What They Are Saying (Part 2): Public Officials, Business Groups Wary of FAMLI Bill Fiscal Solvency

Senate Bill 188, the paid leave insurance bill, is scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor today after several days of delaying debate. The Colorado Chamber of Commerce and other public and private sector organizations have raised serious concerns to lawmakers about the fiscal solvency of the proposed program.

What They Are Saying About the FAMLI Act (Part 2):

“Though well-intentioned, the FAMLI proposal is the largest and most expensive program of its kind in the nation. The cost imposed upon every employee and employer in the state, as well as state government, will significantly harm our economy. I urge the General Assembly to vote no on Senate Bill 19-188, and instead, conduct a thorough actuarial study of the program’s true costs, and propose a more defined, reasonable and affordable proposal that protects, rather than harms, our economy.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, April 22, 2019

“We’ve certainly had concerns with some of the language in the bill… From our perspective, any program would need to be actuarially sound and be a win for the business community as well as families,”
Gov. Jared Polis, April 23, 2019

“Manufacturers differ widely in terms of the benefits they can offer their workforce, and one-size-fits-all paid leave mandates are often more harmful than helpful to small businesses seeking cost effective ways to provide better benefits… SB 188 imposes a financial and practical burden that hits small manufacturers the hardest. Despite Colorado lawmakers’ good intentions, a blanket mandate that does not fit with existing workplace paid leave policies, that clashes with federal law and that creates heavy financial burdens on workers and small manufacturers is not the answer.”
National Association of Manufacturers, April 23, 2019

“There’s some scenarios where a highly successful program in terms of usage … put us in a hole that our premiums wouldn’t cover. I realize that we could take the entire day discussing this, but it’s a billion-dollar plan affecting all of our businesses.”
Sen. Bob Gardner, April 17, 2019

“Senate Bill 188 is a $1 billion or more tax increase that sets one-size-fits-all rules for paid time off of work, by law, and imposes them on all employers and employees regardless of an employer’s size, location, industry or the specific needs of a given workplace.”
Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, April 23, 2019

“We have 30 employees and they have different responsibilities. It would be difficult to replace them with a temporary worker.  And there’s opportunity for abuse in this bill. If it passes, I’d have to review the benefits I offer and possibly eliminate some of them.”
Dave Jeffrey, CEO of JPM Prototype, April 22, 2019

“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. The last thing we want is for that scenario [around the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund insolvency after the Great Recession] to be re-enacted.”
Loren Furman, Senior Vice President of State and Federal Relations for the Colorado Chamber, April 17, 2019

75+ Organizations Oppose Senate Bill 188:

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce has released a list of 75+ 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.

See Part 1: What They Are Saying: The FAMLI Bill is Bad for Businesses and Workers