Loaded UI Bill Good Politics, Bad Policy

Date: May 06, 2022

"I think SB 234 highlights the importance to small-business owners of having their own association that doesn’t always mosey along to get along with the business herd.”

NFIB gives backers of Senate Bill 234 credit for getting the right fingerprints on the weapon

Contact: Tony Gagliardi, Colorado State Director, [email protected],
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

DENVER, May 6, 2022—The representative association for Colorado’s Main Street, mom-and-pop enterprises today made one last plea for amendments to Senate Bill 234 that would eliminate the potential lasting harm it would have on unemployment insurance taxes, which are paid only by employers.

“I realize asking for a bill to be severed in two parts, on second reading in the second house, is nearly impossible but I believe the stakes are that high,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small-business association for 79 years.

“Two things particularly grate on small businesses’ nerves,” said Gagliardi. “Other states used their federal ARPA and CARES money and some of their own funds to purely pay down or off the UI loans they took out from the Federal Unemployment Account. They did not look upon it as an opportunity to tinker with their unemployment insurance systems. Second, Gov. Jared Polis did not ask for any of the changes SB 234 eventually wound up making. He just wanted $600 million to pay down the more than $1 billion loan debt Colorado has outstanding, which is why we praised him for that.”

Among the many worries small businesses have with SB 234, according to Gagliardi are:

  • It permanently expands programs and benefits placed in effect during the pandemic and paid for with federal dollars. The expansion or addition of any new program will be paid for by Colorado employers.

  • It eliminates the seven-day waiting period prior to collecting payment. This will result in an increase in the benefit payout and put Colorado in jeopardy of losing the full federal share for reimbursement for benefits.

  • It allows the Colorado Department of Labor to issue bonds and implement assessments to restore a positive balance in the unemployment trust fund. These increased costs will fall directly on the backs of employers.

“But don’t take our word for it,” said Gagliardi. “Check out the nine bullet points on the Legislative Council Staff’s official Fiscal Note attached to Senate Bill 234. As bad a piece of public policy SB 234 is, I give its proponents high marks for getting all the right fingerprints on the weapon to make it salable to progressives in the Legislature, including many of our fellow business associations that we often partner with on legislative advocacy. Our opposition to this measure comes from professionals within our association and associated with NFIB who have studied for decades the impact unemployment insurance taxes and workers’ compensation premiums can have on small businesses. I think SB 234 highlights the importance to small-business owners of having their own association that doesn’t always mosey along to get along with the business herd.”

Keep up with the latest Colorado small-business news at www.nfib.com/colorado or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CO or on Facebook @NFIB.CO


For 79 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.

NFIB Colorado
1700 Lincoln Street, 17th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Twitter: @NFIB_CO
Facebook: NFIB.CO

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