Colorado Capitol Report

Support Effort to Oppose Minimum-Wage Hike Ballot Measure

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State Policy News

Support Effort to Oppose Minimum-Wage Hike Ballot Measure

CACI members are urged to contribute to an issue committee that has been formed to oppose the minimum-wage increase ballot initiative that on Monday will take a major step closer to being qualified for the November ballot.

Journalist Joey Bunch reports in The Denver Post today that the Initiative 101’s advocates are expected to submit about 200,000 petition signatures Monday to the Office of the Colorado Secretary of State.  A ballot measure this year needs 98,492 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify

The current minimum wage is $8.31, and the ballot proposal would raise it to $12 per hour in four years.  The Federal minimum wage is $7.25.

The backers of the measure, Colorado Families for a Fair Wage, comprise some 35 organizations that include labor unions, liberal/progressive think tanks and social/economic-justice organizations.  Much of the $1.1 million of funding for Colorado Families for a Fair Wage, however, to date has come from out-of-state liberal/progressive organizations and unions.

The issue committee that has been formed to oppose Initiative 101 is called “Keep Colorado Working.”  The committee’s registration number with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is 20165031488.  An issue committee can accept unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations and non-corporate business entities.  Contributions to Keep Colorado Working will be filed with the Secretary of State’s Office and, therefore, will become public.

CACI members should send their contributions to:

Keep Colorado Working
2318 Curtis Street
Denver CO 80201

CACI members with questions about contributions to Keep Colorado Working should call Katie Behnke or Austin Metsch at the Starboard Group at 720-524-7332.

CACI members with questions about the minimum-wage issue should contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

For more information on Initiative 101, read:

Minimum-wage hike likely headed to Colorado ballot in November,” by Joey Bunch, The Denver Post, July 21st.

Colorado business groups launch campaign to defeat minimum-wage hike,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, July 19th.

CACI Board Opposes Oil-and-Gas Ballot Initiatives, Minimum Wage Hike Measure,” The CACI Capitol Report, June 30th.

Would Colorado minimum-wage hike lead to big job losses?” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, June 21st.

CACI Urges Members to Support Fight against Oil-and-Gas Ballot Initiatives

CACI members are urged to contribute to the issue committee that is opposing the two oil-and-gas ballot initiatives that, if approved by the voters this November, would severely damage the state’s oil-and-gas industry.

CACI opposes Initiatives 75 and 78, which are in the signature-gathering stage.  Petitions are due at the Secretary of State’s Office no later than August 8th.

Initiative 75 would transfer the authority to regulate oil-and-natural gas development from the State to local governments.  This would result in a Balkanized system of regulations across the Colorado and also would also allow local governments to take private property without compensating property owners.  This could lead to years of expensive litigation and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Initiative 78 would establish a 2,500-foot setback from occupied structures and areas of “special concern.”  Homeowners would not be able waive the required setback distance for their own home, and this initiative would interfere with a homeowner’s ability to do what he or she wished with their own land.  Such an extreme setback would make it impossible for companies to reach a great deal of available natural resources.

The issue committee is Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy IndependenceThe Secretary of State’s ID number is 20145026709.  An issue committee may receive unlimited contributions from individuals, companies and other political entities. Contributions are not tax deductible. Contributions are subject to disclosure under Colorado campaign finance law.

CACI urges its members to contribute to Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence.  Contributions can be mailed to:

Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence
P.O. Box 1776
Denver, CO 80203

CACI members who have questions about contributing to Protect Colorado should contact Mark Truax at 720.724.0298

For more information about the two initiatives, CACI members also can contact Dan O’Connell, CACI Director of Governmental Relations, at 303.866.9622

Internationally Known Intellectual Endorses Amendment 69, the $25 billion, Single-Payer, Health-Care Plan Opposed by CACI

Internationally known academic and intellectual Noam Chomsky has publicly endorsed Amendment 69, which will be on the November ballot, according to a recent article in The Colorado Independent.

