Printed on 7/12/17


Rep. Joshi Receives 2016 Founder's Award

March 23, 2016
Contact information:

The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) is pleased to announce that Representative Janak Joshi is the first recipient of the RSCC's Founder's Award for his consistent defense of the RSCC's principles and his leadership in the Colorado House of Representatives. The inaugural award will be named for Senator Dave Schultheis, one of the RSCC founders.

The RSCC Founder's Award will be given annually to a legislator who has distinguished his/herself as a leader and a champion of the Conservative principles of the RSCC including: Individual Liberty, Sanctity of Life, Personal Responsibility, Limited Government, Family Integrity and the American Moral Tradition, Peace Through Strength and the Rule of Law, Free Markets and Commerce, Lower Taxes, and Legislative Integrity.

Representative Janak Joshi represents House District 16 in El Paso County. He and his wife, Anjana, have lived in Colorado for 35 years. He is a retired medical doctor, and has been active in his community, serving everywhere from volunteering with the non-profit foundation and community clinic, the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers, to chairman of the El Paso County Young Republicans, a Volunteer for many Republican campaigns, and currently as a State Representative.

For more information on the RSCC, visit


Back to the Drawing Board with Dolls and Crayons?

By Senator Kevin Lundberg

In July of last year, the Child Care Division of Colorado's Department of Human Service produced a 98-page set of rule changes that would tell private child care providers how many crayons, paint brushes and toy phones each classroom must have. DHS also wanted to dictate how many minutes of each day a child may spend on a computer or watching television. The proposals were widely criticized as unwarranted micromanagement and as "a nanny state on steroids."

The controversy has faded from the public spotlight, but the threat of child care regulatory overreach remains. In fact, newly proposed legislation, SB130, may unwittingly provide further impetus and some legitimacy to the bureaucrats' regulatory ambitions.

When last July's child care controversy erupted, the Governor publicly rebuked some of the more extreme proposals, and even the Denver Post urged the Child Care Division to "take a timeout." The head of the agency successfully defused the controversy by promising to take a fresh look. In February, the head of the division that produced the controversial draft regulations was replaced. The agency now says that the revised rules will not be ready for public comment until November.

We certainly hope that the new review under new leadership will produce a more sensible and sober crafting of new licensing standards for child care centers. Yet, it is fair to ask if the Department of Human Services learned the right lessons from this fiasco. There are good reasons for both parents and lawmakers to remain vigilant.

In testimony at a February 16 Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing at the Capitol, an agency spokesperson declined to say that the "quality standards" proposed in July exceeded the agency's authority or strayed too far from traditional standards regarding the health and safety of children. It appears those July proposals are now being revised not because they are intrusive and ridiculous but because of public controversy. In fact, in conversations with lawmakers in early February, agency officials said those standards were "based on a higher level of quality than the agency thinks is possible at this time." Translated, this means the rules that provoked controversy last July are not dead, they are merely in hibernation.

But it's not only the proposed new rules that raise policy questions. The agency has a reputation for reinterpreting old rules in seemingly arbitrary ways as well.

Two private child care centers in northern Colorado testified at the February 16 legislative hearing that the child care agency has altered the standards for the religious exemption, changes which put their programs in jeopardy. Montessori schools are now lobbying for legislation, HB1276, to establish clear guidelines for granting of waivers for certain instructional materials and a more equitable appeals process on agency actions.

These examples and other events strongly suggest the Child Care Division has grown fond of arbitrary rule changes that impose unwarranted hardships and unexpected costs on private child care providers.

We all want high quality child care for children in a safe and healthy environment. The problem is that the term "quality" is so elastic that it can cover almost any standard a creative bureaucratic mind can dream up. Complicating the picture is the agency's appetite for federal grant dollars, which only come with federal strings attached.

If the quest for "high quality" is not restrained and balanced against other equally valid goals, like innovation and affordability, we run the risk of reducing access to child care services for low and middle income families. Regardless of the dreams and aspirations of child care "experts," not every family can afford a Cadillac or Lexus in child care quality. Thousands of families need access to Ford and Chevrolet quality services that adhere to reasonable health and safety standards.

The bottom line is that the state should be very cautious when contemplating new licensing standards that go beyond health and safety, especially when those quality standards drive up costs significantly. What purpose is served by reducing options for low-income families? That only makes sense if you want to drive private child care centers out of business in order to create demand for taxpayer-subsidized child care services. Is that something the state can afford when state Medicaid expenditures are projected to increase at 9% annually through 2025?

