration of the plan;
  • Conduct a periodic review of the performance of any investment vendors;
  • Cause money in the Colorado secure savings plan fund (fund) to be invested with the intent to achieve cost savings through efficiencies and economies of scale;
  • Establish the process for an enrollee to contribute a portion of his or her wages to the plan for automatic deposit and establish the process by which the participating employer forwards those contributions to the plan;
  • Establish the process for enrollment in the plan including the process by which an employee can opt not to participate in the plan;
  • Accept gifts, grants, and donations from specified entities and pursue options for bank loans or a line of credit to cover the start-up costs of the plan;
  • Procure, as needed, insurance against loss in connection with the property, assets, or activities of the plan;
  • Allocate administrative fees to individual retirement accounts in the plan on a pro rata basis;
  • Set minimum and maximum contribution levels;
  • Facilitate education and outreach to employers and employees;
  • Ensure that the plan complies with all applicable state and federal laws;
  • Deposit all gifts, grants, donations, fees, and earnings from investment of moneys in the fund into the fund and pay the administrative costs and expenses for the creation, management, and operation of the plan from moneys in the fund;
  • Determine any nominal and reasonable assistance that may be provided to businesses to offset the initial costs of enrolling employees in the plan;
  • Prepare or cause to be prepared certain annual audits and annual reports regarding the plan;
  • Develop a process to ensure that employers are in compliance with the requirements of the plan and develop a penalty structure for employers who fail, without reasonable cause, to enroll employees in the plan; and
  • Conduct or cause to be conducted a financial feasibility study to ensure that the plan will be self-sustaining.

The bill specifies the process by which the board is required to engage an investment manager to invest the assets of the plan and specifies the investment options that the board is required to create.

The bill creates the fund as a trust outside of the state treasury, specifies that the fund will include the individual retirement accounts of enrollees in the plan, and allows the board to use a certain percentage of money in the fund for the administrative expenses of the plan. The money in the fund is not property of the state and cannot be commingled with state money.

The board must design and disseminate employer and employee information packets regarding the plan and the options for employee participation in the plan to all employers that participate in the plan.

If, based on the required financial feasibility study, the board determines that the plan will be self-sustaining and would promote greater retirement savings for private-sector employees, the board must recommend to the general assembly that the plan be implemented. The board may not implement the plan unless the general assembly, acting by bill, directs the board to implement the plan.

The bill dictates the timing for the board to implement the plan, if directed to do so by the general assembly, and a time frame for employers to establish a system by which enrollees in the plan can remit payroll deduction contributions to the plan. Employers must automatically enroll employees in the plan unless an employee has opted out of participation in the plan. Enrollees may select an investment option and contribution level or use the default investment option and contribution amount established by the board.

The bill specifies that the state and employers do not have any duty or liability to any party for the payments of any retirement savings benefits accrued by any individual through the plan.

The bill’s fiscal note, issued Monday, contains a detailed analysis of the measure.

The primary intellectual horsepower behind this concept comes from The Bell Policy Center.

For more information on HB-1290, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.


Federal Policy News

CACI Federal Policy Council is THIS Tuesday, April 11th – RSVP now!

Join CACI’s Federal Policy Council to talk about Congress’ next project:  “Tax Reform & Why We Should Prepare NOW”

  • Guest SpeakerDarin James, Corporate & Federal Tax Policy Specialist, RubinBrown LLP

Plus, updates on:

  • Congressional timelines
  • Budget proposals – President Trump vs. Congress
  • “CRAs” & Executive Orders update
  • Status of: WOTUS, Fiduciary Rule, health care, EEOC’s Wage Reporting Rule, DOL’s Overtime Rule

RSVP here!

For questions about this council or other federal topics, contact CACI Federal Policy Director Leah Curtsinger, (303) 866-9641. 


Federal Happenings: Gorsuch update

  • Senate Democrats filibustered the Neil Gorsuch nomination yesterday
  • Senate Majority leadership changes Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations
  • 10 Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch of Colorado confirmed (54-46) as the Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia

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 BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 14 by Sen. Baumgardner/Rep. Becker, J.Inspection requirements/Underground TanksSupport
SB 89 by Sens. Fenberg & LundbergInstallation Electricity Storage SystemsOppose/Dead
SB 145 by Sen. Fenberg & Rep. FooteElectric Utility Distribution Acquisition PlanOppose/Dead
SB 188 by Sen. MarbleRepeal Income Tax Credit Motor VehiclesOppose
HB 1227 by Reps Winter & Sen. PriolaElectric Demand-Side Mngt Program ExtensionSupport
HB 1256 by Rep. FooteOil & Gas Set-Backs/SchoolsOppose
SB 271 by Sen. Cooke & Rep. PabonInvestor Owned Utility Cost Recovery ProgramOppose
HB 1336 by Reps. Young & FooteAdditional Protections/Forced PoolingOppose
HB 1256 by Rep. FooteOil & Gas Set-Backs/SchoolsOppose/Dead
SJM 005 by Sen. Jones & Rep. FooteReduce Energy SubsidiesOppose

