Colorado Capitol Report

Legislative Session Kicks Off Wednesday

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CACI State Policy News

Senate Democrats’ One-Vote Control and Election-Year Politics Likely to Dominate 2014 Legislative Session

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 8th, the Second Regular Session of the 69th Colorado General Assembly will be gaveled into session by House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) and Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora).

The two legislative leaders will deliver their opening-day speeches as will the two minority-party leaders: House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) and Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs).

On Thursday, January 12thGovernor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who is up for re-election this year, will deliver his fourth State of the State Address at 11 a.m. in the House Chamber to a joint session of the House and the Senate.

On Friday, CACI’s Colorado Capitol Report will excerpt from the five speeches the passages concerning business issues that pertain to CACI’s members across the state.

The opening day speeches by the House and Senate majority and minority leaders can be viewed live via Internet streaming by going to the legislature’s Web site.

The Governor’s speech can be viewed by going to the Web sites of local television stations that carry the address:

For more on news-media previews of the session, business issues and politics, read:

Colorado legislature opens Wednesday with a floods-and-firearms theme,” by Lynn Bartels and Kurtis lee, The Denver Post, January 6th.

House GOP looks to tweak a few issues from last year,’ by Peter Marcus, The Colorado Statesman, January 6th.

Budget will be larger, but that could lead to more contentious discussions,” by Peter Marcus, The Colorado Statesman, January 6th.

Hickenlooper emphasizes jobs, economy – again,” by Peter Marcus, The Colorado Statesman, January 6th.

Businesses brace for workers’ comp bill in 2014 session,” by Marianne Goodland, The Colorado Statesman, January 6th.

2014 legislative preview: Colorado lawmakers to face education money issues,” by Todd Engdahl,EdNews ColoradoThe Denver Business Journal, January 5th.

Ringing in the new year in Colorado politics,” opinion, by Thomas E. Cronin and Robert D. Loevy, The Denver Post, January 4th.

For Gov. John Hickenlooper, re-election bid might be easiest challenge,” by Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post, January 4th.

House Speaker Mark Ferrandino pitches 2014 agenda focused on flood recovery, education,” by Kurtis Lee, The Denver Post, January 3rd.

2014 legislative preview: Colorado House Dems, GOP approach job creation differently,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, January 3rd.

2014 legislative preview: 10 business issues at the Colorado statehouse,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, January 3rd.

2014 legislative preview: Here are other Colorado legislators who will be key votes on business bills this year,’ by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, January 3rd.

2014 legislative preview: Sen. Cheri Jahn keeps an eye out for Colorado business,” video interview, The Denver Business Journal, January 3rd.

2014 legislative preview: Colorado Senate Dems, GOP disagree on whether to restart 2013 debates,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, January 2nd.

Proposed statewide ballot measure would give Colo. communities power to ban fracking,” by John Aguilar, The Boulder Daily Camera, January 2nd.

Colorado Senate Democrats: After 2013 gun debate, new rules for hearing bills planned,” by Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post, January 2nd.

House Minority Leader DelGrosso hones in on rural Colorado in ’14,” by Kurtis Lee, The Denver Post, December 27th.

Workers’ comp reform talks continue, but more questions arise,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, December 27th.

’Truckstop’ or ‘backstop’: Colorado Senator pivotal in 2014 session,” by Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post, December 22nd.

CACI’s Legislative Lobbying Team Fights to Protect Business Climate

CACI’s mission is to champion a healthy business climate and one of its key objectives is to maintain and improve the cost of doing business.  Any state government action—whether by legislation or regulation—that increases the cost of doing business for employers will hamper their efforts to create and retain jobs.

For CACI members and the statewide business community that it represents, the 2014 session and the November legislative elections will be critical to CACI’s mission.  The session could easily become once again very political, partisan and contentious, given the acrimony of the 2013 session between the two parties.

As it has during recent past legislative sessions, CACI will continue to urge Governor Hickenlooper and the legislators to focus on measures in this election year that will improve the business climate for employers, whose continued economic rebound from the 2008-2009 recession will result in increased employment and greater tax revenues for state government.

Since last fall, CACI, through its various policy councils, has been preparing for the session by studying such important business issues as taxation, health insurance, employment law and energy and the environment.  In general, CACI will advocate legislation and regulation that will improve the state’s business climate and oppose bills that are “bad-for-business.”

In December, the CACI lobbying team issued an overview of the top business issues that it expects to work on during the session.  At the top of that list are bills that will, among others, seek to restrict fracking, change the state’s workers’ compensation system and impose restrictions on so-called wage theft by employers.

