Small-business group would prefer Senate Bill 66 for what ails the state’s UI Trust Fund
DENVER, May 2, 2022—All business groups are not united in their support for Senate Bill 234, the consensus vehicle for addressing the massive loan debt the state owes the federal government for the unemployment insurance money it borrowed to keep benefits going to those out of work. NFIB announced today it will lobby in opposition to SB 234 and will support Senate Bill 66 as a better alternative.
UPDATE: Senate Bill 66 died in committee May 3 and is no longer an option.
“That Senate Bill 234 took months of negotiations between select stakeholders was our first clue something more was afoot than just paying down Colorado’s UI loan debt,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest small-business association. “And sure enough, SB 234 didn’t disappoint, attaching provisos that would have been better negotiated individually in the Legislature. Other states simply used their budget surpluses and/or federal ARPA funds to pay off entirely, or pay down, their outstanding UI loans, but not us. We allowed varied interests to add their own pinch of salt and now have an unpalatable pot of stew.”
Colorado is one of only nine states with an outstanding debt with the federal government over UI loans it took out. As of April 28, that debt stood at just slightly over $1 billion.
“We applauded Governor Polis last year when he included $600 million to pay down the UI debt in his proposed state budget,” said Gagliardi. “But the Legislature couldn’t leave well enough alone. Although SB 234 does allocate the $600 million, it also includes the potential for higher UI costs in the future in a variety of ways. Senate Bill 66 would simply pay off the entire $1 billion loan and be done with it.”
Gagliardi detailed six areas of concern small businesses have with SB 234. The preferred alternative, SB 66, will receive a hearing in the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee tomorrow (May 3). The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 11.
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 78 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.
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