January 13, 2011 Legislative Update Governor John Hickenlooper Inaugurated as our State’s 42nd Governor John Hickenlooper has been inaugurated and the legislative session for 2011 has begun with a focus on addressing the state’s $1 Billion budget deficit, jobs, and the need to strengthen our economy. With all of this, what does it mean for Colorado technology companies and professionals, and what should we be involved in to make sure our businesses and industry thrive?
Jobs are the top priority for new Governor Hickenlooper, and our industry is critical for our state’s current and future economy. Colorado Technology Association will work with economic development leaders to identify key initiatives to ensure that you and other companies keep your jobs in Colorado, and to help identify new ways for this state to help you grow.
A few initiatives already underway are: 1. We are partnering with legislators on a bill to rescind HB1192 (new taxes on software and software use by all companies in the state of Colorado) because this new tax continues to be highly confusing, creating uncertainty and an unpredictable business environment not only for software companies but any company in the state who utilizes software. We believe this bill harms job growth and Colorado’s reputation as a technology-friendly state.
2. HB11-1045 was introduced today by Representative Kefalas (D-Fort Collins) and Senator Linda Newell (D-Littleton) to continue the angel tax credit begun in 2010. Representative Kefalas sponsored the initial bill, and Colorado Technology Association was proud to be one of the organizations who testified on behalf of the importance of incentives for investments in technology, and we will continue to support Representative Kefalas and Senator Newell on this important effort to encourage seed funding for Colorado technology companies.
3. In our Public Policy platform, Colorado Technology Association recommended policies to encourage more business between Colorado public sector organizations and tech companies based in or with operations in Colorado. That recommended was supported through Governor Hickenlooper’s Transition Team for OIT (co-chaired by Su Hawk, President, Colorado Technology Association; Molly Rauzi, CIO, City/County of Denver and Mark Martinet, CIO, Level 3), and became one of the recommendations from the Transition Team to Governor Hickenlooper. We are creating a resolution and plan to encourage these policies and business practices, and will look forward to creating more business opportunities for our industry.
4. Colorado Technology Association is partnering with legislators and other industries to create a comprehensive fund-to-fund to encourage more venture capital in technology companies in our state, to promote the very important entrepreneurial climate. We believe that access to capital continues to be a priority issue for technology companies, and we intend to help make Colorado’s climate for entrepreneurs and technology companies healthier.
5. We continue to encourage Colorado companies to do business with technology companies based in or with operations in Colorado, so in addition to the very successful C-Level @ A Mile High event to connect technology executives with technology companies, we also will review policies to encourage the same so that all companies can consider first the opportunity to strengthen our state’s economy.
On January 12, 2011, the 68th General Assembly began and will be in session for the next 120 days or until May 11, 2011. Governor Hickenlooper addressed the joint session of House and Senate members and talked a great deal about the solutions he believes will be created throughout the Colorado communities and collaboration and partnership across the state. He suggested the "daunting budget deficit” will be a key priority, along with creating jobs. For the first time in ten years, there is no party ruling both the House and Senate, and The House of Representatives now holds a Republican majority and the Senate holds a Democrat majority.
The new Speaker of the House is Representative Frank McNulty, (R - Highlands Ranch); Representative Amy Stephens (R - El Paso County) is the House Majority Leader; and the House Minority Leader is Representative Sal Pace, (D - Pueblo). The President of the Senate is Senator Brandon Shaffer, (D - Longmont) and the Senate Minority Leader is Senator Mike Kopp, (R - Littleton). Need a refresher on how a bill becomes a law? Colorado Technology 2011 Public Policy Platform Colorado Technology Association's Board of Directors and Public Policy Committee unanimously voted to approve Colorado Technology Association's public policy platform for 2011. The organization continues to move forward to ensure the technology industry (software/hardware/IT services/storage/geospatial intelligence, etc.) has the healthiest business environment to flourish and provide much-needed and high-paying jobs for Colorado's economy and community.
This platform will be shared with all legislators, government and business leaders to engage key leaders across our state in understanding those issues of most importance to Colorado Technology Association and our industry. Specific initiatives will be created across the organization to achieve the desired results, and in addition to the work of the Board of Directors, also engaged will be the Public Policy/Economic Development Committee, Education Committee, and initiatives with partners across the state.