These are all of the Business and Economic Development bills proposed in the 2021 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, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about 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.

Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in []. They are color-coded by party.

Some bills will have text highlighted in pink or highlighted in orange or highlighted in yellow. Pink highlights mean House amendments to the original bill; orange mean Senate amendments; yellow highlights mean conference committee amendments. The bill will say under the header if it has been amended.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Mega, Major, Medium, Minor+, Minor, and Technical. 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!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.

HB21-1013 Division Of Domestic Stock Insurer (Kolker (D)) [Snyder (D), Van Winkle (R)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Negligible

Goal:

  • Allow domestic stock insurers (owned by shareholders) to divide into multiple companies with the approval of the state commissioner of insurance.

Description:

Insurers must submit a plan approved in accordance with the insurer’s bylaws to the commissioner. This plan must include name of each dividing insurer and resulting insurers and a copy of proposed bylaws and articles of incorporation, manner of distributing assets and liabilities and ownership shares, reasonable description of all liabilities and assets, and anything else required by commissioner. Commissioner must consider if plan will jeopardize the financial stability of any new companies or prejudice the interests of original company shareholders or harm policyholders, if the plan is reasonable and fair, that there are no plans for liquidating any surviving company or making changes that are unfair or unreasonable or not in the public interest, and the competence, integrity and experience of management of new companies. Commissioner is to select and retain a third-party expert to review all plans of division and report back to commissioner. Insurer must pay for this service. Before approving a plan the commissioner must hold a public hearing with at least 30 days notice.

Additional Information:

Plans may be amended, with shareholder votes required for anything that affects division of shares or changes in bylaws. Plans can be abandoned before they become effective. Dividing insurer must pay expenses of commissioner and provide documentation as needed. This documentation is confidential. Insurers must make good-faith effort to contact all policy holders at last known e-mail address to give notice of the public hearing.


Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • This replaces a cumbersome, time consuming, and confusing (to consumers as well) process with one that many other states use, with the added benefit of requiring state approval and the input of a third-party expert

In Further Detail: The process for this right now is very cumbersome and time consuming, they must use reinsurance right now, which can take up to decades to go through entirely because it requires almost all policies to expire. This process also gets confusing for consumers, as the reinsurer actually administers the policy while the insurance company holds the actual policy. The setup under this bill is used in many other states, with the added benefit of requiring the commissioner of insurance’s approval for any of these plans to go into effect and requiring a third-party to look over the plan to ensure no insurer is attempting to dump losses and that the resulting companies will be sound and able to serve their policyholders and shareholders.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • While it is true that the bill has safeguards meant to protect consumers and shareholders, it is also true that the protection will not be as vigorous as current law, however cumbersome that may be. With something like insurance, better to err on the side of caution and keep things how they are.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1013

HB21-1041 Private Sector Enterprise Protections [Woog (R)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: $2.8 million per year in legal services

Goal:

  • Prohibit the state government from passing or implementing any law or rule that interferes with the ability for businesses or their customers from using their free will and free choice and take risks in any manner, time, or condition that is acceptable to the parties involved

Description:

Law applies to all individuals and any sort of business entity engaged in selling any sort of product or service for profit. Law specifically says it overrides the state constitution. Bill allows any business to assert a violation of this law in any judicial or administrative proceeding of any kind as a defense.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • Licensing and other restrictive regulations opt as enormous barriers in the marketplace
  • Small businesses are frequently just not equipped to deal with the avalanche of regulations that can be thrown their way, and the cost of keeping in compliance can become higher than a business with not many employees can bear
  • Personnel responsibility should be more important than government hand-holding. So long as people properly understand the risks of an activity beforehand and it is not illegal, it should be allowed

In Further Detail: 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. We all need to take some more personal responsibility. If all parties involve understand the risks and the activity or product is not illegal, then it should be allowed. Obviously if someone is not informed of the potential risks that is a different story and would not be protected by this law.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • This would destroy the ability to hold any business in the state accountable for nearly anything—gross negligence leading to death would simply be people undertaking a risk. The only thing that might survive is outright lying to people
  • This would prevent the state from regulating or licensing any industry: medicine, electricians, insurance: all of it would rely on whatever federal regulations exist—and for the most part this stuff is left up to states
  • You cannot write a law that supersedes the state constitution, that’s now how our government works

