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DENVER – The Colorado Chamber of Commerce is part of a coalition of public and private sector organizations that are voicing their concerns with Senate Bill 188, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act, which recently passed the Senate Finance Committee. The legislation creates a massive and costly state-run program at the expense of nearly every employee and business in Colorado.
What They Are Saying About the FAMLI Act:
“This bill takes a well-meaning philosophy and turns it into a liability for employers and employees that goes too far and is rife for abuse. No other state in the union has anything like the program proposed by SB 188… Proposed amendments fall short of seriously limiting qualifying individuals and events, because sponsors want this to appear as a gift to every person remotely linked to common human disruptions large and small.”
“EDITORIAL: Kill the FAMLI Leave proposal” – The Gazette Editorial Board, April 7, 2019.
“This [amendment] is being represented… as an opt-out provision. But I don’t see any of the codicils that are any different from the existing bill. So the answer is, you may opt-out if you have a program that is everything this bill does, in the way this bill does it. I don’t see how this is a meaningful opt-out.”
Senator Paul Lundeen, Colorado Senate Finance Committee Hearing, April 9, 2019
“There is strong reason to believe the assumptions behind SB-188 are questionable. Left unchecked, the use of these assumptions could set up the proposed paid leave program for failure. The cost of that failure, measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars every year, would be felt across the state budget and across the economy. There are also legitimate concerns about how much the paid leave program will add to the tax burden of employers and employees in Colorado, since the funds for the program will be taken directly from their payrolls. The additional costs to businesses, and the loss of spending power from employees, could lead to significant job losses and greater job insecurity.”
“Senate Bill 188: Analysis of Cost and Risk” – REMI Partnership, April 9, 2019
“The money has to come from somewhere. This is very expensive and either employers or employees or all of us through tax dollars will have to pay for it.”
Jen Waller, Colorado Banking Association, April 9, 2019
“Colorado businesses and employees alike would greatly benefit from a state-run program allowing workers to take time off to care for newborns or loved ones in medical crises — but not Senate Bill 188… The biggest problem, however, is the funding mechanism for this insurance. Proponents have dubbed regularly docked wages to fund this program ‘fees.’ Clearly, under the eyes of Colorado law, it’s a tax.”
“EDITORIAL: Badly needed FAMLI paid-leave measure goes from bad to worse — start over” – The Sentinel Editorial Board, April 8, 2019.
“While we agree that paid leave is an important benefit, we also believe a flexible program that [incentivizes] employers to provide more leave and balances costs and benefits is a far better approach than a one-size-fits-all mandate.”
Angie Anderson, President of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, March 26, 2019
“Our sense is you should be incentivizing businesses that have family and company leave. That will start to go away because businesses can’t handle both… There are real concerns for our competitiveness for future businesses. We will be in the minority of states who have enacted this.”
Diane Schwenke, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, March 30, 2019
“I understand the intentions of the lawmakers, and I don’t even think the premiums are out of line, but this bill is not ready to move forward. The scope of coverage is way too broad, and the opportunity for fraud is huge. I urge lawmakers to slow down, bring a diverse group of stakeholders to the table and troubleshoot this bill before moving it forward, even one more inch.”
“Inman: Family leave bill encourages fraud; here’s how” – Joni Inman, Colorado Women’s Alliance, March 28, 2019
“They are asking all of us to depend on this program. I know ‘study’ is a bad word. But if there is a time to work together and really make sure we’re solving the problem … this is the time we should be working together.”
Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, April 2, 2019
70+ Organizations Oppose Senate Bill 188:
The Colorado Chamber of Commerce has released a list of 70+ public and private entities opposed to Senate Bill 188. Representing a wide range of industries, thousands of businesses, all 272 cities and towns, and over one million workers statewide, these organizations support paid family and medical leave in Colorado but have joined together to express major concerns about the provisions in SB 188. To view the full list, please click here.
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.