These are all of the Business and Economic Development bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).

HB18-1038: Land Surveyors Continuing Education Requirement

Requires state board of licensure for architects, engineers, and land surveyors to adopt rules establishing continuing education requirements to prove maintained competency of land surveyors.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

This is a requirement common in other states because a)this is a licensed profession and continuing education is a common requirement for maintaining licensure, and b)this field has evolving standards and laws.

Cons

Not all licensed professions have continuing education and there isn’t enough new in land surveying to warrant the added work for the state or for land surveyors.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1038

HB18-1043: Beef Country Of Origin Recognition System

Requires retailers to indicate the country of origin for beef sold to the public. Only applies to raw beef.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

This enables consumers to support US beef in their purchase choices. Good for Colorado and America. And it helps consumers know where beef is coming from in case there are any issues with beef overseas.

Cons

This bill is an unreasonable burden on retailers, who will have to spend money to redesign all of their labels and labeling systems to accommodate this addition requirement, which is not at all related to safety.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1043

HB18-1063: Consumer Control of Consumer Credit Information

Requires credit reporting agencies to obtain customer consent before furnishing a credit report to a 3rd party, unless there is a court order or selling any information in the agency’s file. Also requires agencies to develop procedures by which a consumer who has been hacked after January 1, 2017 can request, free of charge: the consumer’s file, purge from the record the consumer’s file, no longer record or retain any information about the consumer (none of this applies to publicly available information).

*This bill has been assigned to the House’s “kill” committee, state affairs*

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

Credit reporting agencies are out of control, as we witnessed last year in the massive hacking scandal. Recourses for consumers are lacking, as we are all opted into these agencies without our consent. This bill prevents agencies from distributing our information without our consent and allows us to wipe our information if it gets stolen so that thieves cannot benefit.

Cons

Wiping your information is tantamount to destroying your own credit history. Credit agencies are used for anything we do that requires a loan or the promise of a loan (credit cards, bank accounts, purchasing cars or homes, etc.), and that information is relied upon to make valid judgments about how much debt an individual can successfully take on. This bill gives anyone who was hacked a get out of jail free card to destroy evidence of past credit failures or large amounts of current credit. It goes way too far.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1063

HB18-1083: On-Demand Air Carriers Sales and Use Tax Exemption

Creates a sales and use tax exemption for the purchase, storage, use or consumption of an aircraft for use in commerce by an on-demand air carrier.

VETOED

Pros

A recent survey of on-demand air carriers showed that on average each aircraft creates slightly more than five jobs to support its operation. This bill will put more of these planes in service, help modernize the planes, and help rural communities that do not have commercial service (many of them use it for medical transport). It does not apply to individuals, it only is for carriers who provide this service. Commercial airlines already have this tax break, this merely levels the playing field. And it is not a thing only the wealthy do, there are about 40 of these on-demand carriers in the state. The impact on revenue should be minimal, most of the owners of these planes are sophisticated enough to minimize their taxes by basing them in other states. This will bring more of these planes into Colorado.

Cons

The last thing we need is to give a tax break for charter jet operations. On the jobs front, the law of diminishing returns will surely apply here at some point, some of the five additional jobs will be able to do the same job on multiple planes. And the prices of these flights (over a thousand dollars to fly from one spot in Colorado to another) mean that this is an entire industry geared toward the wealthier among us. They don’t need this.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1083

HB18-1090: Credit Security Freeze for Minors and At-Risk Adults

Requires credit reporting agencies to automatically place credit freezes on those under 18 for free, and automatically unfreeze the credit once they turn 18 unless the legal guardian or parent requests the freeze stay in place. It also authorizes a guardian to request a freeze for an individual under their charge (generally an at-risk adult). The guardian is then empowered to ask for temporary or permanent lifting of the freeze. No charges are allowed for any of this activity.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

Minor and at-risk adults are unfortunately at great risk of identity theft, for the simple reason that the theft is more likely to be undiscovered for some time. This bill helps put some automatic protection in place for minors (who overwhelmingly don’t need credit) and puts guardians in control of at-risk adults. Any freeze on minors that is not automatic runs much the same risks of current law, it requires proactive parents.

