Resources

Joint Democrat Leadership Press Release:

December 21, 2020

DENVER, CO –  House and Senate Democratic leadership today announced a plan for the beginning of the First Regular Session of the Seventy-third General Assembly. 

The General Assembly will convene on January 13 and meet for as little time as is necessary to address urgent business and attend to certain constitutional and statutory obligations such as swearing in new members. The General Assembly will then go into a temporary recess, with the aim of returning to the Capitol tentatively on February 16 to continue the legislative session when the peak of the pandemic will hopefully have subsided. However, if an emergency arises that requires immediate legislative attention, the General Assembly maintains its commitment to responding in whatever format deemed necessary, including temporarily coming back into session to pass urgent legislation. 

After making this announcement, Democratic leadership released the following statements: 

“It is extremely important that as we navigate returning for legislative session, we weigh the safety concerns for people’s health alongside the many changing factors that will guide our decision making,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “Last month, with a great deal of planning and coordination, we were able to convene a highly-effective special session aimed at alleviating Colorado’s most immediate needs going into the winter season. Now as we approach our regular session, we are committed to acting with the same precision and forethought – diligently prioritizing what matters most to our state and completing mission-critical work before temporarily exiting the building. That’s why we have decided to delay our official legislative session until safer conditions in the state become more clear.”

“From the very beginning, we’ve worked hard to find ways to protect the health and safety of the public, legislative staff, and lawmakers while allowing for public participation,” said Speaker-designate Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “Recessing until mid-February will place us farther out from the holiday spike in COVID cases and will allow the bulk of our legislative work to take place when we hope it is safer and more Coloradans will have received the COVID vaccine. We’ll continue to look at the data and listen to public health experts to guide our decisions. When we return, we’ll take up the people’s work and pass laws to build back a stronger Colorado.”

“The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered in Colorado, which is promising news for the future, but the pandemic is far from over,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder. “As our state works to administer the vaccine over the next several months, we must remain cautious and do everything we can to limit large gatherings and potential super spreader events. With that in mind, we have decided that the most responsible way to ensure the health of the public, as well as our legislative staff, is to delay session until we can more safely reconvene. We will continue to closely monitor public health data in the coming weeks and months as we eagerly await our return to the Capitol. In the meantime, we are firmly committed to crafting the most effective legislation we can to support hardworking Coloradans in their recovery.”

“With the first vaccines being distributed in our state, the end of this pandemic is finally in sight– but it’s time for Colorado to be more vigilant, not less,” said House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Delaying our legislative session is a responsible and science-driven choice that will protect the health and safety of the public while ensuring that we’ll be able to get our work done on behalf of the people of Colorado. This pandemic has exposed and heightened many existing inequities in our economy, and we’ll come back in February ready to work towards ensuring every Coloradan has a fair shot at success.”

On January 13, space inside the Capitol will be limited to ensure social distancing. Most ceremonial activities will be postponed to a later date, and few guests are expected in the building. 

Earlier this year, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed with the General Assembly’s position that Joint Rule 44 allows the legislature to pause its work during a declared public health emergency and return at a later date without those days during the recess counting towards the 120-day limit. 

While the General Assembly is in a temporary recess, the Joint Budget Committee will continue to meet, with virtual participation continuing for those hearings. Additional year-round committees may also meet during this time. Given the new timeline, deadlines for members to finalize and introduce their bills will be pushed back.

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Resources and Recording Available for: NCLA Presents: Labor and Employment- New rules effective January 1 – What you need to know!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA) Board presented a one hour webinar for valuable insight about expectations for businesses to be compliant on December 15, 2020.

