Colorado Concern 
 

February 18, 2014

The Week in Review

United States Senator Mark Udall joined us for lunch and a conversation last Friday; thanks to those of you who were able to join us.  You may recall this event was rescheduled, as he was unable to join us as planned in December due to action on the Senate floor around a bipartisan budget deal.

 

A good portion of our discussion with Senator Udall concerned the fiscal health of the country and a need for entitlement reform.  The Senator called our current trajectory an "unsustainable pathway" and stated that addressing this issue remains a key priority for him.  He outlined several modifications in the Social Security program - including means testing recipients, a change in the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) process and a gradual increase in the eligibility age - as changes that should occur.  He was clear this was not an attempt to cut benefits - as some interest groups would portray it - but rather systematic changes to slow the benefits' growth.  However, he did note that the pressure to move this type of reform forward may be lessened as we see the economy rebounding and more tax dollars flowing into government coffers.  Colorado Concern members responded that his leadership was needed on this issue and that he should proceed.    

 

Related to tax reform and additional revenue for the federal government, concerns were raised about a proposal under review by the Senate Finance Committee that would move some personal service corporations and firms from a cash basis method of accounting to an accrual formula for income tax purposes.  While this change would create a one-time bump in revenue to the federal government, it also would impact business practices, leading some to acquire debt to pay their tax liability or to reduce their workforce to ensure they have the funds to meet their tax obligation. Colorado Concern members were clear this proposal was ill-conceived. 

 

With regard to the increased use of Executive Orders by the Obama Administration to make policy changes Congress is unwilling to consider or adopt, Senator Udall stated he supported the president's ability to use such a tool if the action was within the context of what was legal for administrative action.  Should "overreach" occur, he would weigh in, and he was open to the business community's feedback on such actions.

 

Senator Udall shared his concern around any proposed statewide ballot measures that would halt energy development in our state.  He has visited a hydraulic fracturing site, and believes this technology can be utilized in a safe and responsible manner. Additionally, he noted Colorado has among the strongest guidelines under which the oil and gas industry is regulated, including proposed air emissions standards currently under consideration.  

 

Disappointment was voiced regarding a failure for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Senator noted a package passed the U.S. Senate, but Speaker of the House John Boehner had signaled his chamber would not bring up the bill for consideration this year.

 

With regard to legislative actions at the state level, a copy of our real-time status sheet is available hereWe look forward to seeing you Thursday for lunch with Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman. 

 

Warmly,

Tamra  

Tamra

Colorado Concern Legislative Tracking

 

Click here to find out what legislation Colorado Concern is tracking. The report includes links to bill text, sponsors, Colorado Concern's positions, bill status, and additional notes.

 

Click here to download the Colorado Concern At a Glance Status Sheet for quick tracking of Colorado Concern's bills of interest.
Members in the News

 

Don Childears  

Banker group says only Congress can open their doors to pot businesses

Denver Post: February 7

Features Don Childears

Colorado Concern Upcoming Events

 

Below is information on upcoming Colorado Concern events. 

Click here for more information or to register to attend events.

  

February 20: Colorado Concern Membership Networking Lunch, Co-hosted by Walter Isenberg and Kay Norton
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Colorado Concern, 140 East 19th Avenue, Suite 400
 
March 11:  Colorado Concern Annual Membership Luncheon with Governor John Hickenlooper
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., RubinBrown, 1900 16th Street, 3rd Floor, 3rd Floor 
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Carriage House at the Governor's Mansion, 400 East 8th Avenue

Colorado Concern News Clips

 

Construction Defect

Legal reform debate to begin, but not on construction defects 

Denver Business Journal: February 11

 

Economy/Economic Development

Denver Post: February 10
 

Denver plays host to big site selectors event this month 

Denver Business Journal: February 11

 

Small businesses 'treading water' - NFIB index up only slightly 

Denver Business Journal: February 11

 

Denver home sales hold up in January 

Denver Post: February 12

 

Denver makes push to win more retail 

Denver Post: February 12

 

Millions being spent on West Colfax revitalization in Lakewood 

Denver Post: February 14

 

Hurricane fears bring Raymond James jobs to Denver 

Denver Business Journal: February 14

 

Education

Education bills move through Legislature 

Mountain Mail Newspaper: February 11

 

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson will leave post early 

Denver Post: February 10

 

Wanna teach? DPS seeks business professionals for its classrooms 

Denver Business Journal: February 10

 

OPINION: Colorado should replace PARCC testing with ACT Aspire 

Denver Post: February 10

 

EDITORIAL: Focus on specifics with Colorado school funds 

Denver Post: February 10

 

Colorado's slow rollout of teacher evaluations could hold advantages 

Denver Post: February 11

 

OPINION: Caldwell: At Jeffco schools meeting, everything but the pitchforks 

Denver Post: February 11

 

Common Core conflict spikes as Colorado bill aims to rethink standards 

Denver Post: February 13

 

