Colorado Capitol Report

The Colorado Chamber Represented on State Affordable Health Care Commission

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State Policy News

CACI Represented on State Affordable Health Care Commission

The first meeting of the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care was held last Friday, August 22nd.  The 12 members of the Commission, along with five ex-officio members, introduced themselves, explaining why they applied to serve on the Commission.

Cindy Sovine Miller

Cindy Sovine Miller

Commission members were appointed by the leadership of the Colorado House of Representatives and the Senate and by Governor John Hickenlooper to study the state’s health-care market and make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor on how to improve the quality, price, and accessibility of health care for Colorado residents.

Cindy Sovine Miller, CACI HealthCare Council Chair, was selected to serve on the Commission, representing small businesses, and she discussed her expertise as a small business owner as well as her considerable experience in health-care policy.

Commission members include:

  • Elizabeth Arenales of Denver, to serve as a representative from an organization representing consumers and who understands consumers with chronic medical conditions, and as a Democrat from the First Congressional District. Appointed by the Speaker of the House on June 24, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Jeffrey J. Cain, M.D., FAAFP of Denver, to serve as a health care provider who is not employed by a hospital and who is a physician recommended by a statewide society or association whose membership includes at least one-third of the doctors of medicine or osteopathy licensed in the State, and as a Democrat from the First Congressional District. Appointed by the President of the Senate on June 30, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Rebecca Cordes, of Denver, to serve as a representative of large, self-insured Colorado businesses, and as a Democrat from the First Congressional District. Appointed by the Governor on July 15, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Greg D’Argonne of Littleton, to serve as a person with expertise in health care payment and delivery, and as a Republican from the Second Congressional District. Appointed by the House Minority Leader on June 20, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Steve ErkenBrack of Grand Junction, to serve as a representative of carriers offering health plans in the state, and as a Republican from the Third Congressional District. Appointed by the Senate Minority Leader on June 30, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Ira Gorman, PT, Ph.D of Evergreen, to serve as a health care provider who is not employed by a hospital and is not a physician, and as a Democrat from the Second Congressional District. Appointed by the President of the Senate on June 30, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Linda Gorman of Greenwood Village, to serve as a health care economist, and as a Republican from the Sixth Congressional District. Appointed by the Senate Minority Leader on June 30, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • William Neish Lindsay III, of Centennial, to serve as a representative of licensed health insurance producers, and as an Unaffiliated from the Sixth Congressional District. Appointed by the Governor on July 7, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Marcy Morrison of Manitou Springs, to serve as a representative from an organization representing consumers, and as a Republican from the Fifth Congressional District. Appointed by the Speaker of the House on June 24, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Dorothy Ann Perry, PhD of Pueblo, to serve as a person with expertise in public health and the provision of health care to populations with low incomes and significant health care needs, and as a Democrat from the Third Congressional District. Appointed by the Governor on July 15, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Cindy Sovine-Miller of Lakewood, to serve as a representative of small Colorado businesses, and as a Republican from the Seventh Congressional District. Appointed by the House Minority Leader on June 20, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017;
  • Christopher Gordon Tholen of Centennial, to serve as a representative of hospitals and recommended by a statewide association of hospitals, and as an Unaffiliated from the Sixth Congressional District. Appointed by the Governor on June 27, 2014 for a term expiring July 7, 2017.

In addition, the Commission has five ex-officio members, as follows:

  • Reggie Bicha, MSW, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services;
  • Susan Birch, MBA, BSN, RN, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing;
  • Marguerite Salazar, Commissioner of Insurance, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies;
  • Jay Want, M.D., to serve as a representative of the Colorado All Payer Claims Database;
  • Larry Wolk, M.D., MPH, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Commission selected Bill Lindsay as temporary Chair and designated members Cindy Sovine-Miller, Elisabeth Arenales, Chris Tholen and Commissioner Marguerite Salazar to serve on the Planning Committee for future meetings.

The date of the Commission’s next meeting was set for 12 Noon—3 p.m., Monday, September 22nd, and the Planning Committee will determine the location and agenda.  While the first meeting focused primarily on logistics and planning, future meetings with delve into data and policy discussions.

