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Update From the State Capitol

Date: January 15, 2014

Three Issues of Immediate Concern

The first in a series of reports from NFIB/Colorado State Director Tony Gagliardi

Workers’ Compensation
Big labor is attempting to repeal several reforms that have made Colorado a leader in the United States for low premiums and high worker safety. Should the proposal by labor pass, and be signed, Colorado employers could see a minimum increase of 15 percent to 25 percent in their premiums. Colorado would lose a competitive advantage in keeping prices down. Our agricultural members and small manufacturers would be hit the hardest.

Mandatory Paid Family Leave
We expect a bill to be introduced that would require a minimum of 10 paid sick days for each employee based upon the number of hours worked. The NFIB Research Foundation prepared a study for Colorado, which determined that a mandatory paid sick leave policy would cost in excesses of 5,000 jobs in two years and hiring would most likely come to a halt. Our members cannot afford additional costs at a time when they are still struggling to regain stability and predictability following the last recession.

OSHA
On a federal matter, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken it upon itself to reinterpret a 1976 prohibition against OSHA enforcement actions against farmers with 10 or fewer employees. OSHA investigators are telling farmers that grain storage bins and silos are not part of farm operations, and thus are not exempt. This action has caused a Kansas farmer $132,000 in fines, even though no injuries have ever occurred on this farm.
Future reports will keep members informed on the progress of federal efforts asking that OSHA to cease all actions contrary to congressional direction regarding family owned farms.

Fridays at the Capitol Return January 31
This NFIB-exclusive event is your chance to hear directly from top lawmakers on legislation as it’s unfolding. Click here for more information

Can You Join Us for Small Business Day?
It’s important that you do. Save the date: Thursday, March 13. Watch this website for more information. NFIB’s annual event is the most circled date on the calendars of state legislatures, and for good reason: Every major poll shows small-business owners the most highly regarded group in America, and every elected official wants to be your friend. But out of sight is out of mind. 

During the cut and thrust of legislative activity, even lawmakers who should know better can fall victim to the persuasion of the supremely well-funded lobbying machines of trial lawyers, big labor, and advocates for bigger and bigger government—while small-business owners must attend fulltime to the running of their enterprises. To help blunt the force of big money, NFIB hosts annual Small Business Days at the Capitol, and the more members who attend, the louder we speak, and the less we are forgotten. 

For more information, send an email to NFIB Member Support Manager Stephanie Wentz, or call her at 303-831-6099. We hope to see you there.


Check this website for future updates from the State Capitol from NFIB/Colorado State Director Tony Gagliardi.

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