(May 5) – Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp’s bipartisan regulatory reform bill to cut red tape for small business and give state agencies the ability to waive penalties for minor infractions passed the House on April 3. It hasn’t been seen since.
“Regulatory reform has been a contentious issue in the legislature for years, and I was proud to work with Rep. Polly Lawrence and Sen. Don Coram on reform that brings relief to Colorado’s small businesses while safeguarding the health and safety of Colorado works and consumers,” said Rep. Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada. “It’s frustrating that a bill supported by the many businesses that I worked with to develop the policy is being held hostage by the Senate Republicans.”
HB17-1270 is also sponsored by Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park, Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver. The bill gives companies with 50 employees or fewer – about nine out of 10 companies in Colorado — 30 days to correct first-time violations of paperwork or reporting requirements without penalty when the aggregate penalty is a fine of $500 or less. State agencies could waive penalties in a variety of categories, but not in several specified categories, including those involving public safety, wage theft or violations of federal law.
The bill would also urge state agencies to improve public dissemination of rules changes and order a review of the most-violated rules to see if notification and training, or the rules themselves, should be revised.
Business groups such as the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, the Colorado Competitive Council and the Denver Metro Chamber testified in committee in support of moving the bill forward.
HB17-1270 has not been introduced by the state Senate’s Republican leadership, which controls the routing of all bills in that chamber. It is the last chance for meaningful regulatory reform this legislative session.