Colorado Capitol Report

The Colorado Chamber Member Feedback Needed on 2016 Pinnacol Assurance Legislative Proposal

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State Policy News

CACI Member Feedback Needed on 2016 Pinnacol Assurance Legislative Proposal

CACI staff recently met with representatives of Pinnacol Assurance to discuss a legislative proposal that will be introduced during the 2016 Legislative Session.  Pinnacol Assurance is Colorado’s insurer-of-last-resort for workers’ compensation coverage and serves thousands of companies across the state, including many CACI members.

Based on Pinnacol’s partnership with many CACI members, CACI is seeking feedback from its members to determine whether your company has questions or concerns with this proposal, which is outlined below:

  • The proposal would amend current statute to allow Pinnacol to establish a subsidiary wholly owned by Pinnacol that would provide workers’ compensation coverage and related products and services to Colorado companies that operate outside of Colorado and that have out-of-state employees;
  • Pinnacol’s investment in the subsidiary would be 3 percent or less of its admitted assets that would be subject to the current statutory restrictions as Pinnacol’s other investments;
  • The subsidiary would be a taxable, for-profit entity with a separate board of directors;
  • No statutory language is being proposed to change the current structure of Pinnacol, which will remain as follows:
    • Colorado state authority operating as a nonprofit mutual insurance company;
    • Carrier of last resort (must accept all comers);
    • Board of directors appointed by the governor; and
    • Employees participate in PERA.

Pinnacol has also provided CACI with a Q&A document to explain its proposal.

The feedback CACI receives regarding this proposal will help determine CACI’s position on this legislation once it is introduced during the 2016 Legislative Session.  Please provide comments to Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

Manufacturing Initiative

NAM Reports on Manufacturing Day


Last Friday, was Manufacturing Day, sponsored by the National Associate of Manufacturers (NAM), which is mutually affiliated with CACI.  Here as a report from NAM about the nationwide event:

Jay's Germany Visit
October 9, 2015 | USA

Last Friday, manufacturers across the country opened their doors to welcome students, educators and community members into their facilities and onto their shop floors for Manufacturing Day. This annual event is a chance to inspire the next generation with the opportunities offered by a career in manufacturing.

In partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), The Manufacturing Institute, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International and the U.S. Department of Commerce, 2,358 companies took part this year.

This effort matters. Over the next decade, an estimated 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled if more Americans are not trained and equipped with the skills that employers are looking for.

As I outlined in a CNBC op-ed with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Manufacturing Day participants learn the many reasons why manufacturing skills pay off. For example, an entry-level manufacturing engineer can expect to earn about $60,000 annually, and the average manufacturing worker earns about $15,000 more than the average worker across all sectors.

Mechanical engineer Pete Cabalerro, right, sets up to demonstrate a CNC machine to Rio Mesa High School students as part of Manufacturing Day at Haas Automation in Oxnard, Calif. | The students watch as a CNC machine forms a part. (Photos by Brian van der Brug for the NAM.)
A group of 21 metals manufacturing students from Portland’s Franklin High School tour the Western Star truck manufacturing facility in Portland, Ore. Western Star manufactures semi-trucks for specialized fields, such as mining and construction, as well as for long-haul truckers. (Photos by Scott Varley for the NAM.)
A group of 57 metals manufacturing students from Portland’s David Douglas High School tour the Purdy paintbrush manufacturing facility in Portland, Ore. Purdy is a division of Sherwin-Williams paint company. (Photos by Scott Varley for the NAM.)

Of course, our work to inspire young people cannot be limited to just one day. Manufacturing Day activities will continue throughout the month, and at the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute, educating others about the importance of closing the skills gap is a year-round mission.

Please take a moment to watch a video from NAM Board Chair Gregg Sherrill about the importance of competing to win and leading the world.

After all, that’s what Manufacturing Day is all about: telling our story of competing, winning and leading.

Thank you for doing your part.


