NCLA Board to Meet with Northern Colorado Legislators and Engages in First Bills on Legislative Docket
The NCLA Board of Directors will make its way to the State Capitol to meet with members of the northern Colorado Legislative delegation this week about NCLA’s legislative agenda for 2016. The conversation will focus upon our regional priorities of funding of the north I-25 corridor, water, energy, and workforce.
The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance Board of Directors took their first positions on newly introduced legislation affecting the northern Colorado business community. Transportation, water, and labor issues were among the first of over 100 bills the NCLA Board of Directors will consider during the course of the 120-day legislative session.
As it is structured, the 23-member NCLA Board of Directors is granted full public policy making authority by its four member organizations boards of Directors, including the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley Chambers of Commerce with Upstate Colorado Economic Development. The granted authority makes the NCLA very nimble and responsive to the fast moving pace of the legislature. Positions taken by the Board are actively communicated to the northern Colorado legislative delegation and legislative leaders.
The first of several anticipated employer-employee related legislative proposals, the NCLA Board opted to continue its opposition to legislation which directs employers to provide parental leave to employees to attend to children’s activities. House Bill 16-1002, proposes to continue the program established in 2009 but also extends benefits to parents of preschool children and as well as expands the scope of activities in which a parent may seek leave. The NCLA continues its opposition to parental leave mandates believing employee benefits should be the purview of employers.
Fort Collins Representative Jeni Arndt has introduced House Bill 16-1004 which establishes measurable goals and deadlines for the implementation of the Colorado Climate Action Plan. The plan, released in September 2015, includes policy recommendations the state can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In light of the issuance by the EPA of the federal Clean Power Plan also in September, the NCLA chose to oppose HB 16-1004 as their may be conflict between the two plans upon full development of the state’s plan to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan.
Finally, the NCLA board also chose to oppose House Bill 16-1005 which allows for the personal collection of precipitation from a residential rooftop under certain conditions. Colorado’s strict and efficient water law of prior appropriation dictates that all water is claimed under Colorado’s water law. In the interest of protecting water rights for our communities and the agriculture industry, NCLA opposes HB 16-1005.