In this Capitol Report:
Colorado Chamber Files Statement in Opposition to State Mandated Employee Traffic Reduction Program
Today, the Colorado Chamber of Commerce has filed a Pre-Hearing Statement with the Air Quality Control Commission in opposition to its proposed rule implementing a State mandated “Employee Traffic Reduction Program.” This program as currently proposed will directly impact businesses across the State with employees needing to travel to and from their place of employment to fulfill their employment obligations. The Colorado Chamber has convened a coalition of its members and business partners to respond to this proposed rule through a pre-hearing statement. Below is a list of the Colorado Chamber’s policy concerns and clarifications needed that are outlined in the Pre-Hearing Statement:
Policy Concerns with Proposed Rule:
- The stated emission benefits of ETRP are inflated in the Economic Impact Analysis. By overstating potential emission benefits, the proposed program underestimates the cost per ton of GHG emission reductions achieved.
- Cost to the Division not realistically included;
- Cost of electrical vehicles and the generation of the electricity necessary to power;
- Recommend a sunset period and/or annual review of ETRP Program by the CO General Assembly;
- The proposed mandatory program raises equity concerns because the program does not account for the significant differences between rural and urban communities and the ability of employees and employers in more rural areas to comply;
- Request an increase from 100 employees per job stie to 250, as suggested by the RAQC;
- An incentivized voluntary program would avoid numerous legal and regulatory concerns, while still delivering air quality and climate action benefits
- Buying “carbon credits” in exchange for SOV credits;
- Tax incentives for companies complying;
- Consideration of potential exemptions, i.e., for essential workers/ workers who are unable to work from home/ increased flexibility for employers to define a certain percentage of employees as essential – based on coalition feedback we would like this exemption to include anyone outlined as essential by Governor Polis during the pandemic AND anyone who cannot do their job from home
- Consideration for geographic exemptions based on locations that do not have public transportation options currently available.
Clarification needed on Proposed Rule:
- Applicability to construction – how are “field workers” defined;
- What will the penalties/ fee structure look like? When will that be determined?
- Is the survey meant to include pre-pandemic travel patterns vs current travel patterns? – noting may employers are beginning or planning employees returning to the office part or full time.
Rulemaking Schedule & Deadlines:
- July 9th – Deadline for Pre-Hearing Statements
- July 19th – Prehearing Conference
- July 29th – Deadline for Rebuttal Statements
Please contact Katie Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions/concerns or to be added to the Colorado Chamber’s coalition on this matter.
Governor Signs New Data Privacy Bill Into Law with Caveat
This week, Governor Polis signed Senate Bill 190 implementing a new law on data privacy requirements for businesses that collect data from consumers in Colorado with the intent of protecting consumers from “fraud, misuse, or abuse of the data.” However, he also issued a statement with the bill signing stating that more modifications needed to be made to the new law during the 2022 Legislative Session. A copy of the Governor’s statement can be found here.