Colorado Concern 

March 24, 2014

The Week in Review

If you are involved with the inner workings of the Colorado General Assembly, the middle of March doesn't just bring the first day of spring; it signals the debate and the wrangling over the upcoming fiscal year's budget - known as the Long Bill.


After a number of years with declining or flat revenue forecast projections, both the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting and the Legislative Council, the economists for the General Assembly, project an increase in the tax revenue flowing into the state.  Henry Sobanet, the Governor's budget director, noted that Colorado will have $1.1 billion (13%) more to spend in FY 14-15 than in the previous year, which, after increases for growth and inflation, yields a $593.5 million (6.8%) increase above the amount required in the reserve.   


The sale of recreational marijuana, and the taxes paid by those who sell and purchase the product, is to be thanked for a portion of those increased revenue expectations.  In fact, there is concern for some that should those collections continue to rise the state would reach its TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights) cap, requiring that any dollars over a set amount be refunded back to citizens instead of being utilized for the regulation, enforcement and youth education outlined as part of the taxing ballot measure passed by Colorado voters last November.  Some legislators are considering referring a measure to the voters that would remedy that issue by removing the language, which would trigger the refund in this instance.


More broadly, with more resources come more programs to fund.  Some are long-standing programs that were cut during the economic downturn and that are seeking a restoration that will bring them back to previous funding levels, such as K-12 education; others are expansions of existing efforts to reach larger markets or populations, most often in the human services sector; and some are new endeavors.  Dollars for capital construction are also in the mix, as the need to address the health and safety of the state's buildings is also necessary.  With regard to transportation infrastructure, it appears state funding for roadways will flow for the first time in recent memory in FY 2015-16.      


The challenge for the Joint Budget Committee, a bipartisan group of members from both legislative bodies - and then both chambers of the General Assembly - is to thread the budget needle carefully.  If all goes according to plan, the state's guiding financial document will be on its way to the Governor for his consideration by April.


If you have questions about the state budget, or any other issue of interest, please do not hesitate to contact me at 





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.
Colorado Concern Upcoming Events


Below is information on upcoming Colorado Concern events. 

Click here for more information or to register to attend events.
April 3: Colorado Concern Luncheon with Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, 410 17th Street, 20th Floor
April 7: Preparing for the Future Health Care Reform and Healthcare Exchange
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Colorado Concern, 140 East 19th Avenue, Suite 400

Colorado Concern News Clips



No shortage of ideas for extra cash at Capitol

The Durango Herald: March 19


Rosier budget could trigger TABOR refunds

The Colorado Statesman: March 21


Economy/Economic Development

Colorado doles out more grants to innovative companies and projects

Denver Business Journal: March 17


Colorado employers added 7,300 jobs in January

Denver Business Journal: March 17


Forbes names Denver #2 in cities to launch a start-up

9News: March 18


Inflation eases in West as energy prices decrease

Denver Business Journal: March 19


Report: Denver in top 10 sellers' markets for housing

Denver Post: March 19


Report: Colorado economy robust and still growing                                

Grand Junction Sentinel: March 19


Douglas, Weld counties among nation's leaders for job growth

Denver Business Journal: March 20


Bill to expand Colorado's job-growth tax credit still gets bipartisan backing

Denver Business Journal: March 20


Top 10 cities and states for job growth include both Colorado and Denver

Denver Business Journal: March 21



Bill To Watch in the Colorado Legislature

San Francisco Chronicle: March 17


Colorado school leaders act in unison to pressure lawmakers on funding

Denver Post: March 17


Ferrandino, Higher Ed Committee agree to disagree over funding change

Denver Post: March 17


Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead?

CPR: March 17


Colorado Supreme Court to hear Douglas County school voucher debate

Denver Post: March 18


Business execs encourage ethical behavior among Colorado students

Denver Post: March 19


Metro State-Cherry Creek Schools aviation course gives students dual high school, college credit

Denver Business Journal: March 20


School-funding changes clear first Colorado hurdle, but not all are happy

The Tribune: March 20


Two K-12 education funding bills clear hurdle in Colorado Legislature

Greeley Tribune: March 21



Bill aims at standardizing research fees for public records in Colorado

The Denver Channel: March 17


Colorado lawmakers consider remote testimony: Bill would establish locations around the state

The Denver Channel: March 17


Toppled in recalls, Colorado Senate Democrats look to amend laws

Denver Post: March 17


Lobbyists skipped $90K in fines to Colorado

9News: March 17


Owen Hill ends US Senate run, will back Cory Gardner

Colorado Springs Gazette: March 18


More on the Cover Story: Legislative leaders differ on the half-done session's effect on business

Denver Business Journal: March 18


Controversial recall election reform introduced; Senate debates alternative care coverage while House bickers over mandatory minimums for pedophiles: Colorado Independent: March 18


Gardner gets clear primary path in Colorado

The Hill: March 18


Former Colo. governors join forces against fracking bans

Daily Caller: March 18


Why the RNC built a year-round ground game

CNN: March 18


Colorado needs a recall election fix

Denver Post: March 19


Carroll: Is it time to empower Colorado's independent voters?