In Further Detail: This goes far beyond past efforts to put limits on the ability of the government to regulate businesses for public safety. There is no standard at all really, it is just that any business or consumer should be able to buy or sell anything they want as long as they are willing to undertake the “risk”. If there is no federal regulation or licensing requirement than the state can do nothing to protect people. Just to pull one example out of many, doctors are licensed by the state to practice medicine. Under this bill, if you were willing to take the risk of your car salesman neighbor down the street operating on you in your living room, because for whatever reason you thought he could do it, there would be no way for the state to stop it and potentially no way to really do anything about if after the fact. This would obviously be a disaster for public safety, and it would go far beyond just medicine. Finally, you can’t write a law that supersedes the state constitution. That is not how our government works. If you want to change the constitution you have to change the constitution itself. Any law that contradicts the constitution is unconstitutional and will be struck down.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1041

HB21-1048 Retail Business Must Accept Cash [A. Valdez]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Require retailers who have a individual accepting payment in person for goods and services to accept cash. Failure to do so is a class 2 petty offense, with a maximum fine of $500 per transaction

Description: Nothing to add

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • Refusing to accept cash places some Coloradans at a disadvantage due to lack of access to banks and credit and they are the people who face the most burdens in our society
  • Some customers have fears of personal information being hacked and do not want to use credit or debit instruments for payment
  • It is a very small burden on businesses to accept cash—we’ve been doing it for over a century and an entire economic infrastructure is built around it. This includes security concerns and cashless businesses may in fact be in more danger during a robbery if the robber doesn’t believe the clerk

In Further Detail: About 25% of Americans are unbanked or underbanked, which means they lack access to a traditional bank account. Not having a bank account means of course you cannot pay with a debit card but it also means it is nearly impossible to get a credit card. That leaves very few options other than cash for payment, and those other options usually come with high fees. The people most likely to be underbanked are low-income, have less education, and be in a racial or ethnic minority group. They may not have the means or time to shop around to find stores that do accept cash. Also paying with a card means putting a lot of your personal data into a computer database that we have seen over the past few years is likely to be hacked at some point or another. Those who want to use cash for understandable privacy reasons should be able to do so. And using cash is not some great burden for businesses: we’ve been doing it for a century. Businesses already need bank accounts, bank accounts are fine with cash and businesses are used to having to deposit it. Security will always be more of an issue with cash, but again, we’re used to this. Safes, cameras, sophisticated point of sale machines, we are set to deal with the potential problems. As for the issue of robbery attempts, while it is true that having no cash means nothing to give to a robber, it is also probably true that most robbers aren’t doing sophisticated checks on what businesses accept cash and which ones don’t. So rather than not having anyone attempt to rob the store, you are more likely to get an angry robber who may think you are lying about not having any cash. For the loss of money due to robbery, that’s why we have insurance. Multiple other states already have similar laws. It is time for Colorado to follow suit.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • This is an infringement on the right for a business to set up payment as it sees fit—no one is forced to use any business that doesn’t accept cash. We also don’t force businesses to accept credit cards
  • Non-cash businesses are much more secure from robbery and have fewer security considerations than businesses that accept cash
  • Cash operations are harder to track and more prone to error

In Further Detail: Fundamentally this is about the right of a businesses to operate as it sees fit without violating anyone’s rights. And there is no right to pay in cash. Businesses make operating decisions all the time that may cause some customers to not use them. Those customers are free to use other businesses that are more to their liking. The exact same principle applies to accepting cash. Note that we do not require businesses to accept credit cards and some don’t. This is undoubtedly a huge hassle and may cause some people to not use those businesses. Which is fine, that’s how our system works. Businesses have legitimate security issues around cash that do not exist for credit. From workers stealing from the till to people robbing the store, cash provides a way for direct access to a business’ money that does not exist with credit. A store with no cash, for instance, cannot be robbed at gunpoint for money. There is literally no money to steal. Cash operations are also harder to track and more error prone. Card transactions come with a range of automatic tracking, from point of sale to credit statements to bank account statements. Cash must have a system in place to achieve the same result. And it is much easier to make a simple mistake: either in counting or in making change or in grabbing the wrong bill.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1048

HB21-1063 Model Law Credit Extraterritorial Reinsurance (Rodriguez (D)) [Lontine (D)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Adopt the model law of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in order to maintain continued accreditation of the state’s division of insurance which operates our reinsurance plan. The core of this is the grounds upon which a US-based insurance company can get credit in Colorado for reinsurance it is assuming when jurisdictions outside of the state are involved.

