At CCIA's annual Cleantech Celebration event, State Senator Kevin Priola received the 2017 Legislator of the Year award. Last session, Sen. Priola sponsored a bill to allow utility investments in alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure and to continue the successful utility energy efficiency incentive programs. We look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Priola and the rest of the General Assembly to strengthen Colorado's innovative business landscape.
CCIA's Legislator of the Year, State Senator Kevin Priola, with Kelly Condon, CoBiz Bank
Federal Tax Reform
The Future is Uncertain
In terms of actual policy or legislative news coming out of Washington DC, nothing is bigger or more consequential to the cleantech business community than comprehensive tax reform. In the past two weeks we have seen two proposals introduced - one from the House and from the Senate. Under some very arcane legislative rules called - reconciliation - either of these two proposals can be sent to the President's desk after limited debate/amendments and a simple majority vote with a potential 50/50 tie in the Senate decided by a Vice-Presidential vote.
Both versions will cut the corporate tax rate to 20%, which could undoubtedly help many cleantech businesses. However, the House version eliminates the EV tax credit and effectively guts the PTC/ITC extension passed back in 2015. Additionally, there are serious concerns about the impacts of either proposal on our annual budget deficits and rising national debt.
Congressional leadership is saying they would like to get a bill to the President's desk this year. It is important to note the historical context for the last successful comprehensive tax reform in 1986. That process lasted over a year with the Senate alone having 33 days of committee hearings. Stay tuned and wear a helmet on this one!
State Legislative Update
January Session Is Looming
The second regular session of the 71st Colorado General Assembly starts on January 10th. Policy discussions always heat up as the weather cools down and this year is no exception. It is highly likely bills will be introduced similar to last session for utility investments in alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure and for removing barriers to residential battery storage. We also anticipate a utility scale storage bill being introduced that is currently in the initial drafting stages.
The Governor presented his FY 2018/19 budget proposal to the Joint Budget Committee this week. Unfortunately, no General Fund money will be allocated to the important Advanced Industries Grant program for the second year in a row. Although the two established funding streams remain untouched and growing slightly. Additionally, the Innovative Workforce Internship program's funding has continued. This is just the first step in a long process that culminates in late April which we will be watching closely.
Developed in partnership with Colorado State University's Center for the New Energy Economy, the AEL Tracker solves this challenge by collecting all advanced energy legislation into one database, assigning each bill to one of ten policy categories and providing a searchable, visual database complete with trend analysis and reporting.
The PUC Portal's online database provides you with everything you need to know about PUCs in all 50 states: makeup, members, structure, and statistics. It includes information on other kay players in the state's energy sphere and data on the energy mix in each state.