Benefit Corporations Bills Among Special Session Casualties

May 17, 2012
Justin A. Wilcox / Foter

DENVER – Lawmakers meeting in special session this week considered and rejected two similar measures that would have allowed corporations in Colorado to register for what’s called a benefit corporation—a designation earned by companies that in the course of business provide societal benefits.

The two bills’ failure meant that as of Tuesday evening, eight of 12 bills introduced in the special session had been killed.

Both House Bill S-1007, sponsored by Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, and Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, and Senate Bill S-003, sponsored by Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, died in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. This week’s special session was convened by Gov. John Hickenlooper to address the issue among others that were left unresolved after the conclusion of the regular 2012 General Assembly last week.

Bacon said Colorado would have attracted a new breed of businesses had the designation been approved.

“Benefit corporations are a new, innovative type of company that will not only foster job creation but also positively impact our communities,” said Bacon. “There are plenty of entrepreneurs out there looking to start this kind of socially conscience company and plenty of investors looking to support them.”

Massey attributed his bill’s demise to political wrangling.

“This bill’s evolution, unfortunately, carried it beyond the scope of policy and turned it into a political wedge,” he said.  “It’s regrettable to see this bill die, but I remain hopeful this bill will return next year.”

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