Printer Friendly

Business direction up for vote.

DECISIONS MADE BY COLORADO VOTERS IN THE gubernatorial and state legislative races as well as several ballot issues at this year's general election are crucial for Colorado's business climate. The elected legislators and governor will determine the direction of public policy for the next two sessions of the Colorado General Assembly in such areas as employer-provided health coverage, business taxes, employment-and-labor issues, education, transportation, economic and workforce development, environmental regulation, civil justice, illegal immigration, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Voters will decide whether Republican Bob Beauprez or Democrat Bill Ritter will serve as governor for the next four years. Because of term limits, Gov. Bill Owens cannot run again and will step down in January. Coloradans have a great propensity to re-elect incumbent governors, so their decision on Nov. 7 may well select Colorado's governor for the next eight years.

The other statewide elections of interest to the business community are for State Attorney General, State Treasurer and Secretary of State.

Businesspeople should also focus on the state Senate and House candidates in the districts where they live. A low-profile but extremely intense contest is underway statewide to see whether Democrats retain their majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives--or whether Republicans will regain the majorities they held for many years before the 2004 election.

The majority party in the Senate selects the Senate president, and the majority party in the House selects the Speaker of the House. These leaders not only select the chairs for each body's legislative committees, but each personally exerts enormous influence in guiding the course of policy discussions and legislation.

The Senate Democrats have held a slim 18-to-17 seat majority for the past two years, and it's likely that the Senate split will continue to rest on a single seat. However, it is difficult to forecast whether Democrats or Republicans will have the 18 majority votes after November. Only 17 of the 35 Senate seats will be contested in this election.

In the House, Democrats now hold a 35-to-30 majority. All 65 House seats will be up for election. The last two years are the first time since 1975-1976 that the Democrats have held the majority of House seats.

As the state chamber of commerce, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry lobbies a broad-based business agenda at the State Capitol. The composition of the legislature is extremely important for CACI's lobbying effort and the statewide business community. To promote pro-business legislative candidates, CACI's political action committee raised funds this past spring and summer. The CACI Board's Executive Committee then decided which candidates to endorse and support, based on staff analysis and recommendations. Businesspeople can review a list of endorsed candidates at the CACI website: www.COchamber.com.

In addition to the gubernatorial race and many critical state legislative races, there will be a number of ballot proposals going before the voters, and the vote on several of these will be of great interest to the business community. Among these are proposals to raise the minimum wage in Colorado, with a built-in escalator for future years, and to deny certain tax benefits to employers that hire illegal immigrants.

Accordingly, CACI urges you and your workers to learn as much as you can about the candidates and the issues before the voting starts in mid-October, and then vote in a way that will strengthen both your company and the Colorado economy.

CHUCK BERRY IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, WHICH IS THE STATE'S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. BERRY WAS ELECTED TO THE COLORADO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN 1984 FROM COLORADO SPRINGS. IN 1991, HE WAS ELECTED HOUSE SPEAKER, THE POSITION IN WHICH HE SERVED THROUGH 1998.

FOLLOW CACI'S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA AT WWW.COCHAMBER.COM AND E-MAIL BERRY AT CACI@COCHAMBER.COM
COPYRIGHT 2006 Wiesner Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:gubernatorial elections
Author:Berry, Chuck
Publication:ColoradoBiz
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1U8CO
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:632
Previous Article:2006 finalists.
Next Article:Belmar's artistic rendering: cultural component a high priority in Lakewood's downtown vision.
Topics:


Related Articles
GOVERNING PARTY RECAPTURES CHIHUAHUA GOVERNORSHIP, BUT LOSES ZACATECAS SEAT TO CENTER-LEFT P.R.D.
GOVERNING PARTY SUFFERS STUNNING DEFEAT IN GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS IN BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR STATE.
A political blackout: gubernatorial candidates hoping to break the color barrier. (Washington Report).
PRI WINS SURPRISINGLY TIGHT GUBERNTORIAL RACE IN VERACRUZ, BUT LOSES GROUND IN STATE LEGISLATURE AND SEVERAL MUNICIPALITIES.
New Colima Governor.
By the numbers.
2007 Elections: Subtle Yet Important Changes to Watch.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |