Senate Committee Passes Senator Hudak’s “HIRE Colorado Act” Today
DENVER—Today, the Senate Local Government Committee approved Senate Bill 1, the HIRE Colorado Act, sponsored by Senator Evie Hudak (D-Westminster). The HIRE (Helping Individuals Realize Employment) Colorado Act is designed to create jobs for Coloradans by giving a preference to companies seeking state contracts when those companies agree to employ mostly Colorado workers, certify that they are providing those workers with quality benefits, and offer access to a federally qualified apprenticeship training program. This legislation will aid Coloradans in not just finding employment, but employment with adequate medical and retirement benefits and the opportunity to advance.
Senator Hudak offered the following comment on the HIRE Colorado Act today:
“Our number one priority as we continue working to strengthen our state’s economy is to create new jobs and get citizens back to work. The HIRE Colorado Act will prioritize the employment of Colorado workers and reinvest our state dollars back into Colorado families.”
The HIRE Colorado Act will direct state agencies that award contracts exceeding $1 million to give up to a five percent preference to a company that bids on a the contract based on a specific set of criteria. In the case of a service contract a three percent preference is available for a contractor that certifies that at least 90 percent of their employees are Colorado residents. Contractors can receive an additional two percent preference if they certify that they are offering employees health care and retirement benefits.
In the case of construction contracts for a public project a three percent preference is given to a contractor that certifies that at least 90 percent of their employees are Colorado residents. An additional one percent preference is available if the contractor certifies that they offer health care and retirement benefits, and another one percent is available if the workers have access to an apprentice training program approved by the United States Department of Labor. Any company can take advantage of the preference regardless of where it is based. Any company that chooses to hire Colorado workers will qualify.
Currently 26 states offer some sort of preference process for state contracts. The HIRE Colorado Act is a key component in the Senate Majority’s “Colorado Works Jobs package,” a series of bills that will be introduced throughout the session focused on continued job creation and economic growth. This legislation will be sponsored in the House by Representative Su Ryden (D-Aurora) and Representative Crisanta Duran (D-Denver).