CACI will field the largest lobbying team of any business organization at the State Capitol:

  • CACI President Chuck Berry, former House Speaker, will lead CACI’s lobbying effort for his fourteenth session.
  • At the State Capitol, Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, will direct CACI’s lobbying effort for her sixth session.
  • The other members of the CACI team are Carly West, CACI Governmental Relations Representative, and Larry Hudson, CACI Governmental Relations Consultant.

For detailed information on CACI’s lobbying team, see the next article.

In addition, the outcome of the November legislative elections will be very important to CACI, whose goal during the campaign season this year is to work with pro-business allies to restore at least a balance in the political control of the House and the Senate in 2015 and beyond.  This balance existed during the 2011-2012 sessions.

To help elect pro-business candidates to the legislature to achieve this balance, CACI urges its members to support two of its political committees, the Colorado Business Political Action Committee and the CACI Prosperity Fund, the latter of which is a “small-donor” committee.

CACI President Chuck Berry Leads CACI’s 2014 Lobbying Effort

C.Berry_smallCACI’s overall lobbying effort is led by Chuck Berry, CACI President, who has headed CACI since mid-2000.  Prior to that time, Berry served as a member of the Colorado legislature for 14 years (1985-1998), and for eight of those years (1991-1998) Berry served as the Speaker of the House, being elected four times by his legislative colleagues to the most powerful position in the Colorado General Assembly.  Berry was first elected to the legislature in 1984 to represent House District 21 in Colorado Springs and El Paso County.

Berry practiced in 1995-2000 as Special Counsel with the law firm, Holme Roberts and Owen in both the Colorado Springs and Denver offices.  In January 1981, Berry was appointed El Paso County Attorney by the Board of County Commissioners, and he served in that position until his election to the General Assembly in 1984.  Berry earned a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Colorado in 1972 and a J.D. from the CU School of Law in 1975.  After being admitted to the practice of law in Colorado in 1975, Berry was appointed a deputy district attorney for the Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller Counties) and began his career as a criminal prosecutor in that office.  Berry can be reached at 303.866.9652.

Furman, Loren_smallAt the State Capitol, CACI’s lobbying team is quarterbacked by Florida State Seminole Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Governmental Relations.  Loren joined CACI in January 2008, having worked the two prior years as the Legislative Director for the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA).  In that capacity, she worked with the Office of the Governor and the legislature on such issues as the state workforce, state facilities, purchasing, collections, telecommunications, contracts, risk management, printing and motor vehicles.

On January 1, 2009, Loren was promoted to CACI Vice President of Governmental Affairs.  In December 2011, she was promoted to Senior Vice President, State and Federal Governmental Relations.  Loren can be reached at 303.866.9642.

Prior to holding the DPA position, Loren worked as a lobbyist for Floridian Partners in Tallahassee, Fla., from January 2002 to September 2005.  Her clients included municipalities, businesses and trade associations.  Loren represented her clients before the Florida Legislature, the Governor’s Office, and state and local government entities on legislative, budget and regulatory issues.  Her work included such areas as insurance, telecommunications, public safety, information technology, business regulation, health care, tort reform, education, transportation and the environment.  From March 2000 to January 2002, Loren worked as a legislative/policy analyst in the Majority Office of the Florida House of Representatives.  Loren holds a B.S. and M.S. in political science from Florida State University.

In addition to reporting directly to Berry, Loren oversees the day-to-day operation at the State Capitol of the CACI lobbying team, which includes Carly Dollar, Governmental Affairs Representative, and Larry HudsonCACI Governmental Relations Consultant.

Loren staffs the CACI Governmental Affairs Council, the CACI Tax Council and the CACI Labor and Employment Council.

C Dollar_smallCarly West joined the CACI lobbying at the beginning of 2011 after spending many years as a contract lobbyist with the Axiom Strategies Inc., a CACI member.  In that capacity, she lobbied for a wide variety of clients in the areas of education, health care, economic development and general business issues. Carly also closely followed the state’s budget-setting process, working closely with the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on issues affecting the firm’s clients throughout the legislative process.  In addition to her work as a lobbyist, Carly served as editor of communications for the firm, writing a legislative newsletter and planning and executing special events.  She received a B.A. in technical journalism from Colorado State University, concentrating her studies in public relations and receiving a minor in political science.

Carly staffs the CACI Environment and Energy Council and the CACI HealthCare Council.  Carly can be reached at 303.866.9622.  This will be Carly’s fourth legislative session at CACI.

larry-hudsonLarry Hudson is the Principal of his lobbying firm, Hudson Governmental Affairs, LLC.  Larry lobbies for CACI on such issues as immigration, government contracts and procurement, labor and employment and information technology.  This will be Larry’s eighth session to lobby for CACI.  Larry can be reached at 303.249.4234.

