Colorado Capitol Report

At Long Last: Bipartisan Transportation Funding Bill Introduced Amid Bipartisan Concerns

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State Policy News

At Long Last: Bipartisan Transportation Funding Bill Introduced Amid Bipartisan Concerns

Following more than half-a-year of negotiations between Democrat House Speaker Crisanta Duran (Denver) and Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham (Canon City), a bill addressing long-term transportation funding was introduced Wednesday with all interested and involved parties cautioning that the introduced bill is just the opening gambit in what promises to be a political chess game with the session now half over.

The 20-year bill, which needs voter approval this November, would increase the state sales tax from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent to generate about $677 million per year.  The proposal also would use the revenue stream from the sales tax increase to allow the issuance of $3.5 Billion in bonds to quickly kick-start priority projects.

In addition to the two leaders, the sponsors of 40-page HB-1242 include the chair of each chamber’s transportation committee: Representative Diane Mitsch Bush (D-Steamboat Springs) and Senator Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulfur Springs).

The bill was assigned to the House Transportation and Energy Committee, and is scheduled for March 22nd for its first hearing.  A fiscal note has not yet been issued for the bill.

Here’s the bill summary:

Section 15 of the bill requires a ballot question to be submitted to the voters of the state at the November 2017 statewide election that seeks approval for the state to temporarily increase the rate of the state sales and use tax for 20 years beginning in 2018. If the voters approve the temporary sales and use tax rate increase, the new revenue generated is allocated solely for transportation infrastructure funding purposes, with specific projects to be funded required to be included in the 2017 ballot information booklet provided to the voters of the state, as follows:

  • $300 million annually to the state highway fund for use by the department of transportation (CDOT); and
  • Of the remaining new revenue:
  • 70% to counties and municipalities in equal total amounts; and
  • 30% to a newly created multimodal transportation options fund (fund).
  • If the voters approve the temporary state sales and use tax rate increase:
  • CDOT may issue up to a specified amount of transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) for the purpose of funding transportation projects that are part of CDOT’s strategic transportation investment program and are on CDOT’s priority list for funding and the transportation commission must covenant that amounts it allocates on an annual basis to pay TRANs shall be paid: First, from $50 million from any legally available money under its control other than the new sales and use tax revenue; next, from the new sales and use tax revenue; and last, if necessary, from any other legally available money under its control any amount needed for payment of the TRANs until the TRANs are fully repaid;
  • The revenue allocations to counties and municipalities are further allocated to each county and municipality in accordance with certain existing statutory formulas used to allocate highway users tax fund (HUTF) money to each county and municipality;
  • The existing statutory requirement that at least 10% of the sales and use tax net revenue and other general fund revenue that may be transferred or appropriated to the HUTF and subsequently credited to the state highway fund must be expended for transit purposes of transit-related capital improvements is repealed;
  • A transportation options account and a pedestrian and active transportation account are created in the fund and the transportation commission is required to designate the percentages of fund revenue to be credited to each account subject to the limitations that for any given fiscal year no more than 75% of the revenue may be credited to the transportation options account and at least 25% of the revenue must be credited to the pedestrian and active transportation account;
  • A multimodal transportation options committee of gubernatorial appointees representing transit agencies, transportation planning organizations, local governments, and CDOT is created as a type 1 agency within CDOT for the purpose of allocating the money in the transportation options account of the fund for transportation options projects throughout the state. Under the supervision and guidance of the committee, the transit and rail division of CDOT is required to solicit, receive, and evaluate proposed transportation options projects and propose funding for interregional transportation options projects. Any transportation options project receiving funding from the transportation options account of the fund must also be funded by at least an equal total amount of local government, regional transportation authority, or transit agency funding.
  • CDOT is required to allocate the money in the pedestrian and active transportation account of the fund for projects for transportation infrastructure that is designed for users of nonmotorized mobility-enhancing equipment;
  • Transfers of 2% of general fund revenue to the HUTF that are scheduled under current law to be made for state fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 are eliminated;
  • The state road safety surcharges imposed on motor vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less are reduced for the same period during which the rates of the state sales and use taxes are increased. The resulting reduction in state fee revenue is taken entirely from the share of such fee revenue that is kept by the state so that county and municipal allocations of such revenue are not reduced.
  • CDOT must annually report to the joint budget committee, legislative audit committee, house transportation and energy committee, and senate transportation committee regarding its use of TRANs proceeds and must post the reports and certain user-friendly project-specific information on its website; and
  • The transportation revenue anticipation notes citizen oversight committee is created to provide oversight of the expenditure by the department of the proceeds of additional TRANs. The committee must annually report to the transportation legislation review committee regarding its activities and findings.