Cons

This represents an unfair burden on the crediting agencies, who will have to do all of this work without any financial compensation. An automatic freeze adds to this burden, instead of a voluntary freeze initiated by the parents.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1090

HB18-1113: Small Business Regulatory Reform

For the first minor violation (defined as something that does not endanger public safety, worker safety, violate federal law, violate state civil rights codes, or deal with state contracts) of a new (less than one year old) rule by a business of 100 or fewer employees, a written warning is required rather than the statutory punishment.

*This bill has been assigned to the House “kill” committee, state affairs*

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

The state’s business community is mostly these smaller businesses that might not have the capability to keep track of all new rules and regulations and may not even be aware they are violating one until the state tells them. This law allows for a gentler method of educating these businesses and only includes violations that aren’t hurting anyone.

Cons

The law is the law. Ignorance has never been an excuse for breaking it, no matter what the degree of harm done. And the notion that a 100 employee operation is a “small” business doesn’t pass muster. If you can afford to employ 100 people, you can keep on the rules and regulations around your business in the state. The legislature passes these rules for a reason, and we can’t get in the business of deciding which ones are “no big deal” and which one are.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1113

HB18-1129: Consumer Report Security Freeze For Protected Consumers

Requires credit reporting agencies to place credit freezes on those under 18 for free if requested by the parent or guardian. It also authorizes a guardian to request a freeze for an individual under their charge (generally an at-risk adult). The guardian is then empowered to ask for temporary or permanent lifting of the freeze. No charges are allowed for any of this activity. 17 year-olds can unfreeze their credit on their own.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

Minor and at-risk adults are unfortunately at great risk of identity theft, for the simple reason that the theft is more likely to be undiscovered for some time. Allowing a minor who is 17 to lift the freeze themselves provides the necessary freedom to make their own choices at around the age when credit starts to become a part of their lives. Also puts the decision in the parent’s court about making a freeze rather than having it be automatic.

Cons

While this is an improvement on the current state of affairs, it does not address the core problem that most parents simply don’t think about their children as having credit that needs to be protected. Any parent that is savvy enough to ask for a freeze on their child’s credit is probably already savvy enough to look out for it under current law. This bill also represents an unfair burden on credit agencies, who cannot charge a fee for providing these services.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1129

HB18-1153: Property Casualty Insurance Claim Appraisal Procedures

This bill disqualifies any person from serving as an appraiser in an attempt to agree on the fair value of a property covered by a property insurance claim if they have a known, direct, and material interest in the outcome or a relationship with someone with interest in the outcome. To that end, it requires appraisers to disclose any prior relationships or interests that might affect their objectivity.

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Pros

This is pretty straightforward. In a situation requiring a neutral third-party, the neutral third-party needs to really be a neutral third-party.

Cons

This is too onerous a requirement on appraisers, who have to comb through all of their relationships every time they are asked to be a neutral arbiter.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1153

HB18-1154: Protect Consumer Solicit Public Record Copy for Fee

Requires someone who solicits a fee for providing a copy of a record held by a government entity to: give a copy of the solicitation document to county clerks and recorders where it will be distributed if it about a deed and will be supplied to a property owner, not charge a fee more than 4 times the amount charged by the state agency that has custody of the record, include disclosures on the solicitation document, not make it look like an official state document, and not make it look like it imposes a legal duty on the individual being solicited. This does not apply to title companies doing authorized business in the state.

SIGNED

Pros

There are unfortunately some companies that seem to subsist on scaring people into believing they need to purchase some sort of compliance document or another and these companies frequently try to make it look as close as possible to an official document without actually going over the line. We need the state agencies to determine what that line is, and we need to prevent people from profiteering off of documents readily available from the state.

