JCBL Legislative Update | February 24, 2023
Things are moving and shaking at the Colorado State Capitol. The Jefferson County Business Lobby (JCBL) — the united voice of JeffCo businesses at the Colorado State Capitol – has been busy analyzing and lobbying on legislative proposals that may impact our county for you to be aware of, and provides you this update on previous bills that we’ve been working on- and what is yet to come.
Updates From the House
In our last edition we featured House Bill 23-1118, titled “Fair Work Week Employment Standards.” As introduced this bill was alarming to the business community by proposing to put in place requirements around when, how and for how long an employee could be scheduled for work among other requirements. With advocacy from JCBL members and our lobby team at the capitol, the bill sponsors came out with a substitute amendment (also called a strike bill change) cutting the original bill in half and removing several troublesome provisions before the scheduled hearing for the bill on February 16th at the House Committee on Business Affairs and Labor.
At the committee hearing business leaders from across the state, and Jefferson County, gave 7 hours of witness testimony about the potential impacts of the bill on both their businesses and employees. Arvada Representative, and lawyer by profession, Rep. Lindsey Daughtery (HD 24) posed good legal questions to her colleagues on the committee about potential litigation traps hidden in the bill. The storytelling from the community proved powerful as the committee chair moved to pull the bill off the table for consideration at a later date yet to be determined.
Thank you to the business community from across the state and JCBL members who took the time to come to the capitol, call, and write emails to our state legislators about this bill. Keep up the conversation on this issue as we’ll keep you informed when this bill appears again on the committee docket.
Housing has been a top priority for both the Governor and the majority Democratic caucus at the capitol. The JCBL has been monitoring a series of legislative proposals that would place new regulations on private landlords and housing developers that may have unintended negative consequences on providing more, not less, affordable housing.
One of these bills is House Bill 23-1115 that would allow counties and municipalities the power to enact rent control on private residential property or housing units. Jeffco Assessor Scot Kersgaard provided commentary on this bill in a recent JCBL, stating that a potential adverse impact of Rent Control could be an increase in appeals to Assessor Offices across the state if applied to income producing properties.
Other proposed housing-related bills that the JCBL is monitoring are:
HB 23-1095– Prohibited Provisions In Rental Agreements- Will prohibit landlords from evicting tenants for just cause and set in statute allowable reasons for eviction.
HB23-1068– Pet Animal Ownership In Housing- Will prohibit landlords from collecting a pet deposit on rental properties and limit ability to recover damages to private property from pets.
HB 23-1090– Limit Metropolitan District Director Conflicts- A part of a multi-year series of bills to reform Metro Districts that seeks to address potential conflicts of interest with housing developers and the communities they create. While this House bill is moving forward in the process, JCBL is keeping an eye on SB 23-110, a bi-partisan Senate bill led by Arvada Sen. Rachel Zenzinger (SD 19) that may come out on top this session.
Updates From the Senate
The JCBL has long been an advocate for improving the talent pipeline to our local workforce, especially when it comes to involving our schools. The aptly titled bill SB23-065, Career Development Success Program, was designed to expand and improve Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as what is in place at Jeffco Public Schools Warren Tech. If signed into law, the bill would provide school districts $1,000 from the state general fund per every student who completes an industry recognized credential or certification. Over 11,000 students across Colorado completed programs in the past year alone, and this bill seeks to continue that growth with a fiscal reinvestment back to the school districts helping to produce workforce-ready employees.
And lastly, a bill JCBL is following from the Senate is a clean up to the Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation of 2019. SB 23-105 was laid over in its first committee hearing, which allowed the time to provide a cleaner version of the bill that addresses issues around posting and notice requirements that were left vague from the 2019 legislation. The bill revisions also does a good job of clarifying provisions around promotion and career development, but does not address remote work which has been a sticking point for the Governor as well. With a $12M fiscal note the bill sponsors have yet to address how this bill would be applied to Government agencies and it is possible they may be exempted from the proposed legislation so stay tuned.
Coming Soon: Bills Not Yet Introduced
The JCBL has heard rumblings at the capitol about two bills that, while not yet introduced, are coming soon for you to be aware of.
Workplace Harassment- Our lobby team at the capitol has been working hard to bring the voice of business to the table when working with advocates who wish to strengthen laws about workplace harassment, potentially on employers. Conversations have been productive with proponents of the legislation and the team looks forward to working in good faith to address this issue and produce a version of the bill the business community can get behind.
Workers Compensation Payment Schedule- In 1991 major reforms took place to set standards in Workers Compensation that included a set payment schedule of how much and for how long a person could be compensated for a workplace injury. A draft bill is proposing to drastically revise this current schedule of payments, upending a system that has produced stability for both employers and employees. The JCBL is awaiting estimates from Workers Compensation Insurance providers to see the impact on rates, setting the stage for a major fight with the bill sponsors unless the proposed legislation is amended before introduced.
JCBL Day at the Capitol- April 6, 2023
Mark your calendars for the return of the annual JCBL Day at the Capitol set for Thursday, April 6th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.. Enjoy a day meeting with our state representatives, and see our legislative process in action. This event is open to any member of a JCBL participating organization with more information coming soon.
Legislative Lowdown February 16, 2023
Wheat Ridge Business Association, in partnerships with Jefferson County Economic Development, Localworks, Wheat Ridge Business District, and Wheat Ridge Chamber of Commerce hosted this event in February. Many members of our community were present to learn about the Bills that are being introduced and how they may impact the business community.
Some of the Bills discussed are:
HB23-1115 Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent Control
HB23-1189 Employer Assistance for Home Purchase Tax Credit
HB23-1190 Affordable Housing Right Of First Refusal
SB23-035 Middle-income Housing Authority Act
HB23-1171 Just Cause Requirement Eviction Of Residential Tenant
HB23-1054 Property Valuation
SB23-108 Allowing Temporary Reductions in Property Tax Due
HB23-1035 Statute Of Limitations Minimum Wage Violations
HB23-1078 Unemployment Compensation Dependent Allowance
HB23-1118 Fair Workweek Employment Standards
SB23-017 Additional Uses Paid Sick Leave
SB23-105 Ensure Equal Pay For Equal Work
Numerous Bills being introduced in this session will give negative impact for business owners and employers. We strongly encourage you to keep a close watch and contact your local representatives to let them know of your concerns. Use the link below to find out who your representative is and how to contact them.
JCBL Legislative Update | February 3, 2023
The honeymoon is over at the Colorado State Capitol and after a few weeks of pomp and circumstance, and getting to know the new members of our state legislature, committees are in full swing and the bills are flying. The Jefferson County Business Lobby (JCBL) — the united voice of JeffCo businesses at the Colorado State Capitol – has been busy analyzing and lobbying on several legislative proposals that may impact our county for you to be aware of.
From the House
The first bill on the docket is House Bill 1006 that asks businesses to send notices to employees about applying for the federal and state earned income tax credits and the federal and state child tax credits. JCBL members wondered if the notices could be delivered via email or text, and a late amendment to the bill added that provision.
Things get geeky pretty quickly when talking about sales and use tax. This bill, House Bill 23-1017 seeks to continue work started by former State Representative and current JeffCo Commissioner Tracy Kraft-Tharp to simplify and modernize the state’s sales and use tax collection system. With a $20 million dollar fiscal note, the business community is hopeful that this piece of legislation will make it across the finish line and implement needed technical and business friendly changes to the sales and use tax system for use across the state.
Next up is a bill seeking to implement a state statute of limitations on Minimum Wage violations. House Bill 23-1035, creates a two-year window to file a minimum wage violation. With business owners already mandated to keep records on employees for three years, this bill will help to set a standard and close a loophole between state and federal law.
There is also proposed legislation, House Bill 23-1115, to allow counties and municipalities, like Arvada, to enact any ordinance or resolution that would control rent on private residential property or housing units: therefore giving counties and cities the power to enact rent control.
Another bill to keep an eye on is House Bill 23-1118 titled “Fair Work Week Employment Standards.” In essence the bill puts in place requirements for certain types of employers when determining an hourly employee’s work schedule, changes to the work schedule and posting of changes to a work schedule. In addition the bill also sets forth a number of provisions around how, when and how much an employee is paid.
From the Senate
Over at the Senate the first bill the JCBL took up deals with the environment. Senate Bill 23-016 titled “Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures” is a mixed bag of new regulations around clean energy, how clean energy is defined, while also accelerating 2019 goals for greenhouse gas education by 2050 from 90% to 100%. Tax credits are also a part of this bill for battery operated snow blowers, lawn mowers.
Also coming out of the Senate is a bill to expand the allowable uses of the newly created Colorado FAMLI paid leave program. If adopted, Senate Bill 23-017 will allow an employee to use any accrued paid sick leave to pay for unexpected events such as a school district snow day, a broken water pipe at your home, or at the home of a family member that you help to care for, or to attend a funeral service or deal with financial or legal matters after a death in the family.
Keeping it in the FAMLI, Senate Bill 23-046 will expand when and how an employee can access the paid support of the FAMLI program, make benefits portable from job-to-job, when a person is out of a job or in-between jobs.
Speaking of additions, Senate Bill 23-058 expands on 2019’s “Ban the Box” legislation. This new legislation will prohibit a prospective employer from asking about age, or questions that may reveal a person’s age (such as year of high school/college graduation) during the initial job application to reduce the potential for age discrimination.
That’s all for this week’s JCBL Update. The latest bill positions can be found at arvadachamber.org/billtracker.
JCBL March 2022 Updates
Follow along with Bills on Watch for 2022 Session
Click on the link to see which bills the JCBL is closely monitoring on the Bill Tracker. They monitor the bills presented in the current session that may impact our business community. We encourage you to follow along and contact us with any questions.
Bill tracker helps you to know what issues are coming up and require your quick actions.
What’s our position on these?
Within the Jefferson County Business Lobby, Arvada Chamber of Commerce leads the way as the major stakeholder. CLICK HERE to view their position, which correlates with the JCBL position.