Governor Hickenlooper was obviously embarrassed last July by the controversy created by overzealous bureaucrats. Let's hope he will keep a watchful eye on where the state's child care agency is headed after it is restructured and expanded as the Office of Early Childhood and Youth Development. Our child care bureaucrats need to be held accountable accountable not to "national experts," but to the parents and taxpayers of Colorado.

Federal Invasion of Privacy Reaches New Low

December 16, 2010

The "American Community Survey", posted below via hyperlink, is issued randomly every month to households throughout the country. A friend has been visited THREE times so far by a census employee who insists that this form must be completed. My friend says NO THANKS. You can click the link below at the bottom of this post to view the actual form.

This is not about the normal census. My friend has already participated in the decennial census. This federal government program is called the American Community Survey. According to Wikipedia:

"The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing statistical survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, sent to approximately 250,000 addresses monthly (or 3 million per year),[1] It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census. It is the largest survey other than the decennial census that the Census Bureau administers. Many Americans found filling out the long form to be burdensome and intrusive, and its unpopularity was a factor in the declining response rate to the decennial census. In 1995, the Bureau began the process of changing the means of obtaining the demographic, housing, social, and economic information from the census long form to the ACS. Testing began in 1996, and the ACS program began producing test data in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The full program is expected to be implemented by 2010. The surveys asks for more information, and at a higher frequency of polling, than the simple enumeration required by U.S. Constitution Article I Section 2. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who opposes the ACS, said of it that the founding fathers of the United States "never authorized the federal government to continuously survey the American people. More importantly, they never envisioned a nation where the people would roll over and submit to every government demand."

Click on this link to see the actual form. If you think this is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, please act. Contact the Census Bureau and your legislators to let them know about this and demand that they do something to fight to protect your personal liberty. Then contact everyone you know and let them know about this. These people are being threatened with fines for not complying. You could be the next lucky contestant. It's time to say enough is enough.

Bipartisanship Breaks Out at RSCC Illegal Immigration Summit

November 30, 2010

The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) held its Illegal Immigration Summit yesterday which attracted close to 100 attendees to the capitol throughout the day.

Speakers included:

Businessman Steve Hendrickson, President & CEO, Porter Industries

Businessman L.J. Ward, Managing Member, Global Transportation, LLC

Captain Jaime Kafati, Denver Justice Center

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa

Bob Balink, El Paso County Clerk & Recorder / Treasurer-elect

Stan Weeks, Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform

Jessica Vaughan, Center for Immigration Studies

Jack Martin, Federation for American Immigration Reform

One of the highlights of the day was the conversations between the several registered Democrat citizens who attended for the entire day and the Republican legislators after the Summit concluded. Smiles, handshakes and animated conversations dotted the room as these Democrats and Republicans showed that bi-partisanship really is possible when the focus is to have an honest discussion regarding the facts on illegal immigration and its impact on Colorado jobs and the economy.

While the media completely missed reporting on this encouraging story, as well as the compelling testimony from small business owners Steve Hendrickson and L.J. Ward, Denver County Sheriff Department Captain Jaime Kafati, and El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, those who attended digested a massive amount of information on how illegal immigration is affecting small business, jobs and the state's budget and resources.

You can find the agenda for the meeting here.

Video of the Summit will be posted as soon as it is available on the RSCC's Facebook page.

Illegal Immigration Summit

November 29, 2010

Republican Study Committee of Colorado's Illegal Immigration Summit is highlighted at OneNewsNow link can be found here.

RSCC Illegal Immigration Summit: November 22, 2010 Press Release


November 22, 2010 (Denver, CO) The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) will hold a public hearing on Monday, November 29 titled the "Illegal Immigration Summit" from 9:00am-3:00pm. The hearing will be open to the public and will be held in the old Supreme Court Chambers, located in the capitol building.

The format will provide an opportunity to listen to prepared remarks and testimony from a variety of local and national speakers. Colorado state legislators will interact with speakers as well as attendees to share information and discuss approaches to the issues as they apply to Colorado. The public is invited to attend.

Broad topics will include historical information on immigration in the U.S., a review of Colorado legislation associated with illegal immigration, fiscal and economic analysis of the impacts of illegal immigration in Colorado, issues surrounding voter integrity, the impact of illegal immigration on local gang activity and public safety, and federally supported programs such as E-Verify, Secure Communities.

Speakers will include representatives from the Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation of American Immigration Reform, the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, representatives for Colorado law enforcement, and state elected officials.

A full agenda will be published later this week. Additional information can be found at the RSCC website at


About the Republican Study Committee of Colorado:

The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) is a voluntary collaboration of elected state legislators whose purpose is to formulate, support, advocate for, and communicate legislative actions and positions consistent with the RSCC Declaration of Principles. RSCC membership includes Representatives in the Colorado State House as well as Senators in the Colorado State Senate. You can learn more about the RSCC at

For more information, contact RSCC Executive Director Rich Bratten at

Cato Institute Publishes “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2010″

September 30, 2010

Today the Cato Institute published their "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2010″, by Chris Edwards. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter was one of seven governors in the Country to receive a grade of F. The report covers the period from 2008 through the present. Here is what the report says about Colorado:

"Bill Ritter of Colorado has focused on raising taxes and undermining the budget restraints built into the state's constitution. In 2008, he campaigned in favor of a ballot measure to impose a huge increase in severance taxes on oil production, but that proposal was defeated at the ballot box. In 2009, Ritter signed into law measures to broaden the sales tax base and helped repeal the Arveschoug-Bird legal limit on general fund spending increases. He has also signed into law increases in hospital taxes, property taxes, medical marijuana taxes, and vehicle license fees. Currently, Ritter is campaigning against a series of tax limitation measures that will appear on the November ballot."

The full report can be found here (.pdf)

Government Growth Unabated Despite Recession

Representative Kent Lambert
September 22, 2010

According to official statistics, about 14,000 government jobs in Colorado have been "created" by continuous government expansion, the highest levels of spending in history even in the midst of a recession, and court-brokered job-stealing tax increases. The corresponding cost to the private sector has been the loss of 170,000 Colorado jobs, business failures, foreclosures, unemployment, and the huge resulting losses of revenue. In debate after debate, Democrats seem totally calloused to the fact that their policies that consume businesses and private sector jobs.

RSCC Plans Public Hearings

September 13, 2010

The RSCC is planning three "Public Hearings" over the next few months. The purpose of these events is to highlight issues that the RSCC Executive Board has identified as conservative priorities for the upcoming session. The three hearings will be on 1) Colorado's fiscal/economic/budget situation, 2) Immigration, and 3) States' Powers.

Friday, September 24: "State Powers Summit"

On Friday, September 24, the RSCC will conduct a roundtable style discussion on the issue of state powers featuring Jonathan Williams from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The event will take place in the Legislative Services Building, Room B from 10:00am 2:00pm.

The agenda for this hearing Friday is currently being set with input from several legislators. Guest speakers will include:

Jonathan Williams from ALEC, who will speak on "Rich States, Poor States", as well as "Restoring Federalism: Strategies for States"

Senator Kevin Lundberg, who will speak on 10th Amendment Resolutions

Representative Kent Lambert, who will speak on the fiscal impact of unfunded mandates

A representative of the Independence Institute will speak on Proposition 63 and the Right to Health Care Choice

A representative from the office of Attorney General John Suthers will speak on Colorado's current Health Care lawsuit against the federal mandate of insurance

August RSCC Arizona Trip Very Informative

September 13, 2010

In August the RSCC organized a trip to Arizona to get some firsthand experience with how they are dealing with several issues, including immigration. While immigration was the topic that garnered all of the attention, we also spent time reviewing some of the things that Arizona is doing to manage their state budget and spending issues, as well as their new concealed carry law. Seven current legislators, as well as 4 additional candidates attended the trip.

On Wednesday, August 18, we met with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the primary author of AZ SB 1070. Senator Pearce discussed the history of getting this legislation passed, the how and the why behind the legislation, and his prognosis for the new law's future. Russell's legislative background, legal knowledge, and long term experience with this issue in Arizona were abundantly evident as he made his case for Arizona's approach.

Arizona Representative Carl Seel was a real surprise in our meetings at the capitol. Recently finishing his first term a Representative, he has already built up quite the reputation as a fiscal watchdog in the capitol. His work at rooting out waste and fraud in the state's annual budget was impressive and he gave our delegation a lot of great common sense ideas on how to do the same in Colorado.

Finally, we received a rundown on Arizona's new concealed carry law. They went through the process of how various elements of the legislation were crafted with input from different groups on every side of the issue.

Reflections on Labor Day

Senator Kevin Lundberg
September 13, 2010

Today is the traditional "last day of summer," and a time we contemplate the blessings our nation enjoys as a consequence of the diligent labor of it's citizens.

What are the public policies that give us good jobs for the citizens of Colorado? Have we been following those best practices in the past few years?

During this election season I have talked with hundreds of people and I am hearing many concerns. If I had to put all of these concerns into one category I would have to say it is jobs. There are not enough good jobs to go around. The only jobs the government seems to be able to create are taxpayer funded government jobs. The lack of meaningful enforcement of immigration laws drives unemployment higher. Excessive government spending is making it more difficult for a recovery that will create good, private sector jobs. Higher taxes and stiffer regulations are driving businesses, and jobs, out of the state.

I have included a chart of the change in Colorado jobs since January 2008:

If we had saved for the tough times with a rainy day fund, (something I have been urging since 2003), sustaining government sector jobs during a downturn might make some sense. But as it is, we are borrowing from tomorrow to simply prop up today, and it isn't working. We have been taking money from designated cash funds, borrowing from the Federal Government (despite a constitutional ban on borrowing without voter approval), increasing taxes (again, without the people's vote) and increasing fees at alarming rates.

The government cannot spend us into prosperity. Our government should be doing all it can to encourage the private sector to thrive. This means lower taxes and fees, more consistent and reasonable regulations, immigration policies that work, and strict limits on government spending. Such a bold direction in policy would put Colorado back to work. It would restore the confidence we need to once again enjoy a prosperous, producing economy.

On this Labor Day the policies of our government are making it harder for the average, working citizen.

I am, however, quite hopeful that the people will send to Denver next January a team determined to stop growing an out of control government and start growing a strong economy for all of Colorado's citizens.

Senator Lundberg Reports from Arizona

August 18, 2010

On August 18 The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) organized a meeting of several Colorado legislators with the sponsor of Arizona's new immigration law, Senator Russell Pearce, and other Arizona legislators. The meeting took place at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix.

The trip was funded by the individual legislators. No taxpayer funds were used for this project. This was one of the many opportunities the RSCC has created over the past few years for Colorado Republican legislators to dig deeper into important issues that affect the people of Colorado.

During our discussion Sen. Pearce explained the details of their new law, and their strategy for working this ground-breaking legislation through the courts. Currently a Federal judge has placed a temporary injunction on parts of the law, but Sen. Pearce is confident that the judiciary will ultimately rule that states can enforce Federal immigration polices through state statutes.

A careful reading of the US Constitution certainly backs up that expectation. Congress is empowered to create a uniform naturalization process, but states are in no way prohibited from dealing with all of the other aspects and impacts of immigration within their state borders, particularly if it is illegal immigration.

As chairman for the RSCC, I led the press conference that followed the meeting. At that time Rep. Kent Lambert, who will be moving to the Colorado Senate next January, announced he is preparing a bill just like Arizona's SB 1070. I assured the press, a rather large assembly from both Arizona and Colorado, that our resolve to carry through with meaningful legislation next session was fortified by our talks that day. In addition to Kent Lambert's bill I am confident there will be several other bills introduced.

In Colorado we have been introducing similar bills since 2005, but the current majority party has, every year, killed almost all meaningful legislation in its first committee hearing. The composition of next year's General Assembly with determine the outcome of the immigration bills we will be introducing in 2011.

conference we toured Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arapaio's tent city jail. Over the past eighteen years his department has apprehended about 35,000 illegal aliens. His no-nonsense approach is efficient and effective.

Later that day I had to return to Colorado for meetings scheduled in my district the next day, but some from our delegation spent the next several days visiting the border and other areas in Arizona heavily impacted by illegal immigration.

Colorado must join the growing list of states who are going to find ways to fix this problem. We are prepared, more than ever before, to follow through and deal with illegal immigration in Colorado. Our trip to Phoenix was an important step toward that goal.

Published to the LibertyInk Journal at this link:

Meeting with Arizona Legislators: August 18, 2010 Press Release


August 18, 2010 (Denver, CO) -The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) is on a fact-finding trip to Arizona to study the issues of immigration and state budget planning. Colorado legislators will meet today with Arizona Senator Russell Pearce (author of AZ SB 1070), and other Arizona state legislators and staff today.

"We want to take a best practices' approach to the issues of immigration and state finance, so we look forward to meeting with our counterparts in Arizona to learn from their experiences on these issues," said RSCC Chairman and State Senator Kevin Lundberg, representing Colorado Senate District 15.

