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.