Larry founded his firm in February 2010.  Prior to that, Larry managed the Governmental Affairs practice of the Denver Office of Greenberg Traurig LLP.  He also served as a senior policy advisor to Colorado Governor Bill Owens, where he provided advice on criminal justice and transportation issues, and firearm safety and school violence legislation in the wake of the Columbine High School tragedy.

Larry holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts degree from East Carolina University. He was appointed by Governor Bill Owens and reappointed by Governor Bill Ritter to the Colorado Juvenile Justice Prevention and Delinquency Council.  He also was appointed to the Colorado Council of the Arts by Governor Bill Owens in 2004.  In 2009, Larry was recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as a “Rising Star” in lobbying and governmental affairs among his peers and clients in the Colorado legal community.

CACI Councils Line Up Major Speakers

During the session, the CACI Councils are at the heart of discussing bills and setting CACI’s policy positions.  Council meetings feature important legislative and state agency speakers.  Council members will receive advance notice of the Council meetings and speakers.  The Council meetings are also listed on calendar on the CACI Web site.  Here are the major speakers confirmed to date:

Energy and Environment Council

  • Senator Gail Schwartz, Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee
  • Dr. Larry Wolk, Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment

Senator Schwartz will discuss bills that she anticipates coming to her Committee, including any energy and environment-related legislation that she will be sponsoring.

HealthCare Council

  • Marguerite Salazar, Commissioner of the Division of Insurance.

Appointed to be Colorado’s Commissioner of Insurance last August, Marguerite Salazar will discuss her approach to her position and her priorities for the state’s insurance market.  Additionally, Commissioner Salazar serves as an ex-officio member of Connect for Health Colorado, Colorado’s health insurance exchange, and can update the Council on the progress of the state’s exchange.

Labor and Employment Council:

  • Ellen Golombek, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
  • Paul Taurillo, Director, Division of Workers Compensation, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Our guest speakers will be discussing the workers compensation legislation that is being pursued by AFL-CIO, as well as legislation that the Department plans to introduce during the legislative Session

Tax Council:

  • Senator Michael Johnston, Chair of Senate Finance Committee
  • Representative Lois Court, Chair of House Finance Committee

Our guest speakers will be discussing legislation they anticipate in their Finance Committees as well as general thoughts regarding the session.

Please contact Misty Lucero for more details on any of CACIs policy councils, to RSVP, or to sign up as a luncheon sponsor.

Follow the Play-by-Play Legislative Action . . .

CACI members who wish to closely follow the legislature’s work have several avenues.

First, one can watch the floor sessions of both the House and the Senate on Comcast Channel 165.  On one day, the House will first be broadcast live and then the Senate will be broadcast after the House adjourns.  The next day, the Senate will be broadcast live first with the House following Senate adjournment.

Second, both chambers’ floor sessions can be viewed individually live via Internet streaming by going to the legislature’s Web site.

Third, one can listen to floor sessions and committee hearings via the Internet, again from the legislature’s Web site.  For the schedule of each chamber’s committee hearings and floor sessions, look at the chamber’s calendar on the legislature’s Web site.

CDPHE Requests CACI Advice

In November, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) approached CACI for its input on CDPHE’s Environmental Programs efforts to build and operate a customer focused, integrated and interactive electronic information system.

CDPHE is seeking feedback as it works to identify the infrastructure to support this initiative, known as CIMPLE (Customer Interface Modernization Project for a Lean Environment), which includes making data and records electronically accessible and giving the regulated communities a way to submit electronic data.  In that light, they have created a survey to help inform the project.

CDPHE encourages feedback through the survey over the next month, and a company or individual should feel free to fill out the survey more than once if additional ideas or suggestions are developed over the course of the comment period.

NRLB’s Poster Rule Defeated

Please see note below from Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), declaring victory over the National Labor Relations Board’s poster rule. CACI is the Colorado affiliate for NAM.



It’s official. We defeated the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) so-called poster rule, which would have required manufacturers to post a notice in their workplaces informing employees of their right to organize and strike.

After two federal appeals courts struck down the rule, the NLRB had one final chance to save its mandate. The Board had until yesterday to ask the Supreme Court to take up the case and potentially overturn the lower court’s ruling. It missed that deadline.

This victory was hard-fought. We began the litigation in 2011, but thanks to the efforts of NAM staff and our legal team and the financial support of our members, we prevailed, pushing back on the NLRB’s overreach, safeguarding our members’ First Amendment rights and saving manufacturers from an onerous and unfair mandate.

This victory is a great example of the results we can produce through strategic and well-funded legal action. With the launch of our new Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), the NAM is well-positioned to take on future legal challenges. The MCLA is building on the victory in the NLRB case through a challenge to a similar poster requirement that targets federal contractors. Moving into 2014, we are evaluating challenges to a variety of regulations coming from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency and Securities and Exchange Commission.