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State Policy News
Time to Vote for CACI-Endorsed, Pro-Business Legislative Candidates!
Voting has begun! Election ballots were mailed this week by county clerks to all registered Colorado voters.
“The sooner you vote, the sooner your phone will stop ringing,” said Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, “And campaign staff will stop coming to your door. Once your vote has been recorded, your name will be removed from the official list of those who have not yet voted, and the various campaigns will then leave you alone.”
This will be the first election in Colorado history to feature a totally mail-in ballot system. In other words, voters will not be going to a traditional polling place to cast ballots. In addition, inactive voters will for the first time receive mail-in ballots. The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has an on-line “FAQs” page about voting. Another resource is www.govotecolorado.com
Consequently, CACI strongly urges its members to vote now for CACI’s list of endorsed state legislative candidates to ensure that as many pro-business candidates as possible can be elected to the Colorado General Assembly, which will convene in early January for the 2015 session.
Three major issues dominated CACI’s exhaustive endorsement process this year: support for business tax credits, exemptions and exclusions; opposition to increased local control of oil-and-gas industry operations; and support for the mining industry.
CACI’s objective for the legislative elections has been two-fold:
- Seek at least split control of the legislature by the two political parties, which is what prevailed in 2011 and 2012 when Democrats controlled the Senate and Republicans controlled the House; and
- Support incumbent legislators–no matter on which side of the political “aisle” they sit—who worked cooperatively with CACI on business legislation.
Currently, the Democrats control the Senate by only one vote. In the House, the Democrats control the chamber 37 to 28.
Ed Sealover, veteran statehouse reporter for The Denver Business Journal, in August wrote an incisive article about the CACI endorsed-slate of candidates, noting that CACI endorsed pro-business candidates whose stands on the issues mattered first and foremost, not the candidate’s party affiliation:
“Often known as a Republican-leaning organization, CACI, for example, endorsed Republicans in three of the seven most competitive races, endorsed Democrats in two of them and declined to endorse anyone in two others,” Sealover wrote.
CACI endorsed 11 Democrats and 38 Republicans. In key, competitive legislative districts, CACI endorsed the following, and it now urges its members to vote for them:
Senate District 5, Don Suppes (R)
Senate District 11, Senator Bernie Herpin (R)
Senate District 19, Senator Rachel Zenzinger (D)
Senate District 20, Senator Cheri Jahn (D)
Senate District 24, Beth Humenik (R)
House District 3, Candice Benge (R)
House District 17, Kit Roupe (R)
House District 29, Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D)
House District 50, Representative Dave Young (D)
House District 59, J. Paul Brown (R)
For more information about CACI’s legislative candidate endorsements, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.
For more news coverage of the CACI endorsements, read:
“CACI to Announce Legislative Endorsements August 8th,” CACI Colorado Capitol Report, July 25th.
“CACI endorses 49 legislative candidates,” The Colorado Statesman, August 8th.
CACI Members Invited to Participate in Anti-Discrimination Training Seminar October 21st
CACI, along with National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and the Colorado Civil Justice League, will be host an “Anti-Discrimination in Employment” training seminar for employers on October 21st at the CACI Office. The seminar will begin at 10 a.m.
Steven Chavez, Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and Francis McDonald, Division Education Outreach Coordinator, will focus on two areas:
- An overview of the Colorado Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013 and its expanded legal remedies for workers; and
- Informational training for employers on the basics of anti-discrimination in the work place such as:
- An overview of protected classes;
- Discriminatory harassment and discrimination in the workplace, including sexual harassment; and
- Rights and responsibilities of employers and employees
To attend this seminar, please RSVP via email to Loren Furman or by phone at 303.866.9642.
Colorado Manufacturing Initiative News: Wind Turbine Manufacturer Vestas Expects Profitable Year
Citing growth in the U.S. wind-energy market and reduced costs, Vestas, a global producer of wind turbines, expects a six percent profit margin in 2014, according to its most recent earnings statement. Orders for turbines are 18 percent higher than this time last year, and megawatts produced are up 27 percent from this time last year to 1,457 MW. According to the report, U.S. orders account for 45 percent of the company’s growth this year while accounting for 17 percent of the company’s revenue.
Vestas has a strong presence in Colorado with a nacelle-and-blade plant in Brighton, a blade plant in Windsor, and a tower plant in Pueblo. These plants have benefited directly from the increase in business. After cutting thousands of jobs between 2011 and 2013, Vestas’ Colorado plants are now hiring at a rapid pace. In August, Vestas announced plans to hire 60 new employees per week in Colorado until reaching its goal of 800 new employees by year end. Most of the openings are for production employees.
Much of this change has come on the heels of the completion of a two-year, turnaround program that ended at the close of 2013. Additionally, in September 2013, Denmark-based Vestas announced a new CEO, Anders Runevad.
The Second Quarter earnings report stated, “Costs have been significantly reduced, while divestments and outsourcing have made the manufacturing footprint lean and scalable without compromising quality or Vestas’ global presence.” The report continued by outlining plans to further reduce costs in North America and Europe by “offering tailored, technologically advanced product variants based on innovation of existing wind turbine platforms.”
Vestas is a valued partner of CACI and is involved in the broader community in various ways including vocational training partnerships with local community colleges.
More information about the earnings statement can be found in an article that ran in The Greeley Tribune.
Federal Policy News
EPA Sends Proposed Ozone Rules to White House
Although draft language has not yet been made public, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks to reduce ozone levels from the current 75 parts-per-billion (pbb) ozone-concentration limits to somewhere in the range of 60 ppb to 70 ppb.
On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent the draft ozone rules to the White House for review, as required by court order.
For Colorado businesses, the proposed EPA regulation presents several major threats. It will restrain economic growth because it will potentially be the most expensive Federal Government regulation in U.S. history due to huge compliance costs to businesses, loss of production and general market disruption.
Three years ago, the Obama Administration listened to the business community, which said that drastic changes to ozone requirements would have a serious negative effect on businesses and the economic recovery, which delayed consideration of proposed ozone changes. The White House has indicated, however, that it will consider the EPA’s proposal. President Obama has at least 60 days to review the proposed rule, with the ability to extend that timeline as needed.
Colorado NAM resources: