2013 Colorado startup legislation

The Upstart tracked 42 bills affecting the local startup and technology sectors during the Colorado General Assembly’s 2013 legislative session. Which ones made the cut?

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taxes, incentives and capital

[spoiler title="see the active + killed bills"]
IndexBill # | TitleBill SummaryCurrent Status
R&DHB13-1001 Advanced Industries AccelerationEstablishes a $5.5 million cash fund to provide proof-of-concept grants, early stage capital and retention grants and infrastructure grants to 7 advanced industries.Passed House 48-16. Passed Senate 21-14. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
business lawHB13-1142 Urban And Rural Enterprise Zone Act ReformsAmends an existing law regarding the definitions and review periods for enterprise zones and increases tax credits for businesses within the zone.Passed House 37-25. Passed Senate 21-14. Signed by the governor. Takes effect July 1, 2013.
business lawHB13-1174 Small Business Relief ActAmends an existing law to increase property tax exemptions from $7,000 to $25,000 in FY 2015-2016, $50,000 in FY 2017-18 and then adjusted biennially. Also, exempts all fully depreciated locally assessed business personal property. Killed by House Finance 7-5.
business lawHB13-1177 Business Personal Property Tax ExemptionAmends an existing law to create a business property tax exemption equal to the first $7,000 of actual value in FY 2013, FY 2014 and adjusted by inflation thereafter.Killed by House Finance 7-5.
business lawHB13-1190 Enterprise Zone Tax CreditAmends an existing law to allow taxpayers to claim a credit for monetary or in-kind donations to enterprise zone-certified nonprofit organizations that support economic development.Passed House 65-0. Passed Senate 31-0. Signed by the governor. Takes effect in the 2013 tax year.
trade accessHB13-1193 Advanced Industries Export Acceleration ProgramDirects the state International Trade office to provide export training and global business consultation services and reimburse businesses for export development expenses in 7 advanced industries.Passed House 39-23. Passed Senate 22-12. House concurred with Senate amendments. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013.
startup clusterHB13-1208 Incentives Offered by Creative DistrictsAuthorizes the state Economic Development office to offer incentives for infrastructure improvements in state-certified Creative Districts that promote the design, film/media, heritage, literary/publishing, performing arts, and visual arts/crafts.Passed House 38-26. Passed Senate 22-12. Signed by the governor. Date of effect unknown.
startup clusterHB13-1212 Local Authority to Form Job Creation DistrictsCreates a mechanism for local government to establish "Job Creation Districts" to support projects that boost employment. Taxes collected over a base rate may be directed to finance improvements related to the project.Passed House 46-17. Killed by Senate Local Government 3-2.
startup clusterHB13-1253 Small Business Capital Study Report OEDITDirects the state Economic Development and International Trade Office to commission a study and make recommendations on improving access to capital for Colorado-based small businesses. Passed House 35-26. Killed by Senate Appropriations 5-2.
broadbandHB13-1255 Internet Protocol Emerging Tech Telecom IncentivesAmends an existing law to exempt certain Internet protocol-enabled services, like VoIP, from regulation by the state Public Utilities Commission.Passed House 62-0. Killed by Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 3-2.
broadbandHB13-1265 Enterprise Zone Bus Facility Employee Tax CreditAmends an existing employee tax credit law by eliminating the requirement to meet the definition of a new business facility within an enterprise zone. Passed House 48-14. Passed Senate 23-12. Signed by the governor. Takes effect May 3, 2013 except for Section 3 which revises previous law to allow a $1100 income tax credit for new employees and takes effect July 1, 2013.
broadbandHB13-1287 Extend CO Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit 5 YearsAmends an existing law to extend the Colorado job growth incentive tax credit by an additional 5 income tax years.Passed House 62-0. Passed Senate 35-0. Signed by the governor. Takes effect in the 2013 tax year.
business lawSB13-136 Business Personal Property ExemptionAmends an existing law to increase property tax exemptions from $7,000 to $25,000 in 2015 for all local governments, excluding school districts. The exemption adjusts biennially by inflation thereafter. Killed by Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 3-2.
startup clusterSB13-218 Key Industries Workforce Grant ProgramCreates a grant program for Colorado universities to provide financial aid to students seeking bachelor's degrees in 14 key industries, including technology. Passed Senate 22-13. Killed by House Appropriations 13-0.
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hiring, unemployment insurance and worker benefits

