Colorado Capitol Report

Woods, Sanchez Win Key Jeffco Senate GOP Primary Races

This Capitol Report is brought to you by:

  • littler
  • community-banks-of-colorado

State Policy News

Woods, Sanchez Win Key Jeffco Senate GOP Primary Races

The two conservative candidates backed by the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners triumphed in the GOP primary races for Senate District 19 and 22 in Jefferson County. Last week’s issue of Capitol Report contained an analysis of the two races, which may hold the key to which party controls the Colorado State Senate in 2015.  Democrats currently control the Senate by a one-vote margin. The odds are now greatly increased that the Democratic incumbents in these two districts will win the general election.  Independent voters and moderate, establishment Republicans are much more likely to vote for the Democrats. Senate District 19 Laura Woods bested Lang Sias by a 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent margin. The controversial gun-rights organization, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) endorsed Woods. Woods will now face incumbent Democrat Rachel Zenzinger, who was appointed by a district vacancy committee last fall after then-Senator Evie Hudak, a Democrat, resigned in the face of a gun-rights recall effort spearheaded by RMGO.  Woods reportedly worked on the Hudak recall effort. Here’s the voter registration, as of June 2nd, for SD-19:

  • Democrats       22,678
  • Republicans    28,395
  • Unaffiliated     33,072

 Senate District 22 Tony Sanchez soundly beat Mario Nicolaisby a 66.5 percent to 33.5 percent margin.  The RMGO endorsed Sanchez. Sanchez now faces the incumbent, Democrat Andy Kerr.  The popular Kerr will be difficult for Sanchez to beat in the general election.  Kerr represented a Lakewood House seat for three terms after being appointed to the seat because of a vacancy and was then elected in 2012 to the new SD-22 seat following reapportionment in 2011. Here’s the June 2nd registration information for SD-22:

  • Democrats       27,835
  • Republicans     27,494
  • Unaffiliated    31,000

For news media coverage of these two pivotal races, read: “Woods, Sanchez win in Jeffco GOP primaries,” by John Aguilar, The Denver Post, June 24th. “Sanchez, Woods run the table in Jefferson County state senate primaries,” by Eli Stokols and Will C. Holden, KDVR Fox 31 Denver, June 24th.

Sovine Miller Appointed to Colorado Commission for Affordable Health Care

This week, Cindy Sovine Miller, Chair of CACI’s HealthCare Council, was appointed to the Colorado Commission for Affordable Health Care. Appointed by House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, Cindy will represent small businesses on the Commission.  Cindy possesses vast experience in health care and business, and CACI supported her nomination to the position.

Cindy Sovine Miller

Cindy Sovine Miller

The Colorado Commission for Affordable Health Care was created by SB-187, which was sponsored by Senators Irene Aguilar and Ellen Roberts and Representatives Amy Stephens and Sue Schafer. CACI supported the legislation, which tasks the 12-member commission with studying and making recommendations regarding health-care costs, including legislative and regulatory modifications that could make health care more affordable while improving access and quality of health care.

CACI congratulates Cindy on her appointment and appreciates the time and effort she will put forth in representing the business community on the Commission!

For more information about the Colorado Commission for Affordable Health Care, contact Carly West, CACI Governmental Affairs Representative.

CACI’s EXECs Advocacy Class Takes Mining and Energy Tour

Last week, the CACI EXECs Advocacy Class traveled to the Western Slope to educate the Class members about mining, energy and related environmental issues affecting Colorado The first stop on Thursday was Climax Molybdenum’s Henderson Mine just west of Empire off of U.S. 40.

After receiving a brief safety overview and personal protection equipment, the Class went underground to tour the mine and experience firsthand its day-to day-operations.  Following the tour, Mike McDonald, General Manager of Henderson Operations and a participant in the Class, gave a presentation on the mining industry and its environmental and economic impacts on Colorado.  Mike answered questions clarified how the mining industry affects the daily lives of Coloradans.

underground tour at the Henderson Mine

underground tour at the Henderson Mine

Following the presentation, the Class boarded the charter bus and traveled to Grand Junction.  Class members spent the evening exploring the town and local restaurants as well as getting to know each other better. On Friday, the Class traveled to Parachute where it met Jeff Kirtland, Senior Communications Specialist of WPX Energy.  Jeff provided a brief overview of WPX Energy’s operation on the Western Slope.  The Class put on personal protective equipment provided by WPX and traveled to the H&P Drilling Rig 318.  After showing the Class around the site and explaining the process of drilling and hydraulic fracturing, Jeff took the group into the man-operated booth of the drilling rig where it was able to monitor the computers that receive drilling data.  The operator explained that the monitors displayed transmitted data from within the ground to help ensure that proper drilling techniques are taking place. Following the tour of the drilling rig, Kent Hejl, Completions Superintendent of WPX Energy, provided the Class with a hydraulic fracturing presentation that helped the Class distinguish fact from fiction.  WPX Energy provided an educational tour that dispelled doubts surrounding the fracking business.  Class participants were able to ask questions and decide for themselves the importance of the oil-and-gas industry to Colorado.

tour of an active drilling site at WPX Energy

tour of an active drilling site at WPX Energy

The trip provided the Class with great insight into one of Colorado’s major industries.  Not only is the energy industry a powerful driver of Colorado’s economy, it paves the way for economic growth and prosperity for all Americans. For more information on CACI’s EXECs Advocacy Program, contact Lalitha Christian, CACI Business Partnerships Coordinator, at 303.866.9635.

Federal Policy News

U.S. Supreme Court: President’s NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision in the NLRB v. Noel Canning case, where the nine Justices ruled President Obama’s 2012 “recess appointments” skirted Congress’ constitutional authority to approve all nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  There was also a 5-4 vote to ensure the Presidential Office retains some authority to recess-appoint when Congress is out of session for ten days or more.

The NLRB says this decision likely means all labor rulings made in 2012 by the unconstitutional Board (438 of them) will have to be revisited by the current, complete NLRB board.  Additionally, according to the President’s Press Secretary, ‘”The president is in no way considering scaling back” his executive actions.’

CACI Joins Critical Minerals Letter to Congressional Leadership

Yesterday, CACI joined 38 manufacturers, producers, businesses and industry groups on a letter expressing thanks and continued support for efforts moving critical minerals legislation forward before Congress.

CACI’s Federal Affairs Council Supports U.S. Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

Across the country, businesses small and large say they need the infrastructure of the U.S.’s Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), to level the playing field in the global markets.  Last year alone, Ex-Im reduced the U.S. deficit by more than $1 billion, while driving $37.4 billion in exports, $750 million of which were from Colorado.

Renewing Ex-Im authority is a win-win for the business community and CACI’s Federal Affairs Council last week took a ‘support’ position.  The Council’s letter of support  went to each member of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation Wednesday, urging leadership on this important economic issue.

Also on Wednesday morning, the House Financial Services Committee debated merits of the U.S.’s Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).  What was once a bipartisan issue has recently seen growing opposition from the farright and Tea Party for using a profitable government program to aid U.S. businesses in exporting American products overseas.  At least two bills have been offered to extend Ex-Im authority for several years, but Ex-Im’s current authority expires Sept. 30, 2014.