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Expand Scope Business Enterprise Program

Concerning modifications to the business enterprise program to be administered by the department of labor and employment under its authority to administer vocational rehabilitation programs.
2016 Regular Session
Business & Economic Development
Human Services
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

The business enterprise program, which will be administered by the department of labor and employment (department) starting July 1, 2016, provides training, assistance, and priority to persons who are blind and who wish to operate vending facilities on state property. The act expands the program to allow persons who are blind and are found to be qualified to operate other types of businesses on state property. The act also changes the criteria for determining when a vending facility or other business cannot be operated by a blind vendor to more closely follow the standard under federal law.

Additionally, the act directs the department to convene a working group to examine avenues to:
  • Expand job and business opportunities for persons who are blind on state properties that are currently exempt from the program, as well as properties that do not currently utilize blind vendors;
  • Leverage revenues from businesses operated by blind vendors at these state properties to increase and modify the allocation of federal matching funds available under the program; and
  • Expand the scope of the program to train blind vendors in a variety of business opportunities beyond food service and vending facilities.

The working group comprises members from the blind community, higher education institutions, departments of corrections and natural resources, Colorado state fair, and other interested parties and state agencies. By January 1, 2017, the working group is to develop and submit a final report, which may include legislative and administrative recommendations, to the business committees of the general assembly.

The act contains a clause specifying that additional appropriations are not necessary to implement the act. The section of the act that directs the department to convene a working group takes effect May 4, 2016, and all other portions of the act take effect on July 1, 2016.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


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Bill Text

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details