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.


Kickoff/WelcomeSteve Tool, Chair NCLA Board of Directors


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


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

Introduce Northern Colorado Legislative Delegation


Economic Landscape – Forecast and Recovery


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 


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




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

Congressman Joe Neguse


Health Care – COVID and Upcoming Issues


Dr. Nicole Erhart, CSU
Dr. Rebecca Jackson

Governor Jared Polis  


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


  • 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.



  • 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.


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.



  • 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.


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



  • 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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NCLA Partners to Present U.S. Senate Candidate Forum

Hear Candidates Discuss Key Business Issues on Oct. 15

The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance has partnered with the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and others to host the 2020 U.S. Senate Candidate Forum Thursday, October 15 | 10:00 AM – 11:45 AM online.  Candidates will have the opportunity to discuss key issues with the region’s business community, such as economic development, the impact of COVID-19, job creation, education and health care. The conversation will be moderated by Denver Business Journal’s Senior Reporter Ed Sealover.

More Information & Register

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NCLA Presents Energy: The State of Oil and Gas

The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA), the joint public policy advocacy arm of the Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland Chambers of Commerce, Upstate Colorado Economic Development Corporation and One NoCo, has created a series of virtual conversations to help business understand the impact of the 2020 Colorado Legislative Session on the future of our economy.

The next topic of this series is Energy: The State of Oil and Gas in Colorado and will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, July 16 through Zoom web conferencing.

Featured Speakers include:

  • Dan Haley, Colorado Oil and Gas Associatio
  • Barb Kirkmeyer, Commissioner, Weld Count
  • Rich Werner, Upstate Colorado
  • Doug Dennison, High Point Resources

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© 2021 Fort Collins, Greeley & Loveland Chambers of Commerce • Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. • Upstate Colorado Economic Development