(May 15) – Gov. John Hickenlooper, beer lover and former brewer, combined business and pleasure on a bill-signing road trip today when he made his last stop at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, where he signed a bill by Rep. Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs) to give corporations more room to pursue the public good.
Corporations have an overriding fiduciary duty: to maximize profits for their shareholders. HB13-1138, which Rep. Lee sponsored with Sen. John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins), creates a new class of businesses — benefit corporations, with the freedom to pursue beneficial causes as well as profits.
An existing corporation would need a two-thirds vote of its shareholders to amend its articles of incorporation to become a public benefit corporation. Employee-owned New Belgium has already begun the process of converting itself to benefit corporation status.
“My aim is to encourage all types of legitimate business,” Rep. Lee said. “There are entrepreneurs and social impact investors who want to benefit people and the planet as well as pursue profit. This new law will encourage them to grow their businesses in Colorado.”