Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Mark Salley 303-866-6323
OWENS USES VETO PEN TO PROTECT JOBS & ECONOMY
Vetoes Six Bills That Could Hamper Colorado's Economic Recovery
(DENVER) - Stressing the need to keep Colorado's economic recovery moving forward, Gov. Bill Owens today vetoed six bills that would have unfairly and unnecessarily increased burdens on Colorado's employers and, as a result, hampered the state's ability to create and retain family-sustaining jobs.
"Colorado's economy is coming back and our jobs picture is brightening," the Governor said. "Our goal must be to act as a catalyst for recovery. I was forced to veto these half dozen bills that would have unfairly increased costs and needlessly expanded government red tape. These bills clearly could have hampered job creation throughout Colorado."
In this year's State of the State message, Owens warned lawmakers that he would use his veto authority to stop legislation that would damage job creation and needlessly hamper employers and entrepreneurs.
The six bills the Governor vetoed today are:
HB 1020 - Would have unfairly increased the tax burden on Colorado businesses by needlessly expanding eligibility for unemployment compensation and placing in jeopardy the solvency of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Fully 98 percent of applicants are already eligible for unemployment benefits.
HB 1115 - Would have unfairly burdened employers by allowing employees potential access to a wide range of business documents under the guise of allowing access to "personnel records." Citing the overbroad provisions of the bill, the Governor wrote "Such a vague and ambiguous definition... could arguably include every single document that every existed in a company." He said that as a result this would increase litigation and disproportionately impact small business.
HB 1207 - Would have created a hidden tax on business and residential telephone ratepayers by allowing a utility to recover the costs of utility relocation projects associated with RTD's FasTracks project. "When the people voted a sales tax increase to fund FasTracks, the additional tax for phone service as created in this bill was not considered or included," Owens wrote in his veto message.
HB 1224 - Would have unconstitutionally required members of the Public Utility Commission to appear twice yearly before members of the Legislature, thus damaging the Commission's necessary independence. "HB 1224 is the equivalent of the Legislature calling in judges to discuss how they ruled or planned to rule in particular cases," the Governor wrote in his veto message.
HB 1239 - Would have unfairly changed the definition of an employee lockout to allow all locked out employees to collect unemployment compensation regardless of the circumstances. Current law prevents workers from collecting unemployment if they are locked out by an employer to protect business property or operations.
SB 134 - Would have banned live expert testimony in workers' compensation cases unless both sides agree and the judge allows it. The Governor asserted the current process is fair and balanced and allows for real-time exchange of information and the ability to respond to testimony from claimants.
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