Under the Dome: Fair Work Week Bill Stalled in First Committee
Market Undermining Affordable Housing Measures Looming
In the face of strong business opposition, the onerous Fair Work Week measure stalled in its first committee last week. After hours of testimony from supporters and opponents, action on the bill was delayed until a later date, signaling that sponsors of the measure do not have the votes to get the bill out of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee.
Larimer County’s Representative Judy Amabile (D) chairs the Committee. She joined NCLA for their monthly Board meeting with the northern Colorado Legislative Delegation the morning of the hearing. This provided additional opportunity for board members to share their opinions on the bill ahead of the committee hearing. Rep. Amabile noted her concurrence in opposition to the introduced version and the proposed amendments circulated the day before.
NCLA Board Chair David Burks, Sweetheart Winery in Loveland, shared the NCLA position in opposition to to the measure and amendments noting, “XX.”
Greeley Chamber members David and Jessica Zumbrun of Chicken Salad Chick restaurants and Brian Seifried of Centennial Hospitality Group, owner of 12 restraurants across northern Colorado including Sexy Sammies, Wing Shack and Luna’s Taco and Tequila, expressed their dismay in testimony before members of the Business Affairs and Labor Committtee at the proposed legislation that threatens their businesses..
The NCLA joined the Colorado Restaurant Association, Colorado Retail Council and Chambers of Commerce across state, to stand firm against the bill that dicates to employers operating with hourly employees how they schedule time, compensate for changes and guarantee minimum time.
Beyond restaurant and retail, the measure will have a broad reach affecting thousands of private and public employers by placing new restrictions on scheduling practices ultimately negatively affecting the very employees the bill intends to help.
What does House Bill 23-1118 do? The bill requires restaurants, retail and others to pay employees:
- “Predictability” pay when changes are made in their work schedule,
- “Rest shortfall” pay when they don’t have enough rest between shifts,
- “Retention” pay if work hours are given to a new employee without first offering to them, and
- “Minimum weekly” pay equal to 15% of average weekly hours.
What’s next? Delaying committee action on a bill is a strategic move by sponsors to try to persuade enough votes to vote for the measure. It’s anticipated to be a futile exercise by sponsors, however. No word on when the bill will be rescheduled for action.
Affordable Housing Bills Looming; Government Right of First Refusal First Up
A large number of legislative bills are anticipated to be introduced on the topic of affordable housing, one of the top three identified issues to be addressed this session. The concern around affordable housing has a range of solutions for the range of challenges encountered in different parts of the state.
Fort Collins Representative Andew Boesenecker (D) introduced one of the first swings at the problem by offering a solution that could have significant market repercussions. House Bill 23-1190 creates a right of first refusal for a local government to match an acceptable offer for sale of a residential or mixed use, multi-family property for use as long term affordable housing.
The NCLA Board took an oppose position on the introduced version due to the market implications of the approach. During NCLA’s call with NoCo Legislators last week, Rep. Boesenecker noted his strong interest in continued dialogue about the approach. The Colorado Realtors Association has expressed significant doubt about the measure’s efficacy.
Meanwhile, the NCLA took a position to support an alterntive approach to affordable housing, HB23-1189 that creates a state income tax credit for employers who make a monetary contribution to an employee for use by the employee in purchasing a primary residence. The bill was introduced by Joint Budget Committee Chair and Vice Chair, Senator Rachel Zenzinger and Representative Shannon Bird respectively.
Other measures introduced or still to be introduced:
- HB 23-1115: Repeal Prohibition on Local Residential Rent Control
- HB 23-1171: Just Cause Requirement Eviction Of Residential Tenant
- HB 23-1075: Prohibited Provisions In Rental Agreements
- Restrictions on Institutional Investments in Real Property
- Short Term Rental Regulations
- Building Density Requirements and Building Codes
NCLA Positions on Bills
The NCLA took the following positions on pending measures:
HB23-1189. Employer Assistance For Home Purchase Tax Credit Support
HB23-1190. Affordable Housing Right Of First Refusal Oppose
HB23-1134. Require Electric Options In Home Warranties Oppose
SB23-046. Average Weekly Wage Paid Leave Benefits Oppose
NCLA Tracking Report
On a bi-weekly basis, the NCLA Board reviews and considers its position on pending legislation. See the NCLA 2023 Legislative Tracking Report for the list of bills, thus far introduced, in which the NCLA is engaged.