Colorado Capitol Report

House Committee Approves Radical Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Reduction Bill


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House Committee Approves Radical Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Reduction Bill

On Wednesday, the House Transportation and Energy Committee approved HB-1274 on a partisan 8-5 vote.

The bill now goes to the House Floor for Second Reading consideration.  The bill, if it passes the House, will likely die in the GOP-controlled Senate.  All five Republicans on the House Transportation and Energy Committee voted against the bill.

Introduced on March 7th, the bill will be examined by CACI’s Energy and Environment Council on Wednesday, March 28th, to determine the Council’s position.

Here is the legislature’s summary of the bill, “Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050”:

The bill requires that, by the year 2050, statewide greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by at least 80% of the levels of greenhouse gas emissions that existed in the year 2005.

The bill’s sponsors in the House are Majority Leader KC Becker (D-Boulder) and Representative Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village).

Statehouse observers see this bill as one of the “political messaging” bills that surface in an election year.

The measure’s Fiscal Note provides the details:

Summary of Legislation

This bill requires the statewide emissions of greenhouse gases to be reduced by at least 80 percent by the year 2050 compared to 2005 levels.  It also requires Colorado to have statewide programs in place to meet the 80 percent target.

Background

Governor Hickenlooper issued Executive Order D 2017-015, which included a statewide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 percent by 2025, as compared to 2005 levels.  Greenhouse gases refer to a number of compounds, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons, that trap heat in the atmosphere, creating the greenhouse effect.

House Bill 13-1293 created a climate change position in the executive branch.  That staff person is currently located under the Colorado Water Conservation Board in the Department of Natural Resources and is responsible for the development and update of a climate action plan with recommendations for addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The plan is required to incorporate previous action plans developed by the state and goals and directives contained in executive orders by the Governor.

The most recent Colorado Climate Plan, released January 31, 2018, was developed collaboratively by a number of state agencies and stakeholders.  The state agencies include the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the Department of Local Affairs. The plan includes strategies and recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the economy.

State Expenditures

This bill will increase workload and expenditures for state agencies beginning in FY 2018-19 but does not give specific direction to any agency.  The fiscal note assumes that the agencies that developed the climate plan will continue to work together with stakeholders to develop strategies and state programs designed to accomplish the 80 percent goal.  To implement those strategies and programs, as well as to develop better tools for measuring emissions, the affected agencies are expected to request funding through the annual budget process.

For more information about HB-1274 and other energy-and-environment bills and issues, contact Bill Skewes, CACI Contract Lobbyist.


Chair of Senate Health & Human Services Committee Visits with CACI Health Care Council Members

Bill Skewes, Wes Skiles, and Sen. Jim Smallwood

During the CACI Health Care Council this week, Senator Jim Smallwood (R- Douglas), Chair of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee, spoke to the Council on the health care legislation that he has been working on, including his sponsorship of Senate Bill 27 which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor in January.  The new law allows Colorado’s 78,000 nurses to participate in a 25-state compact that allows them to work across state lines.

Senator Smallwood also spoke on the stand-alone emergency room legislation moving through the legislative process as well as the many transparency bills that have been introduced this Session.  These bills seek to address transparency of health care costs for all sectors of the health care industry.  The Council also discussed several pieces of legislation and took positions on that legislation including:

  • HB 1279 Electronic Prescribing Controlled Substances (by Representative Esgar & Senators Priola & Moreno) – SUPPORT
  • HB 1007 Substance Use Disorder Payment & Coverage (by Reps. Kennedy & Singer & Senators Lambert & Jahn) – OPPOSE
  • HB 1009 Diabetes Drug Pricing Transparency Act 2018 (by Representative Roberts & Senator Donovan) – OPPOSE
  • HB 1097 Patient Choice of Pharmacy (by Representatives Catlin & Danielson & Senators Coram & Todd) – COUNCIL OPPOSED AND BILL  DIED in the SENATE BUSINESS & LABOR COMMITTEE
  • Out-of-network Provider Charges bill (by Senator Gardner) – POSITION PENDING

Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Call for Continued Free Trade

(Denver and Toronto, March 21, 2018) –  The Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry (CACI) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) are advocating together in support of the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), recognizing the importance of trade between Ontario and Colorado.

