Multiple Chamber Policy Councils Take Positions on Legislation

With the start of the 2024 legislative session, the Labor and Employment Council, Tax Council and Health Care Council had their first meetings and took positions on several bills.

Representative Chris deGruy Kennedy joined the Health Care Council to discuss his legislation HB24-1005 and provide an opportunity for the Council to provide feedback and ask questions.

Heidi Humphries, Executive Director, and Jimmy Reed, Director of Legislative Affairs, from the Colorado Department of Revenue spoke with the Tax Council talked about the department’s plans for the upcoming legislative session. Director Humphries, in her new role as the Director, outlined her vision and plans for the future of the department.

Multiple speakers from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment joined the Labor & Employment Council, including Joe Barela (Executive Director), Cher Haavind (Deputy Executive Director), Caitlin Adams (Legislative Director), and Tracy Marshall (Director of the FAMLI Division). The group provided an overview of the CDLE legislative agenda for this session and answered questions regarding FAMLI leave.

The Colorado Chamber took positions on the following bills:

Tax Council Positions:

HB 1041: Support

The bill modifies tax filing thresholds for sales and use taxes collected by jurisdictions that do not use the state sales and use tax simplification system (SUTS). It also requires that all home rule jurisdictions use the SUTS system beginning July 1, 2025.

HB 1050: Support

The bill expands the scope of the Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force to include local lodging tax. The bill also requires localities to report information related to lodging tax and building permits to Department of Revenue and requires the Department of Revenue to issue a request for information for an electronic lodging tax system.

HB 1036: Amend

The bill modernizes and revises the state laws that govern state administration of local sales or use taxes. The Colorado Chamber took an amend position due to some concern surrounding certain tax expenditures that benefit the aviation industry being repealed.

SB 23: Support

The bill establishes that any vendor relying upon information in the Department of Revenue’s geographic information system (GIS) database to determine which local tax jurisdictions are owed and by what amount is held harmless in an audit by the state or local taxing jurisdiction for an underpayment of tax, charge, or fee liability that results solely from an error or omission in the GIS database data.

SB 25: Amend

The bill modernizes and revises the state laws that govern state administration of local sales or use taxes, including aligning the dispute resolution process for local sales and use tax administration with state sales tax administration, and establishes procedures for if a local tax collected by the department is erroneously remitted to the wrong taxing entity. The Colorado Chamber would like to see clarification for the dispute resolution sections to make sure they align and make sense.

Labor & Employment Council Positions:

HB 1008: Oppose

The bill would address wage claims from individuals working in the construction industry. The bill requires that a subcontractor that receives a written demand for payment forward a copy of the written demand for payment to the general contractor within 3 business days after receipt, specifies that a general contractor and a subcontractor that is a direct employer of an employee are jointly and severally liable for all debts owed, and allows a general contractor to require the certain information from each subcontractor.

The Colorado Chamber took an opposed position due to the far-reaching nature of the bill and the concern that the bill could be costly to general contractors and accelerate wage theft rather than slow it.

HB 1015: Amend

The bill requires the Department of Labor to create and make available to employers suicide prevention education posters and notices. Employers will be required to display the suicide prevention education posters in their workplaces and certain employers are required to include the suicide prevention education notices in documents provided to employees. The Chamber would like to have an electronic communication option added to the bill to account for employees that work remotely.

Health Care Council Positions:

HB 1005: Oppose

The bill requires a health care insurance carrier to include a primary care provider as a participating provider in all networks, including narrow networks and all tiers of tiered networks, of the carrier’s health benefit plan if the primary care provider is. The Chamber is opposed to the bill due to the increased cost placed on businesses and the limited ability for carriers and primary care providers to negotiate contracts.

HB 1075: Oppose

The bill requires the Colorado school of public health to analyze draft model legislation for implementing a single-payer, nonprofit, publicly financed, and privately delivered universal health-care payment system for Colorado that directly compensates providers. The bill also creates the statewide health-care analysis advisory task force for the purpose of advising the Colorado school of public health during the analysis.

The Chamber opposes measures that create new mandates on healthcare generally. As employers, we are always concerned about increased cost to healthcare and while this is a study, it appears to have a predetermined outcome in which we as an organization disagree.