Weekly News from COBRT - March 12, 2019
March 12, 2019

Thank you to Mayor Hancock for speaking at COBRT's luncheon last week. We appreciate your support of COBRT and your leadership to the city of Denver. 
Legislative Democrats will introduce a retooled paid-family-leave bill later this week that requires businesses to pay half the cost of a proposed mandatory statewide program and to reinstate anyone taking as many as 16 weeks of leave to the same position when they return to work. Business leaders have engaged in several months of discussion over details of the bill, whose previous iterations have failed four times in the past five years, typically at the hands of Republicans who controlled the Senate up until this year. Many business organizations expressed frustration this week, however, at what they viewed as sponsors' unwillingness to consider their concerns about the costs of the program to small companies in particular, the broad eligibility for the program and the role of the state government - rather than individual employers - in reviewing and approving requests for leave under the potential new law. 

A Colorado Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday that would tighten oil and gas regulations, prioritize health and safety over business development, and give local governments control of industry permits. 

Twenty years ago, then ColoradoBiz Editor David Lewis commissioned a monthly column from me called "Cool Colorado Stuff," thumbnails of four products made by Colorado-based companies. In that time, I've written nearly 200 installments highlighting 800 Colorado-made products. In 2012, the concept expanded into a full-blown cover story detailing even more products from Colorado companies. In the "Made in Colorado" issues to date, we've taken several different approaches, spotlighting companies, products and people. The common thread? Manufacturing in Colorado. 

Mike Fitzgerald is stepping down as president and CEO of the Denver South Economic Development Partnership, retiring after nine years of leading the organization that has brought significant corporate growth and international companies to an area that once was viewed as an outpost of the downtown Denver business scene. 

For the second year in a row, a collaboration among Lincoln businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations has launched the Future Builders Challenge. The challenge kicked off with an inspiration rally on March 5 at The Career Academy, attended by community leaders, students and their families. 

Thank you to everyone who came to the Colorado Compact roundtable breakfast last week. Thank you to New American Economy for hosting the event. 
More than 200 companies and associations representing farmers and ranchers, manufacturers, service providers, and technology companies announced the launch of the USMCA Coalition, which will advocate for congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

On Tuesday, April 2nd from 7:45 am to 6:00 pm at Hilton Denver City Center the third annual Denver Cyber Security Summit will be taking place. This event connects C-Suite and Senior Executives responsible for protecting their companies' critical infrastructures with innovative solution providers and renowned information security experts. Each admission gives you access to all interactive panels, discussions, catered breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception. For a discounted rate please enter the code CBR95. 

The Colorado Business Roundtable had a blast once again at the Aerospace Day at the Capitol yesterday. We were excited and honored to support the aerospace industry here in Colorado. 
In a letter to Congress Thursday, Business Roundtable expressed support for the Equality Act, legislation to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and other areas. "As employers, America's leading companies know that our economy works best when our employees can be who they are, without fear of bias, discrimination or inequality - in the workplace or in their communities," wrote Ginni Rometty, Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee and Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM. "And as Americans, we are firmly committed to the principles of equality and fairness that have distinguished our nation since its founding." Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) plan to introduce the legislation next week.

In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Steve Demetriou, Chair and CEO of Jacobs, detailed the numerous economic benefits that would result from U.S. investment in infrastructure. "Action is long overdue," he said in reporting the economic consequences of deteriorating infrastructure. "A problem of this scale and urgency requires bold leadership in Congress, to focus significant and sustained investment on restoring America's standard of infrastructure excellence." Demetriou highlighted findings of the new Business Roundtable economic analysis, "Delivering for America." See statement, news release, video.

Listen at KDMT 1690 AM Denver's Money Talk from 
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