Bill to slow Colorado's adoption of Common Core dies in committee 

Denver Post: February 14

 

School-board recording bill fires up Colorado House, heads to Senate 

Denver Post: February 14

 

Colorado Springs Gazette: February 15

 

Pueblo Chieftain: February 16

 

Elections/Politics

State Rep. Amy Stephens' money woes hinder her U.S. Senate campaign 

Denver Post: February 10

 

Former state Rep. Buffie McFadyen to challenge Congressman Scott Tipton 

Denver Post: February 11

 

Bill to eliminate local-state conflicts in election law passes Colorado Senate 

Colorado Springs Gazette: February 11

 

OPINION: Carroll: A green light for tax-paid PR 

Denver Post: February 11

 

Colorado Senate gives initial OK to elections bill the GOP despises 

Denver Post: February 11

 

Election bill sets stage for Senate theater 

The Colorado Independent: February 12

 

Audit of Colorado agencies finds need to handle federal money better 

Denver Post: February 12

 

GOP hopefuls face challenges in Gov's race 

9NEWS.com: February 12

 

In 2015, nearly half of Colorado lawmakers will be in new offices 

Denver Post: February 12

 

County Commissioner McFadyen to run for US Congress 

Pueblo Chieftain: February 12

 

Energy

When drought occurs, fracking and farming collide 

Denver Post: February 10

 

Colorado weighs need for new oil rules after flood 

Associated Press: February 10

 

Analyst: Denver gas prices will continue to rise for about six months 

Denver Post: February 11

 

Colorado energy use lower and cheaper than most of the nation 

Denver Post: February 11            

 

Colorado's solar power market stalls on jobs front 

Denver Business Journal: February 12

 

DCP Midstream supports tighter Colorado oil and gas air rules 

Denver Business Journal: February 12

 

Poll: Western voters OK with well-planned oil and gas development

Denver Post: February 14

 

Noble Energy, Anadarko, Encana support tightening Colorado air rules 

Denver Business Journal: February 14

 

General Business

Legal push keeping Gaylord doors shut 

Denver Post: February 10

 

Bill to reform Colorado attorney fees is put on hold 

Denver Business Journal: February 12

 

Federal farm bill backs ag and small-town businesses that support it 

Denver Post: February 14

 

Health Care

Another delay in health law's employer mandate 

Associated Press: February 11

 

Employers scrutinize latest health care concession 

Associated Press: February 11

 

Colorado health-care exchange director indicted in Montana housing case 

Denver Post: February 12

 

Uninsured Colorado lawbreakers get two chances at legislative help 

Denver Business Journal: February 12

 

Study: Rural and mountain regions in Colorado short on primary-care physicians 

Denver Post: February 12

 

Labor/Employment

Denver Post: February 10

 

 Should the federal minimum wage be raised to $10.10 per hour? Yes 

Denver Post: February 10

 

Widest earnings gap for college graduates since 1965 

Denver Post: February 12

 

U.S. job openings fall in December from 5-year high 

Denver Post: February 12

 

Many low-income families in Colorado headed by working mothers, says report 

Denver Business Journal: February 13

 

Jobless claims increased to 339,000 last week 

Denver Post: February 14

 

Marijuana

Bankers are still wary of marijuana money 

Denver Business Journal: February 10

 

Most Coloradans back legal pot, but many believe it hurts state's image 

Denver Business Journal: February 11

 

Farm tax rates for pot up for Colorado vote  

Capital Press: February 14

 

Pot Businesses Allowed to Open Accounts with U.S. Banks 

Bloomberg: February 14

 

Pot growers not singled out in agricultural tax code proposal 

Denver Post: February 14

 

Taxes

Denver Post: February 14

 

Transportation

Aurora has high hopes for light-rail development 

Denver Post: February 10

 

OPINION: Barnes-Gelt: Clock ticking on I-70 project 

Denver Post: February 10

 

EDITORIAL: Nothing sinister in U.S. 36 highway deal 

Denver Post: February 12

 

Colorado lawmakers take shots at 50-year U.S. 36 management contract 

Denver Post: February 14

 

In RTD's northwest corridor, it's time to board BRT 

Denver Post: February 14

 

Water

Wading into the debate 

Pueblo Chieftain: February 10

 

Water wars at the Colorado legislature: bill ignites passions 

Denver Post: February 13

 

Our water is hot topic 

The Durango Herald: February 14

In This Issue
The Week in Review

Legislative Tracking

Members in the News

Upcoming Events

News Clips

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Walter Isenberg and Kay Norton are co-hosting Colorado Concern's Membership Networking Lunch this Thursday.   Click here for details and to register.
___________
Colorado Concern Board of Directors

 

Pat Hamill

(Chairman)

Tamra Ward

(President and CEO)

Steve Farber

A. Barry Hirschfeld 

John Ikard

Walter Isenberg

David McReynolds

Larry A. Mizel 

Blair Richardson

Dan Ritchie 

Rick Sapkin
Sylvia Young