February 17, 2011 - Legislative Update Colorado Technology Association’s legislative and policy platform outlined three key areas of importance for our work on behalf of the industry, including economic development/technology company retention and growth, STEM education, and telecommunications infrastructure. We are well on our way on the initiatives outlined, and now that the legislative session has begun, we wanted to provide you with updates as well as areas where we invite your support and involvement.
As a frame of reference, the 2010 legislative session had a number of bills fast-tracked, so we thank you for helping us reach out quickly to legislators during a time when damaging legislation was being decided in two-week time frames, an environment of more than three times faster than usual. This year, we are optimistic about the key initiatives we are leading, or watching, and will instead be discussed in the General Assembly over a much more usual six-week time period. We encourage your involvement or outreach, and we’ll keep you updated on where we are with each initiative and specifically where you can be most helpful to our industry. Bill To Rescind HB1192 House Majority Leader Amy Stephens (R - El Paso County) and Representative Carole Murray (R - Castle Rock) will be introducing a bill rescind HB1192 because of the red tape and new taxes 1192 placed on all business who employ people in Colorado who use software.
HB1192 continues to be highly confusing, complicated, and a deterrent for companies to hire Colorado workers, and the list of unintended consequences continues to grow larger. Every day, we hear from companies that HB1192 has placed red tape around the ankles of Colorado companies who want to be in the race to strengthen Colorado’s economy.
There will be a press conference in the State Capitol, and we invite all members of our community to join us to support Representatives Stephens and Murray as they advocate to rescind HB1192 and make the business environment for technology companies healthier – including all companies who utilize technology or their business success.
We also encourage you to thank Representatives Stephens and Murray for their leadership; please also contact your local legislators and let them know that HB1192 does not help the Colorado economy. We will invite you to blog, comment, tweet, or otherwise help us make sure the technology industry’s voice is heard, so you will receive the release and information in advance on Tuesday morning.
This legislation is our top priority for the year. Please help us make sure the technology industry’s voice is heard.
Innovation Tax Credit – HB1045 Thanks to Representative John Kefalas (D - Fort Collins) for first introducing this important legislation in 2009 to create a tax credit for angel investors in Colorado technology companies. In 2010, the program was tested, and we believe it should be extended beyond just the first year pilot program. HB1045 would extend the program, and it passed the House Finance Committee last week.
Please contact Representative John Kefalas (D - Fort Collins) and Senator Linda Newell (D - Lakewood) and let them know that their leadership is welcomed, and please contact your local legislators in both the House and Senate to share your perspectives about why access to capital is so challenging in this economy – and why HB1045 is an important step for entrepreneurs and our important ecosystem in the economy.
HB 11-1109 The telecommunications infrastructure of Colorado is critical to our schools, hospitals, citizens and businesses across our state, and it's the right time to make sure our broadband infrastructure is brought up to speed - and to allow cities to encourage important companies like AT&T to keep their businesses growing in our regions. The bill grants a town, city, or county the authority to exempt from local sales tax the sales of machinery and equipment used directly in the provision of intrastate telephone and telegraph service or mobile telecommunications service. Such machinery and equipment would remain subject to the state sales tax.
The bill passed through both the House Finance Committee and full House of Representatives with a nearly unanimous vote, and now goes on to the Senate. Please let Representative Larry Liston (R - Colorado Springs) and Senator Angela Giron (D - Englewood) know how important our telecommunications industry is in Colorado, and why their leadership on this issue is important for our industry and our state.
We continue to monitor other issues, and will update you as they become available. For more information about the legislative items currently introduced that Colorado Technology Association is monitoring, please see our current legislative agenda report.