Cons

These companies actually fill an important duty: warning individuals about compliance with state and/or local laws that they may be unaware of. This helps the state as well, it doesn’t have to do as much outreach as they would without these companies. This bill puts too much regulation on them and as a result, some businesses may no longer be in compliance with various state laws because some of these companies may stop soliciting them.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1154

HB18-1220: Bitcoin Dealers Licensed as Money Transmitters

Regulates anyone who offers or exchanges cryptocurrency, including bitcoin under the Money Transmitters Act.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

These digital currencies are in fact used as currency in many places and need to be treated as such to protect the public.

Cons

This will drive any bitcoin dealers out of the state to places with less regulation, which may have an adverse effect on Colorado residents who want to use bitcoin.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1220

HB18-1224: Licensee Discipline Mediation State Agency

Allows a licensee receiving discipline from a state agency for an occupational license to use a mediator at their own expense rather than going through court proceedings. If mediation fails, the agency may continue to seek discipline through a hearing.

SIGNED

Pros

Mediation takes much less time than moving a case through agency proceedings and a review, which can takes months or even years. Less time and less attorney fees/court costs. Also, since mediation involves both parties working together, compliance should be improved.

Cons

Mediation is not a court proceeding. It does not generally have set rules and can favor the sophisticated and loud party over the more unprepared or timid one. In this case the state agencies are going to be the sophisticated parties almost every time.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1224

HB18-1233: Consumer Reporting Agency Security Freeze Minors

Compromise proposal between HB 1090 and HB 1129. Authorizes a parent or guardian to request a consumer reporting agency place a freeze on the credit of either a minor under 16 years of age or a legal ward. This can be temporarily lifted or permanently removed at the parent or guardian’s request. The reporting agency is not allowed to charge a fee for any of this activity. Agencies must provide a notice informing parents or guardians that this option is available.

SIGNED

Pros

Minors and at-risk adults are unfortunately at great risk of identity theft, for the simple reason that the theft is more likely to be undiscovered for some time. Also puts the decision in the parent’s court about making a freeze rather than having it be automatic, but requires notice to be given to parents so they know what is going on.

Cons

While this is an improvement on the current state of affairs, it does not address the core problem that most parents simply don’t think about their children as having credit that needs to be protected. Any parent that is savvy enough to ask for a freeze on their child’s credit is probably already savvy enough to look at the notice when it arrives. This bill also represents an unfair burden on credit agencies, who cannot charge a fee for providing these services.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1233

HB18-1248: Unauthorized Funds Transfers Consumer Protection

Currently banks that engage in electronic funds transfers are required to protect account holders, defined as demand (checking), savings, or loan accounts, that have their card or device stolen from having money drained out of their account. This bill extends that protection to any consumer, whether or not they have an account with the bank.

KILLED ON CALENDAR IN HOUSE

Pros

This is just common sense, anyone who is a customer of any type with a bank should have these protections, whether or not the relationship fits into the checking, savings, loan structure.

Cons

Banks should be allowed to prioritize those with actual accounts at their institutions.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1248

HB18-1250: Analysis to Improve Compliance with Rules by Businesses

Requires each state agency to conduct an analysis of noncompliance with its rules to determine rules with greatest frequency of noncompliance, greatest amount of fines generated, how many first-time offenders were given chance to cure minor violations, and what factors contributed to noncompliance. It must then consider if any rules need to be clarified and if more education is required. All findings to be presented to state legislature.

SIGNED

Pros

Sometimes rules are poorly written or understood. This is about making sure that the rules we have are being put in the best position to succeed so that we are maximizing compliance, which is what the point of the rules are.

Cons

This is a wasteful exercise. These agencies already know what rules businesses struggle with and should already be able to rewrite where it is necessary or provide more education.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1250

HB18-1320: Deregulation of Large-Market Taxicab Service

In counties with more than 70,000 people, taxis would cease to be regulated as common carriers and instead operate as motor carriers. This would in effect allow them to be similar to Lyft and Uber in that they can operate whenever they want, charge what they want (including variable rates, just like Lyft and Uber), and do not keep the anti-competition aspects of common carrier status. They do have some added restrictions under the bill: drivers must pass fingerprint-based criminal history checks, taxis must accept any passengers without exception, annual permit is still required, and driving records and violations must be collected by taxi companies and provided to the state.

