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Douglas County Business Alliance
420 Jerry Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
United States
ph: 303-688-4597

Newsroom

2016 Session Sine Die Report
The 2016 legislative session commenced with the foreboding of a pending budget disaster. Legislators, lobbyists, the Governor, and the media anticipated a budget stalemate that would halt all work at the Capitol and maybe even lead to a special session. The shadow of the November 2016 elections, which could result in new majorities in the House and Senate, had a direct impact on the policy considerations under the gold dome. This was the final legislative session for the term limited Speaker of the House, Senate President, and House Minority Leader…Read More

Under the Dome Week 17
As the legislature entered the last full week of the 2016 legislative session, loaded calendars and intense negotiations filled the days and nights. Despite approval by the House to turn the Hospital Provider Fee in to an enterprise (HB 1420) and its companion spending allocation bill (HB 1450) Senate leadership thus far has decided to not introduce the bills in the Senate…Read More

Under the Dome Week 16
You can feel the urgency in the air at the capitol as one hundred members of the general assembly push towards adjournment of the 2016 legislative session. Committees in both the House and Senate were stacked with bills that still need to move through the process. The “kill” committees – House and Senate State Veterans and Military Affairs – faced 10+ bill agendas where the majority of the bills faced death on a party line vote. And yet with only a week and a half to go, bills are still being introduced daily…Read More

 

After almost a month of waiting, the House finally took up debate on legislation to enterprise the hospital provider fee (HB 1420) and its companion bill which would allocate any additional revenues that come in during the December Revenue Forecast to transportation, severance tax backfill, education, and higher education (HB 1450). The debate on both bills lasted four hours. The Speaker along with the Democrat members of the Joint Budget Committee took the lead in presenting and defending both bills.

Under the Dome Week 15
On Thursday, the General Assembly hit the 100 day mark of the 2016 legislative session. Of the 645 bill
that have been introduced, 171 have been killed and the Governor has signed 147. With less than 20
days left, more than 300 bills are still awaiting final action. The House spent long mornings on the floor
to pass as many bills as possible over to the Senate for consideration. On Friday, the House stayed on
the floor through late in the afternoon and took action on more than 30 bills….Read More

Under the Dome Week 14
With only a month left to go in the 2016 legislative session, the Joint Budget Committee met to finalize the FY 2016-17 budget. During a conference committee on Wednesday, the JBC decided to adopt the version of the budget which passed out of the House. The House version of the budget differed from the introduced budget in three ways: it included full funding for the Air Quality Control Division within CDPHE, $50,000 and an FTE in the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting to begin implementation of the Pay for Success Program, and $550,000 in spending authority for the Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund…Read More

Under the Dome Week 13
After a week off focusing on the budget, the House buckled down to begin sifting through the more than 400 bills still in play under the gold dome. Committees spent long nights considering legislation such as HB 1361, which will allow individuals to choose which pharmacy they use. The legislation specifically allows small independent pharmacies to price match their prescriptions with the prices at the bigger outlets like Walgreens or Rite Aid or the prices on mail order prescriptions. The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, Colorado Competitive Council, and Express Scripts came out in strong opposition to the bill. They argued that their coverage range was large enough to not only cover but provide various options to individuals in rural areas of Colorado…Read More

Under the Dome Week 12
The FY 2016-17’s budget faced its first test in the House this week. On Monday morning, the annual Long Bill (HB 1405) was introduced along with 14 orbital bills. There were three “surprise” bills in addition to the budget package that were also introduced: The Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise, CHASE (HB 1420), Allocate Additional FY 2016-17 General Fund Revenues (1421), and the School Finance Act (HB 1422). The Speaker decided to introduce and run her bill to enterprise the hospital provider fee (HB 1420) as part of the budget package. She secured Republican Larry Crowder as her Senate sponsor. The companion bill, HB 1421, specified that any additional revenue available after the September Revenue Forecast would be allocated in the following way: $50 million to the HUTF which makes the SB 228 transfer for transportation whole, $16.2 million to restore the FY 2015-16 Severance Tax transfer, $40 million to K-12 education to decrease the negative factor, and $49.5 million to higher education in the state. Both bills were debated with the budget package in the House Appropriations Committee…Read More

Under the Dome Week 11
What was expected to be a short week with the General Assembly taking off Friday for a long weekend
was cut shorter when the blizzard triggered a snow day at the Capitol Wednesday. The unexpected day
off means that dozens of bills hoping to cross to the other chamber in the House and Senate could
potentially be on hold for an additional two weeks as the General Assembly switches focus to the
budget. In an effort to be sure the budget was introduced as scheduled in the House Monday, the JBC
met even when the Chambers were officially closed because of the blizzard. Earlier in the week the JBC
learned that they had to cut $89 million in the current budget year and $190.4 million in FY 2016-17 to
bring spending in line with the latest Legislative Council revenue forecast…Read More

