DENVER—Today, Democrats in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee killed, on party lines, legislation that would have greatly helped thousands of Colorado’s small businesses navigate the growing list of state-agency rules and regulations. House Bill 18-1113, sponsored by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), would have required state agencies to issue written warnings to businesses with 100 or fewer employees in lieu of punitive fines for any minor violation of a new rule. Additionally, businesses in violation would have had 30 days to come into compliance, thereby giving state agencies more flexibility to educate and cooperate with the business community.
“Every new regulation and punitive fine drives-up the cost of doing business and makes living in Colorado less affordable,” said Neville. “I said from day-one of this session that Republicans were going to help make Colorado more affordable again, and lowering the cost of doing business in our state is a big part of that process.”
The defeat of House Bill 18-1113 marks the 8th year in a row that Democrats have killed an industry-supported, pro-business bill seeking to ease the regulatory burden on businesses in Colorado.
“Republicans continue to introduce regulatory reform bills every year because it still matters to the small business community, and matters to the every-day Coloradan struggling to afford living in our state,” added Neville. “
The bill defined minor violations as matters related to record-keeping, retention of data, or the filing of reports. Matters of public safety, environmental protections, federal and state laws, state-issued permits and violations related to bidding on state contracts would not have qualified under the proposed bill.
Approximately 95 percent of businesses in Colorado have 100 or fewer employees.