SIGNED

Pros

Taxis are a dying industry, ironically due to the very large barriers they themselves helped setup to keep out competition. The way forward, for them to be able to compete with Uber and Lyft, is to allow them to act more like Uber and Lyft, with the significant exception that as a public interest they have more rigorous standards for drivers in the law and must transport anyone. This bill does precisely this.

Cons

It is sort of rich to decide that the laxer rules Lyft and Uber can operate under, which caused all of the trouble for the taxi industry, can only be addressed by racing to the bottom with all the rules, instead of just tightening things up on Lyft and Uber. And of course, the bill doesn’t go all the way here, and thus leaves out some of the elements that make the biggest difference: ability to use ratings to decide who to use (this goes both ways, drivers and passengers), and ease of becoming and staying a driver. This bill won’t “save” taxis, it will just make them worse: laxer standards and confusing pricing.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1320

HB18-1426: Virtual Currency Exemption Money Transmitters Act

Exempts the transmission of virtual currency from regulation under the Colorado Money Transmitters Act.

KILLED ON SENATE FLOOR

Pros

This just puts into statute what the state is doing now, not regulating cryptocurrency transfers, which lines up with federal laws (there aren’t any). It may help attract some of these newer cryptocurrency firms to the state.

Cons

It may not be money recognized by the United States government, or that you can easily trade for dollars, but virtual currency is something valuable (in some cases very valuable) that people exchange. Not regulating it is wrong, people can get ruined financially or take advantage of others with crypto currency, there’s no magic in it that prevents this.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1426

SB18-005: Rural Economic Advancement of Colorado Towns

Authorizes the Department of Local Affairs to coordinate nonmonetary resources to assist with job retention or creation in a rural community experiencing a significant economic event, like a plant closure or layoffs, that has a significant and quantifiable impact on jobs in that community. It also creates a monetary fund for grants for the same purpose with $500,000 worth of funding.

SIGNED

Pros

Rural communities are particularly susceptible to economic events because they might not have the staffing capacity or ability to find and coordinate all of the resources available from state agencies to help the community. This is a problem that does not exist to the same degree for larger communities with bigger staffs and more resources. They also are more at-risk for becoming reliant on single industries. This bill both gives help to these communities in the simple form of more bodies and eyes to assist in the troubled time, and a small amount of money to help the community diversify its job base.

Cons

This bill privileges rural communities over the rest of the state. While it is true that the assistance provided by the state is technically non-monetary, in reality there is no such thing. State employees are paid a salary and their time is money. A non-rural area, as defined by this bill, will not receive the same level of assistance from the state. While the monetary portion of the bill is small, it is still favoritism: for example, an urban community that struggles to attract good jobs cannot take advantage of it.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-005

SB18-042: Concerning the Creation of the Agricultural Workforce Development Program.

Creates an agricultural workforce development program that provides incentives for agricultural businesses to hire interns. Businesses must be approved by state to qualify, they can only be reimbursed up to 50% of the cost, internships must be less than six months and no business can have more than three at a time.

SIGNED

Pros

Finding qualified and trained agricultural employees is a significant challenge and there are steep barriers to accessing training programs that provide real world experience. This bill solves this problem by providing incentives for short internships that can provide the real world experience needed to land a job out of school. Agriculture companies in Colorado frequently don’t have the operating margins to fully pay for internships without some sort of assistance.

Cons

Why is agriculture getting special treatment here? There are many industries where finding qualified and trained employees is challenging, and the businesses in these industries have to adapt. So should agriculture by providing these internships without money from the state.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-042

SB18-100: Motor Vehicle Rental Charges Disclosures

Requires motor vehicle rental companies to disclose any additional mandatory charges applicable to the rental and makes it a deceptive trade practice if they do not.

SIGNED

Pros

This is simple truth in pricing. Mandatory charges can add up fast, particularly if you are renting from an airport, and too often people get socked with unexpectedly high bills. Car renters deserve to know what they will really pay.

