For all his talk about being pro-business, Governor John Hickenlooper and the Democrats he leads in the Colorado legislature can’t seem to kill fast enough any bill aimed at helping businesses in Colorado. To make it all the worse, the most recent bill wasn’t even meant for large corporations, but the small mom ‘n’ pop shops that are the backbone of the Colorado economy.
While Hickenlooper claims to be cutting red tape and regulations for businesses in Colorado, Representative Libby Szabo is actually leading the way into battle. Hick loves to claim his administration has reviewed over 9,000 rules since coming to office. Unfortunately for him, Szabo quickly counters that around 25,000 pages of new regulations have been written in that same time period.
In her latest fight, Szabo proposed a commonsense law allowing businesses with less than 100 employees or fewer (aka, small businesses) to get off with a warning for first-time offenses against new regulations that did not include health or safety provisions.
See, PeakNation™, what most people don’t realize is that regulations don’t stifle all businesses equally. Far from it. While a large corporation can afford an army of lawyers to slice and dice any new regulation, many small businesses cannot.
Thus, it was not surprising when approximately 15 small business leaders and owners showed up to testify in support of Szabo’s bill. The number who showed up to testify against? One. But, it was a big one. The Democratic Pied Piper, the Colorado AFL-CIO, showed up to shut it down. And shut it down they did.
Despite being praised by Democrats by working across the aisle to really nail down the language back when it was introduced on February 5th, Szabo and her bill got a much chillier reception this time. The only difference? AFL-CIO weighing in. From the Denver Business Journal:
“One group or organization — which was the AFL-CIO — came in and was opposed,” Szabo told the committee. “Any game that we play, if you have a 14-1 margin, it’s a winner. But it doesn’t seem like that with the state affairs committee. It seems like this margin was a loser.”
If Hickenlooper is really the pro-business, moderate leader he claims to be (HINT: he’s not), now would the time for him to step up and throw his weight behind a commonsense bill that helps the small businesses. But with a man who has yet to locate his spine and veto a single bill, we’re not holding our breaths.