By Peak News Contributor Dave Diepenbrock
With the legislature back in session, both parties have their agendas. Here's a look.
First, House Republicans.
Several are 'be more careful when you regulate' bills. Speaker McNulty told The Colorado Statesman they “would result in the creation of jobs.”
Americans agree with McNulty that cutting red tape will help with jobs. 76% of Americans think “reducing environmental and other regulations on businesses” would create at least some new jobs.
Republicans want to reinstate a cap on the growth of state government…which we had until the Democrats eliminated it in 2009 when they controlled all of state government. Its sponsor, Don Beezley of Broomfield said it would “keep spending under control.”
Beezley – at least verbally – has Barack Obama in his corner. John Judis reported “the White House blamed Democrats' 2010 defeat on the loss of independents, and to win them back, it will try to slow the growth of government.” That fellow in the White House should actually walk his talk!
All in all, it looks like the Republicans actually paid attention when they “heard from every corner of the state…the needs of Colorado’s job creators.”
The Senate Democrats lighter look at job creation hearkens back to the Little Rascals' “Our Gang” movie shorts. Pure slapstick.
Remaking Our Gang's “Wild Ride,” Mary Hodge's “spaceflight entity” bill links tort reform to “horizontal spaceflight activities.” Those activities can't be what we're thinking; we are already one mile high. Will it help Boulder's marijuana-addled space cadets, even though their flights are into inner (not outer) space? Let's guess how many new Colorado jobs her bill will add.
A remake of Our Gang's “Big Business” episode, Evie Hudak's state contracts bill gives preference to bidders who say they'll hire Coloradans, meaning higher-cost contracts. (So much for budget austerity!) On page 7 a “retirement benefit” preference can't be granted to an employer who doesn't pay 50% or more of the benefit's cost. This is “do as I say, not as I do” legislation – since the state itself couldn't qualify. In 2012 state government employees pay at a rate of 10.5% while the state's rate is 7.5% of an employee's salary. Even some supplemental contributions (additional money paid to the state's retirement program beyond these regular rates) come from foregone employee salary hikes.
Finally Linda Newell's bill, among other things, “develop[s] protocols and procedures to identify opportunities to retain and expand existing businesses through swift and effective responses to concerns and problems on a statewide or regional level.” Bound to warm the cockles of an entrepreneur's heart, isn't it? Even the “Our Gang” script writers couldn't come up with patter like hers.
Good job, Democrats! Keep up the comedy. We need something to laugh at in these tough economic times.