For more on the first meeting of the Commission, read:

Hopes for health care cost cuts high as commission launches,” by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, Health News Colorado, August 22nd.

Carly West: The Bad News and the Good News

First, the bad news: CACI is sorry to see Carly West, a valued member of the CACI family, moving on with her career.


Carly West

Second, the good news: Carly will go to work as the Manager of Community and Government Affairs at CACI member SourceGas, which is  based in Golden.

Carly has served as CACI’s staff expert on energy, environment and health care issues for the past three years and has done a tremendous job  in that role.  In that role, she staffed the Energy and Environment Council and the HealthCare Council.

CACI will truly miss Carly and wishes her great success with her new job!  Carly’s last day at CACI will be tomorrow, Friday, August 29th.

Consequently, CACI will be seeking a highly motivated and talented individual to take over Carly’s positon.  A description of the position is provided below and interested individuals should contact Laura Moss, CACI Office Manager.

 CACI State Governmental Affairs Representative

CACI has an immediate opening for a full-time State Governmental Affairs Representative.

This person will be responsible for government affairs activities under the direction of the Senior Vice President, State and Federal Governmental Relations and the CACI President.

The position involves representing CACI members’ interests through advocacy at the Colorado State Capitol and before other state entities.  The role includes: advocating public policy positions that align with CACI members’ interests; providing staff support and guidance in CACI’s policy councils, representing CACI at legislative committee hearings and agency hearings; and building coalitions with other interest groups.


  • At least a four-year college degree, master’s degree preferred;
  • Minimum of two years’ experience in Colorado’s legislative and state public-policy process;
  • Established relationships with elected and appointed state officials;
  • Ability to analyze legislation and recommend policy positions;
  • Experience working in the private sector and with business leaders and business organizations;
  • Strong oral communications, including experience in legislative committee testimony and/or public presentations;
  • Strong research and writing skills; and
  • Experience in building coalitions and consensus on policy issues.

The competitive compensation and benefits package will be discussed with applicants.

Finally, CACI members with questions or concerns regarding energy, environment or health care issues should contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

EXECs Visit Southern Colorado Manufacturers

On Tuesday, August 12th, the CACI EXECs Advocacy Class traveled to southern Colorado to learn about Colorado’s manufacturing industry.

The class fist had the opportunity to tour EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Mill which is located in Pueblo.  EVRAZ is North America’s leading steel manufacturer.  Ben Lutze, Vice President and General Manager, discussed with the class the importance of manufacturing in Colorado and how vital it is to the state’s economy

Next, the class also toured Spectranetics, which is located in Colorado Springs. Spectranetics manufactures the FDA-approved Excimer Laser System, which is used to treat such invasive cardiovascular problems as coronary artery blockages.

By touring these companies, the class was able to draw out similarities and differences between traditional manufacturing versus advanced manufacturing, both of which are important to Colorado’s economy.

For more information on the EXECs Advocacy Program, contact Lalitha Christian, EXECs Program Manager, at 303.866.9635.

Tapping Oil-and-Gas Educational Opportunities

While the recent announcement of a task force to study local control and land use issues prompted proponents of two oil-and-gas initiatives, which would have restricted oil-and-gas production, to pull the measures from the 2014 ballot, the conversation around oil and gas in Colorado is far from over.

To the contrary, the compromise announced by Governor John Hickenlooper has given Colorado citizens a unique opportunity to learn more about the vital, growing oil-and-gas industry.  Below are three sources of information for CACI members.

Over the next few months, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), a CACI member, is coordinating presentations by trained industry ambassadors for companies and community groups seeking more information.  Topics can range from technical processes, regulation, and economics to myths and communication approaches.  CACI members are urged to reach out to COGA’s Anne Carto to set up a presentation and take advantage of a unique educational opportunity.

Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain Energy Forum is also engaged in outreach and education efforts.  Forum offers one-on-one, group and webinar presentations and can deliver presentations anywhere in the state.  To set up a presentation for a chamber, business, labor, veterans or any other type of group, contact the Forum’s Amy Attwood.

Finally, Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) will continue to provide information about the science and technology behind oil and gas development and fracking’s critical importance to Colorado’s economy and U.S. energy security.  CRED, a multi-year education and awareness effort, was created to help educate the general public about the energy, economic and environmental benefits of safe and responsible oil-and-natural gas development.

For more on the task force, read:

Who Wants to be on Colorado’s new oil and gas task force?” by Cathy Proctor, The Denver Business Journal, August 25th.

Long list of applicants delays decision on oil and gas task force,” by Peter Marcus, The Durango Herald, The Denver Post, August 18th.

Compromise struck on ballot initiatives,” by Jody Hope Strogoff, The Colorado Statesman, August 8th.

Update on Colorado Manufacturing: Jobs Increase for Fourth Straight Year

The following news release has been issued by Manufacturers’ News:

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers’ News, Inc.
1633 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
[email protected]

EVANSTON, Ill, August 26th, 2014/Manufacturers’ News, Inc./– For a fourth straight year, industrial employment in Colorado posted a gain, reports the 2015 Colorado Manufacturers Directory ®, a manufacturers database and directory published by Manufacturers’ News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to data collected by MNIColorado manufacturers added 2,919 industrial jobs from June 2013 to June 2014, a 1.3% increase, slightly higher than the 1.1% national average gain as reported by the Labor Department for the same time period.

Manufacturers’ News reports Colorado is now home to 6,352 manufacturers employing 213,493 workers.

“Despite high business costs, manufacturers in Colorado continue to make large strides,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “The state’s educated labor pool and flourishing energy sector as well as its focus on technology and innovation continue to draw investment and support industrial growth.”

According to Manufacturers’ News, gains were led by the oil & gas extraction industry, which posted a 17.1% employment increase over the year, with jobs in the sector increasing nearly 75% over the past six years. Oil and gas extraction currently account for 18,618 Colorado jobs, ranking fourth in the state for industrial employment.

Bright spots for Colorado included the expansion of several Vesta Wind Systems turbine plants across the state; the opening of a DCP Midstream Partners oil and gas processing plant in Kersey; the expansion of 3D desktop printer manufacturer Aleph Objects in Loveland; and Elkhart Plastics’ expansion of its facility in Littleton.

The food products sector is the state’s top industry by manufacturing employment with 26,769 jobs, up 2.1% over the year. Electronics ranks second with 22,312 jobs, down 6.1%, due partially to Abound Solar suspending production at its Loveland plant after filing for bankruptcy. Third-ranked industrial machinery and equipment employs 21,072, with no significant change reported.

Other sectors adding jobs included furniture/fixtures, up 6.3%; instruments/related products, up 4.1%; fabricated metals, up 4%; and rubber/plastics, up 2.1%. MNI recorded employment losses in chemicals, down 5.8%; textiles/apparel, also down 5.8%; and lumber/wood, down 3.3%.

Northeast Colorado accounts for the most industrial employment in the state, with 137,484 industrial jobs, up 2.3% over the year, reports MNI. The Northwest region accounts for 62,456, down 1.5% over the past year. Southwest Colorado is home to 6,952, up 4.6%, while the Southeast region is home to 6,601 industrial workers, up 6.1%.

Manufacturing companies in Denver employ 41,772 workers, up 1.7% over the year. Colorado Springs ranks second with 17,559 jobs, virtually unchanged over the year. Third-ranked Englewood accounts for 14,757 jobs, up 2.1%; and Boulder accounts for 12,039 jobs, up 1.3%. Fifth-ranked Broomfield is home to 9,856 jobs, up 5.5%.

Detailed profiles of all Colorado manufacturers can be found in the 2015 Colorado Manufacturers Directory ® available in print or online. Established in 1912, Manufacturers’ News, Inc. is the nation’s oldest and largest publisher of industrial information. MNI offers a variety of tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers, from print directories to online subscriptions. MNI’s industrial database subscription service EZ Select: allows users to tap into a live interactive database of manufacturers, while its industrial search engine IndustryNet connects buyers and suppliers and allows users to view profiles and obtain competitive quotes. MNI’s traditional print directories are published for each state and include in-depth profiles of every manufacturer in the U.S. For more information, contact Manufacturers’ News, Inc. 847-864-7000.

