For media inquiries, contact Cynthia Meyer at CMeyer@cochamber.com.
DENVER – In response to Senate Bill 188 being amended and passed out of the Senate Finance Committee today, Senior Vice President of State and Federal Relations Loren Furman released the following statement:
“While we appreciate the efforts by the bill’s sponsors to improve upon this legislation, we are still left with major concerns with how this state-run program will function and the inequities it creates among employers and employees. Unfortunately, the amendments added today do not go far enough to address the concerns of the business community.
“We have continued to raise the issue of SB 188’s broad eligibility requirements, its failure to align with federal law, and the potential for a stacking of leave under the amended proposal. These problems have not been adequately resolved in the amended legislation.
“Furthermore, the ‘opt-out’ offered by the amended bill is insufficient to provide meaningful relief to employers. The minimum requirements are incredibly restrictive and costly, particularly for small business. Employers that can’t meet these requirements could drop their generous benefits that they currently offer, which will ultimately hurt the employee.
“The amended bill also creates disparities among employers and employees across the state since some employers and employees will have a choice to participate in the program and others will not. The disparities in the bill will more than likely result in a cost-shift for some employers and not others.
“Finally, we continue to have serious concerns about the financial solvency of this proposal and question some of the assumptions that have gone into the initial fiscal analyses. While this legislation is well-intentioned, a failure to accurately prepare for the costs and utilization of this program would have a detrimental impact on the state economy.”
A new report on the financial risks of SB 188 was recently released by the REMI Partnership, which cautioned that the utilization rate of this proposal has been underestimated and could set the program up for failure. Click here to view the report.
The Colorado Chamber of Commerce was created in 1965 based on the merger of the Colorado Chamber and the Colorado Manufacturers’ Association. It is the only business association in Colorado that works to improve the business climate for all sizes of business from a statewide, multi-industry perspective. As a private, non-profit organization, the Colorado Chamber’s work is funded solely by its members.