STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND LABOR
|Time:||07:04 AM to 08:54 AM|
|This Meeting was called to order by|
|This Report was prepared by|
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
|Bills Addressed: ||Action Taken:|
07:05 AM -- House Bill 09-1117
Representative Frangas, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1117 concerning the authority to recapture unearned compensation given to persons in a publicly traded business entity's governance. HB09-1117 prohibits giving unearned compensation to a principal of a publicly traded business entity if the business is undercapitalized or is reasonably expected to become undercapitalized as liabilities and debts mature. A principal is defined to mean one of the top five highest-paid employees or contractors of a business entity whose total annual compensation exceeds $1 million.
An action may be brought in district court by a shareholder, creditor, receiver, assignee, trustee, or the Attorney General to recover the prohibited payment. The bill authorizes damages and reasonable attorney fees for violations of the principal's fiduciary duty. Retaliation against any person for reporting an alleged violation to the Attorney General is prohibited. A person who retaliates could be liable for treble damages plus reasonable attorney fees to the person subject to the retaliation. Representative Frangas distributed and discussed the following amendments:
- Amendment L.001;
- Amendment L.002; and
- Amendment L.004.
The amendments would limit the bill to civil action only. Representative Frangas responded to a question of whether a person can already sue for this type of behavior. There was a discussion about whether the bill interferes with private business.
07:23 AM -- Larry Marquess, representing the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, testified against the bill. He said the bill is inconsistent and there are a lack of definitions. Mr. Marques stated that the last thing undercapitalized companies need is a lawsuit. He stated that this issue should be left up to the federal government who is already working on fixing it. Mr. Marques said the bill does not define stockholder and stockholders could use the bill against the company. He said the bill is vague and that it allows lawsuits if the company is undercapitalized and allows them even if it may become undercapitalized which means a lawsuit can be brought at any time. Mr. Marques said the top five employees under the bill would include experts brought in to turn around a company and not just the people that caused the problems at the company.
07:37 AM -- Tom Clark, representing the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, testified against the bill. He talked about their efforts to attract businesses to the state and said the bill has too much risk for businesses and will cause companies to leave the state.
07:45 AM -- House Bill 09-1104
Stephanie Clemons, PhD, representing Colorado State University (CSU), testified in support of the bill. Ms. Clemons talked about the difference between interior designers and interior decorators.
07:48 AM -- Catherine Doulacki, a kitchen designer and graduate of CSU, testified against the bill and said the definition for interior designer is too broad. She said kitchen and bath designers are interior designers under the bill and that the bill would undermine building codes and other protections. Representative Liston asked whether the bill would allow her to be grandfathered in. She said the bill would not grandfather her in.
07:53 AM -- Kevin Wilson, representing the Poudre Fire Authority, testified in support of the bill. He said the bill would ensure that interior designers know how to include certain safety precautions in homes and offices that they decorate and would help the fire service in the long run.
07:59 AM -- Bill Livingston, representing the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Distributors, testified against the bill and said he agrees with Ms. Doulacki's testimony. He responded to questions from the committee.
08:04 AM -- Kathy Montgomery, representing the Colorado Interior Design Coalition, testified in support of the bill. She addressed some questions from the committee. Ms. Montgomery mentioned that the architecture statutes define an interior designer and talked about the education, years of experience, and NCIDQ examination requirements.
08:14 AM -- Barbara Barton, certified kitchen and bath designer, testified against the bill. She said there are distinct industries within interior design and this bill lumps them all together.
08:24 AM -- Joan Gyer, a current CSU student, testified in support of the bill.
08:27 AM -- Sandy Nienaber, representing the Colorado Interior Design Coalition, testified in support of the bill.
08:34 AM -- Donna McMahan, representing the National Kitchen and Bath Association, testified against the bill.
08:39 AM -- David Hines, representing Complete Kitchens, testified against the bill.
08:39 AM -- Sandra Clinger, representing herself, testified against the bill.
08:49 AM -- Rikki Miller, representing herself, testified in support of the bill.
Representative Rice announced that the bill would be continued on Tuesday, February 10 upon adjournment along with House Bill 09-1117 for action only. The committee adjourned.