The interdependent nature of trade in North America and mutual benefits from cross-border trade partnerships are key drivers for a renewed NAFTA. Trade between Colorado and Ontario remains strong with $1.4 billion dollars at risk in key sectors such as furniture, bread, wood, beef, pork and water.

“As the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, CACI urges our Congressional delegation to support the adoption and implementation of a modernized NAFTA to facilitate robust trade between Colorado businesses and our Canadian neighbors,” said CACI President Chuck Berry.  He added that Canada is Colorado’s #1 foreign trading partner, representing $4.1 billion annually, mostly in agriculture, energy, equipment and machinery and minerals.  Studies show that just last year, 141,200 Colorado jobs relied on trade with Canada.

CACI and OCC would like to see governments to continue to work collaboratively together on NAFTA and cross-border partnerships, ensuring a renewed agreement that is beneficial for both economies.

“Free trade provides economic benefits and strong cross-border relationships for both Ontario and Colorado. Our Chamber Network supports a modernized NAFTA that still protects millions of jobs in an integrated supply chain,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “The OCC will be working collaboratively with the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry, our Chamber Network, and Premier Wynne for a renewed agreement that is positive for business and ensures competitiveness for both our economies.”

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For more information please contact:

Dan Pilcher
The Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry (CACI)
(303) 748-1115

Jessica Georgakopoulos
Director of Communications
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
647-243-3556
jessicageorgakopoulos@occ.ca


CACI Day at the Capitol - March 22

Members of CACI’s Execs Advocacy Class of 2018 joined business and chamber leaders for CACI Day at the Capitol. Photo by Evan Semon

It was an exciting day at the State Capitol: Business leaders representing chambers of commerce and companies from across the state of Colorado gathered to hear presentations by CACI president, and former Speaker of the House, Chuck Berry before observing the Colorado House of Representatives in action.  Afterwards, CACI members participated in a discussion regarding what Colorado businesses need to know about opioid abuse—an issue that has named a “national crisis” by the president. The discussion was led by a panel of experts in workers’ compensation insurance, employment law and epidemiology, and was unexpectedly cut-short due to a building evacuation. It turns out our neighbors from the Colorado Ag Council triggered the Capitol’s fire alarm system while preparing cuisines made from local agricultural products.


How to Petition For Exclusion of Aluminum & Steel Product Tariffs

Late on March 16th, the U.S. Commerce Department released details for how businesses and manufacturers can request (or object) to product exclusions under the most recent Presidential Executive Order for ad valorem tariffs of aluminum (10%) and steel (25%) through E.O. #9704 & E.O #9705.

To apply for this exclusion, a product must be “determined not to be produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of satisfactory quality, or based upon specific national security interests.”

Worth noting:

  • Exclusion requests MUST be submitted through the www.regulations.gov website, but there is no time limit to submit
  • TO MAKE A REQUEST: Requestor must use said product in their business activities & submit either an EIN or Customs & Border Protection Import Number along with request.
  • Objections to exclusions have 30 days to comment once exclusions are posted to either docket, however, and any individual or company may file an objection to an exclusion.
  • The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is working on a separate proposal for potential country exclusions.

The Commerce Department is offering informational pages on steel products & aluminum products, but if you would like to submit a request for exclusion, click through to the aluminum docket (BIS-2018-0002) or the steel docket (BIS-2018-0006).

If you have any questions on this or other federal issues, please feel free to contact Leah Curtsinger, CACI Federal Policy Director at (303) 866-9641.


Clean Power Plan Repeal Listening Session

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a listening session about the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) next Tuesday, March 27th in Gillette, WY.  CACI’s Leah Curtsinger will be testifying on behalf of our members.

For those interested in attending or participating in the EPA’s Region 8 listening session here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)
Location: Gillette College Technical Education Center, 3251 South 4-J Road, Gillette, WY 82718


Lorentzen Appointed New CACI Federal Policy Council Chair

In his capacity as the Chair of the CACI Board of Directors and pursuant to the CACI By-Laws, Jon Anderson, Maven Law Group, has appointed CACI Board Member Leland Lorentzen, President, RLAC LLC, to serve as the new Chair of the CACI Federal Policy Council.

Leland will replace Board Member Donn Schaible, President, Wright & McGill Company, who is stepping down as Council Chair.