Description:

Reinsurance is the process where insurers transfer part of their risk to other parties by some sort of agreement to reduce the likelihood of paying a large claim. This is called “ceding” and the party that accepts part of the risk in exchange for part of the premium is the reinsurer. The state runs a reinsurance plan for health insurers to try to bring down the costs of high-risk premiums, partially funded by fees on hospitals. If a state does not meet accreditation guidelines it is preempted by federal law.

The bill allows credits to be issued when the reinsurer has its head office located and licensed in a reciprocal jurisdiction, maintains enough capital by rule to assume the credit, and maintains a minimum solvency or capital ratio (again set by rule).

Requires the state to keep an up-to-date list of reciprocal locations. If a previously OK location is removed from the list, any existing credit agreements are allowed to remain in place.

Additional Information:

To be a reciprocal jurisdiction one of the following criteria must be met: non-US jurisdiction that is subject to an in-force agreement with the US, a US jurisdiction that meets federal requirements for accreditation, a qualified jurisdiction as determined by the state that meets additional requirements set by rule.

Reinsurers must provide prompt written notice and explanation if they fall below any of the capital rules and consent in writing to the jurisdiction of the courts in Colorado and to pay all final judgments. They must also agree to assume 100% of the liabilities of the credit. It must pay claims promptly.


Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • This is pretty basic: we need to do this or lose our accreditation. This is a model law in place all over the country

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1063

HB21-1102 Consumer Protection For Dog And Cat Purchasers (Jaquez Lewis (D)) [Duran (D), Soper (R)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Stop any pet store that was not licensed prior to the implementation date of this bill from selling pet dogs or cats. Any store that was licensed by the state can continue to do so as long as they meet conditions set by the bill, including price, breeder information, and license information

Description:

Specifically, stores must include the price of the pet and any applicable federal or state license numbers for the breeder of the animal in all advertisements, including on its website. On the animal’s enclosure, the store must post the price and the following information about the breeder: full name, kennel name (if applicable), city, state, and any applicable federal or state licenses. Before any sale, the store must disclose, in writing: price, interest rate or range associated with any financing or credit card offer, and the same breeder license information along with an unredacted list of all violations associated with all licenses in the past two years. Bill also specifies that local governments can enact more strict regulations.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • Commercial breeders, often known as puppy or kitten mills, are bad for animal welfare. Animals are frequently kept in poor conditions, have health or behavioral issues, and can even pose threats to human health. One of the key outlets for these mills are pet stores
  • Requiring full transparency around breeder information will allow consumers to make informed choices and hopefully naturally close down this pipeline, it will also crack down on some more nefarious practices around pricing and credit
  • We should not be allowing this pipeline to expand in any way—for stores that already sell these animals we’ll let them continue under full transparency so as to not damage an existing business

In Further Detail: There is a nationwide epidemic of the sale and purchase of cats from high-volume commercial breeders, often known as puppy (or kitten) mills. These animals are frequently raised in poor conditions, sometimes including lack of adequate and uncontaminated food and water, lack of socialization and exercise, poor sanitation, confinement in cramped and unsanitary cages, and exposure to extreme temperatures. Animals coming from commercial breeders frequently have health and behavioral issues and can even pose threats to human health, according to the federal center for disease control and prevention. This bill aims to address part of this problem by addressing the pipeline of commercial breeders to pet stores, where thousands of animals get imported into the state for sale every year. While most pet stores are scrupulous, some are not, and do not do the diligence required on a pet’s health, leaving owners holding the bag. This bill ensures that no one will buy a pet without a full understanding of its breeding history, which should naturally close down commercial breeding paths. It also cracks down on some of the more nefarious practices of some around pricing and credit. Finally, it also ensures that we issue no more licenses to pet stores. Stores that already do will be allowed to continue so as to not harm their business but we should not allow any more of this activity to start. Most pet stores already do not sell dogs and cats anyway, and the few that do have time to adapt. People will still get their dogs and cats. Just from responsible breeders, shelters, or existing pet stores that adhere to full transparency.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:     

