Creating a state-run family-medical-leave program would make it so workers wouldn't have to choose between loved ones and their jobs, and it would improve worker retention at businesses, former Colorado state Sen. Jessie Ulibarri said. That was in 2014, and it couldn’t even make it through the Democratic-majority Senate that year.
So, when Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, took to a microphone in the state Capitol Tuesday to herald the bill and its benefits for both employees and employers, it was a bit of deja vu, even if Winter’s latest version includes a funding mechanism that won’t cost Colorado millions of dollars.
And that sense of deja vu may grow into a full-blown bout of whiplash for business leaders when they see the number of bills they have fought and defeated multiple times in the past that are geared up for another round of debate late in the 2017 session, when they thought they might be concentrating their energies on increasing transportation funding and reforming construction-defects law.
In addition to family leave, the “zombie bills” that have risen from their graves and are set for hearings in the near future include measures to:
- Have the state create a retirement-savings plan that would be applicable to any businesses that don’t offer such a plan to workers currently.
- Ban businesses from asking on application forms whether job seekers have criminal records.
- Stop cities like Denver from enacting or enforcing ordinances prohibiting the homeless from sleeping or panhandling in public spaces.
- Allow businesses to decline to provide services for practices, such as same-sex weddings, with which that business disagrees.