State policy greatly impacts the economic development work that we do everyday so it's important that we track certain bills and legislation. Our partners at the Economic Development Council of Colorado put together a Public Policy Update that you can check out below or here. Friendly reminder: This is just an update and not an official City of Brighton or Brighton EDC stance on political issues.
- LEGISLATIVE UPDATE -
March was a busy month at the legislature. The House and Senate had large debates on key policy issues. The Senate spent much time debating hot topic issues such as PERA and transportation funding. They passed SB18-001, the large transportation funding bill that allows for bonding and use of existing state revenues. SB18-200 (PERA) passed the Senate after much debate on who should bear the burden of stabilizing the unfunded liability of the program through a combination of increased contributions from employees and employers, a change from net to gross income, and the addition of a defined contribution plan. In addition, both chambers held policy debates on gun control, health care, k-12 education, and affordable housing issues.
We saw the release of Legislative Council and the Office of State Planning and Budgeting revenue forecasts, which showed strong increases in projected General Fund revenue. Legislative Council increased its forecasts for this year by $243 million for this year and $300 million for next year. With the extra revenues, the Joint Budget Committee finalized the budget and introduced the Long Bill (HB18-1322) on March 26.
Highlights of the state budget include:
$150 million to buy down the Budget Stabilization Factor (Negative Factor), and $30 million in one-time funding to rural schools.
$225 million as a direct payment to PERA to address employer contribution increases, though no details have been provided on this PERA payment.
$495 million to the State Highway Users Tax Fund, for state transportation projects.
When the House debated the budget last week, they added 33 amendments to include additional funding for school safety, youth services, and area technical colleges, while defunding monies for film incentives. Please note, the budget still has additional hurdles to clear, and can change. After much debate and negotiation, SB18-002, Financing Rural Broadband Deployment made it through the legislative process and was signed by the Governor. April is usually the busiest month, as bills start moving out of appropriations committees – we will see action on export promotion, historical tax credit, and market sourcing for business income legislation. We also will see movement on major public policy legislation that has been introduced or yet to be introduced. Bills the EDCC is supporting:
HB18-1083 On-demand Air Carriers Sales and Use Tax Exemption
HB18-1084 County Lodging Tax Revenue Allowable Uses
HB18-1135 Extend Advanced Industry Export Acceleration Program
HB18-1185 Market Sourcing for Business Income Tax Apportionment
HB18-1190 Modify Job Creation Main Street Revitalization
HB18-1250 Analysis to Improve Compliance with Rules By Businesses
HB18-1266 Career Development Success Program Expansion
HB18-1271 Public Utilities Commissioner Electric Utilities Economic Development Rates
SB18-002 Financing Rural Broadband Deployment
SB18-005 Rural Economic Advancement Of Colorado Towns
SB18-007 Affordable Housing Tax Credit
Bills the EDCC is monitoring:
HB18-1001 FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program
HB18-1034 Career and Technical Education Capital Grant Program
HB18-1195 Tax Credit Contributions Organizations Affordable Housing
HB18-1270 PUC Evaluation of Energy Storage Systems
HB18-1298 Colorado Secure Savings Plan
SB18-006 Recording Fee to Fund Attainable Housing
SB18-196 Repeal Late Vehicle Registration Fee