General Assembly opens with budget, business issues

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As the General Assembly opens this morning for the 2010 session, elected officials are facing the grim task of cutting nearly every area of state government.

And no one thinks the session is going to be particularly friendly for business, higher education or Medicaid.

Legislators are considering tax increases, the end of enterprise zones, curtailing tax credits and adding regulation to Pinnacol Assurance, the state’s workers’ compensation insurance.

Other items on the table include discussions about the state’s unemployment compensation fund, which is nearing insolvency.

“This is going to be the session of shared sacrifice,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, referring to the need to cut $1.5 billion from the state’s budget. “There are bills we are watching, hoping they don’t come to pass. But there are some ponies in with the you-know-what.”

For more on the upcoming legislative session and how businesses could be affected, see Friday’s issue of the Colorado Springs Business Journal.