The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance continues to flex its political muscle with further candidate endorsements and a strong “no” recommendation for the ballot initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession in Colorado.
The alliance is endorsing the following slate of candidates:
• Mark Scheffel, State Senate District 4
• Owen Hill, State Senate District 10
• Bill Cadman, State Senate District 12
• Dan Nordberg, State House District 14
• Mark Waller, State House District 15
• Mark Barker, State House District 17
• Jennifer George, State House District 18
• Amy Stephens, State House District 19
• Bob Gardner, State House District 20
• Lois Landgraf, State House District 21
In addition, District Attorney Dan May is also endorsed by the Business Alliance in the 4th Judicial District.
The Business Alliance is focused on strong business development actions for the Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak region and believes these experienced candidates will work to represent interests at the State Legislature that bring strong economic growth and jobs to Colorado and El Paso County, the group said in a press release. The critical issues facing the Legislature in the upcoming sessions are focused around critical funding levels for transportation, K -12 and higher education, oil and gas development regulations and the overall economic health of the state.
“The Business Alliance is pleased to announce support for this strong El Paso County delegation. We will work closely with these legislators in their work at the Capitol,” said Doug Quimby, chairman of the alliance’s board. “The economic issues that face the State of Colorado are critical. Reducing the regulatory burden and creating a solid foundation for economic success for the state will be important work in this upcoming legislative session.”
The group said it was “strongly” opposed to Consitutional Amendment 64, which allows people over the age of 21 to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana. It “urges all business owners to work toward its defeat.”
Among the reasons: marijuana is still a federally controlled substance, and is a constitutional amendment that “drastically curtails employer rights” to take action against employees who test positive for the drug. It also creates inconsistencies with the intent of the Drug-Free Workplace Act, a rule required for all government contracts.
“The conflicts between federal and state law will create a regulatory nightmare for Colorado businesses and become a serious burden and cost for many businesses that do business with the federal government,” the press release said. “This will significantly impair Colorado’s ability to compete for business development nationally and internationally.”