Centennial, CO - January 31, 2019 — The South Metro Denver Chamber has been recognized as a Certified Healthy Workplace for their commitment to workplace health and safety. This honor was awarded by Health Links™, a nonprofit program of the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health.
The Certified Healthy Workplace Partner designation recognizes organizations that have demonstrated a commitment and dedicated resources to team member health and safety.
Recognition as a Healthy Workplace is based on an organization’s score on Health Links’ Healthy Workplace Assessment™, an evidence-based online questionnaire. Health Links not only offers an Assessment, they also provide personalized advising and access to proven resources to help organizations and their teams champion health and safety.
About Health Links
Health Links™ is a mentoring program that champions health and safety at work. We offer evidence-based Healthy Workplace Certification and advising to help organizations and their team members achieve Total Worker Health®. As a nonprofit based in the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health, our deep experience as researchers and industry trailblazers informs everything we do for you.
SOUTH METRO DENVER CHAMBER BILL POSITIONS
· HB19-1010 Freestanding Emergency Departments Licensure
· SB19-006 Electronic Sales And Use Tax Simplification System
· SB19-014 Organized Retail Theft Prevention
· SB19-051 Increase General Fund Funding For Transportation
· HB19-1001 Hospital Transparency Measures To Analyze Efficacy
· HB19-1004 Proposal For Affordable Health Coverage Option
· HB19-1025 Limits On Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries
· HB19-1058 Income Tax Benefits For Family Leave
· HB19-1107 Employment Support Job Retention Services Program
· SB19-004 Address High-cost Health Insurance Pilot Program
· SB19-005 Import Prescription Drugs From Canada
· SB19-034 Local Government Recycling Standards For Food Containers
· SB19-041 Health Insurance Contract Carrier And Policyholder
· SB19-084 Revised Uniform Law Remote Notarization
· SB19-086 Update Business Entity Laws
· HB19-1096 Colorado Right To Rest
· HB19-1101 Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union Participation
· SB19-023 Cryptocurrency Exemption Colorado Digital Token Act
· SB19-055 Reduce State Income Tax Rate
· SB19-085 Equal Pay For Equal Work Act
CLICK HERE to view the bill tracker
Another week goes by that health care is at the center of debate at the capitol. Controversy this week surrounded whether or not to pass a bill that implements a frame work for a medicaid buy-in pilot program and a bill to let kids diagnosed with autism have access to medical marijuana.
Wednesday night ended late for the House, Health Insurance and Environment committee chaired by Rep. Susan Lontine (D-Denver). This committee voted on both of these high priority bills, hearing over six hours of testimony. Each passed with bipartisan support, with only one member opposing either. Rep. Susan Beckman (R-Littleton) shared her opposition on the pilot program bill brought by Rep. Dylan Roberts (D-Steamboat Springs) and Rep. Marc Catlin (R-Montrose) due to her belief that the program stands up the framework for single payer health care. Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton), the sole physician in the House, opposed the bill by Rep. Edie Hooton (D-Boulder) to allow children with autism to be treated with marijuana. Rep. Caraveo cited the lack of scientific evidence to prove its value, but expects there to be amendments to address the concerns of the medical community as the bill moves through the process.
Marijuana was not just a topic of discussion in the health committee, however; the House Business Affairs Committee heard a presentation from Jenifer Waller-Dean, Vice President of the Colorado Bankers Association, on banking issues surrounding the federally illegal substance. Until two bills which are working their way through Congress that address banking marijuana in some form pass, in Colorado the issue is not resolved.
It should come as no surprise that waiting for the federal government to take action is not something many state legislators like to hear. And there are a number of bills that ignore federal authority like the bill to address lab-raised or plant-based meat products. Others bills like this include a bill to allow re-importation of drugs from Canada which will be heard next week in committee, and a bill to elect the President by national popular vote which had over 60 witnesses present at its hearing this week.
Over the next week, we might finally see some of the bills that have been rumored on the energy front. Bills that are expected amend pooling requirements and rework the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Until next week!
Denver, CO – January 23, 2019 – Denver-based Wings Over the Rockies (Wings), is proud to announce Apollopalooza, a regional celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and future of human space exploration on Saturday, July 13th through Saturday, July 20th, 2019.
The weeklong celebration, hosted at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, invites guests to interact with space icons, and industry-leading organizations and appreciate the incredible accomplishment of setting foot on the moon. There will be activities for children and adults, an Apollo-themed traveling exhibit, Apollo summer camps, panel discussions, lectures, meet and greet sessions and much more.