Denver Post: March 19


Legislative panels clash over construction projects

Grand Junction Sentinel: March 21


Colorado budget committee clashes with Capital Development Committee

Denver Post: March 21


GOP operative: Colorado elections law impacting fundraising March 21


Dems unveil legislation surrounding recall elections

The Colorado Statesman: March 21


Udall vs. Gardner: Whose voting record will appeal to Coloradans?

Denver Post: March 21


Colorado Senate panel moves forward on bill on recalls

Denver Post: March 22


Bipartisanship in the second half of Colorado legislature? Not so much

Denver Post: March 23



Tighter controls needed for oil and gas wells near Colorado waterways

Denver Post: March 18


Adams County approves new crude oil pipeline

Denver Post: March 18


Cities that ban drilling would lose severance revenues under initiative

Denver Post: March 21


Bill pushing study of oil and gas health impacts aired in committee

Denver Post: March 21


Proposed ballot initiative would stop Colorado from giving oil, gas taxes to cities that ban fracking

Greeley Tribune: March 21


Legislative battles show strong Colorado division over fracking

Colorado Springs Gazette: March 21


In Obamacare political battle, policy cancellation numbers hard to match

The Colorado Independent: March 21


Guest Column: Colorado will lose if voters allow local fracking bans

Colorado Springs Gazette: March 23


General Business

Craft brewing sales skyrocket to record levels in 2013

Denver Business Journal: March 18


Which Colorado companies are the most valuable brands?

Denver Business Journal: March 18


Bill to protect Colorado consumers in mortgage default advances

Denver Post: March 19


Colorado Springs business group pushes lawmakers for military study

Colorado Springs Gazette: March 21


Minority businesspeople say state of Colorado won't work with them

Denver Business Journal: March 21


Health Care

Free-standing ERs draw patients, critics and legislation

Denver Post: March 17


GOP-led House votes 51st time to unravel Obamacare

Denver Post: March 17


Colorado health exchange workers are paid more than similar positions in three other states

Denver Post: March 18



GOP entrepreneur's push for ballot measure for $12 minimum wage stalls

Manteca Bulletin: March 18


400 to lose jobs in closure of Colorado Springs call center

Denver Post: March 17


Labor union membership increases slightly in Colorado

Denver Business Journal: March 18


Two Colorado enhanced-unemployment-insurance-benefits bills do same thing, meet same opposition

Denver Business Journal: March 22



Colorado legislature's economists predict smaller marijuana tax haul

Denver Post: March 19


Pot shops wary of privacy concerns in handling customer information

Denver Post: March 18


Aurora looks at points system for pot shop applicants

Denver Post: March 18


Hickenlooper signs pot bills into law

Denver Business Journal: March 18


Congress yawns at Colorado delegation's marijuana banking bill

Denver Post: March 20


DISH's firing of paralyzed medical marijuana patient backed by business biggies

Westword: March 20



Colorado legislature readies to tackle telecom, rural broadband reform again

Denver Business Journal: March 17


Colorado lawmakers target telecom reform and $54 million phone subsidy

Denver Post: March 21



UberX closes insurance gap for ride-sharing drivers

Denver Post: March 17


North Metro Rail Line breaks ground

9News: March 20



Opinion: Reject bill on ski area water rights

Denver Post: March 17


Water board rejects ballot change

Pueblo Chieftain: March 19


Texas, Colorado, NM water managers to meet

Denver Post: March 20

In This Issue
The Week in Review

Legislative Tracking

Upcoming Events

News Clips

Join us for a discussion about Colorado's health exchange and the Affordable Care Act as it relates to your business at a complimentary lunch April 7 at our offices.
 Click here for details and to register.
Colorado Concern Board of Directors


Pat Hamill


Tamra Ward

(President and CEO)

Ted Brown

Steve Farber

A. Barry Hirschfeld 

John Ikard

Walter Isenberg

David McReynolds

Larry A. Mizel 

Blair Richardson

Dan Ritchie 

Rick Sapkin
Sylvia Young