Panelists & Presentation:

Overtime and Minimum pay standards
Wage Protection
Direct Investigating
Whistleblower, Anti-Retaliation
Equal Pay and Transparency

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Resources & Recording: Regional Issues Virtual Summit

2020 Regional Issues Virtual Summit
Presented by the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance
November 10, 2020
Recording Here

Northern Colorado is one of the state’s most vibrant and livable areas. It is also one of the fastest growing parts of Colorado. The Regional Issues Summit is a forum that will bring attention to some of the larger issues facing Northern Colorado.  The half-day program will feature expert presentations, panel conversations and participant reactions. Business, civic, education and government leaders are invited to attend to help identify possible solutions to the area challenges.

Because…it matters.  NCLA Regional Issues Summit.

Northern Colorado is the epicenter for vibrant economic growth.  But current and looming public policy decisions and regulatory action could have significant economic implications.

Policy decisions matters. A vibrant economy matters.  You matter.

The Regional Issues Summit is presented by the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, the Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce, Upstate Colorado and One NOCO.

Resources

Kickoff/WelcomeSteve Tool, Chair NCLA Board of Directors

Recording

2020 Election – What Happened and What It Means for Business and Q&A

Recording

Sandra Hagen Solin, Issues Manager, NCLA
Joey Bunch, Senior Political Writer, Colorado Politics
Ed Sealover, Denver Business Journal


Introduce Northern Colorado Legislative Delegation

Recording

Economic Landscape – Forecast and Recovery

Recording
Presentation

Mindy McCloughan, Loveland Chamber President/CEO, Moderator
Reignite Our Economy
David May, Fort Collins Chamber 
Josh Birks, City of Fort Collins
Adam Crowe– Larimer County

Climate Policy and the Northern Colorado Economy 

Recording
Presentation

Jaime Henning, Greeley Chamber President/CEO, Moderator
GHG Roadmap – Will Toor
Barbara Kirkmeyer – Weld County Commissioner/Senator-Elect
Dan Haley, O/G – COGA


US Senator Michael Bennet

Recording

Transportation

Recording
Presentation

David May, Fort Collins Chamber President/CEO, Moderator/Participant Shoshana Lew, Executive Director for CDOT
Greg Fulton – Motor Carriers/Electrification

Congressman Joe Neguse

Recording

Health Care – COVID and Upcoming Issues

Recording
Presentation

Dr. Nicole Erhart, CSU
Dr. Rebecca Jackson

Governor Jared Polis  

Recording

Adjourn Summit

The Regional Issues Summit is presented by the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, the Greeley Chamber of Commerce, Upstate Colorado and One NOCO.

Thank You 2020 Regional Issues Sponsors







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NCLA Positions on Key 2020 Colorado Ballot Initiatives

Prop 118, Prop 113, and Ref B

The NCLA Board of Directors, in deliberation and agreement with the boards of Directors of the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley Chambers of Commerce, Upstate Colorado and One NoCo Economic Development recommends positions on three key and critical pending ballot questions on the 2020 Ballot.  We strongly urge Northern Colorado business leaders, employees and community members to take into account our thoughtful consideration and positions on Proposition 118, Proposition 113 and Referendum B.  

Proposition 118 – Paid Family and Medical Leave Program        VOTE NO

Proposition 113 – National Popular Vote                                            VOTE NO

Referendum B – Repeal Gallagher Amendment                              VOTE YES

The NCLA encourages review of the 2020 State Ballot Information Booklet, also known as the “Blue Book”, for proponent and opponent positions on each of the state ballot initiatives.  Below are the reasons for the NCLA positions on three of ballot questions before voters this year. 

Proposition 118 – Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

The NCLA supports a reasonable family and medical leave program but strongly opposes Proposition 118. It simply goes too far.  It demands a backdoor 25% increase in the income tax for individuals and corporations which will be devastating to families and small businesses, at a time when they can least afford it, to fund a new $1.3 billion, 200-person state agency that isn’t guaranteed to deliver upon its promises

WHAT PROPOSITION 118 DOES

  • Creates a state-run family and medical leave insurance program based on a Universal Social Insurance model.
  • To fund the $1.3 billion program, the measure requires employers and employees to each pay a 0.9% payroll premium, or fee, deducted directly from employee wages – like a FICA tax.
    • An employee making $75,000 per year would pay a premium or fee of $675. That premium could grow to $900.

