The following was written by Loren Furman, The Colorado Chamber Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, and Carly Dollar, The Colorado Chamber Governmental Relations Representative.
The Colorado Chamber anticipates that the upcoming Legislative Session will be a very busy one. Several legislative proposals are already in the hopper that will have an impact on Colorado businesses. In an effort to keep The Colorado Chamber members apprised of what is coming, we’ve provided a list of potential pieces of legislation listed below by each The Colorado Chamber policy council issue area:
Energy & Environment Legislation:
Legislation creating an epidemiology study of health outcomes in relation to oil and gas operations. (Sponsor: Rep. Ginal)
Legislation setting a minimum fine for a violation of oil and gas regulations (Sponsor: Rep. Foote)
Legislation creating setbacks specific to flood plains. (Sponsor: Rep. Foote)
Legislation establishing additional efficiency in energy standards (Sponsor: Rep. Tyler)
Legislation lowering the interest rate paid by local governments for loans to improve the efficiency of their facilities. (Sponsor: Senator Schwartz)
Solar energy is also expected to be a hot topic this year. We anticipate legislation to be introduced on this issue by the General Assembly as well as discussed by the Public Utilities Commission.
Health Care Legislation:
Legislation aligning State Medicaid eligibility categories with federal law by eliminating obsolete eligibility categories and consolidating them into four categories with standardized age and income limits. (Sponsor: TBD)
The CO Dept of Health Care Policy & Finance has requested a 1% state budget increase for Medicaid providers as well as an additional .5% for some providers which will be determined through a stakeholder process. (Sponsor: TBD)
During the 2013 Session, House Bill 1266 was enacted with the goal of aligning state and federal health care laws. Additional changes may be proposed in 2014 including addressing three different definitions of employers in statute. (Sponsor: TBD)
Legislation addressing consistency inside and outside of the health insurance Exchange and clarifying state authority regarding the pediatric dental benefit in the Exchange. (Sponsor: TBD)
Other returning issues from last session could include: regulation of intermediaries and legislation prohibiting co-payments for breast cancer screening.
Labor & Employment Legislation:
Legislation changing current workers compensation benefits for injured workers in Colorado. Some hope these changes will help those going for Fresno auto accident lawyer advice (and for those local to Colorado) in the near future. (Sponsor: Rep. Williams)
Legislation creating new requirements and liabilities on employers relating to the payment of wages. Also would require administrative remedies to be conducted by the CO Dept. of Labor & Employment. (Sponsors: Sen. Ulibarri & Rep. Singer)
Legislation creating the Colorado International Arbitration Act to resolve international business disputes. (Sponsor: Rep. Ryden)
Legislation requiring employers to provide paid Family Medical Leave to its workers. (Sponsor: TBD)
Legislation extending the Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit to 8 years. (Sponsors: Reps. DelGrosso/Kraft-Tharpe & Sens. Scheffel/Heath).
Legislation creating a 4-year Bachelor of Applied Science Degree program to be offered by the Colorado Community College system. (Sponsors: Sen. Todd & Reps. Wilson/May)
Legislation exempting computer equipment or software purchased or leased for processing, storage, retrieval or communication of data used in data centers. (Sponsor: TBD)
Legislation creating a tax and use tax exemption for the use and storage of space flight property. (Sponsor: TBD)
Legislation / Constitutional Amendment requiring entities that levy sales or use tax in Colorado to use certified and uniform definitions, and establishing an oversight body to review and oversee the definitions. (Sponsors: Rep. Kagan & Rep. Conti)
Legislation requiring certain disclosures to be provided by tax preparers to taxpayers. (Sponsor: TBD)
Legislation allowing for temporary out-of-state businesses to provide disaster assistance by exempting out-of-state businesses from registering in CO and from filing and/or remitting state or local taxes. Also, allows for an exemption from state licensing or registration requirements for a period of time. Employees and employers would be subject to taxes in their home state. (Sponsor: TBD)