Colorado 2019 Legislative Session Produced Victories for Small Businesses
Colorado’s 2019 legislative session produced a number of significant victories for the state’s small businesses. Most importantly, lawmakers showed they are committed to helping small firms by approving measures that are important steps toward leveling the playing field for Colorado’s small businesses. These bills will help make critical employee benefits more accessible and healthcare more affordable for small firms.
Among the measures that would help level the playing field for small firms are bills that would authorize boards to explore the feasibility of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI Act) as well as the Secure Savings Plan, and to make recommendations as to whether or not those plans should be adopted.
While we are disappointed the legislature did not chose to create a paid family and medical leave program this session, we are encouraged that the issue will be studied. The FAMLI Act would establish a state-administered paid family and medical leave insurance program, which would greatly benefit the many small businesses that struggle to offer this sort of benefit by reducing turnover, upping productivity and boosting employee morale. Both would help small employers offer valuable benefits to their employees without the typical administrative or cost burdens.
As for Secure Savings, we are excited that program is moving closer to implementation because it would be a public-private partnership to allow private-sector employees to contribute to an individual retirement savings account through modest payroll deductions.
Colorado lawmakers also made strides toward lowering healthcare costs and increasing options for small businesses by agreeing on a bill that calls for studying a public option for health coverage, as well as creating a state reinsurance program, which would help stabilize premiums in the individual marketplaces by providing support for insurers facing high financial losses. Finally, lawmakers also approved a measure that would address the sometimes high costs of emergency procedures as well as out-of-network charges experienced even by those who have health insurance.
After such a busy legislative session, we hope Gov. Polis acts quickly to sign these measures that will make life easier and better for Colorado’s small businesses.