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Colorado State Legislative Update

Senior consultant Richard Weil breaks down legislation effecting restaurants this session

By Sarah Ann Noel - February 1, 2017

National Restaurant Consultants is active in monitoring the political processes effecting the restaurant business industry. Last week, our senior consultant, Richard Weil, testified on behalf of the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) before a Senate committee, regarding regulatory reform with SB 001. Weil also monitored a double-taxation bill presented to a legislative committee of nine members.

In today’s blog post, Weil will update us on the legislation and what it means for your restaurant or business.

What exactly is in this legislation?
SB 001 will assist small business owners in removing onerous fines for small omissions and errors with state regulations. These errors will not relate to any health or safety violations, but is aimed at curtailing bureaucratic agencies from fining small business for small clerical errors or reporting components.  

(For a bit more information on SB001, here is the Denver Post coverage.)

The double-taxation bill was placed into law in 2010, taxing essential paper items as if they were non-essential items. This included items such as napkins, to-go containers, and pizza boxes. 

What was the progress of SB 001?
The senators with bi-partisan support approved the bill by a vote of 6-1. The legislation now moves to the senate floor for review. 

And will there be changes made to the double-taxation legislation? 
While the legislators were sympathetic to the small business owners, they voted along party lines to defeat the bill, stating that the assistance to small businesses—mainly restaurants—would not overcome the needs for other social assistance programs.
What other key legislation will you be monitoring this session?
There is proposed language change for a bill to allow liquor license holders to grant permission to managers, who are over 21, to order alcohol. Currently, Colorado liquor laws provide only the agent of record can legally order alcohol. This bill has already passed committee and is expected to move forward in both the state Senate and House.  

There is another positive House bill to control how music-licensing companies push onerous charges to restaurants and to set a protocol of process in place. This particular issue has plagued our industry for years in terms of "money grabs" relating to commercial music and entertainment. While this proposed legislation will not eliminate the need to be properly licensed, it will control the violation and notification process.  

Our consultants recognize the connection between political and business nuances. As a team, we are committed to assisting our clients in all areas of business, and are dedicated to improving the business climate for the restaurant industry. We continue to monitor legislation and business trend, ensuring we can provide the best solutions. If you have questions about these legislative issues, or another business matter, contact our consultants today. 

Photo by Mr. TinDC