Wouldn’t You Like To See An Actual Jobs Bill?

As debuted in the opening-day speech by Colorado Senate President Brandon Shaffer, Assembly Democrats start next Tuesday on the “centerpiece” of their jobs agenda for this year’s session, Senate Bill 1–the “Hire Colorado First” Act. This is the newest version of a bill that has been introduced before by Democrats, but through a combination of some changes and (hopefully) improved public awareness of the underlying issues, they hope to fare better.

Senate Bill 12-001 would allow an up to 3% preference to bids for state contracts by companies, either in or out of state, that can simply demonstrate they are employing at least 90% Colorado resident workers on the project. If they’re employing workers with decent pay and benefits, they can get an additional 2%, for a total of up to a 5% incentive to employ Coloradans on Colorado taxpayer-funded projects. There’s a companion House bill, HB12-1113 sponsored by Rep. Pete Lee, that adds a preference category for veterans.

Last year, Republicans screamed bloody murder about this kind of preference-establishing legislation “tying the hand” of the state from getting the best deal for its dollar, but the context of those objections is changing: some 26 states, including our neighboring states of New Mexico and Wyoming, now have these kinds of in-state workforce preference statutes in place. Among other things, that means Colorado companies are at a disadvantage trying to bid for jobs in those states, and don’t even enjoy the same preference at home! And there’s no preference for unions or anything like that for Republicans to cry foul with. It’s just about hiring local workers.

Because of this, Democrats are hoping that the legislation will have a better chance of passing in the GOP-dominated House–or at least extract more damage at the polls if it doesn’t. It seems to us, anyway, that contrasting a bill like this, which would actually create jobs in Colorado, with the GOP’s so-far agenda of repealing “Obamacare,” throwing poor people off health coverage, and making the world safe to pack heat will be fairly effective in a glossy mailer.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    Can’t that wait until we protect people from the eventuality of having guns confiscated during some apocalyptic disaster? And, by the way, just how many law enforcement officers would mass confiscation of guns during some major dislocating event take and what’s the likelihood we’ve got enough of them to come close to doing the job?

    Until Amy brought this up what percentage of us were lying awake at nights worrying about this as opposed to worrying about paying the bills, getting that mole looked at now that the health insurance is gone with the job, hanging on to the house or having anywhere near enough in the college fund?

    Vote for the GOP if all you worry about is guns, zygotes rights, the evils of birth control and possible regulation of  oil shale development even though nobody knows how to do it at a profit or without using  enormous quantities of scarce water at the moment anyway.  

    If you have any concerns about sustainable jobs, a quick look at proposed legislation will tell you all you need to know about the likelihood of Rs  getting around to that any time soon.  

  2. MADCO says:

    “some 26 states”

    Please – just “26 states” if you must.

    Preferred  twenty six states.

    “some” adds nothing and in fact it clouds the precision of the number.  Is it 26? Is it maybe 26?

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    But for software companies, the big problem is that OIT won’t look at local companies. I know of a couple of companies that think they have had a solution for CBMS (I don’t know if they will work) – and OIT refuses to even look at them.

    Local companies already have lower cost alternatives so the price difference won’t help. What they need is for OIT to look at local companies that don’t hire lobbyists.

    ps – One local company was told if they complained public ally a second time about OIT being unwilling to look at them, then OIT would never consider them. Nice group. (Other companies, not mine.)

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