Republican legislators developing business bills


• Rifle: 10 a.m. Aug. 2, Hampton Inn, 499 County Road 346.

• Montrose: 2 p.m.  Aug. 18, Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism,  1519 E. Main St.

Republicans in the Colorado Senate are looking for ideas to reduce government red tape.

As a result, they plan a series of regional meetings around the state so they can gather comments about proposed bills to be introduced when the Colorado Legislature meets again in January.

“Colorado has lost private-sector jobs over the last decade, and the forecast for 2012 and 2013 is not rosy,” said Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, R-Littleton. “We need to improve Colorado regulatory climate, and that work needs to begin immediately.”

The meetings begin this week in Colorado Springs, with other meetings slated for the Front Range and southern Colorado.  Western Slope meetings will be in Rifle on Aug. 2 and Montrose on Aug. 18.

Each roundtable will be convened by local Republican senators in cooperation with local business associations, including nearly two-dozen business leaders. That means Sen. Jean White of Hayden is to be in Rifle, and Sen. Ellen Roberts of Durango will attend the Montrose session.

Kopp said the roundtables aren’t about any specific government agency or business industry, such as the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. That panel approved controversial new rules last year that some say are making it harder for drillers to recover from the recent depression in gas prices.

“Regulatory reform is not about the oil and gas industry or any single sector of the economy,” Kopp said. “It’s about an attitude among regulators that jobs don’t matter.”


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