  • Enforcement of existing laws seems like the proper way to crack down on pet stores or anyone else in this space behaving badly
  • The licensing look-up and reporting requirements seem very onerous and perhaps designed to discourage pet stores from selling dogs and cats without explicitly prohibiting it
  • Banning any future store from this activity is anti-competitive behavior: if some businesses can operate under proper licensure and sell dogs and cats than we must not ban other businesses from doing the same under the same rules

In Further Detail: If the problem is that some pet stores are not behaving properly, that sounds like a problem of licensure enforcement. Indeed the major problems identified by this bill can be addressed simply through better enforcement of existing laws. Better transparency is certainly nice, although all of the work involved with licensing look-up seems fairly onerous and designed to stop pet stores from doing this without explicitly preventing it. But the core problem here is that the bill is saying that it believes pet stores can act within the guidelines of the bill and sell dogs and cats, but also saying that it won’t allow anyone to do this in the future. This is anti-competitive and just not how we operate in this country. If the activity is legal and safe, then we should not be preventing anyone from opening or expanding a business to do it. In the end, the problem of commercial puppy mills seems like a problem of enforcing existing laws on multiple fronts, not with the need for new ones.


Bottom Line:

  • This does not go far enough to crack down on pet stores and puppy mills. We need to choke off all avenues for these mills, which means no pet stores selling dogs and cats. Saying this is a big enough problem to not allow any pet stores to start selling dogs and cats but then letting existing ones keep doing it doesn’t cut it
  • The bill also avoids other major avenues for commercial breeders: rescuers purchasing at auction and outdoor venue purchase

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1102

HB21-1124 Expand Ability Conduct Business Electronically (Lee (D)) [Bird (D), Soper (R)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Modernize state rules around registered business’ communications by defining electronic communications, including that unless it is explicitly stated otherwise e-mail is a valid method of notification and that receipt occurs if the e-mail is successfully received which does not require it to actually be seen.
  • Also allows boards of directors to hold remote shareholders meetings, so long as all shareholders are able to participate with reasonable notice and there are procedures in place to ensure no non-shareholders participate

Description: Nothing to add

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • It’s 2021, all of this makes sense

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB21-1124

SB21-001 Modify COVID-19 Relief Programs For Small Business (Winter (D), Priola (R)) [Herod (D), Sandridge (R)]

SIGNED INTO LAW

AMENDED: Minor

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Widen an already existing grant and loan program for businesses owned by minorities and affected by COVID-19 to include really small businesses, businesses owned by people with low or moderate income or wealth or who struggle to access credit or funds, or that are in a distressed economic area.

Description:

This is $4 million of federal CARES act money that was appropriated last year for COVID-19 relief and consists of grants and loans. The small businesses that can now qualify are called “microbusinesses” and must have 5 or fewer employees. Income thresholds are to be based on federal standards, while net worth is left more open for the state to determine. Economically distressed areas are either a state opportunity zone, an enterprise zone, or a historically underutilized business zone.

Allow those who own “microbusinesses” (5 or fewer employees), a business or business owner located in an economically distressed area, a business owner with low or moderate income or low or moderate personal wealth or diminished opportunity to access credit or funds, to qualify for state aid that was already available to businesses owned by minorities.

Additional Information:

The original bill allows the state to determine all of the documentation requirements for the program and all parameters for eligibility in terms of size of relief, if it is to be a grant or a loan, and repayment terms for loans. State must report by November 2021 and November 2022 on how funds were dispersed.

Auto-Repeal: January 1, 2023

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • This is a good expansion of a program that is designed to reach businesses who either struggle to get access to federal relief programs or are on the knife-edge of failure or both. The bill last year was just too narrowly targeted.