On the issue of immigration, Colorado State Senator Dave Schultheis, Senate District 9, stated, "I am very encouraged by the strong stand that Arizona lawmakers have taken to counter the negative effects of illegal immigration. As Arizona takes steps to protect its border, so too must Colorado legislators act to protect Colorado's border from the continued influx of illegal aliens into our state. The cost to Colorado taxpayers is estimated to exceed $1.4 billion/year and this number will grow dramatically if the Colorado legislature continues to ignore this critical issue. It is already a fact that illegal aliens from Arizona are migrating to Colorado as a result of Arizona's SB 1070."

The legislators will attend meetings in Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, on August 18. Afterwards, some legislators will continue on to tour some areas of the Arizona border with local officials. The trip's coordinator, Colorado State Representative Kent Lambert, House District 14, has extensive experience along the Arizona border. "Just as we did in 2005, I'm looking forward to going to Arizona with my fellow legislators so that they can see exactly what the situation is with their own eyes. There is no substitute for experience. Seeing the actual border fence, or the lack thereof in many places, and visiting with some of the actual citizens who live on the border is an experience that can really impact your perspective."

You will be able to follow the accounts of many of these legislators who travel to Arizona via their Twitter and Facebook accounts, or by watching for real-time updates on the RSCC website at Visit the RSCC website for more information.

Arizona Visit: August 17, 2010 Press Release


August 17, 2010 (Phoenix, AZ) Eleven state legislators from Colorado, members of the Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC), are visiting Arizona this week to meet with their counterparts in the Arizona legislature. Members will be discussing SB-1070, current Arizona laws that apply to illegal immigration, and several other topics of common interest. RSCC members will be introducing legislation similar to SB-1070 in Colorado early next year.

Legislative members from both Arizona and Colorado will hold a joint press conference on the Arizona State Capitol grounds on the House Lawn at 2:30 on Wednesday, August 18, to summarize the legislative visit.

Democrats should get on board with Arizona’s immigration law

Senator Dave Schultheis
As seen in the Colorado Springs Gazette
May 31, 2010

While it might come as a shock to Democrats such as Boulder liberal and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., most of America is applauding Arizona for taking control of illegal immigration within its borders.

Simply put, the law requires police to check with federal authorities on a person's immigration status if officers have already stopped that person for a legitimate reason and have a reasonable suspicion the person might be in the United States illegally.

Polis and his colleagues would have the public believing the Arizona law will scare and scapegoat American citizens of certain ethnic heritages.

Opponents love to call the new law "racist," and Polis even compared it to the policies of Nazi Germany and state sponsored genocide.

Give me a break.

According to a poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, one in three Hispanics in the United States said they support the law.

Are they being racist against people of their own ethnicity?

That same poll goes on to note that 64 percent of all adults support Arizona's new immigration law.

And it's not just Republicans who think this is a good idea. Half of all Democrats polled say they support the law and two-thirds of Independents polled support it.

The law makes clear that if the person produces a valid driver's license or other state-issued identification he or she is presumed to be in the United States legally.

Since when has a police officer, asking someone for a driver's license after making a stop, a "racist" action?

Nearly every American has a driver's license or some form of identification. If a person lacks proper identification it is reasonable to suspect he or she might be here illegally.

To further demonstrate his disconnect with the American people, Polis has thrown his support behind an "immigration reform" proposal that is supported by the likes of Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Charles Schumer, D-New York.

"If (illegal immigrants) obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes, we will welcome (them) to American," Polis wrote in an editorial.

Polis can call it "comprehensive reform" all he wants. He can dress it up and call it whatever he chooses. But any proposal that allows people who are here illegally to cut to the front of the line is amnesty.

We are in a major recession, and we need all the jobs we can get for Colorado citizens and those who reside in Colorado legally.Polis should remember that as he and his Democratic colleagues prepare to face an electorate that is sensitive to job losses.

It is time for Democrats in Congress to start standing up for the rule of law, which they have sworn to uphold.

Democrat-controlled Senate Committee Unwilling to Assure Adequate Public Testimony

Senator Dave Schultheis
April 21, 2010

The "circus" that took place during this past year in the Congress in order to pass Obamacare angered citizens across the country. The public's strong rejection of government health-care, was also caused by Congress ignoring of public opinion and ignorance as to what the bill contained.

