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CRA Legislative Update - 2019April 24, 2019

The Legislative Update is a quick explanation of bills we are actively following in the Colorado State Legislature. CRA updates this list as new bills are introduced or as the status of the listed bills changes

In addition, we send out email notices and special ALERTS to members when we need help on issues or need you to contact certain legislators. It is extremely important that your member record at CRA contains your best contact email address. You can be sure we have it by sending your contact information to CRA at info@corestaurant.org. We promise not to share your email address with anyone. We will use it only for important CRA issues.



ACTIVE BILLS

Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act Changes
CRA initiated bill - Supports
House Bill 1076 by Rep Michaelson Jenet (D-Aurora) and Rep Larson (R–Littleton) makes changes to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act to ban vaping/e-cigarettes indoors where smoking is banned. Currently, you cannot smoke within 15 feet of the main entrance to a building. This bill would extend that to 25 feet. The bill makes no changes to patios. This bill passed out of the House of Representatives and will now be heard in the Senate.

Tip Sharing Signage
CRA initiated bill - Supports
Bill 1254 by Rep McLachlan (D-Durango) and Rep Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch) would makes changes to the required sign that must be posted by a restaurant if they choose to share tips with non-regularly tipped employees. If passed, a restaurant would be able to provide a notification on a menu, receipt, or table tent, describing how the business shares tips with all employees. There is no required language so the business would get to choose how they want to express this to their guests. This bill has passed out of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It will now go to the Governor for his signature or veto. 

Local Minimum Wage
CRA Opposed
House Bill 1210 by Rep Melton (D-Aurora) and Rep Galindo (D-Greeley) would allow any county or municipality the ability to set their own minimum wage for workers performing work in that county or municipality’s jurisdiction. Additionally, the bill would allow the county or municipality to establish their own enforcement scheme that could include a private right of action. This bill passed out of the Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee with amendments.

Equal Pay for Equal Work Act
CRA Opposed
Senate Bill 85 by Sen Danielson (D-Lakewood) and Sen Pettersen (D-Lakewood) removes the current administrative process for claims of wage discrimination based on sex and allows for employees to bring a civil court action. The bill also prohibits an employer from asking a candidate for wage history, requires employers to post all job openings to all employees with detailed information about benefits and pay range before promoting or hiring an employee, and allows for an employer to be fined between $500 and $10,000 for a single violation. This bill has passed out of the Senate with many amendments and will now be heard in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee.

Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act
CRA Opposed

Senate Bill 188 by Senator Williams (D-Denver) and Winter (D-Northglenn) would create a state mandated Family and Medical Leave Insurance program in the State of Colorado. This program will provide partial wage replacement for all employees if they need to take family and medical leave. This program will be funded by every single employee and employer in the state (60% employee/40% employer). Employers will be held responsible to make sure that the correct amount of money is deducted out of every employee’s paycheck, remitted to the state, and that the employer match it. Additionally, this bill will require any employer, with one employee or more, to allow an employee to take up to 16 weeks of family and medical leave and allow them to return to their job at the end. This bill expands the definition of a family members beyond FMLA. This bill passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now be heard by the entire Senate.


BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW

Retail Food Establishments Civil Penalties
CRA Initiated Bill – Supports
House Bill 1014 by Rep Singer (D-Boulder) and Rep Bird (D–Westminster) which makes changes to civil penalties for retail food establishments outside of Denver and changes to when a local health department needs to conduct a reinspection. This bill will allow local health departments to focus their resources on the businesses that need the most help, while giving restaurants who consistently meet health code standards relief from timely and often unneeded reinspections.  This bill has passed out of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This bill has been signed into law by the Governor.

Manufacturing license ML and FMB
CRA Neutral
Senate Bill 11 by Sen Tate (R-Centennial) and Sen Williams (D-Denver) removed the requirement that beer manufacturers need to have two different licenses and facilities in order to produce Fermented Malt Beverage (full-strength beer in grocery and convenience stores) and Malt Liquor (full strength beer in liquor stores and restaurants).  This legislation was signed into law by the Governor.

Local Government Regulate Tobacco Sales
CRA Opposed
House Bill 10-1033 by Rep Kerry Tipper (D-Lakewood) and Rep Chris Kennedy (D-Lakewood) if approved by a vote of the people within a county or municipality, a special sales tax can be imposed on products containing Nicotine. Additionally, this legislation would allow a local government to set more strict regulations on tobacco products in their jurisdiction like prohibiting sale to people under 21.  Such legislation will cause confusion for customers and retailers with multiple locations. This bill passed out of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This bill was signed into law by the Governor.


DEAD BILLS

Straws on Request
CRA Initiated Bill - Supports
House Bill 1143 by Rep Lontine (D-Aurora) would have required restaurants and bars only provide a straw to a customer when requested. There was no requirement to use a specific type of straw so restaurants and bars would have been able to use the straws that they are currently using and there were specific exemptions that include delivery and drive-thru. This legislation was an attempt to get ahead of attempts to ban the use of straws in the state. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Energy & Environment Committee. Opposition to this bill testified that it “didn’t go far enough” referring to parts of the bill that would have prohibited a city from banning straws or require the use of a specific type of straw.

Right to Rest
CRA Opposed
House Bill 1096 by Rep Melton (D-Aurora) would have created the “Colorado Right to Rest Act” establishing basic rights for persons experiencing homelessness, including the right to use and move freely in public spaces, to rest in public spaces, to eat or accept food in public places and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one’s property. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Transportation & Local Government Committee.

Sales Tax Simplification
CRA Supports
Senate Bill 131 by Senator Woodward (R-Loveland) would have exempted any business that does less than $100,000 worth of delivery outside of their sales tax jurisdiction from the new sales tax rules. Rules passed in December of 2018 require that when a business delivers goods or services, the business must charge the sales tax for the location of the delivery instead of the location of the business. This bill would have exempted most small businesses from this burdensome rule. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the Senate Finance Committee.

Retail Food Packaging
CRA Neutral
Senate Bill 34 by Senator Moreno (D-Commerce City) and Rep Melton (D-Aurora) would create a statewide standard for what types of food packaging could be considered compostable and recyclable and then allows local governments to require the use of those products in retail food establishments. The CRA is currently working with the sponsor on amendments that would get the CRA to stay neutral. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the Senate Local Government Committee.

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