[spoiler title="see the active + killed bills"]
IndexBill # + TitleBill SummaryCurrent Status
business lawHB13-1054 Lessen Unemployment Insurance Benefit Reduction RetirementClarifies an existing law on unemployment eligibility for people out of work who withdraw funds from an employer-contributed retirement account to consider only the amount withdrawn from the plan not its entire balance. Passed House 53-11. Passed Senate 34-0. Signed by the governor. Takes effect April 4, 2013.
business lawHB13-1078 Repeal Colorado Health Benefit ExchangeAbolishes an existing law that established a nonprofit organization to oversee the operation of the state health benefit exchange, mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as "Obamacare."Killed by House Health, Insurance & Environment 9-2.
business lawHB13-1098 Colorado Mandatory E-verify ActRepeals the current documentation requirements for employers to verify the legal work status of new employees. Requires all employers to participate in the federal E-Verify program to verify the work eligibility status of newly hired employees.Killed by House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 7-4.
business lawHB13-1106 Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union ParticipationDefines all-union agreements as unfair labor practices. Prohibits any employer from requiring union membership and outlaws dues, fees or other assessments to a labor organization, charity or other third party.Killed by House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 7-4.
business lawHB13-1123 Waive Confidentiality Unemployment BenefitsAuthorizes the state Unemployment office to allow jobless claimants to waive confidentiality of their contact information to bona fide employers seeking workers. Passed House 40-24. Passed Senate 31-3. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
business lawHB13-1124 Reduce Unemployment Insurance OverpaymentsIncreases the penalty from 50 to 65% for fraudulent unemployment benefit overpayments. Also, charges the overpayment to employers who do not provide timely information which results in an overpayment. Passed House 62-3. Passed Senate on 35-0. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013.
business lawHB13-1136 Job Protection Civil Rights Enforcement Act 2013Allows Colorado workers to sue for punitive and compensatory damages in proven job discrimination cases. Modifies an existing law to allow workers over 70 years of age to sue for age discrimination. Passed House 60-3. Passed Senate 19-16. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
business lawHB13-1222 Family Care Act Family Medical Leave EligibilityModifies and expands the current Family and Medical Leave Act to include partners in a civil union and their family members. Passed House 37-27. Passed Senate 21-14. Signed by the governor Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
business lawHB13-1227 Income Protection ActAmends the Colorado Criminal Code to add the crime of wage theft.Killed by House Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development 11-0.
business lawHB13-1245 Funding Colorado Health Benefit ExchangeAuthorizes the state to impose a tax on health insurers to fund the state health benefit exchange, mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as "Obamacare."Passed House 43-20. Passed Senate 20-15. Signed by the governor. Takes effect July 1, 2013.
SB13-011 Colorado Civil Union ActAuthorizes civil unions in the state of Colorado to receive the benefits and protections and be subject to the responsibilities of spouses. Signed by the governor. Takes effect May 1, 2013, except for Section 7 which defines a civil union partner as a dependent and is effective Jan. 1, 2014.
business lawSB13-018 Permissible Use Of Credit Information By EmployersSpecifies that an employer or prospective employer can use consumer credit information only if the information is job-related and requires disclosure. Allows employees to sue for misuse of credit reports/scores. Passed Senate 20-15. Passed House 36-27. Senate agreed to House amendments. Signed by the governor. Takes effect July 1, 2013.
business lawSB13-024 Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union ParticipationDefines all-union agreements as unfair labor practices. Prohibits any employer from requiring union membership and outlaws dues, fees or other assessments to a labor organization, charity or other third party. Same as HB13-1106.Killed by Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 3-2.
business lawSB13-147 Workers Compensation LiabilityClarifies an existing law that an employer is not liable for Workers Compensation if an employee, lessee, contractor or subcontractor is injured while not on the employer's premises. Passed Senate 33-0. Passed House 49-14. Signed by the governor. Effective date is unknown.
business lawSB13-157 Sunset Continue Colorado Work Share ProgramAmends an existing law to extend the Colorado Work Share Program, which allows employers to reduce hours rather than lay off workers. Employees can apply for pro-rated unemployment benefits to make up for lost wages. Passed Senate 34-0. Passed House 36-26. Signed by the governor. Takes effect July 1, 2013.
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small business