In 1988, Colorado voters passed a Constitutional Amendment, now referred to as the Gavel Amendment, to ensure that all bills would receive a public hearing. Following its passage, the House and Senate adopted rules providing for at least a one-day public notification of hearings for each and every bill. However, both Houses also adopted a rules that allowed for a waiving of all rules during the last three days of the Colorado legislature, allowing bills to be heard in a matter of hours. So much for keeping the public informed! During the last thee days, under current rules, no notice of public hearings can be as short as the Senate President deems necessary. In most instances, there is no-one from the public presentonly lobbyists.

After experiencing this last-minute rush near the close of session, for the past nine years, I drafted Senate Resolution SR10-008, to make sure the current one-day notice of bill hearings would remain, except for bills deemed to be an emergency by a two-thirds majority. The Senate State, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee heard the Resolution on Monday, April 19th. As expected, the Resolution was summarily killed by the Democrat majority on the committee on a party-line vote.

This Resolution needs to be passed next session, should the Republicans be in charge. Both political parties have used this lack of public notice to rush bills though without adequate time for review and contemplation. This procedure must be stopped.
Senator Dave Schultheis
January 24, 2010

If we could wave a magic wand and add 100,000 new jobs to Colorado's economy over the next three years, who wouldn't go for it? We do not have a magic wand, but we have the next best thing: a program to reserve new jobs only for citizens and legal immigrants.

The internet-based federal E-Verify program allows employers to screen all new hires against a database that matches names to Social Security numbers and immigration records. More than 175,000 employers are now enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security program, and nationally, one in four new hires are processed by E-Verify.

Why doesn't Colorado utilize this program? Actually, it does, but only timidly. Since 2006, any company doing business with a state government agency must participate in the federal E-Verify program.

So, why doesn't Colorado require all employers to use it? Strangely, that proposal has been opposed mainly because well, because it works. E-verify is effective in denying jobs to illegal aliens. Therefore business owners, who think they need illegal workers, oppose any measure to reserve jobs for legal workers.

Many employers end up avoiding the program because it works too well. Those opponents are joined by advocates for "migrant rights" who think a right to an illegal job should be guaranteed to anyone who succeeds in crossing our borders illegally. The people not represented in that odd coalition are the unfortunate American workers losing jobs to illegal workers.

Opponents blocked a proposal in the 2006 special session of the state legislature, and every year since, that would have mandated use of E-Verify across Colorado. In its place the legislature passed a toothless measure merely requiring employers to keep records that are then supposedly subject to audit. Three years later, not one employer has been fined and not one illegal worker has been dismissed under this meaningless law.

It is hard to make a serious argument that employers cannot find legal workers in an economy suffering from historically high unemployment. Farm laborers, you say?

The federal government already has a program for guest workers in agriculture, ski resorts, landscaping and similar seasonal businesses. Moreover, less than 5 percent of illegal aliens are employed in agriculture according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

It's time to move forward to assure Colorado jobs for Colorado citizens and legal immigrants. E-Verify is not "anti-immigrant," because real immigrants have green cards and can work legally.

Arguments against the program by the employer community rely mainly on myths and scare tactics. Here are a few facts opponents try to hide:

Based on a Government Accounting Office audit, the internet-based E-Verify program has an enviable error rate of only .004. More than 96 percent of new hire applicants are processed and approved within 24 hours.

Only 2.8 percent of applicants are rejected due to a mismatch between name and Social Security number, and 90 percent of those persons do not protest the rejection. More than 175,000 employers now participate nationally and an average 1,200 employers joined the program each week in 2009.

The cost to employers to set up the program is less than $100.

Employer participation in the program has grown 274 percent since 2007.

In September 2009, all federal agencies began requiring contractors to use the program.

Another argument sometimes used by opponents is that expansion of the E-verify program should await congressional action on immigration reform. In truth, the exact opposite is the case. Only when the public is convinced the nation is enforcing existing laws against illegal workers will it make any sense to consider a more ambitious reform.

In fact, that is the position of the Obama administration. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano declared in a November speech at the ultra-liberal Center for American Progress that "E-verify is an essential element of any comprehensive reform agenda."

The federal E-Verify program is neither radical nor punitive.

Any employer participating in the program can use that participation as an affirmative defense against federal immigration enforcement if the company is ever audited by immigration authorities.

Adopting the E-Verify program will establish a level playing field for employers wanting to obey the law but are in competition against other employers using illegal labor to cut costs. This unfair competition will be reduced drastically if all employers would be required to hire only legal workers.

I plan to introduce legislation once more to adopt the E-Verify program in Colorado. If legislation fails, a ballot initiative will allow Colorado voters to make that decision on November 2.

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