Lorentzen is an At-Large Member of the CACI Executive Committee who served as 2014-2015 Board Chair.

Donn will pass the Chair’s Gavel to Leland at the April 3rd meeting of the Council.  The Council meeting will focus on President Trumps new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the effect on Colorado companies.

The CACI Federal Policy Council works closely with Colorado’s Congressional Delegation and their staff, along with Federal regulatory agency officials to inform and educate them on the importance of policies, laws and regulations critical to maintaining a healthy business climate in Colorado.  Through the Federal Policy Council, CACI responds to the needs of its members as well as being the go-to resource for the Delegation on matters affecting the business community.

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


Save-The-Date! April 3rd: Federal Policy Council

CACI’s next Federal Policy Council will be April 3rd!  Join us for a panel discussion on:

“TARIFFS:  What they are & why they’ll change the price of doing business in CO”

                        Hear from our experts at Miller Coors, Boeing & others!


CACI's Legislative Agenda

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

Health Care Council Bills Bill Title/Description Council Position
HB 1007 by Rep. Kennedy & Sen. Lambert Substance Use Disorder Payment & CoverageMonitor/Passed
HB 1009 by Rep. Roberts & Sen. DonovanDiabetes Drug Pricing Transparency Act 2018Oppose/Dead
HB 1097 by Reps. Catlin, Danielson & Sens. Coram, Todd Patient Choice Of PharmacyOppose/Dead
HB 1279 by Rep. Esgar & Sens. Priola, MorenoElectronic Prescribing Controlled SubstancesSupport/Dead
HB 1311 by Reps. Rankin, HamnerSingle Geographic Rating Area Individual Health PlanOppose/Dead
HB 1358 by Reps. Foote, Beckman & Sens. Lundberg, AguilarHealth Care Charges Billing Required DisclosuresOppose/Dead
HB 1370 by Reps. Esgar, Singer & Sen. JahnDrug Coverage Health Plan Oppose as Introduced/Dead
HB 1392 by Reps. Kennedy, Rankin & Sens. Coram, DonovanState Innovation Waiver Reinsurance ProgramOppose/Dead
SB 136 by Neville & Reps. Kraft-Tharp, SiasHealth Insurance Producer Fees And Fee DisclosureSupport/Signed by Governor
SB 023 by Sen. Martinez Humenik & Rep. Ginal Promote Off-label Use Pharmaceutical ProductsOppose/Dead

 

Tax Council Bills Bill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
HB 1022 by Reps. Sias, Kraft-Tharp & Sen. Jahn, Requiring DOR to do RFI for Sales Tax Simplification SystemSupport/Signed by Governor
HB 1185 by Reps. Kraft-Tharp, Wist & Sens. Neville, MorenoMarket Sourcing For Business Income Tax ApportionmentSupport/Passed
HB 1036 by Rep. Leonard & Sen. NevilleReduction of Business Personal Property TaxSupport/Dead
HB 1201 by Rep. Thurlow & Sen. Coram Severance Tax Voter-Approved Revenue ChangeSupport w/ Amendment/Dead
HB 1387 by Rep. Rankin & Sen. Moreno Eliminate Oil & Gas Abatement Refund InterestOppose/Dead

 

Labor & Employment
Council Bills
Bill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
HB 1001 by Reps. Winter, Gray & Sens.
Fields, Donovan
Family and Medical Leave Insurance ProgramOppose/Dead
HB 1033 by Rep. Weissman & Sen. CoramEmployee Leave To Participate In Elections Neutral/Dead
HB 1067 by Reps. Melton, SalazarRight To Rest Act Oppose/Dead
HB 1128 by Reps. Wist, Bridges & Sens. Lambert, CourtProtections For Consumer Data Privacy Neutral as Amended
HB 1250 by Reps.Kraft-Tharp, Sias & Sen. PriolaAnalysis to Improve Compliance With Rules By BusinessSupport/Passed
HB 1256 by Reps. Duran, Herod & Sen. Gardner Sunset Continue Civil Rights Division And CommissionSupport as Amended
HB 1261 by Rep. WeissmanColorado Arbitration Fairness ActOppose/Dead
HB 1262 by Reps. Jackson & Roberts Arbitrations Services Provider Transparency ActOppose/Dead
HB 1298 by Reps. Pettersen, Bridges & Sens. Donovan, ToddColorado Secure Savings PlanOppose/Dead
HB 1368 by Reps. Danielson, Melton & Sens. Merrifield, MorenoLocal Control Of Minimum WageOppose/Dead
HB 1377 by Reps. Coleman, PettersenProhibit Seeking Salary InformationOppose/Dead
HB 1378 by Reps. Danielson, Buckner & Sens. Donovan, FieldsEqual Pay For Equal Work Act Oppose/Dead
SB 44 by Sen. Crowder & Rep. Landgraf Veterans Employment Preference By Private Employer Neutral/Dead
SB 178 by Sen. Smallwood & Rep. Kraft-TharpSimilar Coverage Independent Commercial VehiclesSupport/Passed
SB 193 by Sen. CoramLimit State Agency Occupational RegulationsOppose/Dead

