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Letter: Lee-sponsored limit on out-of-state contractors 'will hurt Colorado in long run'

       Some are very proud of the fact that Colorado will now force contractors to employ no less than 80 percent of Coloradans on state projects, as required by House Bill 13-1292, sponsored by Pete Lee. Obviously, one more thing a contractor must account for and certify does not promote efficiency and will raise the cost of services provided to the state. I see that the cost of the I-25 interchange went up 20% (mind boggling) [see Westside Pioneer article here], and wonder if out-of-state contractors were allowed to bid. Other states that have restrictive, business stifling rules (like we seem to be proud of) may have hungry contractors who need the work (California comes to mind).
       Much of Colorado's alternative energy work is done out of state. My son (who lives and works in Boulder) wouldn't have any work if it weren't for out-of-state government contracts (he's in Burlington, Vermont right now). And his wind-energy buddy does mostly out of state work as well. This is win-win. Other states get the benefit of our expertise, and we get employment. If other states had House Bill 13-1292, Colorado's out-of-state business would suffer. In my son's case, other states support our high-tech green industries, while if we opened road construction to other states, we would let them support us with a lower-tech, not-as-earth-friendly industry.
       This is the type of legislation that cuts efficiency and productivity and will hurt Colorado in the long run as other states retaliate. When politicians pander to us with feel-good legislation, let's make sure we look behind the window-dressing and assess the real impact. Are we smart enough to see through their deceit?

       Chris Baum
       IT Manager, Michael Schlierf for House District 18 Campaign

(Posted 10/14/14; Opinion: Letters)

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