Colorado Capitol Report

Come Monday: The Colorado Chamber Office Reopens

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State Policy News

Come Monday: CACI Office Reopens

Six weeks of demolition and construction in the CACI Office have been completed as of today. Monday will be the first day for the CACI staff to return to the office, following an exile for the last two weeks for painting, carpeting, installation of cabinets and appliances and other work to take place.

 Here is the current status of CACI’s ability to communicate with its members:

  • The fax machine remains off-line and CACI cannot receive faxes until a new telephone line is installed;
  • The telephone and voice-mail system remains problematic, but staff is working with providers to get it up and running on Monday; and
  • Staff can be reached by email.

Pivotal Legislative Races Hold Keys to Control of Chambers

Last Friday’s afternoon email issue of The Denver Business Journal carried an extensive analysis by statehouse reporter Ed Sealover of the key legislative races that will determine which political party controls the Colorado House and Senate next year.

Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, was interviewed extensively by Sealover for his article, “CACI legislative endorsements reveal it’s about the votes, not the party.”

The July 27th issue of CACI’s Colorado Capitol Report detailed CACI’s process of researching and endorsing pro-business legislative candidates.

On Friday, August 8th, the slate of incumbent and new legislative candidates endorsed by CACI for election to the Colorado General Assembly was carried in a special announcement in The Colorado Statesman. The list also can be found on the CACI Web site.

The July 25th issue of Capitol Report carried an article detailing the CACI process to research, interview and endorse candidates. Each endorsed candidate may receive up to $400 in support from the Colorado Business Political Action Committee.

Following the August 8th announcement of the slate of CACI-endorse candidates, the CACI lobbying team has begun meeting with candidates to present them with CBPAC checks.  The lobbying team also will begin walking legislative districts with select candidates in key races to help them with their campaigns.

For more information about CACI’s support of pro-business legislative candidates, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

Manufacturing Initiative News

Walmart Convenes National Manufacturing Summit in Denver

The National Manufacturing Summit sponsored by Walmart convened in Denver this week. ON Thursday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and various Walmart executives including CEO Doug Mcmillon opened the summit at the Bellco Theatre.

The summit is designed to promote American manufacturing and increase American jobs. The event brings more than 1,000 business leaders from 42 states and Puerto Rico to the Colorado Convention Center for two days. The summit is part of Walmart’s 10-year, $250 billion commitment to buy American-made products that launched last year.

The opening plenary session included manufacturers, Walmart executives, mayors and governors from across the United States, and Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Administrator Contreras-Sweet announced the SBA’s new focus to make the department “Smarter, Bolder, and more Accessible” to small businesses. This effort includes streamlining administrative processes, expanding international exports, and increasing access to capital.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and highlighted the reforms that her state took to go from the “worst state in the west for manufacturing to the best.” Her comments were based on an Ernst & Young study published this year that cited the state’s efforts to reduce tax burdens and administrative complexity on New Mexico’s manufacturers as some of the main reasons for the state’s increased competitiveness.

The same study showed Colorado as the third most competitive state in the West for tax rates for manufacturers, although the cost of doing business in Colorado was shown to have increased over the last several years.

The summit features educational programs today covering topics as site selection, robotics and automation, contract manufacturing, and product safety and compliance. These programs are combined with a trade show featuring exhibitors from across the U.S.

As part of the plenary, session Walmart awarded $4 million in grants to manufacturing innovators. Attendees also have the opportunity to meet with Walmart staff to navigate the process of becoming a supplier.

Colorado is represented at the summit by CACI, nine governmental representatives and several manufacturers.

Some have questioned Walmart’s motives for supporting such an event, including the AFL-CIO who expressed concern about the “Walmart-ification of the manufacturing sector.” Others have doubted the sincerity of Walmart’s commitment to American manufacturers.

 The program has tried to address some of these concerns by featuring manufacturers who have brought or are in the process of bringing their processes back to the United States because of Walmart’s commitment. Thursday’s plenary included mention of a Colorado manufacturer that has supplied Walmart for more than 45 years.

Finally, Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, Walmart U.S., said that when manufacturers see the world’s largest retailer investing $250 billion over 10 years in American manufacturing, it makes them realize that there may be benefit to doing business in the United States and analyze their own processes.

CACI members can follow the summit on social media using the hash tag #MadeInUSA.