In Further Detail: This was a good idea last year that was just too narrowly targeted. Businesses owned by people of color have been more impacted by the pandemic than white-owned businesses, with studies estimating a 24% gap in revenue decline between businesses owned by Blacks and whites, 15% between Hispanic-owned businesses and those owned by whites, and 9% for Asian-owned businesses and those owned by whites. So yes, everyone is hurting, but minority-owned businesses are hurting more. We also have enough distance to understand from multiple studies that access to the Paycheck Protection Program was harder for minority owned businesses. But as this current bill recognizes, minority owned businesses may be harder hit and be having a harder time accessing federal funds, but that should not exclude our understanding of other businesses that are also struggling with the same thing. Each category that has been added here also either historically struggles to access capital (which makes it hard to get federal relief funds like PPP) or is on the knife-edge of failure or both. We already know that providing just one bucket of money and a free-for-all to access it (like PPP) doesn’t work in reaching enough of these businesses.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • We should not have separate pots of money for certain businesses that others cannot access. The state can determine need, let everyone apply to one program.

In Further Detail: We should not be carving out money for particular businesses of any type. Businesses that employ more people or that happen to be in better economic areas or owned by white people may be struggling just as much as the businesses allowed to access this bill’s program. While there are other programs that they can take advantage of, so can the businesses identified by this program. We should just have one program, one bucket of money, that everyone can access. The state can determine true need to make sure we aren’t giving money to businesses that don’t need it. But a job is a job, and a business is a business, no matter where it comes from.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB21-001

SB21-035 Restrictions On Third-party Food Delivery Services (Rodriguez (D)) [Bird (D)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Not yet released

Goal:

  • Restrict third-party food delivery services from offering or arranging for sales and/or delivery from food establishments without permission and reduce the compensation rate paid to drivers or withhold tips from food establishments, staff, or drivers.

Description:

Food establishments can bring civil actions to enforce this bill, penalties are not to exceed $1,000 per violation and injunctive relief. Winning party in the action is also entitled to collect reasonable attorney fees from the loser.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • We’ve learned through hard experience that these delivery companies will withhold tips—entire website sprouted in 2019 just to determine what companies keep tips. We also know from experience that when forced to give up tips they were keeping, companies like to adjust wages downward—so that the net result is the same
  • These same companies keep adding restaurants to their apps without permission in massive numbers—resulting in messed up orders, inaccurate menus, and angry consumers who of course would blame the restaurant
  • With food delivery probably staying a big part of our lives even after the pandemic is over, we have to ensure drivers and customers are not being taken advantage of

In Further Detail: In 2019 we discovered that several of the most popular food delivery services actually withheld tips from their drivers. Customers were outraged to learn that the company made a big deal out of asking for a tip, then just pocketed it. Entire websites popped up just to keep track of which companies were doing what. And while places like DoorDash reversed course, we just learned this month that Amazon had to pay over $61 million to settle a dispute with its drivers because it snuck changes relating to tip withholding into its Amazon Flex drivers. We also know that the entire point of this is to keep money in the pockets of the company, so if we just ban tip withholding, the companies are free to simply pivot and lower wages instead. And it was a stated policy goal of Grubhub to add restaurants without their permission, so as to make their own offerings look better to consumers and “convince” the restaurants how great it would be. Then if someone actually orders, the Grubhub driver has to make the order themselves, and you can guess how well that went. Then of course some restaurants don’t even offer takeout…whoops a canceled order. A report last October said that Grubhub had added 150,000 restaurants across the nation without permission. 150,000! They are currently being sued. DoorDash and Postmates have gotten in trouble for the same behavior, so it isn’t an isolated incident.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • This is actually the perfect example of the free market working: people discovered this, were outraged and company policies changed
  • The language of the bill appears to forbid companies from lowering compensation at all, ever

In Further Detail: What we have witnessed over the past two years is the perfect example of the free market working. People are unearthing all of these facts about these companies and getting outraged, prompting lawsuits to rectify past harm (successful ones at that, DoorDash had to pay over $2 million for its tip withholding) and changes in policy. The adding restaurants angle is still working its way through the system, but it appears clear that the law is being applied by the courts to address clear malfeasance. Because that is the case, we don’t necessarily need new laws: DoorDash and Amazon were sued successfully under existing ones because they perpetuated fraud on consumers and drivers. Grubhub is likely to pay the piper next to restaurants. So we don’t need new laws in this space. Even worse, this law appears to simply provide a blanket ban on ever lowering compensation for drivers. The intent may be to forbid lowering compensation to balance against increases in tips, but the text just says “reduce compensation rate” without any qualifications. That is incredible over-reach into any industry—who has the right to pay its workers what is wishes so long as it is above minimum wage.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB21-035

SB21-040 Driver's History Profession Or Occupation Decision (Scott (R))

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: None

Goal:

  • Limit ability of state regulatory agencies to use driving history to make decisions to a three year window.

