Colorado Capitol Report

The Colorado Chamber Concludes Three Days of 33 New Legislative Candidate Interviews

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State Policy News

CACI Concludes Three Days of 33 New Legislative Candidate Interviews

CACI’s new legislative candidate interview process was completed Tuesday with nine candidates interviewed.  Last week, over two days, CACI and its members interviewed 24 candidates.

Members who contributed at least $550 to CACI’s political committee, the Colorado Business Political Action Committee, participated in the interviews. The roughly 75 CACI members who opted to participate represent a wide array of companies and industries.

In preparation for the interviews, a questionnaire was sent to each new candidate who agreed to be interviewed.  Each candidate’s response was shared with the CACI members who participated in the interview.  Participants also were provided with a highly detailed report analyzing legislative races that included such information as party registration in a district, candidates profiles, fundraising and district-voting patterns, among other factors.

After a 30-minute interview, the lobbying team and the CACI members discussed the candidate and voted on whether or not to endorse the candidate.  This discussion and vote helped finalize the lobbying team’s slate of recommended endorsements, which has gone to the CACI Executive Committee for consideration.  Once the Executive Committee has approved the slate, it will then go to the full CACI Board of Directors for consideration.

For more information about CACI’s candidate-endorsement process, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

CACI Continues to Lead Industry Response to Onerous Ozone Regulation Proposals

A package of proposed regulatory changes to Colorado’s federal Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan for controlling ozone-causing emissions is working its way through the regulatory vetting process and may be noticed for formal rulemaking as early as next week.  Due to increased ozone levels in the Denver Metro / North Front Range compliance region, the region is currently undergoing an ozone nonattainment “bump-up” from a “marginal” nonattainment status to the more severe “moderate” nonattainment status.  Under this more severe ozone nonattainment status, state regulators are required to pursue a range of regulatory changes aimed at further deceasing the levels of ozone-causing emissions in the impacted Denver Metro / North Front Range compliance region.   The new, tighter regulatory proposals could impact a wide range of industries, and even result in increased measures to stem transportation-related emissions that contribute to high ozone levels.

CACI has heard from a range of members in the utility, energy and manufacturing sectors that the proposed regulatory changes could result in yet another layer of complex, redundant, and costly-to-implement requirements.  As a result, CACI has been working with its impacted members to engage officials at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division to request that more time be dedicated to informed stakeholder discussions between regulators and the regulated community before the formal rulemaking process is initiated at the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission.  CACI strongly believes that additional policy discussions between regulators and operators in impacted industries would aid in the development of sound regulatory proposals that will achieve the environmental protections sought by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Air Pollution Control Division while also minimizing overly burdensome or costly requirements that do not deliver additional environmental benefits.

Click here to see CACI’s formal request letter to the Air Pollution Control Division.

For more information on this issue, please contact CACI Director of Governmental Affairs, Daniel O’Connell, at [email protected] or 303-866-9622.

Contribute to Campaign to Defeat Amendment 69, the $25 billion, Single-Payer, Health-Care Plan

A public-private coalition is working to defeat Amendment 69, the November ballot initiative that would create a quasi-public, single-payer health-care plan that would impose a $25 billion tax on employers, workers, and taxpayers.

Called “Coloradans for Coloradans,” the campaign organization’s co-chairs include Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former Democratic Governor Bill Ritter.  The organization is backed by a coalition of business organizations, public officials, and community and civic leaders.

In November, the CACI Board of Directors voted to oppose Amendment 69 just days after Secretary of State Wayne Williams qualified the ballot initiative for the November ballot.

CACI urges its members to contribute to Coloradans for Coloradans. Contributions can be mailed to:

Coloradans for Coloradans
1660 Lincoln Street
Suite 1800
Denver CO 80624

Contribution can also be wired electronically to Coloradans for Coloradans.

CACI members who have questions about contributing to Coloradans for Coloradansmay email Katie Behnke or call her at 303.807.4583.

Coloradans for Coloradans is an issue committee, #20165030100, registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.  An issue committee may receive unlimited contributions.

Federal Policy News

EEOC Announces Revisions to Pay Data Collection Proposal

On Thursday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) formally announced revisions to a proposed rule on collecting pay data.  The EEOC’s controversial rule was previously released this spring.  According to the EEOC, the new proposal published in the Federal Register yesterday took into consideration comments submitted by industry groups such as CACI, labor unions, HR professionals and academics studying pay discrimination trends.

