In this Capitol Report:
Initial Steps Begin on Implementation of Family & Medical Leave Program
This week, the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment held a stakeholder meeting to discuss next steps on the Family & Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) rulemaking and implementation process. The FAMLI ballot initiative known as Proposition 118 passed during the November 2020 election since legislation had failed during the prior six years it had been introduced.
The Department has released the first set of proposed rules which address the employer/employee premiums and how such premiums are determined based on wage definitions, interpretation of the “locality” of the CO employee, and clarifying exemptions for the size of the employer required to pay premiums.
The Colorado Chamber has submitted comments to the Department based on feedback it received from its members. The feedback includes concerns and the need for clarification on qualifying wage expanded definitions, localization of employees for determining premiums to be paid, employer size for exemptions to the premium payment, and determination of employer/employee share of premiums through “employer” definitions.
Timeline on proposed rule:
- September 2nd: Public comments are due
- September 30th: Deadline for Division to submit proposed rules to the Secretary of State
- October 10th: Notice of Rules will be published in the Colorado Register
- November 10th: Deadline for formal hearing on rules
- January 1, 2022: Final premium rule to be in place
Senator Winter and Representative Gray, sponsors of previous FAMLI legislative attempts, assured stakeholders during the meeting that NO substantive legislation on Prop 118 will be introduced in the 2022 legislative session. The only exception to this would be if there is federal paid family and medical leave legislation that passes before the end of Colorado’s 2022 legislative session that would require aligning with any federal requirements, primarily around waivers in order to obtain federal funding to assist with premiums. The Division also stated that they are not seeking any legislation in 2022 and will be primarily focused on rulemaking, which will likely take place over the next year.
The next set of draft rules that will be open to stakeholder engagement will concern local government opt-in process and the private plans exemption.
Colorado Chamber & NW Douglas Cty Chamber & EDC Team Up for the Future!
This week, the Colorado Chamber’s Senior VP of Governmental Affairs, Loren Furman, spoke to Board members of the NW Douglas County Chamber & Economic Development Corporation on policies adopted by State and local leaders over the last few years and ways the organizations can collaborate on economic development and other statewide policy issues. Furman shared the impact those policies have on efforts to recruit new businesses to Colorado and the economic effects on employers headquartered in Colorado and their employees. The discussion involved strategies on how the organizations can work together to improve Colorado’s economic climate, recruit new businesses and a talented workforce, and protect employers and employees from burdensome state and local mandates.
Background: The NW Douglas County Chamber & Economic Development Corporation was created in November 2011 and the EDC covers Roxborough, Sterling Ranch, Santa Fe Corridor, and Highlands Ranch. The organization is focused on infrastructure improvements, public policy, and marketing of the region as a premier place to locate or expand a business.
Update: Employer Trip Reduction Program
The Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) met this week, August 17th and 18th, for a rulemaking hearing on several issues, including the “employer trip reduction program” or ETRP. In a 8-1 vote the AQCC voted to accept the proposal from the Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) to dismiss the proposed rules in their entirety. The Chamber had been a party to the rule-making process since early June and provided public testimony during the hearing the evening of August 17th. The AQCC, in conjunction with the APCD, and state elected officials have promised to continue working on the proposal. The Chamber will continue to engage on behalf of all our members, and provide relevant updates. You can view the most recent comments filed by the Chamber here.