The 87-year-old Chomsky joins Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (R) as perhaps the two most high-profile from the left end of the political spectrum to back the Colorado proposal.

Amendment 69, known as ColoradoCares, would create a quasi-public, single-payer health-care plan that would impose a $25 billion tax on employers, workers, and taxpayers.

Amendment 69 is opposed by Coloradans for Coloradans, an issue committee whose 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 Coloradans should 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 from an individual, a corporation or a non-corporate business entity.

For more information about Amendment 69, read:

Noam Chomsky supports Colorado’s universal healthcare ballot measure,” by Corey Hutchins, The Colorado Independent, July 19th.

Western Slope Club 20 group denounces ColoradoCare,” by Jacob Klopfenstein, The Durango Herald, July 9th.

Q&A: Amendment 69’s Impact on Employers and Workers Would Be Huge,” The CACI Colorado Capitol Report, June 10th.

No on Amendment 69: ColoradoCare would be too costly,” opinion by Denise Akromas Wentz, The Denver Post, April 1st.

Federal Policy News

CACI’s Federal Policy Council Explores Labor Issues & Lincoln Tech Campus

On Tuesday, CACI’s Federal Policy Council ventured off-site to the Lincoln Tech campus, re-branded from Lincoln College of Technology days.  CACI was hosted by Kelly Moore, the school’s newly-minted and highly experienced new Campus President, bringing 30 years’ higher ed experience to the college.  And while the Council focused on the merits of trade skills and addressing workforce challenges, the Council also touched on new Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rules (going into effect this December 1, 2016, see below), DOL’s proposed wage reporting rules (public comments being accepted until Aug. 15th), as well as court rulings on DOL’s “persuader rule.”

The Federal Policy Council group dove straight into issues facing Colorado’s workforce and how Lincoln Tech, as a trade school, pushes to address those needs.  Lincoln Tech does extensive outreach to local and regional companies needing technicians for HVAC, diesel and gasoline mechanics, welding, collision repair and auto body paint– with the result that they meet industry needs through tailored, company-specific and broad-spectrum programs.

Jen Hash, Senior Director of Admissions, helped paint a picture of Lincoln College students.  Roughly 25% of Lincoln Tech’s students are recent high school grads, while the remainder are older or second-career students facing career changes and juggling families, students changing fields of expertise, veterans looking to apply military experience to the civilian world, and even hobbyists looking to grow mechanical knowledge.

One way Lincoln Tech partners with business and industry, is by providing classes tailored to that specific company’s employees; through classes used to “license” a specific type of technician (think Bridgestone), plus day or night classes to provide students a career path that fits their schedule.  When asked what the student failure rate was, Ken Phipps, Director of Career Services said,

“This is an environment where students don’t get the chance to fail.  We are there advising and providing support through each step, starting from the day they apply.  In class, students focus on mastering one skill, one class at a time.  A typical class will demonstrate a skill, the students practice that skill, and it’s demonstrated again to reinforce what they’ve learned – over four to six weeks depending on that student’s “track.”  We’re there training them one-on-one before they even get the chance to fail.”

Lincoln Tech is very proud of what they give back to the Colorado community, and the accomplishment their students feel when they find ‘their place to learn.’  But the college faces increasingly severe challenges when it comes to federal regulations as a for-profit, private college.  If certain student to debt ratios are not met, the school can lose federal funding and students can lose access to certain forms of federal financial aid.  Under Moore’s leadership, Lincoln Tech is pushing forward to prepare students for rewarding careers, and CACI is glad to be able to work so closely with this wonderful community partner.

More detailed background information on the above-mentioned labor issues will be sent to Federal Policy Council members on Monday. Want to be added to Fed Council mailing list?  Interested in Federal policy issues facing Colorado business? Contact Leah Curtsinger, CACI Federal Policy Director at (303) 866-9641.