As discussed during the March CACI Labor & Employment Council, the EEOC rule requirements were first tested on federal contractors and will now be applied to the general business population, in an effort by the Obama Administration to ‘root out discrimination and reduce gender pay gap.

However, according to the U.S. Chamber’s Camille Olson, “The EEOC is proposing to collect extensive data that has never been collected by the federal government, without any developed framework to review the data, or use the data for any legally authorized or recognized purpose.”

New changes:

  • Pay data required from employers and federal contractors with 100 or more employees, regardless of federal contract value; federal contractors with 50-99 employees would not report wage data, but would report ethnicity, race & sex by job category.
  • Data collection to now include pay ranges and hours worked (in addition to gender, race, ethnicity and job category)
  • EEO-1 forms with wage data will now be due March 31, 2018, in order to allow employers to use existing W-2s.  (The previous EEO-1 wage data filing date had been September 30, 2017).
  • Comments on the NEW proposal will be accepted by the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) through August 15, 2016
  • OF NOTE: The current EEO-1 report due September 30, 2016, will not include proposed rule changes or wage data collection.


  • Wage rule will collect data based on: Sex, race, ethnicity, job band (12 specified) and pay
  • Uses existing forms: Amends current EEO-1 form, but method was not means tested for data collection efficiency or purpose
  • EEOC example: “An employer would report that it employs 10 African American men who are Craft Workers in the second pay band ($19,240 – $24,439).
  • The current EEO-1 form has 10 job categories, plus seven race and ethnicity categories.

These job categories are: Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers; First/Mid-Level Officials and Managers; Professionals; Technicians; Sales Workers; Administrative Support Workers; Craft Workers; Operatives; Laborers and Helpers; and Service Workers.

Ethnicity and race categories are: Hispanic or Latino, White (Not Hispanic or Latino); Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino); Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino); Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino); American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino); and Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino).

  • Current form: Requires businesses to enter information in 140 boxes
  • New EEO-1 form: Will require entering info in 3,360 boxes – a 2,400% increase

An excerpt from CACI’s comment letter to the EEOC:

“Even hypothesizing that the collection process were not overly burdensome, the results will not provide reliable data for identifying compensation disparities based on discriminatory intent.  W-2 income does not accurately reflect the compensation of employees in modern workplaces.  Many of CACI’s member companies have adopted compensation systems that include non-taxable components, such as 401k contributions, deferred stock and options that are not reported as W-2 income in the year they are received.  Some even offer charitable contributions to non-profits and projects of an employee’s choice – and these are highly popular benefits to give back to communities, but they are not income.

Additionally, company-specific compensation decisions are based on compensation practices that are not accurately captured in W-2 wage information. Simply put: using overly broad job category bands means that the EEOC will not be comparing apples to oranges, it will be comparing lemons to watermelons. Pay within a job title, to say nothing of a job category, can vary wildly based on a host of factors (education, years of experience, expertise, company size, etc.). The proposed one-size-fits-all approach to pay bands and job titles ensures that whatever data is collected will be useless, or at the very least inaccurate, for the EEOC’s intended analysis.”

If you have questions, comments or ideas on federal policy council topics, please contact CACI Federal Policy Director, Leah Curtsinger at (303) 866-9641.

Congress in Brief:

  • Spending Woes: Senate Democrats today blocked a military spending bill, forcing Congress to now address every major appropriations bill upon return to work – seven weeks from now – in September.
  • Senate Passes Opioid Bill:  By a vote of 92-2, the Senate passed a bill addressing opioid addiction, treatment, new research, new regulations and prescribing guidelines.  President Obama is set to sign the legislation in the next few days, despite the bill lacking an additional $900 million in funding requested by the President.
  • House Passes GMO Labeling Measure:  By a vote of 306-117, the House passed the Senate’s compromise language – retroactively stopping implementation of Vermont’s multi-tiered and convoluted state labelling laws.  President Obama has said he will sign the compromise language in the next few days.
  • By creating a federal labeling system to identify genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the soon-to-be law will prevent a patchwork of wildly burdensome, individual state regulations.  Just last election, Colorado overcame a ballot measure which would have made GMO labeling mandatory and part of our state constitution.
  • DOL’s ‘Persuader Rule’ Halted By Judge:  If the Department of Labor (DOL) does not file an appeal, business groups hope to made the temporary injunction a permanent one.

The so-called persuader rule went into effect in April 2016 and required businesses to disclose if outside counsel, consultants or other business groups are utilized to aid an employer in deciding how, if or whether to talk with and educate employees about what unionizing will mean for the employer.