COLORADO BALLOT ISSUES TO PROTECT BUSINESSES, EMPLOYEES, AND OUR STATE!

9.29.20

 

Hello, all –

The construction industry and our community partners are taking a stance on several upcoming Colorado ballot issues to protect businesses, employees, and our state – so I wanted to quickly get the word out about a couple of these pressing issues.

Below are the most relevant issues accompanied by our industry’s voting stance for each; more information on all of the ballot issues are also attached for your review as desired. Be sure to get out and VOTE…make your voice heard to help protect our industry and our state — and make us better!


 

PROPOSITION 118 – The Colorado Paid Medical and Family Leave Initiative

Brief Summary: Proposition 118 is a proposal on the Nov 2020 ballot to establish a state-mandated and operated Family Leave Insurance Program. The program is funded by a new payroll tax on both employers and employees.

The Cost: This devastating measure will have significant impacts on businesses, the economy, and the state budget. The 0.9 to 1.2 % payroll tax is a 20% to 25% increase in the current 4.63% state income tax and is a $1.3 billion tax increase on Coloradans.

Who Opposes: Associated General Contractors, Independent Electrical Contractors, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce & More [Just this week, AGC Colorado CEO, Michael Gifford, attended ‘No on Prop 118’ Steering Committee meetings to craft strategy and raise funds for this campaign]

Why a ‘NO’ Vote: This initiative proposes to increase taxes to both employers and employees at a time when most are struggling more than usual due to the global pandemic – a crisis that has been compared to the Great Depression. Is now the time to ask families to pay a payroll tax out of their wages for an unproven, state-run program they may never use?  This new program also generates a need to create a new enterprise within the department of labor – an extra layer of government bureaucracy with 200 employees. Local government is allowed to opt out of this initiative for their own employees leaving private employers and employees, as well state government and state employees, holding the bag.


 

PROPOSITION 116 – State Income Tax Reduction

Brief Summary: This initiative decreases the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%.

The Cost: This reduction would force an estimated $150 million per year in state budget cuts on top of the significant revenue shortfall we already face.

Who Opposes: Associated General Contractors, Independent Electrical Contractors, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce & More

Why a ‘NO’ Vote: Colorado’s income tax rate has not been a hurdle in our economic development efforts. Lowering our taxes at a time when we need investment in critical issues such as transportation and higher education is counterproductive. Additionally, the state often turns to businesses to recover revenue for its operations which can impact organizations’ ability to grow their businesses.


 

PROPOSITION 113 – Adopt Agreement to Elect U.S. Presidents by National Popular Vote

Brief Summary: This initiative affirms Colorado’s participation in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). States in the NPVIC agree to give their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the National Popular Vote (NPV), regardless of which candidate wins in that respective state.

The Cost: For the past few decades, Colorado’s nine electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win have been highly coveted and contested among presidential candidates. NPV’s passage would diminish Colorado’s voice in national elections as our population is a mere 1.75% of the national population.

Who Opposes: Associated General Contractors, Independent Electrical Contractors, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce & More

Why a ‘NO’ Vote: After working hard to reinstate a presidential primary and open primary elections to unaffiliated voters, this measure reduces Colorado’s political voice by handing our electoral votes to whichever candidate wins states with larger populations, like California.


 

‘Protecting the Right to Organize’ (PRO) Act  [Not Up for Voting – Will Be Affected by Election Results]

Brief Summary: The PRO Act would provide sweeping changes to the National Labor Relations Act that would enhance greatly the ability of unions to organize employees and permit the National Labor Relations Board to impose penalties on employers who retaliate against those seeking to unionize. The PRO Act, if enacted, would be the most significant series of amendments to the 85 year-old National Labor Relations Act.

The cost, ultimately, impacts worker choice and employer liability. The Act will strip employees and employers of their constitutionally-protected rights and hand power over to politically powerful union bosses – while penalizing employers who do not yield to union protocols. This Act provides workers with fewer choices, fewer rights, and an inability to speak for themselves.

Who Opposes: ABC, AGC, IECRM & businesses nationwide

Why Oppose This Act: For starters, the bill would override right-to-work laws in 27 states across the country. Without these laws in place, workers would be forced to contribute financially to a union, even one they might disagree with, as a condition of employment. It will make it more difficult for businesses to gain the right to counsel and to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters and strip secondary boycott protections that prevent unions from targeting the supply chains of the business they want to organize. It also threatens the livelihood of countless freelancers by forcing them to be categorized as employees and be subject to union pressure. This Act is not up for voting but will be impacted by the outcome of the 2020 election.


Following is an AGC Advocacy Report link with the AGC position on key ballot initiatives: http://www.agccolorado.org/advocacy-update

The 2020 ballot guide is posted below.

Appreciate your time – if you would like more detail on these ballot initiatives, you may reach out directly to Seth Anderson, CEO [sanderson@weifieldgroup.com].