 

Health Care Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 003 by Sen. Smallwood & Rep. NevilleRepeal of CO Health Benefit ExchangeMonitor
SB 57 by Sen. GuzmanHospital Provider Fee EnterpriseSupport/Dead
SB 88 by Sen. Holbert & Rep. HootenNetwork of ProvidersNeutral /Signed by Gov
SB 151 by Sen. Crowder & Rep. GinalConsumer Access to Hlth Care/IntermediariesOppose/Dead
SB 206 by Sen. Gardner & Rep. SingerOut-of-Network Providers PaymentsOppose/Dead
HB 1236 by Rep. Kennedy & Sen. CoramAnnual Report on Hospital ExpendituresOppose
HB 1247 by Rep. Danielson & Sen. SonnenbergPatient Choice Health CareOppose/Dead
HB 1286 by Rep. Esgar & Sen. CrowderState Employee Health Carrier RequirementsOppose
HB 1318 by Rep. Ginal & Sen. CrowderAnnual Report Pharmaceutical Costs DataOppose

 

Labor & Employment Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 001 by Sen. Neville & Rep. NevilleAlleviate Fiscal Impact of State RegulationsSupport/Dead
HB 1001 by Rep. BucknerParental Leave for Academic ActivitiesNeutral/Dead
SB 187 by Sen. Tate & Rep. CarverReduce Regulatory Burden Rules on BusinessSupport
HB 1269 by Rep. Danielson/Nordberg & Sen. DonovanDiscussing Salaries Among EmployeesNeutral
HB 1290 by Rep. PettersenRetirement Savings MandateOppose
HB 1021 by Rep. Danielson & Sen. CookeWage Theft TransparencyNeutral
HB 1254 by Rep. K. Becker & Sen. KaganRemoval of Cap on Non-Economic DamagesOppose
HB 1305 by Rep. Foote & Sen. GuzmanLimits on Job Applicant Criminal History InquiriesOppose
HB 1307 by Rep. WinterFamily & Medical Leave Wage ReplacementOppose
SB 276 by Sen. Tate & Rep. TateAlleviate Fiscal Impact of State RegulationsSupport
HB 1314 by Reps. Salazar & MeltonColorado Right to RestOppose
SB 186 by Sen. Tate & Rep. CarverReduce Regulatory Burden Rules on BusinessSupport

 

Tax Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 009 by Sen. CrowderIncrease Per-Schedule Exemption on BPPTSupport
HB 1049 by Rep. ThurlowElimination of Interest/Tax AbatementsNeutral as Amended
HB 1063 by Rep. Leonard/Sen. NevilleConcerning Reduction in BPPTSupport/Dead
HB 1090 by Rep. Kraft-Tharpe/Sen. GardnerContinuation Advanced Industry Tax CreditSupport
SB 112 by Sen. Neville & Rep. PabonIntergovernmental Tax DisputesSupport/Signed by Gov.
HB 1216 by Rep. Kraft-Tharpe/Sen. NevilleSales & Use Tax Simplification Task ForceSupport

 

Governmental Affairs Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 191 by Sen. Tate & Rep. Wist, WillettMarket Based Rates/Interest on JudgmentsSupport
SB 213 by Sen. HillAutomated Driving Motor VehiclesSupport
HB 1254 by Rep. KC Becker & Sen. KaganRemoval of Caps on Non-Economic DamagesOppose
HB 1309 by Rep. Jackson & Sen. GuzmanDocumentary Fee To Fund Affordable HousingOppose

 

CACI Board of Directors’ BillsBill Title/DescriptionBoard Position
SB 45 by Sen. Grantham & Rep. DuranConst. Defect Claim Allocation of Defense CostsSupport
SB 155 by Sen. Tate & Rep. SaineStatutory Definition of ConstructionSupport
SB 156 by Sen. Hill & Rep. WistHOA Const. Defect Lawsuit Approval TimelinesSupport
SB 157 by Sen. Williams & Rep. MeltonConst. Defect Actions Notice Vote ApprovalSupport/Dead
HB 1169 by Rep. Leonard & Sen. TateConst. Defect Litigation Builder's Right To RepairSupport/Dead
HB 1242 by Speaker Duran & Prez. GranthamNew Transportation Infrastructure FundingSupport as Introduced
SB 267 by Sen. Sonnenberg & Rep. K. BeckerSustainability of Rural Colorado (Hosp Provider)Support