Connect with Us
Questions or comments?
Please contact NAM Vice President of Executive Communications Chrys Kefalas at (202) 637-3082 or [email protected].
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CACI Federal Policy Council Discusses GMOs, Tours Western Sugar’s Fort Morgan Processing Facility

CACI Federal Policy Council Tours Western Sugar’s Fort Morgan Processing Facility

CACI Federal Policy Council Tours Western Sugar’s Fort Morgan Processing Facility

On Tuesday, CACI’s Federal Policy Council held a unique, off-site meeting for its members to hear from Senate staff and experience first-hand one of the state’s longest-running manufacturing processes and oldest industries: producing granulated sugar from sugar beets.

Guest speakers, Chuck Poplstein, State Director for U.S. Senator Cory
Gardner (R-CO), and Danielle Osler, Special Advisor for Business Affairs for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), talked about the political environment facing Congress between now and the end of the year.

CACI members should particularly watch changes likely to follow leadership elections and the retirement of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).  Both staffers encouraged attendees to share ideas, pressing issues, challenges and successes with their senators.  They predicted the Senate will still likely attempt to address long-term highway fund authorization, cybersecurity and the National Defense Authorization Act as well as negotiating a change in the “debt ceiling” (amount Congress can legally spend), as well as facing a December 11th deadline to fund operation of the Federal our Government through a Continuing Resolution (CR).

Western Sugar

Western Sugar has operated in Colorado for more than 100 years, celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2006.  Western Sugar President Rodney Perry spoke to the Council about the legacy of the sugar beet industry, the success of their farmer-owned co-op, and how sugar beet farming means they have contributing growers from across the entire state of Colorado.

In fact, Western Sugar Cooperative has 135,000 base acres that are spread across Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana. “Our farmers are some of the best and most passionate environmentalists because this land is both their home and their lives.  Some of our growers are fourth- and fifth-generation growers who want to make sure the healthy land and their way of life can be passed on to healthy children. In other words, they don’t want to screw it up,” said Rebecca Larson, Ph.D. Agronomist for Western Sugar.

Perry and Larson both addressed the challenges the sugar-beet industry faces: increasing regulatory burdens for production, water and land use restrictions by the EPA, and consumer trends that aren’t reflective of science.

Fast fact: The manufacturing process for sugar beets means extracting sucrose out of the beets rather than adding anything to them.  Hot water and waffle-fry-looking slices are made to extract, then the sugar is crystalized into pure crystals and dried.  Chemically and structurally, there’s no difference between sugar from a sugar beet grown organically or conventionally.  Likewise, there’s no difference between sugar crystals coming from a “Roundup Ready” sugar beet seed or “non-GMO” seed.

Larson also talked about why Western Sugar chooses to use GMO seeds to be environmentally responsible:

  • GMO beet seeds allow for 30 percent greater yield per acre;
  • Three times less water is used for Round-up Ready seeds vs. conventional sugar beet seeds;
  • GMO beets only need the equivalent of a Coke-can sized application of pesticides in a season (over a field the size of a football field);
  • Conventional seeds require three times to four times as much pesticide, herbicide and fungicide applications and need to be applied as many as two-to-three times per season; and
  • With fewer applications of chemicals, GMO seeds reduce the amount of times farm vehicles need to pass through the fields, reducing both fuel emissions and ground impact.

More than 30 Council members in attendance for the tour of the Ft. Morgan facility, which also included Fort Morgan Mayor Terry L. McAlister, two Morgan County commissioners, Colorado State Representative and House Agriculture Chairman K.C. Becker as well as the Field Representative and District Director from Congressman Ken Buck’s office and Field Representative from Congressman Jared Polis’ office.

Attendees got to see a fresh-picked sugar beet from the field, beets as they were delivered to the facility (25 tons at a time), the washing, slicing, testing processes, quality control, growing crystals, drying and final products of granulated and powdered sugar.

For more information about the Federal Policy Council, contact Leah Curtsinger, CACI Director of Federal Policy, at 303.866.9641