Cons

This may put Colorado tourism at a relative disadvantage to states that do not require this disclosure. It will make it look more expensive to rent cars here in Colorado than in other states, despite this actually not being the case.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-100

SB18-103: Issuance of Performance-Based Incentives for Film

From the legislative audit committee. The bill strengthens the requirements for getting incentives for film production in the state. Requires production companies to have engaged in production activities in 12 months prior to applying for incentive, requires certified public accountant to verify production company meets local hiring standards for the incentive, and requires the state to develop of list of certified public accountants who can perform this duty.

SIGNED

Pros

We want to avoid the state being taken advantage of by any company helicoptering in and out and not truly providing the local economic boost this incentive is designed for. Otherwise it can just be a waste of state money.

Cons

This may discourage some production companies from filming here if there are just going to miss the 12 month threshold or don’t want to put up with the accounting requirements. They may head to a neighboring state with similar geography and looser requirements instead.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-103

SB18-219: Motor Vehicle Dealer and Manufacturer Service Rates

Requires manufacturers to compensate its motor vehicle dealers in a timely manner and at the retail labor rate and retail parts markup percentage for all labor and parts used by the dealer relating to a warranty obligation. Sets standards for what dealers can use as the labor and parts rates relating to non-warranty repairs. Disputes between manufacturers and dealers over the rates are settled in court, with the manufacturer bearing the burden of proof. Bans manufacturers from retaliating in any way towards dealers for their rates.

SIGNED

Pros

Manufacturers force the dealers to assume these warranties as part of what comes with the car. Unfortunately, they then all too often do not deal in a fair manner when it comes to recompensating these dealers for their costs. This bill addresses the myriad of tricks the manufacturers use to get out of these payments and puts a solid regulatory structure around them.

Cons

This is government interference in a business dealing. No dealer is forced to sell a certain brand of car, and if some brands are particularly bad for dealers, the solution is obvious: don’t do business with them. This bill amounts to forced government protection for what by all accounts is a highly lucrative business from another highly lucrative business.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-219

SB18-236: Least Restrictive Regulation Professions and Occupations

Requires department of regulatory agencies to assume that consumers and sufficiently protected by market competition and only institute regulations if they find credible evidence of a present, significant, and substantiated harm to consumers and then recommend the least restrictive regulation that addresses the harm. The bill then lays out guidelines for remedies depending on the issue and lays out restrictions from least (market competition) to most (occupational license) restrictive.

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Pros

Licensing and other restrictive regulations opt as enormous barriers in the marketplace, protecting current players and making it difficult to break in. Cutting hair, doing nails, driving a taxi, the list goes on and on (and there seem to be fresh attempts to add to it all the time). In our zeal to protect ourselves, we have gone too far in the other direction, making far too many professions bow and scrape to the government in order to function at all. This bill set the balance right, by making sure that the least restrictive regulation possible is being used so that we remain safe but business is able to function.

Cons

This bill goes far beyond simply promoting least restrictive regulation. It spells out precisely what is to be done in a variety of different situations including contractual disputes, fraud, unclean facilities, breaking contracts, and so on. Occupational licenses are only permitted in situations where consumers have literally no way of knowing the quality of providers. This is an approach that says: sure, some people may get hurt but then the market will take care of it and the damage will be small. That is not the approach we want for Colorado.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-236

SB18-239: Animal Chiropractic Education and Reporting Requirements

Currently a licensed veterinarian must provide medical clearance before a licensed chiropractor performs an animal chiropractic act that falls within the scope of the chiropractor’s practice on an animal patient. This bill removes that requirement if the chiropractor has completed at least 9 hours of course work related to contagious, infectious, and zoonotic diseases. There are also some continuing education requirements and the chiropractor must report to both the state and the animal’s vet if they suspect the animal has a disease.

SIGNED

Pros

The idea here is to make sure someone can do the job and recognize if there is something else wrong with the animal that requires further investigation. This bill keeps that ability while also removing the burden (and cost) of first having to visit a vet to get clearance.

Cons

Chiropractors are not veterinarians and just because they have a small amount of course work in diseases in animals does not by any stretch qualify them to diagnose a problem with an animal.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-239