“The first person to set foot on Mars is a child today,” exclaimed Wings Over the Rockies President and CEO, Maj Gen John Barry, USAF (Ret). “As Colorado’s Air & Space Museum, it is our responsibility to help educate a new generation about this amazing milestone in space history and propel our youth to the stars and beyond.”
“When Neil Armstrong uttered those famous words ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind…,’ a generation of young Americans had met the challenge given them by Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower. Since that historic event, much has stayed the same. Constants have been humanity’s hunger for the unknown, for expanding our reach for new homelands and freedoms, and for new understandings of our solar system and universe. Even as geopolitical challenges have grown, so has our sense of adventure and will to go above and beyond,” stated Senator, Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist Harrison H. Schmitt. “Apollopalooza is a manifestation of the excitement and critical importance of the new ocean of space opened by the 450,000 men and women of Apollo. I am honored and privileged to be a part of Apollopalooza.”
The guest list is growing rapidly; current VIPs include Senator and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, astronaut Vance Brand, Spaceport America CEO Daniel Hicks, Wayne Ottinger, Dr. Richard Palin and others.
Apollopalooza will be held at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver, Colorado from July 13th – 20th, 2019. For more information, visit WingsMuseum.org/Apollo.
About Wings Over the Rockies:
Wings Over the Rockies is a Colorado-based non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future. By utilizing the Air & Space Museum in Denver’s historic Lowry neighborhood to preserve the past and the Exploration of Flight Center at Centennial Airport to focus on the present and future, Wings strives to encourage the future aerospace leaders of tomorrow. For more information about Wings Over the Rockies please visit WingsMuseum.org or ExplorationOfFlight.org.
On Thursday, January 24, 2019, South Metro Denver Chamber hosted the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, the Hon. Erzhan Kazykhanov, at a reception. The reception marked his first official visit to Denver and the only public function during his trip. The purpose of the visit was to support the Chamber’s Global Commerce Initiative and to expose the south metro Denver business community to the culture of, and business opportunities in, Kazakhstan.
The Ambassador was accompanied by an entourage including Kazakh Invest and is seeking to expand commercial ties with the State of Colorado.
Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country, and former member of the Soviet Union is playing an increasingly important role in world affairs. It is the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest country in the world. It is a major player in Central Asia and holds vast mineral resources. Kazakhstan's exports include oil, wheat, textiles, and livestock. Kazakhstan is an increasingly significant oil and gas player. It is a leading exporter of uranium and enjoys economic and financial stability. Since March 2002, Kazakhstan enjoys market economy status under U.S. trade law as designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Ambassador also took some time to compare the skiing opportunities at Vail with those available in Kazakhstan.
Photo credit: Steven Sokolik, Passionate Pixels: www.passionatepixels.com
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This week kicked off with the new governor submitting his legislative proposal to the Joint Budget Committee which spurred his relatively vague campaign to cut a number of corporate tax breaks in an effort to lower income taxes. This effort adds to the list of his administration’s priorities which includes state funding for full day kindergarten, addressing energy issues, and lowering the cost of healthcare. For the most part, the legislature agrees with him; but it’s not just the Democrats. While majorly impactful bills are being released almost every day, the session’s slow start is making room for unexpected alliances under the Golden Dome.
Tax Policy Changes
Just after Gov. Jared Polis (D) celebrated Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) and Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells) on Twitter about their bill to lower the income tax, he called upon both for help to achieve a lower rate than their proposed 4.49%. This drew ire from groups concerned with the current state of Colorado’s budget like the Colorado Fiscal Institute and others who seek additional dollars for much needed infrastructure and education investments.
Democrats in the House and Senate have their own ideas, simply coming from a place that more money is better than less. There are rumors that a TABOR time-out might be in the works or that TABOR revenues above the cap need to be earmarked in order to make P-12 education, higher education, transportation and capital maintenance investments a reality.
Education and Full Day Kindergarten
There are still no bills that explicitly call for full day kindergarten, but the governor’s budget did ask the Joint Budget Committee to set aside $227 million for that purpose. For the past six years, this has been a major priority for Rep. Jim Wilson (R-Salida); on the campaign trail, Polis often lauded his efforts. While Rep. Wilson has always served in the minority he is a member known for working well with Democrats. If this idea makes it across the finish line, this will be both a win for the governor and for Rep. Wilson who is a former school superintendent. This could serve as another example of the new governor embracing Republican proposals to move forward a campaign promise he calls, “Colorado for All.”
Oil and Gas and Energy
Only hours after Supreme Court’s Martinez ruling Monday in favor of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regarding what they must weigh when determining whether to issue drilling permits, Gov. Polis’ new Colorado Energy Office (CEO) director unveiled the administration’s new goals for reducing the emissions that come from oil and gas wells and other sources.
