Government Affairs Council Re-Cap
This week, the Colorado Chamber’s Government Affairs Council met and had the opportunity to hear from Eve Lieberman, the Governor’s Chief Policy Advisor & Legislative Counsel. Eve shared details regarding Governor Polis’ legislative priorities including the unemployment insurance deficit and his funding proposal of $600 million to backfill the deficit; an update on the collective bargaining legislation yet to be introduced; the State’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program and the Governor’s crime reform package.
Eve has served in this role since Jan. 2019 and has worked very closely with the Colorado Chamber of Commerce over the years on many policy issues. Prior to coming to Colorado, Eve was Chief of Staff for the US House of Representatives for 7 years & Deputy Chief of Staff for the prior 3 years. After getting her law degree at George Washington University Law School, she clerked for the US Atty’s Office for the District of Columbia and the DC Superior Court. She also interned at the US Dept of Justice, Civil Rights Division.
The Council also discussed the bills moving through the legislative process that our policy councils have been working on during the month of February:
Labor & Employment:
HB 1152 – Adverse Action by Employers MJ Use [Oppose position in L&E]
SB 97 – Whistleblower Protections [Oppose position in L&E]
HB 1216 – Restrictive Employment Agreements [oppose as introduced position in L&E Council]
HB 1112 – Work Comp Notices [Neutral position in L&E Council]
HB 1119 – False Claims Act
Energy & Environment:
HB 1244 – Air Toxics [Oppose position in E&E]
HB 1138 – Clean Commute [Oppose position in E&E]
HB 1218 – Resource Efficiency Buildings & Electric Vehicles
Bill # TBD – Changes to Building Codes & Efficiency Standards
HB 1199 – Health Care Facilities Visitation Requirements [Oppose position in HC Council]
SB 40 – Actuarial Reviews Health Insurance Mandates [Support position in HC Council]
HB 1122 – Pharmacy Benefit Manager Practices [Amend Position in HC Council]
HB 1118 – Sales & Use Tax Refunds [Oppose position in Tax Council]
Requests were also made by Colorado Chamber members for the Council to take positions on several additional bills including:
HB 1089 regarding rideshare & uninsured motorist coverage [took Oppose position]
HB 1138 regarding Clean Commuting by workers [took Oppose position]
SB 129 https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb22-129 – Process for Air Quality Rulemaking [took Support position]
Please contact us if you should have any questions regarding the above-referenced legislation moving through the 2022 Legislative process.
Energy & Environment Council Re-Cap
The Colorado Chamber’s Energy and Environment Council met on Wednesday February 23rd for a packed agenda. The meeting began with a presentation from Shaun McGrath, Director of Environmental Health and Protection, and Michael Ogletree, Director of the Air Pollution Control Division, both at the Department of Public Health and Environment. They spoke to the Departments priorities in a number of areas including equity issues, indirect source strategies, and improving air quality.
The Council reviewed and took positions on a number of bills:
- HB 1244 – Air Toxics
- E&E Council Position: Oppose
- Creates a new program to regulate “toxic air contaminants” – defined as any air pollutant by the AQCC and grants them the authority to adopt rules that are more stringent than the federal “Clean Air Act”
- Requires that the Commission review the list every 5 years, and determine if others should be added
- Compels the Division to develop a monitoring program around the state, in at least 6 locations urban and rural, to determine the concentration of toxic air contaminants in the ambient air and summarize the findings every 5 years before sharing with the general assembly
- Allows the AQCC, starting in year 2032, to review and adjust the health-based standards and airborne toxic control measures.
- Beginning in 2027 anyone applying for a new or modified air pollution permit must submit an analysis of the impacts of the stationary source’s emissions of toxic air contaminants and concentrations AND it also allows the division to reopen any existing permit (to protect public health & safety) – request the analysis of the stationary source emissions – AND require the permit holder decrease or cease applicable emissions over the shortest amount of time possible.
- Also creates the toxic air contaminant scientific advisory committee in CDPHE of 3 voting members appointed by the Executive Director and a nonvoting member representing the department.
- This bill has not been scheduled yet
- HB 1218 – Resource Efficiency Buildings
- E&E Council did not take a position on this bill at this time
- This bill makes changes to building codes concerning electric vehicle accommodations – 10% if the building is 25,000 square feet, or more if the building is greater than 40,000 square feet. It also requires the ability in the electrical facilities to support an increase to 50% of parking spaces for electric charging. Finally requires a master electrician and architect to be responsible for reviewing plans during planning.
- This bill was moved from House Business to House Energy and Environment and has not been scheduled yet
- HB 1138 – Reduce Employee Single-occupancy Vehicle Trips
- E&E Council Position: Oppose
- The first section of the bill establishes a 50% tax credit instead of a deduction, for establishing a commuting plan, as well as participation in a “Clean Commute Employee Survey” in order to be eligible for the credit.
- The second section REQUIRES all businesses with over 100 employees to participate in a the clean commute survey – on an increasing scale: all in non-attainment zone by 2023, all in 5 metro regions by 2025, and statewide by. 2027. It then allows the AQCC and legislature to review the results and make changes in order to obtain the 10% reduction target – does not specify what the 10% reduction is in relation to – if it is statewide or per business.
- Status: The bill was laid over on 2/24, to be heard on Monday 2/28 with potential amendments
- SB 131 – Protect Health of Pollinators And People
- E&E Council Position: Oppose
- SB 131 would increase burdens on local governments and require them to create pesticide programs to regulate, enforce, train, educate, and track usage.
- Allows Commissioner ability to designate certain pesticides as restricted-use, but still with a list of allowances
- The bill also authorizes a local preemption to regulate pesticide use
- The Pesticide Applicators Act is currently undergoing sunset review at DORA and will be up for review by the General Assembly in 2023. That is the appropriate process for taking a careful, comprehensive look at Colorado’s pesticide policies.
- This bill is scheduled to be heard in House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee on March 3rd
- SB 138 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- E&E Council Position: Monitor for now
- This bill requires each insurance company, as well as PERA, to provide a “climate risk assessment” for insurance company’s investment portfolio for the previous 12 months
- Changes the GHG emission reductions to add a new goal of 40% by 2028 and 75% for 2040
- Defines small off-road equipment (under 50 horsepower) and phases them out by 2030
- Gives the COGCC authority over Class IV injection wells for sequestration of GHG
- Requires the Ag Commissioner to conduct a study examining carbon reduction and sequestration opportunities
- Creates funding grants for research on the use of Agrivoltaics
- This bill has not been scheduled yet.
In addition, the Council reviewed drafts of Extended Producer Responsibility (new version 2/23), PFAS, and Advanced Building Codes. Once these bills are introduced the Council will take a formal position. The next meeting is March 23rd at noon.