For more information about transportation funding and HB-1242, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

For news media coverage of the bill, read:

Conservatives rip transportation tax hike, reflecting deep split among Republican leaders,” by Brian Eason and John Frank, The Denver Post, March 9th.

Colorado transportation bill gets criticism from conservatives, praise from business groups,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, March 9th.

At last, Colorado lawmakers get serious about our besieged roads,” editorial, The Denver Post, March 9th.

GOP Senate prez under fire for state transportation tax plan,” by Marianne Goodland, The Colorado Independent, March 9th.

Colorado transportation funding bill arrives, calling for sales-tax hike, $3.5B in bonds,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, March 8th.

Lawmakers draft bill that relies on sales tax hike to pay for state’s transportation needs,” by Marianne Goodland, The Colorado Independent, March 8th.

Colorado’s bad roads are costing drivers more than frustration and stress,” by Hayley Sanchez, The Denver Post, March 1st.

19 states have raised gas taxes since 2013.  In Colorado, Republicans want to cut them,” by Brian Eason, The Denver Post, February 6th.


CACI’s Cybersecurity Dinner with the U.S. Department of Justice

On February 28th CACI hosted a Cybersecurity Dinner with the Department of Justice sponsored by Coalfire Systems and US Chamber of Commerce. Our guest speaker was Acting Assistant Attorney General  for National Security, Department of Justice, Mary McCord. The conversation focused around how the national security threat landscape and the Justice Department is trying to mitigate threats and protect our critical infrastructure, financial security and the innovations that power the American economy, how public-private partnerships can achieve shared goals, and the importance of collaboration and information sharing regarding cyber-incidents and best practices for working with the government before, during and after a cyber breach.

David Tabor, CACI Senior Vice President of Business Partnerships and moderator of the evening, commented, “I had three key takeaways.  First, that the Department of Justice and FBI work closely and constructively with businesses to prevent or resolve breaches.  Second, a greater awareness of current threats and methods of attack.  Third, I left quite concerned about how our increasingly IoT-connected world increases vulnerability from cyber security threats that we’ll have to protect against.”

CACI member executives were joined by the US Attorney’s Office as well as the Denver FBI to discuss how industry and government can better partner with each other to tackle cyber issues.

Ardent Mills hosted CACI Manufacturers this week

On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, CACI’s Manufacturing Leadership Group of roughly 25 Colorado manufacturers and supporters toured Ardent Mills, the nation’s largest flour miller. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Ardent Mills is a joint venture between ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS. Ardent Mills offers the industry’s broadest range of flours, mixes, blends and specialty products supported by more than 40 flour mills and bakery-mix facilities along with a specialty bakery and Mobile Innovation Center, all located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information about the Manufacturing Leadership Group, please contact Dave Tabor, Senior Vice President of Business Partnerships at (303) 866-9650.

CACI to present the Skunkworks Innovation Award

Please join CACI on  Thursday, April 13th at the ART Hotel from 5:00-8:00 PM  for the 2017 Colorado Manufacturing Awards presented by CompanyWeek and Manufacturer’s Edge.


CACI and Manufacturer’s Edge are co-sponsoring the Skunkworks Innovation Award. This award is to recognize mid-to-large sized manufacturing companies who, through an internal effort, develop breakthroughs in their market space, industry, or product category.  It’s likely the result of a dedicated team or department that sets out to create something new or solve a particularly thorny problem.

Click Here for Event Details & Registration

CACI’s Legislative Agenda

Below is a list of bills and their status on which CACI Policy Councils and the Board of Directors have taken positions.  For more information on the bills, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

Energy & Environment Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 14 by Sen. Baumgardner/Rep. Becker, J.Inspection requirements/Underground TanksSupport
SB 89 by Sens. Fenberg & LundbergInstallation Electricity Storage SystemsOppose/Dead
SB 145 by Sen. Fenberg & Rep. FooteElectric Utility Distribution Acquisition PlanOppose/Dead
SB 188 by Sen. MarbleRepeal Income Tax Credit Motor VehiclesOppose/Dead
HB 1227 by Reps Winter & Sen. PriolaElectric Demand-Side Mngt Program ExtensionSupport
SB 271 by Sen. Cooke & Rep. PabonInvestor Owned Utility Cost Recovery ProgramNeutral as Amended
HB 1336 by Reps. Young & FooteAdditional Protections/Forced PoolingOppose/Dead
HB 1256 by Rep. FooteOil & Gas Set-Backs/SchoolsOppose/Dead
SJM 005 by Sen. Jones & Rep. FooteReduce Energy SubsidiesOppose


