By Ed Sealover for the Denver Business Journal
Colorado’s proposed paid-family-leave insurance program could tilt quickly into insolvency if projections about the number of workers who will use it are off by just 2%, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Council — an analysis that left business groups urging sponsors again to rethink the bill and led proponents to decry criticism that is based upon a “worst-case scenario.”
Loren Furman, senior vice president of state and federal relations for the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, said the projection concerns business leaders because it looks “scarily familiar” to the series of fee increases employers had to pay to bring the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund back up to solvency at the end of the Great Recession. Such mandatory payment increases can divert spending from expansion or hiring on the employer side — and, in the case of this new program, could take money out of workers’ paychecks.
“We’re concerned that we get three years down the road on this program and we’re going to see a hit to both us and our employees,” Furman said after the committee hearing. “The last thing we want is for that scenario (around the UITF) to be re-enacted.”