Will Toor, Director of CEO, presented to the House Energy and Environment Committee sharing the governor’s priorities.
While CEO does not have any regulatory authority over oil and gas, it is clear that the office’s aim will be to be less reliant on traditional energy. Directives from the administration will guide the department to aid in the transition to a 100 percent renewable-energy grid by 2040, to dramatically reduce methane emissions, and to increase other energy efficiencies across the state.
We can expect that CEO will take a stronger role in increasing the electrification of the transportation system by promoting zero-emissions vehicles and easing Colorado away from having cars with internal-combustion engines powered by oil and gas.
There are no legislative proposals that deal with oil and gas regulation at this time.
Healthcare Cost Savings
A significant number of the bills heard and introduced this week dealt with healthcare. Members in the House Health, Insurance and Environment committee voted on a bill that allows for more state oversight of hospital costs and a bill the licenses Free Standing Emergency Departments (FSEDs). Both aim to reduce the cost of healthcare and are being run alongside other robust measures like the drug importation program which could eventually authorize pharmaceutical drugs to be re-imported through Canada. More bills addressing the cost of health care are expected in the coming weeks and this will be a major focus of the new administration. This is especially true given that the newest Department, “The Department of Saving People Money on Healthcare,” is headed up by the new Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, a former state representative, patient advocate and cancer survivor.
None of her proposals have been made public yet and it’s likely, that she, the governor, and the leaders at the legislature will be releasing bills more swiftly in the coming weeks.
Until then we stand waiting in our anticipatory frenzy…
Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) officially changes his title from Representative to Senator this coming week. His replacement in the House still has not been named. That "To-Be-Determined" member should be the last new member of this year's class of first-year legislators.
The Colorado Health Foundation is dedicated to bringing health in reach for all Coloradans. In doing so, the Foundation funds impactful work – including promising programs or projects, innovative ideas and policy advocacy – that reflects its cornerstones. The Foundation’s cornerstones outline who they serve, how their work is informed and their intent to create health equity for all who call our state home.
We invite all chamber members and your networks in the community to visit the Foundation’s open funding web page to learn about funding that can make a difference in your community. Program officers and Foundation staff are available to talk through ideas and all are encouraged to connect with a staff-person before applying. You can reach out by email here or by phone at 303-953-3600. Be sure to note the county you live in and funding area of interest in your email or phone call.
Spend an evening with award-winning and New York Times best-selling author Nnedi Okorafor, who will share about her acclaimed novel, Who Fears Death, slated to be an HBO series, on Thursday, February 7, 7 pm at Embassy Suites DTC, 10250 E. Costilla Ave., Centennial.
Okorafor’s African-based science fiction and fantasy novels include the “Binti” trilogy and Akata Witch. She also authored several of the popular “Black Panther” Marvel comic books. Okorafor’s standalone series features Black Panther’s sister Shuri.
Born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents, Okorafor is known for weaving African culture and folklore into creative, evocative settings with memorable characters.
Enjoy light refreshments and an author signing. Okorafor’s books will be available for purchase from Book Bar.
To save your spot, visit arapahoelibraries.org/author, stop by any library or call 303-LIBRARY (303-542-7279).
The pomp and circumstance of the first full week of session comes to a close today with the State of the Judiciary speech being the last in a long list of addresses to government officials and the public. On Tuesday, the new governor was sworn in and his “Blue Sneaker Inauguration” ball was held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Cyndi Lauper and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats performed while Governor Jared Polis (D) and the state’s First Gentleman, Marlon Reis, thanked supporters who were celebrating Polis’s election victory and his vision of a “Colorado for All.” How his vision will gain traction is a question that many political observers want the answer to and many are asking, “How will these priorities be funded?”
In his State of the State speech Thursday, Gov. Polis embraced Democratic priorities that were carried over from his campaign: creating a government-run health care system, finding a way for the state to import drugs from Canada, moving towards 100 percent renewable energy over the next twenty years, and funding full day kindergarten for all Coloradans.
Specifics on those priorities were not shared, but legislators in the House and Senate are picking up the gauntlet and trying to drill down into how these big picture ideas may take form through legislation. Sen. Robert Rodriguez (D-Denver) is one of those members who has already introduced a bill to allow the state to apply for a waiver from the federal government and import some drugs from Canadian pharmacies.
After the next introduction deadline, which is today, we can also expect to see more bills regulating oil and gas and addressing business mandates and workforce needs. Now that the governor has released his last round of picks for department heads, committees will begin to meet more frequently in order to confirm those individuals and begin committee hearings for bills.
Governor Polis (center) addresses the General Assembly in his first State of the State speech this week