Colorado

Union Preference Bill Sponsors Dodge ObamaCare Questions

Policy

Despite both sponsoring and voting for passage last Friday of a state contracting bill that provides special preferences to unions, Sen. Bob Bacon (D-SD14) admitted to Media Trackers that he did not study the bill in-depth prior to supporting it.

The union contracting preferences bill, dubbed the “Hire Coloradans First Act” by its sponsors, provides up to 2% in bidding preferences to organizations, such as unions, that provide health care benefits to workers as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.

When contacted by Media Trackers with questions about the specifics of the ObamaCare provision within the bill, Sen. Bacon admitted that he did not read the legislation in-depth prior to sponsoring and later voting for it.

“You’re really in the weeds there,” Bacon told Media Trackers.  “From my cursory reading and understanding of this bill, its goal is to employ more Coloradans.  You’ll need to ask Senator Hudak if you have questions on these details.”

The copy of the bill posted on the official website of the Colorado legislature is 13 pages long.

Sen. Evie Hudak (D-SD19), the lead sponsor of the bill, told Media Trackers she was “not sure” whether firms that received ObamaCare waivers would be eligible to receive the preference for providing health care benefits and complying with the federal health mandate.   As a result, it remains unclear whether organizations that are granted an exemption from complying with ObamaCare will remain eligible for the ObamaCare contracting preferences provided by the Colorado legislation.

The bill now awaits action in the House by the committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs.

Follow Aaron Gardner on Twitter: @aaron_rs

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