Social Events Launch Legislative Session, Then Work Begins in Earnest

CMA kicked off the legislative session with our annual Legislative Reception at the Brown Palace. From the lively conversations it was clear that CMA members and legislators alike were happy to again be meeting face to face to share ideas and opinions.

Following the first two weeks of oversight hearings where legislators reviewed the goals and accomplishments of state agencies, legislative committees have now launched into hearings on introduced bills. The first round of introduced bills were fairly non-controversial, but as days go on, we are seeing more legislative proposals that will generate extensive discussion and likely opposition.

CMA is particularly alarmed by a bill that would prohibit employers from taking adverse action against an employee for marijuana use. Another bill requiring our attention burdens employers with responsibility for employee’s commuting habits to discourage single vehicle travel. A third bill under CMA discussion is a draft proposal to establish a broad expansion of Air Commission activities related to toxic air emissions. And a host of other bills is anticipated dealing with workplace issues, climate change, and environmental matters.

CMA’s Government Affairs committee meets weekly to discuss bills as they are introduced, share information, and recommend CMA action. CMA collaborates with other allied organizations to develop, wherever possible, a united front on issues of importance to the business community and the mostly rural communities where our members operate.

Term limited legislators are moving on, as we saw Senate president Leroy Garcia resign to take a job with the Biden administration, while earlier Rep. Dominique Jackson left to become regional HUD administrator. Other legislators are planning for the November elections, leading to more hot button bills introduced and speeches to rally their respective political bases and highlight the flaws of the opposing party. Expect a raucous session!