For more information on CACI’s Colorado Manufacturing Initiative, contact Patrick Pratt, Program Manager, at 303.866.9657.

Stories, Lies and Surveillance

CACI members are invited to attend a seminar by Pinnacol Safety Consultant Greg Winchell on criminal investigations in the work place on Tuesday, September 9th at Pinnacol Assurance, 7501 E. Lowry Blvd., Denver.

This course focuses specifically on three case studies.  Legal theories, investigative techniques and concepts are then reviewed and applied.

  • Case Study #1: A failed malingering case
  • Case Study #2: A successful malingering case
  • Case Study #3: A prosecuted workers’ compensation certificate forgery
  • Legal theories of theft, criminal intent and false statements

CACI Safety Group members must attend a minimum of two Pinnacol-approved risk management training sessions per policy period.  To rsvp call Keller Lowry at 303-756-9909 by September 2nd.

Federal Policy News

CACI Federal Relations Council Turns Out for Congressman Gardner, Workforce Skills Panel

Congressman Gardner addressing CACI's  Federal Council.

Congressman Gardner addressing CACI’s Federal Council.

On Tuesday, August 19th, CACI brought together more than 75 people and 45 business representatives at CACI member Ball Corporation in Broomfield to discuss the workforce “skills gaps,” employer and education solutions to the “gap,” as well as various Federal issues with Republican U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner, who represents Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District.

Congressman Gardner discussed his “Four Corners Plan” to address the needs of the entire state through responsible energy development, education for the future, economic development & making sure Colorado “preserves and protects our incredible environment.”

The workforce panel consisted of:

  • Ray Johnson, IBM, who brought a passion for technology, technology development and an education advocacy background;
  • Jim Peterson, the Ball Corporation and a CACI Board member, who brought years of experience in manufacturing and experience developing an internship program for Ball; and
  • Allan Short, Campus President, Lincoln College of Technology, one of the most successful technology colleges in the region with a 95 percent placement rate for welders, diesel and auto-mechanic students.
Federal Council Panelists

CACI Federal Council Panelists

For information about the Federal Relations Council, contact Leah Curtsinger, Federal and State Governmental Affairs Representative, at 303-866-9641.


CACI’s Berry Moderates Business and Immigration Roundtable

Chuck Berry Moderates Business and Immigration Roundtable

Chuck Berry Moderates Business and Immigration Roundtable

On Wednesday, August 20th, the “Economic Impacts of Immigration Reform Roundtable,” held at the University of Denver, brought together business interests from across Colorado, underlining the economic impact of both the status quo and the need for immigration reform.

The discussion, led CACI President Chuck Berry, focused on the nexus of business innovation and economic development and where immigration reform can play a role in the future growth of Colorado businesses.

Co-hosts of the event included CACI, AT&T, plus business representatives from dairy farmers to contractors, realtors to the hotel industry, as well as many local chambers of commerce.  The panel included:

  • U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman, Sixth Congressional District;
  • Rob Cohen, CEO, IMA Financial;
  • Ralph Christie, chairman, Merrick & Company;
  • Mary Kraft, CEO, Badger Creek Farms and Quail Ridge Dairy;
  • Chetter Latcham, president, Shea Homes Colorado; and
  • J.B. Holston, executive director, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.

Business and Immigration Roundtable Panelists

CACI Federal Relations Council Weighs in with U.S. Commerce Secretary

On July 22nd, the Federal Relations Council heard a presentation from Aaron Owens of CACI member SourceGas on the merits of supporting and implementing a “gasoline gallon equivalent” (GGE) for natural gas meant to supply natural gas vehicles.

To both show support and educate, CACI sent a memo to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker outlining why the Commerce Department should consider the consumer and business case for GGE, counter to the volume measurements recommended by the National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST).

The NIST recommendation runs counter to previous industry standards and does not take into account the amount of energy in natural gas, which can vary from source to source.  The GGE would make natural gas more user-friendly and approachable for consumers and businesses.