Colorado Chamber President Chuck Berry today presented the keynote address for the Virtual Annual Conference held by the Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s (CRMCA) and the Colorado Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (CSSGA).
Berry discussed what the federal and state elections mean for Colorado’s economy and for the concrete and aggregate mining industries. He also gave a preview of what the business community can expect in the upcoming legislative session.
The legislature is expected to convene for a special session in the coming weeks to pass a series of COVID-19 relief packages in which some small businesses in the industry may qualify for. While the special session is likely to be brief, legislators will convene again in January for the state’s regular 120-day legislative session.
“It’s an open question what will happen in the legislature in January and February,” Berry said, referring to a Colorado Supreme Court decision earlier this year ruling that the 120-day session limit does not have to run concurrently. This allows lawmakers to suspend the session and resume at a later date, which occurred this summer and may happen again if COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Colorado.
With state revenues declining from the economic fallout of COVID-19, Berry expects the legislature to potentially look to the business community to pay more in taxes to make up for it. While the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) helps to prevent increases in the tax rate paid by Coloradans and businesses, legislators still have the ability to repeal longstanding tax credits, exemptions and exclusions without voter approval
That’s what lawmakers attempted to do this summer with HB 1420, which would have cost the business community hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to an aggressive outreach campaign from businesses across the state, the bill was ultimately gutted – but similar efforts will likely occur when the legislature returns next year.
With so much uncertainty in approaching the 2021 legislative session, Berry emphasized how important it is for business organizations – like chambers of commerce and industry associations – to be working together to help pass good proposals and fight bad ones.
“There is power in numbers,” Berry said.
About CRMCA and CSSGA:
CRMCA represents the interests of Colorado’s ready mixed concrete industry. The CRMCA maintains a strong voice and presence for the industry on legislative matters, improves the quality of concrete through an extensive training and educational program, and increases the use of concrete through promotional efforts. Learn more by visiting https://www.crmca.org/.
CSSGA is a member-driven organization that works with state and local governments, regulatory agencies, and the Colorado community to continue improving and growing the aggregate mining industry. CSSGA also educates the aggregate community about environmentally friendly products and practices. Learn more by visiting https://cssga.org/.