Colorado Capitol Report

Colorado Chamber Joins Downtown Denver Partnership as an Advocacy Partner for a Safer City


Colorado Chamber Joins Downtown Denver Partnership as an Advocacy Partner for a Safer City

Downtown Denver is critical to the Colorado business community and where many of our members call home. But like many other cities across the country, Denver is currently facing significant public health and safety challenges that require collaboration, bold moves and a clear vision to address.

With that in mind, the Downtown Denver Partnership, together with Mayor Hancock and the City and County of Denver; the Department of Public Safety, including Denver Police Department, Denver Fire and Denver Sheriff; the Regional Transportation District (RTD); and the District and U.S. Attorney’s offices, announced a new infusion of resources to address both immediate health and safety concerns in the center city while also acknowledging the root problems and need for long-term solutions.

The Colorado Chamber strongly supports these efforts in order to improve our communities and create a better environment for businesses downtown. This week, we showed support at Downtown Denver Partnership’s press conference announcing the initiative and have officially signed on as an advocacy partner.

Joining strong enforcement with compassionate, community-minded responses, the Downtown Denver Action Partners will lead tactical strategies spanning the entirety of downtown, concentrating resources in areas experiencing higher levels of crime and public health incidents.

Immediate actions include:

  • Mobilizing the Downtown Action Team, a cross-departmental effort that will join enforcement and outreach. This Action Team will strategically deploy responders from the Denver Police Department, the Department of Safety Street Enforcement Team, Denver Fire Department Medical Unit, DOTI graffiti and trash, WellPower clinicians, and DDPHE’s Substance Abuse Navigators and public health inspectors. Efforts will focus first on areas of heightened concern downtown, including the Colorado Convention Center Corridor.
  • Implementing public realm improvements grounded in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies, including enhanced lighting, wayfinding and music, in partnership with Denver’s Department of Public Safety and downtown property owners utilizing $500K in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
  • Significantly growing response teams across the Denver Police Department (which is hiring 180 additional officers citywide throughout 2023), the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, RTD, and other agencies to ensure that teams are adequately staffed.
  • Increased coordinated advocacy for local, state and federal policies that strengthen the critical tools needed to meaningfully address crime and provide resources to address mental health and drug misuse.

 

Though today’s challenges are significant, we are confident in our collective will and ability to build a better Downtown Denver for all. Throughout Denver’s history, a collaborative spirit has propelled us forward in the face of hardships. Today is no different. We must come together as a city and as a community to address these challenges.

We are calling on all residents, businesses, nonprofits and public sector partners to join Advocacy Partners across our community in standing up to ensure Downtown Denver is a safe, vibrant and welcoming environment for everyone.  Together, we will.

Learn more & get involved here: www.downtowndenver.com/safety


Employers Seeking to Use a Private Plan for Family & Medical Leave Must Comply With These Final Rules

The Division of FAMLI has adopted its final rules for allowing employers to use a private plan to comply with Colorado’s FAMLI program which begins January 1, 2023.  The Colorado Chamber submitted formal comments and testified during the rulemaking hearing regarding its concerns with many provisions in the proposed rules.

Several improvements were made by the Division in response to the CO Chamber and other feedback regarding the rules and some improvements include the following:

Section 5.4:  Reduction of administration fee from $1,200 to $500

Section 5.5:  No additional administration fee if an application is received within one year of the initial application for private plan approval

Section 5.7:  Extending the approval period for renewal of a private plan from 2 year to 8 years.  However, this provision does require an employer to submit an attestation to the Division confirming contact information and that the private plan continues to satisfy the requirements of the FAMLI law.

Section 5.13:  Extends period for review by the Division of a modification of a plan from 14 days to 60 days.   Also removed the overly broad terms “in-depth” and “minimal” to “material” and defines the term “material.”  Also if an employer moves from a private plan to the state-run FAMLI plan, there will not be a fee to do so.

Section 5.14:  Changes provision to state that an employer terminating a plan would pay for the plan through the plan’s voluntary termination effective date instead of one year’s worth of premiums.

Section 5.16:  Removed requirement to pay for one year’s worth of premiums and includes an opportunity to appeal the Division’s decision if the Division withdraws approval of a private plan.

Section 5.19:  Includes opportunity for a party to file an appeal with the Division.

Section 5.20:  Added ability for a Judicial Review or a determination by the Court to determine whether a private plan administrator owes additional payments to a covered individual.

Please see the attached final rules for your review and feel free to contact Loren Furman at lfurman@cochamber.com with any questions.

Thank you.


Participate in 2023 Chamber Policy Councils to Change New Laws & Regulations!

The Colorado Chamber Policy Councils are at the core of the Chamber’s work, offering a unique opportunity for members to add their expertise to our policy-making, and influence legislation and regulations that impact business. Council meetings provide a dialogue between our members, legislators and state agency leaders.  The 2023 Council schedule can be found below:

Council Dates/Times:

Energy & Environmental Policy Council
Tuesday, Jan 24
Wednesday, Feb 22
Wednesday, Mar 22
Tuesday, Apr 25

Governmental Affairs Council
Tuesday, Jan 31
Tuesday, Feb 28
Tuesday, Mar 28
Wednesday, Apr 26

Healthcare Policy Council
Thursday, Jan 12
Thursday, Feb 9
Thursday, Mar 9
Thursday, Apr 13

Labor & Employment Policy Council

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, 10 a.m.
Wednesday, Jan 18
Wednesday, Feb 15
Wednesday, Mar 15
Wednesday, Apr 19

Tax Council
Friday, Jan 13
Friday, Feb 3
Friday, Mar 3
Friday, Apr 14

How to Join a Council:

All Colorado Chamber members can join one or more councils, and as a Council member, you’ll receive notices of current issues of interest, meet with government officials, help craft legislation, testify on legislation, and provide your expertise to the Governmental Affairs team. https://cochamber.com/issues-advocacy/policy-councils/

How to Participate:

Council meetings will be held both in-person in our conference room located at 1600 Broadway, Ste. 1000, Denver, and be available virtually via Zoom. To RSVP for a Council meeting or sponsor a Council meeting please contact Laura Moss at lmoss@cochamber.com.


Colorado Chamber Announces New Leadership for Energy & Environmental Sub-Committees

We are pleased to announce a few changes in leadership for the Colorado Chamber’s Energy & Environment sub-committees. Both the Air Quality Sub-Committee and Energy Sub-Committee members bring a great deal of expertise on these issues and are often at the forefront of both regulatory and legislative issues that impact Colorado Chamber members.

Carly West, Government Affairs Manager, Black Hills Energy, will serve as the new Chair of the Energy Sub-Committee. Carly brings over thirteen (13) years of experience in working on energy related issues for Black Hills Energy and previously as the Manager for Community and Government Affairs for SourceGas. She also brings the unique and valuable experience of leading the Colorado Chamber’s energy and environment issues as the prior Director of Governmental Affairs for the Colorado Chamber in 2011 through 2014.

Shannon Pollmiller, Senior Environmental Professional, Black Hills Energy, will serve as the new Chair of the Air Quality Sub-Committee. Shannon brings over nine (9) years of experience in environmental and air quality compliance issues on behalf of Black Hills Energy. Prior to joining Black Hills Energy, she worked with Halliburton on mineral field testing and ensured that over 100 products met quality assurance specifications.


Registration is Open: Employer Training Workshop on Colorado’s Paid Sick Leave Law

Details: Join us for our next Employer Training Workshop which will provide guidance on Colorado’s mandatory paid sick leave law. The Workshop will also prepare employers on the administration and approval of paid sick leave in conjunction with the newly mandated paid Family & Medical Insurance Leave benefits to avoid potential duplication of leave.

Date: December 7, 2022
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Colorado Chamber, 1600 Broadway, Ste. 1000, Denver
Remote participation is available.

Instructor: Brooke Colaizzi, Member, Sherman & Howard

About Brookehttps://shermanhoward.com/attorney/brooke-a-colaizzi/

Register for the Event Here


Judicial Vacancy Opportunities Statewide

Colorado Chamber members – Please be advised that several upcoming and current judicial vacancies are available across the state and applications are being accepted now if you are interested in applying.  A list of vacancies is provided below:

  • Supreme Court (statewide) – One current non-attorney vacancy for the 2nd Congressional District and one current attorney for the 5th Congressional District, as well one upcoming non-attorney vacancy in the 1stCongressional District and one upcoming attorney vacancy in the 7th Congressional District.
  • First Judicial District (Gilpin and Jefferson counties) – one upcoming non-attorney vacancy.
  • Second Judicial District (Denver County) – one upcoming non-attorney vacancy.
  • Third Judicial District (Huerfano and Las Animas counties) – two upcoming non-attorney vacancies.
  • Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties) – one current non-attorney vacancy.
  • Fifth Judicial District (Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, and Summit counties) – one current non-attorney vacancy.
  • Tenth Judicial District (Pueblo County) – one current non-attorney vacancy, and two upcoming attorney vacancies.
  • Eleventh Judicial District (Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, and Park counties) – one upcoming non-attorney vacancy.
  • Fourteenth Judicial District (Grand, Moffat and Routt counties) – one upcoming non-attorney vacancy, and one upcoming attorney vacancy.
  • Eighteenth Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties) – two upcoming non-attorney vacancies.
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District (Dolores and Montezuma counties) – one upcoming attorney vacancy.

Applications are due no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. If you or someone you know is interested in applying for a judicial vacancy applications may be made only online at the State of Colorado Boards and Commissions Application page.