Description:

Forbids state regulatory agencies from using driving history that occurred more than three years prior in issuing, renewing, reinstating, reactivating a permit, certification or registration or taking disciplinary action. The three year timeframe applies to the time that act was allegedly made, if the agency is considering disciplinary action.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • This brings state agencies in-line with general insurance company practice
  • People deserve the opportunity to fully participate in our economy if past mistakes are not repeated

In Further Detail: This just brings our state regulatory agencies in line with the common practice of insurance companies, who do not look back farther than three years in general, though state laws do vary around the country. And it makes sense, we are trying to determine the current risk of the danger of allowing someone to drive, not the risk based on their conduct years ago. Remember: this is a driving record, not a criminal record. That would be a separate query. So regulatory agencies, which do sometimes need to consider driving record, should be operating under the same rules. People do make mistakes, the important thing is if those mistakes were recent and if there is a continuing pattern of them. Three years is plenty of time to establish such a pattern. If it isn’t there, then people deserve the chance to have the full opportunity to pursue a career.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • The need to protect the public from harm is stronger than an insurance company’s need to determine risk in pricing their premiums
  • Bill makes no distinction between minor offenses and more serious ones

In Further Detail: First, state regulatory agencies are not insurance companies. Their job is not to assess risk and decide how much to charge a driver on the chance they will make an error or break the law. Regulators are there to protect the public from harm. So the entire record is very pertinent to public safety. The bill makes no distinction between minor traffic offenses, which may very well fall under the idea of a three year lookback, and much more serious driving offenses that do not rise to the level of criminality.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB21-040

SB21-091 Credit Transaction Charge Limitations (Liston (R), Rodriguez (D)) [Bird (D), Larson (R)]

Appropriation: None
Fiscal Impact: Up to $2.6 million at full implementation due to state using credit cards

Goal:

  • Allow businesses to impose up to a 2% surcharge on customers for using a credit or charge card.

Description:

Charge cards are cards where unpaid balances are payable on demand. Debit cards do not fall into this category.

Additional Information: n/a

Auto-Repeal: n/a

Arguments For:

Bottom Line:

  • Businesses are losing increasing amounts of money to these fees, 1.5% of all card sales in 2019
  • Colorado is one of only five states that still doesn’t allow surcharge collection
  • Everyone is still free to make their own decisions: customers can use different forms of payment or different bu
  • Businesses and businesses do not have to use the surcharge.

In Further Detail: The fees business have to pay on these cards can add up. In 2019 the US processed $7.58 trillion in card transactions and had to pay fees of over $116 billion. That’s 1.5% of all sales, out of the pockets of the businesses because of a decision to use a card rather than pay with cash or check. And these are rapidly increasing trends. Use of cash and checks is plummeting and those card fees are rising. The only current way to get around this, offering a discount to those who pay by cash or check, is  a poor substitute. It requires tricky math to determine pricing and marketing and/or discussion around the discount. All for the same end result. So many states have recognized this problem for businesses that Colorado is now only one of five states to ban sellers for surcharging people using a credit card. People are free to pay in cash if they wish to avoid it (or avoid the business completely) and businesses are free to not use a surcharge if they don’t want to.

Arguments Against:

Bottom Line:

  • We already have a tool for this: discounts for paying by cash or check
  • There is no notification requirement in the bill

In Further Detail: Businesses that want to try to keep these fees already have an option under Colorado law: raise their prices up to cover the fee then offer a discount for those that pay by cash or check that approximates the old price. The bill also has no notifications requirements to consumers about this surcharge or even a requirement to display it on a receipt. It’s hard for customers to avoid businesses that use a surcharge or pay with cash or check instead if they know nothing about it.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB21-091