Under the Dome Week 10
The legislature started the second half of the legislative session at a sprint. The House and Senate chambers engaged in long floor debate over several hot button issues, more than 40 new bills were introduced, and the Joint Budget Committee was hard at work finalizing figure setting prior to the March Revenue Forecast on Friday. The Senate spent hours on the floor rehashing contentious issues from sessions past including SB 083 which would require Colorado residents to have a valid government photo ID to vote. Republicans argued that measure would limit voter fraud and ensure integrity in the voter system. Democrats countered that adding a photo ID requirement would put undue burden on individuals who live in rural communities and discriminate against those at lower incomes. The bill passed the Senate down partisan lines and is expected to die in the House…Read More

Under the Dome Week 9
Saturday marks the official halfway point of the 2016 legislative session. So far, 505 bills have been introduced, 152 in the Senate and 353 in the House. Thirteen bills have been signed by the Governor and 87 bills have been postponed indefinitely. This means that only one fifth of all introduced bills have completed the process. Although all official deadlines have passed, late bills continue to be introduced daily. To add to the workload, the sole duty of the general assembly every session, to pass a balanced budget, still has to be tackled. This will be no easy feat….Read More

Under the Dome Week 8
The week kicked off with an announcement from Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman that moving hospital provider fee revenues into an enterprise fund is not unconstitutional. The Governor had requested the AG’s legal opinion earlier this year and individuals on both sides of the issue were anxiously awaiting the result. Attorney General Coffman made it clear that she was not getting involved in the politics and her legal opinion was “based solely on the law and its application to the facts.”…Read More

Under the Dome Week 7
Week seven under the gold dome included introduction of key bipartisan legislative initiatives and closing the legislative debate on the physician-assisted suicide. Leadership from all four legislative caucuses came together Wednesday to announce their support for workforce development with a package of bills dubbed “Workforce 2.0.” The ten bill package aims to engage Colorado’s top businesses and industries in training Coloradans with the skills needed to fill positions in industry…Read More

Under the Dome Week 6
Despite a short week, the House and Senate both pushed a full week’s work into four days. The House
floor anxiously awaited debate on HB 1054, the End of Life Options legislation. The bill was first
scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, was pushed back to Thursday, and now is placed on the calendar for
debate next Wednesday. It is unclear at this time if the bill has the votes to pass the House floor…Read More

Under the Dome Week 5
Budget conversations took an interesting twist this week when a legal opinion compiled by Jon
Anderson, former Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Bill Owens, and Trey Rogers, former Chief Legal
Counsel to Governor Bill Ritter, stated that moving the hospital provider fee to enterprise status is legal
under the Colorado Constitution…Read More

Under the Dome Week 4
This week all the legislature could focus on was the upcoming Broncos Super Bowl. To say “Bronco
Mania” took over the capitol is an understatement. The House and Senate calendars were colored
orange and blue all week, the Broncos cheerleaders made a visit to the House and Senate, and members
were allowed to break dress code and rock their Broncos jerseys, t-shirts, or other gear all week long.
The casual atmosphere didn’t prevent some legislative work from getting done however, as the House
and Senate combined introduced 71 new bills….Read More

Under the Dome Week 3
Committees of Reference began working through the bills on their
calendar. The Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed legislation to reauthorize the Scientific
and Cultural Facilities District despite opposition from smaller arts organizations. A group for the Tier 3
recipients argued in committee that they didn’t receive a fair share of funding and were being
discriminated against….Read More

Under the Dome Week 2
The Colorado General Assembly only met for four days this week, taking off Monday to celebrate the life
of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Another 113 bills were introduced throughout the week increasing the bill
total for the 2016 legislative session to 230. With final bill deadlines approaching, a slew of additional
bills are expected through the end of January….Read More

Under the Dome Week 1
The 2016 legislative session started with the swearing in of a new House member and the resignation of
another. With former Representative Jack Tate selected to replace outgoing Senator David Balmer in SD
27, a house vacancy committee chose Cole Wist to serve in HD 37….Read More

Governor’s State of the State
Governor Hickenlooper clearly set the tone and top priorities of his administration heading into the 2016 legislative session this morning in his State of the State address. As in years passed he applauded Colorado for its unique nature, innovation, drive to succeed, and its citizens desires to be self-sufficient…Read More

2016 Session Commences
The seemingly late start of the 2016 legislative session didn’t quell the excitement and buzz around the capitol on Wednesday morning. After seven quiet months, legislators and their families, legislative staff, citizens, and lobbyist descended on the capitol to listen to Senate and House majority and minority leadership outlined their agendas for the second sitting of the 70th General Assembly…Read More

Budget Forecast
This morning the Joint Budget Committee was joined by Representative Dore, Senator Balmer, Representative Lee, Representative Singer, and Representative Lontine to hear the much anticipated December revenue forecast from Legislative Council and the Office of State Planning and Budgeting…Read More