[spoiler title="see the active + killed bills"]
IndexBill # + TitleBill SummaryCurrent Status
startup clusterHB13-1002 Small Business Development Centers AppropriationsRequires the state Economic Development office to expend $500,000 in FY 2013 and FY 2014 to support small business development centers, to supplement any other funds provided by the state. Passed House 41-22. Referred Senate 21-14. Signed by the governor. Takes effect July 1, 2013.
startup clusterHB13-1003 Economic Gardening Pilot Project Office Econ DevDirects the state Economic Development office to create an economic gardening pilot project to provide business assistance, market research and marketing consultation to at least 20 Colorado-based "second stage" startups that meet certain revenue and employee benchmarks.Passed House 36-27. Passed Senate 20-15. House concurred with Senate amendments. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
business lawHB13-1019 Regulatory Reform ActRequires that state agencies issue written warnings and provide educational outreach on compliance to any first-time violation of a new rule by a business of 500 or fewer employees in lieu of a fine or penalty. Killed by House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 7-4
business lawHB13-1048 Deadly Force Against Intruder At A BusinessAmends existing law to allow an owner, manager or employee to use deadly force against another person who has unlawfully entered a place of business.Killed by House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 7-4
business lawHB13-1069 Small Business Fiscal Impact StatementsRequires the Legislative Council Staff to prepare a small business fiscal impact statement for each bill introduced in the General Assembly.Killed by House Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development on 6-5
startup clusterHB13-1079 Creation Of The Joint Technology CommitteeCreates the Joint Technology Committee to oversee state agencies, projects and issues related to information technology. Also, oversees the Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT).Passed House 37-26. Passed Senate 21-14. Signed by the governor. Takes effect July 1, 2013.
startup clusterHB13-1138 Authorize Benefit CorporationsEstablishes the requirements for a corporation to be created as, or elect to become, a benefit corporation — a legal entity that identifies its purpose as promoting either a general public benefit or a specific public benefit, or both. Passed House 36-28. Passed Senate 20-15. Signed by the governor. Sections 1 (definition) and 2 (rights to dissent) take effect April 1, 2014; Section 3 (IT appropriation) takes effect Aug. 7, 2013 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
expand manufacturingHB13-1165 Creation of a Manufacturing Career PathwayRequires the state Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education collaborate with the Dept. of Higher Education, the Dept. of Education, and the Dept. of Labor and Employment, to design a career pathway for students seeking employment in the manufacturing sector. Passed House 56-5. Passed Senate 21-14. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Aug. 7, 2013 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
business lawHB13-1167 Collection of Business Information by SOSRequires the Secretary of State to create an optional form to determine whether a business is owned by a woman, minority, veteran or disabled person and to make that data public. Passed by House 38-25. Passed by Senate 26-9. Signed by the governor. Takes effect Jan. 1, 2014 unless a referendum petition requires a Nov. 2014 general election vote.
business lawSB13-020 Business Fiscal Impacts Leg Measures & Exec RulesRequires the Legislative Council Staff to prepare a notice of reported business fiscal impact for each bill introduced in the General Assembly and proposed rule-making by executive branch departments.Killed by Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs 3-2.
business lawSB13-062 Require Security At No-firearms BusinessesMakes a private business, including a not-for-profit entity that conducts retail sales, liable for damages in a civil action if it does not allow open or concealed carried weapons on the premises or does not employ an armed security guard.Killed by Senate Judiciary 3-2.
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food startups

[spoiler title="see the active + killed bills"]
IndexBill # + TitleBill SummaryCurrent Status
startup clusterHB13-1158 Cottage Foods ActAmends an existing law to exempt Home Food Producers from Farm Product Act regulations. Also, clarifies that producers enroll in a food safety course equivalent to those offered by the CSU Extension Service. Passed House 60-5. Passed Senate 33-2. Signed by the governor. Takes effect April 4, 2013.
HB13-1192 Genetically Engineered Food LabelingAmends the Colorado Food and Drug Act to require labels for food that contains more than 1% genetically engineered material, or was produced with genetically engineered material. Exempts organic food, as well as 6 other food types. Killed by House Health, Insurance & Environment 9-0.
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Individual bill details with sponsor contact info, social media accounts and campaign finance reports coming soon!

The The Upstart Index signifies whether the bill focuses on at least one of the 10 policy proposals necessary for advancing American business competitive and/or innovation capacity, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Economic Council.

Increase broadband accessReform business lawExpand manufacturing baseIncrease open data accessProvide R&D incentives
broadbandbusiness lawmanufacturingopendata=research-and-development
Fund scientific researchStrengthen startup clustersImprove STEM educationSpeed technology transferPromote trade access
researchstartup-clusterSTEM-educationtechnology-transfertrade

COMING SOON! The Upstart η Score is a proprietary ranking that computes the sponsors’ political power efficiency, or Eta Value, to move a bill through the legislative process from introduction to enacting it into law. Find out who’s getting things done at the Capitol.