View all Vail Valley Partnership legislative positions for the 2018-19 legislative session here.
HB19-1210 – (Melton (D) & Galindo (D) | Danielson (D) & Moreno(D)) – Local Government Minimum Wage
This bill would repeal a prohibition that prevents towns, cities and counties from setting a minimum wage for their jurisdiction, higher than the state and federal minimum wage.
Rational: We generally believe that local government policy making is preferred to state-wide policy as Colorado’s regions vary in needs and economic challenges; the western slope, mountain region, eastern plains, and metro Denver region vary significantly and local jurisdictions have a better feel for their needs than state-wide policy.
That said, this will create a burdensome layer with various minimum wages across regions/towns. This bill would create a patchwork of differing minimum wage rates that would create competitive issues for small businesses and administrative headaches for businesses with and even some without multiple locations. The bill would also create a multitude of enforcement standards furthering the burden placed on business.
SB19-188: (Winter and Williams A.| Gray and Duran) Concerning the Creation of a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
The bill creates the family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program and the division of family and medical leave insurance (division)in the department of labor and employment to provide partial wage replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work:
- To care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition; Because the eligible individual is unable to work due to the individual’s own serious health condition or because the individual or a family member is the victim of abusive behavior; or
- Due to certain needs arising from a family member’s active duty service. Each employee and employer in the state will pay one-half the cost of a premium as specified in the bill, which premium is based on a percentage of the employee’s yearly wages. The premiums are deposited into the family and medical leave insurance fund, and family and medical leave benefits are paid to eligible individuals from the fund. The division is established as an enterprise, and premiums paid into the fund are not considered state revenues for purposes of the taxpayer’s bill of rights (TABOR).
Rational: SB19-188 creates a mandatory program that grants paid leave to employees with the guarantee of their job upon return. This applies to every employer in the state that has 1-1,000,000 employees. Sole proprietors can opt in with a three-year minimum. The paid leave would be granted for the birth of a child, bonding with a child, the adoption of a child, fostering a child, serious medical conditions for you or a family member, and for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. An employee is eligible for paid leave after working for 90 days and can take up to 12 weeks (an additional four weeks if for childbirth and bonding) with a guarantee of their job being held open. The insurance pool that would fund the worker’s benefits is paid for through a fee assessed on the pay roll where half is taken from the employee and half from the employer.
We believe that family leave should generally be a business-by-business decision and the fees associated with the program are burdensome to employers and employees, many of whom will never use the program.
**HB19-1207 – (Roberts (D) | Donovan (D) & Rankin (R)) Winter Conditions and Traction Control Requirements
Currently a person is required to use certain traction control equipment, such as chains or snow-rated tires, when the Colorado Department of Transportation restricts road use due to a winter storm. The bill broadens this law to require the traction equipment to be carried on I-70 between Dotsero and Morrison during icy or snow-packed conditions, before CDOT issues winter storm restrictions. It also updates the law to allow for current technology and traction options.
Rational: Winter driving conditions in the mountains of Colorado can be extremely hazardous and driving conditions can change quickly. Not having the proper equipment to drive in these conditions exacerbates this putting the driver of the ill-equipped car and other drivers at risk on top of the economic impact to the I-70 corridor communities of over $700,000 per hour the highway is slowed or shutdown. Requiring the proper equipment prior to winter driving conditions will hopefully have more drivers prepared for winter driving conditions.
Concerning the creation of special districts to provide early childhood development services. The bill authorizes the creation of early childhood development service districts (districts) to provide services for children from birth through 8 years of age. Early childhood development services are defined to include early care and educational, health, mental health, and developmental services, including prevention and intervention. Districts are authorized to seek voter approval to levy property taxes and sales taxes in the district to generate revenues to provide early childhood development services.
Rational: Child care is an issue to the Eagle County business community as shown in the annual Workforce Study. This legislation would require local approval of any new district and would allow a new, innovative approach to a regional challenge.