Senate Bill 1 Archives - Colorado Politics
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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJanuary 11, 20182min2930

The Colorado Senate’s majority Republicans are pitching upgrades to the information superhighway — as well as to plain-old paved highways — as a boon to rural Colorado.

A press announcement touting the legislation said both proposals — the first two Senate bills introduced on opening day Wednesday — demonstrated a “commitment to assisting parts of rural Colorado that often feel left behind by the boom times enjoyed by the urbanized Front Range.”

The announcement said Senate Bill 1, “is a tax hike-free roadway modernization package that also could have broad economic benefits, if approved by voters next fall.”

Senate Bill 2’s provisions boosting rural broadband — a complicated measure Colorado Politics’s Marianne Goodland covers in greater depth — is intended to help bridge the digital divide.

SB 2 author Don Coram, a Montrose Republican, had this to say about both measures’ impact on farm-and-ranch-and-wide-open-spaces districts like his:

“In tandem, our first two bills of the session are meant to provide a double shot of economic assistance to rural parts of the state that often lag behind economically … It’s our way of helping to bridge the urban-rural divide so that every part of the state prospers.”



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 3, 20173min1110

What began as a heralded Republican bill to ease the regulatory burden on small business — launched amid fanfare in the GOP-ruled state Senate at the start of the 2017 session — died quietly in a committee of the Democratic-run House on Thursday.

Senate Bill 1 would have given small businesses a month to fix minor breaches of state regs before fines were levied. The bill would have defined a small business as one of fewer than 500 employees, and provided leniency for minor, first-time violations of state agency rules except rules pertaining to safety.

The measure was sponsored by the father-son tag team of Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, in the upper chamber and, in the lower chamber, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock.

Despite the junior Neville’s standing in the House minority leadership, majority Democrats on the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee killed SB 1 on a party-line vote without much debate.

Republicans afterward bemoaned the bill’s demise in a press statement issued by the House GOP:

“This bill would have shifted the culture of government to one of cooperation with the private sector and helped achieve a high-level of compliance through education rather than fines and penalties,” said (Patrick) Neville. “This bill passed with strong bipartisan support in the Senate, but unfortunately Democrats that support small business seem to be in short supply in the House.”

Why was Democratic support for the bill so scarce in the lower chamber? The Denver Business Journal’s Capitol ace Ed Sealover reports today that, “…Democrats on the House committee that killed it spoke as if they were just waiting to substitute a proposal of their own in its place.”

And sure enough, Sealover confirmed:

Several lobbyists said they have seen copies of a regulatory reform bill that (Democratic state Rep. Tracy) Kraft-Tharp will introduce soon.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; under the Capitol dome, it’s also business as usual.



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJanuary 31, 20172min750

Cutting regulations on business — especially small business — is as much a part of the Republican brand as the elephant itself. A bill that Republicans are touting to do just that — by giving small businesses a month to fix minor breaches of state regs before fines are levied — passed the state Senate Monday on a voice vote and even picked up support from across the aisle. After a formal roll-call vote as early as today, Senate Bill 1 will head to the Democratic-controlled House.

The measure is being sponsored by the father-son tag team of Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, in the upper chamber and, in the lower chamber, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock.

The Senate GOP was pleased at the development. More so, perhaps, given SB 1’s uncertain-at-best prospects in the House. A press release from the Senate Republican communications office captured the moment:

“Our aim is to ensure that government offers of ‘help’ aren’t quite as terrifying as they were back when Ronald Reagan made his famous joke about the 9 most feared words in the English language,” (Sen.) Neville said, “because our bill requires state agencies to work cooperatively with small businesses that may be out of compliance with minor rules, rather than just bringing down the hammer.”

The press release noted, “The bill only pertains to relatively minor administrative rules violations, not those that potentially put public health or safety at risk.”

 


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Jared WrightJared WrightJanuary 20, 20176min2060

Ronald Reagan once joked that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” It’s a string of words most businesses may dread even more, given the government’s make-or-break power to tax and regulate. Like many Americans, Statehouse Republicans understand that there was a serious subtext to Reagan’s quip. Government regulators too often assume an unnecessarily adversarial role vis-à-vis business, punitively enforcing fines and penalties as their default method of ensuring compliance with rules and regulations.