 

Energy & Environment
Council Bills
Bill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
HB 1071 by Rep. Salazar Regulate Oil Gas Operations Protect Public SafetyOppose/Dead
HB 1157 by Reps. Becker, Singer Increased Reporting Oil And Gas Incidents

Oppose/Dead
HB 1215 by Rep. ArndtSafe Disposal Naturally Occur Radioactive Material Oppose As Introduced/Dead
HB 1271 by Reps. Gray, Willett & Sen. TateUC Electric Utilities Economic Development RatesSupport/Passed
HB 1274 by Reps. Becker, Bridges & Sen. KerrReduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050Oppose/Dead
HB 1289 by Reps. Foote, Young & Sen. JonesExempt Local Gov’t School Districts Statutory PoolingOppose/Dead
HB 1297 by Reps. Winter, Pettersen & Sen. DonovanClimate Change Preparedness & Resiliency Oppose/Dead
HB 1301 by Reps. Roberts, McLachlanProtect Water Quality Adverse Mining ImpactsOppose/Dead
HB 1352 by Reps. Foote, Gray & Sens. Jones, Aguilar Oil And Gas Facilities Distance From School Property Oppose/Dead
HB 1400 by Reps. Becker, McKean & Sens. Scott, JahnIncrease Fees Stationary Sources Air PollutantsSupport/Passed
HB 1419 by Reps. Foote, Jackson & Sens.Jones, KefalasOil Gas Operators Disclosures Wellhead IntegrityOppose/Dewad
SB 009 by Sens. Priola, Fenberg Allow Electric Utility Customers Energy Storage EquipmentNeutral/Signed by Governor
SB 047 by Sen. Marble & Rep. SaineRepeal Tax Credits Innovative VehiclesOppose/Dead
SB 063 by Sen. Jones & Rep. Benavidez Oil Gas Higher Financial Assurance Reclamation RequirementsOppose/Dead
SB 064 by Sen. Jones & Rep. FooteRequire 100% Renewable Energy By 2035 Oppose/Dead
SB 167 by Sens. Scott, Donovan & Reps. Winter, Saine Enforce Requirements 811 Locate Underground Facilities Neutral/Passed
SB 230 by Sen. Marble & Rep. SaineModify Laws Drilling Units Pooling Orders Support/Passed
SB 245 by Sen. CookeAllow Natural Occurring Radioactive Material RulesSupport/Passed

 

Governmental Affairs
Council Bills
Bill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 062 by Sen. MorenoSnow Removal Service Liability LimitationOppose/Passed
SB 230 by Sen. Marble & Rep. SaineModify Laws Drilling Units Pooling OrdersSupport/Passed
HB 1392 by Reps. Kennedy, Rankin & Sens. Coram, DonovanState Innovation Waiver Reinsurance ProgramOppose/Dead
HB 1128 by Reps. Wist, Bridges & Sens. Court, LambertProtections For Consumer Data PrivacySupport as Amended
SCR 004 by Sens.Grantham, FenbergCongressional Redistricting Support/Passed
SCR 005 by Sens.Grantham, FenbergLegislative RedistrictingSupport/Passed

 

General Business Issues Bills Bill Title/DescriptionCouncil Position
SB 001 by Sens. Cooke, Baumgardner & Reps Carver, Buck Transportation Infrastructure FundingSupport/Passed