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 AGC was at the capitol (physically and virtually) during the re-convened session, led by AGC CEO Michael Gifford and AGC lobbyists Jeff Weist, Laura Long and Amy Attwood. While the legislature had promised a “fast, friendly and free” re-convened session, it was anything but. Here is a description of what we had to deflect and what finally passed.
State Budget Long Bill
The legislature’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC) had
the unenviable task of reducing the state general fund budget by 25%. One area that was cut was the state’s BEST Grant program for K-12 school construction (Building Excellent Schools Today). In fiscal 2021 the JBC took $120M of the revenue to help fund school operations. This was a permanent change in the JBC proposal - but AGC was able to change the bill so it was only a 1-year re-allocation of that revenue.
HB1377 & 1408 Capital Renewal & Controlled Maintenance
AGC took the lead in helping approve both bills,
which restores $49M in capital renewal and controlled maintenance projects for the state’s 2,200 buildings.
The projects are life-safety type maintenance to keep buildings operation and open and are great opportunities for our specialty contractor members to do prime contractor work for the state.
SB20-1420 State Income and Sales Tax Increase
The legislature proposed a $300M per year income and sales tax increase on business (including developers and contractors) to help balance the budget. AGC was part of the coalition that unleashed the largest email, text and phone campaign to legislators in recent memory, and as a result, the business community beat the bill back to a $45M annual tax increase.
HB20-1427 Cigarette, Tobacco, and Nicotine Products (including vaping) Tax
The legislature decided to refer a measure to the voters for November 2020 that would increase cigarette, tobacco, and nicotine products (including vaping) tax. The tax would produce some $80M in fiscal year 2021 and $160M in fiscal year 2022 and thereafter.
SCR20-001 Remove Gallagher Amendment from Colorado’s Constitution
The legislature referred a measure to the November 2020 ballot to remove the Gallagher Amendment from the state constitution and a companion bill, SB20-223, to freeze residential and commercial property tax rates at 2020 levels. If the measure is approved by voters, there will certainly be additional legislative action to fix the broken property tax system in Colorado to help commercial businesses and properly fund our local education system and buildings.
SB20-216 Work Comp - COVID Presumed Contracted at Work
The legislature introduced a bill that would presume all cases of COVID-19 were contracted at work, which would have significantly raised work comp insurance rates on businesses (including construction firms) in the middle of the COVID slowdown. AGC was part of the team that stopped this bill from reaching the Governor’s desk.
SB20-205 Sick Leave for Employees
The legislature passed this bill on the last day of the session, after an intense lobbying effort to amend the bill by AGC and several other groups (good news - several positive amendments were added to the final bill). It
will require employers to provide 1 hour of sick leave
for employees for every 30 hours that they work, up to
a maximum of 48 hours (use it or lose it system with no
58 | Colorado Construction & Design |
Inside AGC Colorado
AGC Defends the Industry from
Bad for Construction Bills
by Michael Gifford
Author Michael Gifford is President and CEO of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Colorado.

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