DENVER (CBS4) – They say their plan will create jobs in Colorado. Both Democrat and Republican state lawmakers have floated legislation they hope will boost Colorado’s economy.
CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd talked with Republicans on Thursday about their ideas for this year. They say it’s all about scaling back business regulations.
Speaker of the House Frank McNulty said it isn’t a flashy agenda, but he insists it is exactly what job creators say they need to grow their businesses.
Republicans traveled across the state last year meeting with business owners and they say again and again they heard unnecessary, burdensome regulations are getting in the way of job creation.
After 82 years in business, Denver Bookbinding went from 30 employees to 10 in the last 5 years. The recession and e-books are in part to blame.
“We are watching pennies,” owner Gail Lindley said.
Lindley said mounting red tape is making it tough to stay in the black.
“Throughout the years we see more and more regulation coming up. Some of it makes sense and some of it doesn’t make any sense at all,” she said.
She says the results can be dire. Last year Lindley says the only die plate maker in Colorado was regulated out of business, costing jobs and forcing her to turn to an out-of-state vendor.
“This has cost us increased time and money,” Lindley said.
“Our focus is going to be, what we can do to clear the way for job creation?” McNulty said.
He says he’s heard Lindley’s pain. The Republican jobs agenda is focused on regulatory reform, including simplifying the permitting process, giving businesses a grace period to fix infractions instead of automatic fines, and requiring state agencies to work with businesses when crafting new rules as well as explain why they are needed.
“What we’ve seen is too much rubberstamping going on. We want to make sure we know what these rules do and the effect these rules have on job creators,” McNulty said.
Lindley will take all the help she can get.
“I would like to see people coming across the aisle and look at the bigger picture and not say, ‘I’m a Democrat, I’m a Republican,’ but come across and say, ‘What is the best for all?’ ”
There may be room for compromise. Boyd spoke with minority leader Mark Ferrandino. He told her there are some, in his words, sensible ideas on regulatory reform in the Republican package that Democrats can work with. But he says he’s not sure how any of them will create jobs.
The Democrats’ first bill they’ll introduce would give an advantage in the bidding process for state contracts to companies that employ Coloradans. Other bills would prevent discrimination in hiring based on credit scores and provide incentives to buy Colorado products.