In this Capitol Report:
What We’re Watching: HB 1189
This week, the Colorado Chamber is watching HB 1189, a proposal that would create a state income tax credit for businesses that financially assist with an employee’s purchase of a primary residence.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Shannon Bird, Rep. Ron Weinberg and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, would incentivize employers to financially contribute to employee down payments, closing costs and other qualifying expenses related to purchasing a home.
Housing affordability has been a key focus of the Colorado Chamber’s advocacy efforts this year. Colorado’s housing market is one of the most expensive in the nation, with the median sales price of a single-family home at $520,000 statewide. The state’s housing market has been ranked the 46th least affordable in the U.S.
The Colorado Chamber’s government affairs policy council unanimously voted in support HB 1189 at its Tuesday meeting as it aligns with the chamber’s 2023 legislative priority to attract and retain workers in Colorado. The Chamber’s Meghan Dollar also testified on the proposal in a committee hearing this week. In a press release on Wednesday, Dollar praised the effort as a creative way to both bolster our workforce and expand home ownership in Colorado.
“In our surveys and conversations with business leaders in Colorado, cost of living and lack of housing affordability are frequently mentioned as some of the most pressing employee recruitment and retention concerns,” Dollar said. “Employers are invested in finding solutions to our housing needs, and this legislation will be a valuable tool to help enable home ownership across the state. A problem of this scope requires a combination of innovative policy approaches and we applaud this bipartisan effort to both make it easier purchase a home and create a new recruitment tool for business.”
Read more about HB 1189 in The Sum & Substance, the Colorado Chamber’s new digital news publication.
Ed Sealover Moderated a Polling Briefing
Last week, Ed Sealover moderated a polling briefing on a survey commissioned by the newly formed organization “A Denver for Us All.” The 405 likely Denver voters were surveyed on “Homeless & Crime – What Denver Voters Really Think.” Sealover led the briefing between Democrat pollster Brad Chism and Republican pollster Brent Buchanan who shared the findings of the survey.
The results of the survey show that the top issues for Denver city government revolve around homelessness first and public safety second. While public safety tops the top issues, the concerns with homelessness in the rest of the survey are stronger. These issues, especially homelessness, can be tied to the issue of housing availability (23% top issue),
“A Denver for Us All’ is a newly formed organization of Denver startup business leaders, founded by David Carlson and Chris Romer. Other business leaders involved with the organization include Josh Scott and Greg Greenwood.
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Certification Opportunity
The Colorado Chamber has partnered with Colorado REACH (Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage), a Colorado nonprofit that provides evidence-based education and training programs to businesses and organizations that are committed to creating inclusive workplace and learning environments. Colorado REACH is offering a three-part training to individuals who are interested in acquiring DEI Train the Trainer certification. Dates for the 2023 sessions are:
- Wednesday, March 8
- Monday, April 10
- Wednesday, May 24
Each session takes place 1-4 p.m. at Rocky Mountain Public Media in Downtown Denver
For more information or to register, visit the Colorado REACH Train the Trainer website.