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Colorado Chamber of Commerce says business better off after legislative session

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(The Center Square) – Colorado Businesses are better off now than they were in January, according to an analysis by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce on the 2024 legislative session.

In a media release announcing the publishing of the Chamber’s 2024 annual report, 82% of the bills the Chamber opposed were defeated and 76% of the bills it supported were passed into law. The Chamber estimated the business community was spared more than $17.2 billion in costs among various bills, including property tax legislation and the defeat of proposals on government-sponsored health care.

“I’m proud to say that Colorado employers statewide are better off because of the incredible success rate of our advocacy team this session,” Loren Furman, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Chamber, said in a statement.

The Chamber said it was successful in defeating eight bills that would have significantly impacted the business community. It highlighted Senate Bill 159, which would have banned new oil and gas development in the state.

“When asked broadly for their assessment of the 2024 session, leaders from the oil and gas industry said they achieved a meaningful period of legislative and regulatory stability,” according to the report.

House Bill 1365 was highlighted as a key element of a workforce development package signed into law. The bill provides $19 million in grants and tax credits. It also funds seven regional summits for employers to meet with education and government leaders to discuss the sectors and careers in most need of talent.

“It will take several years to see the full impact of the package, as it launches planning processes that will lead to the creation of new career pipelines that will reach down as far as middle school to give students direction into fields in which they are interested,” according to the report. “But employers also can take advantage of some of the new offerings right away, including new tax credits for offering apprenticeships or expanding in-house training facilities.”

The Chamber supported 30 bills during the session and 23 of the bills passed. It opposed 23 bills and 19 of those were defeated.

The reported said the Chamber will be monitoring the state’s ballot initiatives and the November general election.

“While many pending measures were withdrawn due to legislative compromise, potential propositions on tax structures and electoral system reforms could still be headed for the ballot,” according to the report.

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