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Amendment 72 and Dec. 1 Labor Law – Government Affairs, Education, and Energy / Oct. 6, 2016

Amendments, regulations, and ballot issues can be confusing for voters and for business owners needing to implement them once passed. The Chamber’s Government Affairs, Energy, and Education committee can help.

At the October 6 meeting, an amendment on the November 8 ballot, and a labor law coming into effect on December 1 were explained and discussed.

Cara Welch, director of communication for the Colorado Hospital Association, talked about Amendment 72, a Colorado Tobacco Tax Increase. In August, the committee heard from the opposing side. Those in favor of passing the amendment say it will decrease smoking – specifically minors, and will provide additional taxes to fund programs for tobacco education, and other health-related issues – especially in rural and under-served areas. Those against this amendment claim that it offers a $315 million blank check in the State’s Constitution that could be used by special interests to lock in funding for their pet projects. After both presentations, The Chamber has taken a neutral position on this issue.

S. Lorrie Ray, Director of Member Engagement at Mountain States Employer Council, then presented information about a labor law coming into effect on December 1, 2016. This “White Collar Exemption Regulation,” increases the salary threshold needed to qualify for overtime exemption from $23,660 to $47,476/year.  Many exempt positions pay below this amount, so employers will either have to increase salaries, or move employees to a non-exempt position.

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Government Affairs, Energy, and Education identifies business, educational, and energy-related legislative issues affecting local businesses and the community. Meets the first and third Thursdays of the month (when the Legislature is in session), 7:30-9 am.

Chair: Dwight Taylor, Rocky Mountain Law Group, LLC. Chamber liaison: Tamara Mohamed.

The Government Affairs, Education and Energy committee is sponsored by Pinnacol Assurance.

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