The Jefferson County Business Lobby (JCBL) is the united voice of JeffCo businesses at the State Capitol. The [XXX Chamber of Commerce] is an active member of the JCBL and helps determine the positions it takes on state legislation that impacts your business. The JCBL’s priorities for the 2016 session include creating a positive economic development and regulatory climate, promoting an educated and skilled workforce, new investments in road infrastructure and untangling the legal fiscal knots that hamper the state’s ability to invest in these priorities.
The 2016 legislative session is off to a seemingly slow start – not too surprising given that the House of Representatives and the Senate are each controlled by different parties. Split control in an election year means that bills without bipartisan support are not likely to cross the finish line and become law.
The Republicans and Democrats are each promoting a number of bills they know will die in the other chamber but hope will score points with the electorate in November. Among other topics, Republicans are targeting environmental regulations, small business regulatory burdens and tax policy. Meanwhile, Democrats are championing equal pay measures, rural Broadband deployment and going after off-shore companies who avoid taxes, among many others.
While most of those election year bills will die at the hands of the opposite party, Republicans and Democrats are trying to work together on a number of issues important to Jefferson County’s business community. One rare area of broad bi-partisan agreement is the need to increase the pool of skilled workers, a shortage hitting construction, manufacturing, health care and many other industries. Republicans and Democrats may also be able to strike a deal to address the lack of affordable housing in Colorado, which is especially acute in the Denver Metro area. A package of bills limiting lawsuits against builders and new subsidies for the construction of affordable housing has a chance to pass.
More funding for the state’s crowded roads is a priority for both parties, but there exists little agreement to date on just how to accomplish that. Democrats seek to take some revenue “off-budget” in order to free up money already being collected by the state for transportation and other priorities. Republicans meanwhile are looking at bonding several billion dollars in road expansions.
Please go to www.jeffcobusinesslobby.org to see a full list of the JCBL’s positions on 2016 legislation.