Health Care Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 003 by Sen. Smallwood & Rep. NevilleRepeal of CO Health Benefit ExchangeMonitor
SB 57 by Sen. GuzmanHospital Provider Fee EnterpriseSupport/Dead
SB 88 by Sen. Holbert & Rep. HootenNetwork of ProvidersNeutral /Signed by Gov
SB 151 by Sen. Crowder & Rep. GinalConsumer Access to Hlth Care/IntermediariesOppose/Dead
SB 206 by Sen. Gardner & Rep. SingerOut-of-Network Providers PaymentsOppose/Dead
HB 1236 by Rep. Kennedy & Sen. CoramAnnual Report on Hospital ExpendituresOppose/Dead
HB 1247 by Rep. Danielson & Sen. SonnenbergPatient Choice Health CareOppose/Dead
HB 1286 by Rep. Esgar & Sen. CrowderState Employee Health Carrier RequirementsOppose/Dead
HB 1318 by Rep. Ginal & Sen. CrowderAnnual Report Pharmaceutical Costs DataOppose/Dead


Labor & Employment Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 001 by Sen. Neville & Rep. NevilleAlleviate Fiscal Impact of State RegulationsSupport/Dead
HB 1001 by Rep. BucknerParental Leave for Academic ActivitiesNeutral/Dead
SB 186 by Sen. Tate & Rep. CarverReduce Regulatory Burden Rules on BusinessSupport/Dead
HB 1269 by Rep. Danielson/Nordberg & Sen. DonovanDiscussing Salaries Among EmployeesNeutral
HB 1290 by Rep. PettersenRetirement Savings MandateOppose/Dead
HB 1254 by Rep. K. Becker & Sen. KaganRemoval of Cap on Non-Economic DamagesOppose
HB 1305 by Rep. Foote & Sen. GuzmanLimits on Job Applicant Criminal History InquiriesOppose/Dead
HB 1307 by Rep. WinterFamily & Medical Leave Wage ReplacementOppose/Dead
SB 276 by Sen. Tate & Rep. TateAlleviate Fiscal Impact of State RegulationsSupport
HB 1314 by Reps. Salazar & MeltonColorado Right to RestOppose/Dead


Tax Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 009 by Sen. CrowderIncrease Per-Schedule Exemption on BPPTSupport
HB 1049 by Rep. ThurlowElimination of Interest/Tax AbatementsNeutral as Amended
HB 1063 by Rep. Leonard/Sen. NevilleConcerning Reduction in BPPTSupport/Dead
HB 1090 by Rep. Kraft-Tharpe/Sen. GardnerContinuation Advanced Industry Tax CreditSupport
SB 112 by Sen. Neville & Rep. PabonIntergovernmental Tax DisputesSupport/Signed by Gov.
HB 1216 by Rep. Kraft-Tharpe/Sen. NevilleSales & Use Tax Simplification Task ForceSupport


Governmental Affairs Council BillsBill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 191 by Sen. Tate & Rep. Wist, WillettMarket Based Rates/Interest on JudgmentsSupport/Dead
SB 213 by Sen. HillAutomated Driving Motor VehiclesSupport
HB 1254 by Rep. KC Becker & Sen. KaganRemoval of Caps on Non-Economic DamagesOppose/Dead
HB 1309 by Rep. Jackson & Sen. GuzmanDocumentary Fee To Fund Affordable HousingOppose/Dead


CACI Board of Directors’ BillsBill Title/DescriptionBoard Position
SB 45 by Sen. Grantham & Rep. DuranConst. Defect Claim Allocation of Defense CostsSupport
SB 155 by Sen. Tate & Rep. SaineStatutory Definition of ConstructionSupport
SB 156 by Sen. Hill & Rep. WistHOA Const. Defect Lawsuit Approval TimelinesSupport/Dead
SB 157 by Sen. Williams & Rep. MeltonConst. Defect Actions Notice Vote ApprovalSupport/Dead
HB 1169 by Rep. Leonard & Sen. TateConst. Defect Litigation Builder's Right To RepairSupport/Dead
HB 1242 by Speaker Duran & Prez. GranthamNew Transportation Infrastructure FundingSupport/Dead
SB 267 by Sen. Sonnenberg & Rep. K. BeckerSustainability of Rural Colorado (Hosp Provider)Support
HB 1279 by Rep. Garnett and Sen. GuzmanConst. Defect Actions Notice Vote ApprovalSupport