Colorado Capitol Report

The Sun Came Out for The Colorado Chamber’s Annual Golf Tournament


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State Policy News

The Sun Came Out for CACI’s Annual Golf Tournament

CACI's annual golf tournament at the Broadmoor Hotel.

CACI’s annual golf tournament at the Broadmoor Hotel.

After weeks of dreary weather, it was great to see the sun come out in time for CACI’s Annual Golf Tournament, sponsored by Vehicle Vault and https://www.pineclubgolf.com/best-electrical-push-carts/ best equipment. CACI members were able to kick-off their Memorial Day weekend in style at The Broadmoor Hotel’s championship East course in Colorado Springs.

With over 100 players in a scramble-styled golf tournament and everyone’s support for the “Mulligan Program”, CACI guaranteed some VERY respectable team scores.  The 19th Hole Party sponsored by Southwest Airlines, brought everyone together to celebrate at the end of the day with dinner and tons of great prizes. Congratulations to Davis Graham & Stubbs for taking home the 1st place prize!


Manufacturing Initiative

Colorado Economic Development Office Announces $1 Million in Advanced Industries Grants

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) recently awarded nearly $1 million in grants as part of the Advanced Industry Accelerator Infrastructure Funding Grant Program. These grants are part of the broader Advanced Industries Accelerator Program which was created in 2013 to support the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering, and technology and information industries.

A total of $918,000 was awarded to six different projects which will bolster the state’s supporting infrastructure for one or more of the advanced industries.

The Colorado Bioscience Institute will receive $50,000 to expand their existing Research Experience for Teachers and Executive Leadership programs.

Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction will receive $250,000 to purchase technology and equipment for use in the Maverick Innovation Center which is already in development.

Rocky Mountain Innovation Partners will receive $250,000 to develop a technology transfer and commercialization network in Colorado Springs in collaboration with the United States Air Force Academy.

Emily Griffith Technical College in Denver will receive $68,000 to enhance their existing Manufacturing Production Technician certificate program in collaboration with industry.

Special Aerospace Services will receive $250,000 to develop an Advanced Propulsion Research and Apprenticeship Program in collaboration with the University of Colorado and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

The Tinkermill in Longmont will receive $50,000 to expand programming in their Advanced Prototype Manufacturing Facility and Gigabit Information Technology Center.

Grant applications were reviewed by a committee of industry representatives and business leaders including Patrick Pratt, Program Manager of CACI’s Colorado Manufacturing Initiative. The committee submitted recommendations to OEDIT’s strategic oversight board and the state Economic Development Commission who made the final decision.

Applications for the next round of infrastructure grants are due September 25, 2015. OEDIT also offers advanced industry grants based on proof-of-concept, early stage capital and retention, and to promote exports. Learn more here.

This was the first time that OEDIT utilized a grant review committee. If you are interested in serving on future committees or to learn more about how OEDIT is supporting Colorado’s advanced industries, contact Patrick Pratt, Program Manager of the Colorado Manufacturing Initiative at ppratt@cochamber.com or 303-866-9657.


After Visit to CACI’s Federal Affairs Council, the US Small Business Administration Shares Advocacy Actions

sba logo

Advocacy Recommends that DOL Analyze Alternatives to Minimize Costs of Wage Increase for H-2A Herders on the Open Range

On May 22, 2015, the Office of Advocacy sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor on its proposed rule which amends regulations under the H-2A program to codify procedures for hiring temporary agricultural foreign workers for job opportunities in sheepherding, goat herding and production of livestock on the open range.  A copy of Advocacy’s comment letter may be accessed at www.sba.gov/advocacy.

  • On October 7, 2011, U.S. workers filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging DOL’s special guidance documents that governed sheep and goat herders under the H-2A visa.  While the district court dismissed the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concluded that DOL’s guidance documents were subject to notice and comment under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).  DOL issued this notice and comment rulemaking to remedy this APA violation.
  • This proposed rule changes the wage methodology for H-2A workers in these special occupations, which will double to triple the wage rate for these workers; this increase will be phased in over five years. Based on small business feedback, Advocacy is concerned that these wage increases may significantly reduce or eliminate the profitability of these small entities and may result in these entities reducing or closing their operations.
  • Advocacy is concerned that DOL’s Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis may underestimate the cost of this rule for small herding operations because these small employers may hire more H-2A workers than DOL has estimated; there may also be extra costs such as housing units and workers’ compensation insurance.  DOL also did not include alternatives to the proposed rule that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and that minimize the rule’s economic impact on small entities, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
  • Advocacy recommends that DOL publish a Supplemental IRFA for public comment reanalyzing compliance costs.  DOL should also consider any recommended small business alternatives that may minimize the economic impact of this rulemaking.

For more information, visit Advocacy’s webpage at http://www.sba.gov/advocacy, or contact Assistant Chief Counsel Janis Reyes by email at Janis.Reyes@sba.gov or by phone at 202-205-6533.


EPA Releases Expanded Waters of the U.S. Rule

“Despite their assurances, it appears that EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have failed to keep their promises to Congress and the American people.  In fact, instead of fixing the overreach in the proposed rule, remarkably, EPA has made it even broader.  “This makes it more important than ever for Congress to act.” – Sen. Inhofe, Chair of the Environment & Public Works Committee. 

  • Under the final rule, EPA decided it can regulate isolated wetlands and ponds in farmer’s fields by designating them “regional treasures.” A strongly bipartisan bill has already received a hearing –takes steps to protect waters without overreaching.   1140, The Federal Water Quality Protection Act Is scheduled for mark-up this summer.

EPA Full Steam Ahead With Water Protection Rules, Politico

EPA’s WoTUS Rule Only Muddies The Water, Edison Electric Institute

Ag Groups, Lawmakers Fuming At Release Of Final WoTUS Rule, Agri-Pulse.com