Legislative & Regional Priorities

The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance believes that state and Northern Colorado officials must strive to maintain and enhance the vitality and viability of businesses. NCLA believes the two-county region’s and states prosperity and livability rest upon the foundation of a healthy economy, which is achieved through successful business.

2018 State Legislative Priorities

Water

 

Affordable, reliable, high quality water is an essential factor in the economic well-being and quality of life of Northern Colorado. NCLA’s role is to lobby for development of new water sources and storage while supporting reasonable water conservation measures.

 

 

Support increasing water storage in Northern Colorado and protect integrity of water law:

  • expand Halligan and Seaman Reservoirs to their fullest capacity
  • build the Northern Integrated Supply Project including Glade and Galeton Reservoirs and related infrastructure
  • support the permitting and implementation process for the Windy Gap Firming Project

Regional Actions:

  • NCLA Water Committee increase Board’s water knowledge via presentations & updates (Northern Water, ditch companies, Jeni Arndt, Ken Hollingser, etc.)

State Actions:

  • Monitor all proposed water legislation
  • Monitor petitions to bring a constitutional amendment to the ballot to change Colorado water law

Federal Actions:

  • Contact federal officials to encourage Army Corps of Engineers and EPA approvals for Halligan and NISP

Energy

 

Energy drives job growth and economic prosperity for Northern Colorado and the state. That is why NCLA supports the production of energy in Northern Colorado in an environmentally responsible manner.

 

 

Protect and support growth of the traditional energy sector while encouraging market-based renewable energy

Regional Actions:

  • Review NCLA’s energy policy statement and update it as appropriate
  • Understand Platte River Power Authority plans and its objectives relative to customized resource portfolio policy (i.e. fuel mix requirements and local flexibility to set)

State Actions:

  • Oppose legislation or ballot measures that unnecessarily restrict the production of oil and gas
  • In general, monitor state legislation and regulations relative to the oil and gas industry

Federal Actions:

  • Support rollback of the administratively-imposed Clean Power Plan

Transportation

 

Transportation mobility impacts business, quality of life, public safety and the environment.

 

 

Secure the funding to widen I-25 to three lanes each way between Highway 14 in Fort Collins and Highway 66 north of Longmont by 2025

  • dedicated transportation funding of $300M in the state’s General Fund
  • voter approval of a $3.5B transportation bonding program
  • protect funding already committed to widen I-25
  • work to identify new transportation funding sources that are politically viable

Support improvements to secondary roads in the two-county region that improve mobility

Regional Actions:

  • Develop a regional agenda to support secondary roads that improve mobility in northern Colorado (392, 34, 287, etc.).
  • Learn the agendas of groups working on these corridors
  • Create a plan to support their work based on gaps and opportunities

State Actions:

  • Short-term priorities (August – December 2017)
  • Develop and position transportation bills now for 2018 legislative session
  • conduct public opinion polling
  • set our criteria for what a successful outcome looks like
  • meet with and try to reach consensus with other business groups, transportation officials and key elected officials
  • pull a ballot title this fall for next fall
  • Lobby Transportation Commission for large portion of SB 267 funding
  • Get team in place – lobbyist, media relations, allies
  • Conduct communications campaign to inform public about transportation funding needs and situation
  • Develop a communications kit (leave behind collateral material, PPT, etc.) that 5 NCLA partner organizations can use for public / member presentation

2018 Alliance Priorities (January – August 2018)

  • Execute lobbying and communications strategies during session
  • Help shape / support ballot measures (if possible) and strategy to raise money for a campaign
  • Explore all funding options including an RTA
  • Improve member and investor communications

Federal Actions:

  • Decide on federal lobbying strategy and our role
  • Support Northern Colorado’s federal INFRA grant application for $90M

Workforce Development

The availability and productivity of the regional workforce is a critical economic issue. Employers are finding it difficult to secure the talent they need. NCLA’S role could be to facilitate the development and implementation of a regional labor force development plan.

 

 

Support legislation that improves training programs and eliminates barriers to training, educating and certifying workers

 Regional Actions:

  • Decide whether there is alignment between the two counties to work on a joint workforce strategy

State Actions:

  • Create a working group to meet with local experts to understand actionable steps that NCLA can take to impact the system. Need to understand existing programs, existing funding, and Dept. of Labor prospective legislation

Federal Actions:

  • None at this time

General Business Issues

Support the elimination of the business personal property tax

Support the creation of state economic development tools and incentives

Protect the integrity and viability of the workers compensation system

Health Care

Costs of, access to and quality of health care services and health care insurance are a major issue for business directly. Additionally, the broad expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Colorado in recent years has dramatically restricted the amount of money for other needs such as transportation.

 

State Actions:

  • Research Medicaid and health care to better understand the issues in general but especially the impact on the General Fund
  • Produce a white paper with findings

Federal Actions:

  • Monitor federal legislative proposals

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