Regulatory Relief for Small Biz Passes Colorado Senate


Denver -- Senate Republicans announced on opening day that improving Colorado's business climate would be a top priority this session. And they took a major early step toward making good on that pledge Monday, with bipartisan passage of Senate Bill-1, which aims at reducing tensions between state regulators and small businesses by giving both sides more leeway in how they deal with compliance issues.

Senate Bill-1 now moves to the House for consideration. 

Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton), who co-sponsored the bill with his son, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), conceded that some state agencies already are taking a more cooperative, and less punitive, approach, but said the bill will bring more consistency to those efforts and send out a clear signal that Colorado is a business-friendly state.

“Our aim is to ensure that government offers of 'help' aren't quite as terrifying as they were back when Ronald Reagan made his famous joke about the 9 most feared words in the English language," Neville said, "because our bill requires state agencies to work cooperatively with small businesses that may be out of compliance with minor rules, rather than just bringing down the hammer."   

The hoped-for culture shift from conflict to cooperation "puts out a shingle for the state that says, ‘we will work with you, we want you here, and we aren’t going to automatically slap you with a big fine if you’re making diligent efforts to play by the rules,’” added Neville. “We want to create a culture change that has small business owners focusing on serving customers, not living in fear that some minor misstep is going to result in a barrage of fines that puts their livelihoods at risk."

The bill only pertains to relatively minor administrative rules violations, not those that potentially put public health or safety at risk. 

Please contact Sean Paige at 719-337-0355 if you have questions.

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