Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 09 June 2020

The Colorado Association of Home Builders is participating in a broad coalition of statewide civic and business organizations to oppose Gov. Polis’s efforts to change the way people and organizations can access the Colorado ballot through electronic and mail signature gathering. This coalition, led by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, includes rural, urban, suburban and mountain communities, our state’s smallest businesses to some of our largest employers, and a variety of industries, like agriculture, education, energy and construction.

At issue is Gov. Polis’s May 15 Executive Order D 2020 065, which suspends a number of laws related to signature collection and ballot qualification for elections and orders the Secretary of State’s Office to develop rules for electronic and mail signature gathering. This action, the coalition contends, violates the state’s constitution, which already has established fair and equitable ways for people to place ideas on the ballot for consideration by Colorado voters.

Additionally, the coalition expressed concerns that these changes could completely lock out people with limited access to technology and internet – including those who live in rural communities, older adults and people experiencing poverty.

Colorado Concern and former DU Chancellor Dan Ritchie filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the executive order, and our coalition filed an amicus brief in support of that lawsuit. A Denver District Court ruled against the suit; however, this past Friday the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal. We hope that a panel of justices will better understand the arguments against the executive order and will side with our state’s constitution, enforcing the laws and protections that are wisely in place to protect the ballot initiative process.  Our coalition will be filing an amicus brief for the appeal.

To learn more about the effort to protect Colorado’s Constitution and keep ballot access fair for all, please visit https://denverchamber.org/policy/protect-colorados-constitution.

CAHB Government Affairs

This association’s Government Affairs Committee met last Friday and took action on one bill:

SB20-216—Oppose—This bill would change workers compensation law to presume that essential workers, including those in construction, who work outside of the home and contract COVID-19 are presumed to have contracted the disease through the course of employment, and contraction of COVID-19 will be considered a compensable accident, injury or occupational disease for purposes of the Workers Compensation Act of Colorado. The GAC opposes this legislation because it will likely spike workers comp insurance rates and saddle businesses with more costs and regulations as potential claims increase due to COVID-19.

For more information:

To track the CAHB’s legislative positions—including bills that the GAC supports, opposes and monitors—please visit https://statebillinfo.com/SBI/index.cfm?fuseaction=Public.Dossier&id=27390&pk=100&style=pinstripe.

Colorado Water Congress weighs in on potential dredge and fill legislation

This past Friday, the GAC received an update on the Water of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule from Colorado water attorney Rick Fendel. He took questions from GAC members and explained how new federal laws to replace the Obama-era WOTUS, which take effect this summer, will impact water issues in the future.

In addition, the State Affairs Committee of the Colorado Water Congress, which includes Ted Leighty as a representative of CAHB and our industry, agreed last week to send a letter to House Speaker KC Becker, asking her to “delay consideration of the CDPHE’s proposed bill to ‘Establish State Dredge & Fill Water Permit Program.’”

The legislation, which is being developed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, seeks to create a permitting process for dredging and filling in state waters and is  a reaction to new federal laws that will go into effect this summer as a replacement to WOTUS. The draft legislation, which may be sponsored by Speaker Becker, has not been introduced yet during this legislative session. If the bill is introduced, the GAC will consider taking an official position.

The Colorado Water Congress letter stated that:

“We see no compelling reason to rush legislation at this time. In fact, there has always been a gap between the universe of State Waters and those receiving protection under the federal dredge and fill program because State Waters are defined far more broadly than are Waters of the United States. …
The issues raised by the bill are too numerous and complicated to simply work through in the very short time remaining in the legislative session, or in the context of a rulemaking. As part of the regulated community, CWC would be pleased to provide a forum for comprehensive stakeholder engagement to develop enabling legislation that would ensure an implementable, protective, and cost-effective program. We therefore respectfully request that you delay the CDPHE bill until next year.”  

The full letter is available by clicking here.

Published in CAHB News

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