NCLA POSITION:               OPPOSE / VOTE NO

RATIONALE: 

  • The new premium/fee represents a 25% increase in income tax that will be devastating to both individuals and small businesses.
    • Several studies question the solvency of this new program.
      • If the program becomes insolvent, state lawmakers will be forced to fund the program from general fund dollars and that equates to cuts in education, transportation and other state needs.
    • The additional costs and risks due to compliance and the expansive terms of the law will disrupt benefits, wages and job opportunities in unpredictable ways. 
      • Employers could be forced to lower wages, other benefits, or staffing to address excess costs as they become more evident. 
    • Rising use rates, and the resulting increase in absenteeism, would be hard on all businesses but particularly on small businesses
  • PFML requires all firms to reinstate the employee at their previous job level or equivalent leaving employers few options to address staffing needs while the employee is on leave.
    • The Colorado General Assembly has consistently rejected similar approaches to paid leave in five recent legislative sessions.
  • Finally, now is the wrong time to be placing additional burdens upon business

Proposition 113 – National Popular Vote

Colorado’s relevance on the national political scene has long benefitted Colorado in the form of federal funding for roads, conservation and outdoor projects, water projects, health care, and education.  An undermining of the country’s foundational Electoral College by requiring Colorado to direct its Electoral College votes to the popular vote winner isn’t good for Colorado.  The National Popular Vote makes Colorado not only irrelevant but disenfranchised and those that promote the NPV don’t have Colorado’s best interests at heart.

WHAT PROPOSITION 113 DOES

Authorizes the allocation of Colorado’s nine Electoral College Electors to vote for the Presidential Candidate that wins the national popular vote regardless of the outcome of the Colorado’s votes.

NCLA POSITION:               OPPOSE / VOTE NO

RATIONALE: 

  • National Popular Vote eliminates Colorado’s relevancy in Presidential Elections and assures Presidential candidates overlook our needs and interests.
    • NPV gives all power to large, population-rich city/states. NPV disenfranchises Coloradans by focusing all attention on the major urban centers along the coasts
    • Reduced relevancy will ultimately reduce Colorado’s position for federal funding of roads, health care and the environment.
    • Colorado wins under the Electoral College and loses under the National Popular Vote (NPV).  If Coloradoans don’t protect their unique interests, who will?

Referendum B – Repeal the Gallagher Amendment

The NCLA supports the bi-partisan legislative referendum to repeal the Gallagher Amendment.  Gallagher has served as an inequitable and inflexible property tax burden on businesses of all types and sizes.  Without repeal, all of Colorado’s businesses will pay a property tax rate nearly 5 times higher next year than the property tax rate paid by residential property owners.  This increase in taxes threaten our business’ bottom line and the retention of employees while collectively impeding Colorado’s economic recovery and squeezing vital public services—including funding for schools, police and fire services.

WHAT REFERENDUM B DOES

  • Eliminates Long-Standing 55%/45% Commercial to Residential Property Tax Ratio
  • Freezes current residential assessment rate at 7.15%

NCLA POSITION:               SUPPORT / VOTE YES

RATIONALE: 

  • NCLA has been opposed to the Gallagher Amendment since 1992 when inequity between commercial and residential rates were growing;
    • Stops bleeding for special districts and the necessary general fund backfill of school districts creating additional burden upon taxpayers and reductions in services
    • Provides opportunity for reduction of current 29% commercial property tax assessment rate and growing burden upon commercial sector
  • Puts into legislature’s hands the determination of property tax rates from passage forward
    • Without repeal of the Gallagher Amendment, the current economic climate will require a reduction in the residential assessment rate creating a five-times burden upon the commercial sector at a time when business can least afford additional taxes and fixed costs

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