The Fremont County Board of Commissioners will be in Denver later this week meeting with Colorado Counties Incorporated to go over proposed legislative bills, and according to Commissioner Dwayne McFall, this new legislative session already is “getting scarier by the moment.”
“There will be a lot of bills that we will be watching going through,” McFall said during Tuesday’s board meeting. “There is proposed gun legislation that just goes way, way, way too far. It’s going to make law-abiding citizens criminals in some aspects and not do anything about mental health and the people that are causing damage with the tool that they are using, which happens to be a weapon.”
McFall said the board will keep a close eye on proposed bills that will affect Fremont County and its residents.
“It’s kind of a scary time right now,” he said.
Board Chair Kevin Grantham expressed similar sentiments regarding the 2023 legislative session.
“There is plenty to be worried about when it comes to what’s going to happen to us here in Fremont County and across the state,” he said.
One of the bills that is most concerning, he said, is the proposed “Fair Work Week Employment Standards Act.”
“It’s basically going to attack our service industry across the state, in Fremont County, in particular,” he said. “When I say service industry, I’m generally referring to restaurants and that segment of our economy.”
He said the bill would virtually make it impossible for restaurants to implement.
“It is worrisome that we have people who are making legislation that will negatively affect our service industries that obviously have no knowledge of how service industries actually operate,” Grantham said. “This will essentially require employers of the service industry and restaurants to guarantee the schedule of individuals 14 days in advance.”
He said that’s not practical in the restaurant industry.
“It is ludicrous that anybody thinks that that can actually be done,” he said.
The proposed bill also would require employees to be paid a full hour’s wage for any time added to a shift and two full hour’s wages for any time subtracted from a shift, Grantham said.
“Simply sending workers home or simply shutting down could be the result, actually laying off of workers could be the actual result of this kind of policy,” he said. “Overtime pay would be mandated for any hours an employee works within 12 hours of the last shift.”
This not only will affect those in the industry, but also patrons.
“Those restaurateurs are going to have to pay that much more for their wages and for employees, and that will be translated over to what we can actually sustain from our own pocketbooks to pay for those meals,” he said. “You thought your Happy Meals were expensive now, they will get more expensive.”
McFall said those who are interested may want to reach out to their legislators to express their opinions.
“I guarantee we will be,” he said.
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