Jobs & Economy
As our nation continues to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Michael continues his efforts to make sure Colorado families are able to make ends meet and Colorado businesses are able to grow.
Michael believes in supporting new areas of growth and innovation, so that we can attract new types of jobs to Colorado and attract new talent. For example, Michael fought to open a new regional office for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Denver, which will bring more than 500 new jobs to the Rocky Mountain region and generate more than $440 million in economic activity. Michael also championed the bipartisan CROWDFUND Act, a new law that enables entrepreneurs, start-ups, and companies to raise equity financing through online fundraising campaigns. He has also worked within the federal government to remove bureaucratic burdens that impact Colorado's cutting-edge bioscience industry, so it can continue to innovate and create 21st century jobs across the state.
All of Michael's work - from investing in education and energy to reforming our tax code - is aimed at strengthening our economy and creating more opportunities for Coloradans to get to work.
- In recognition of Colorado being home to innovative companies in the bioscience, aerospace, telecommunications, and many other industries, Michael led efforts to open a regional office for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Denver. The office, which opened in June 2014, will bring 500 direct jobs to the region, create even more indirect jobs, and lead to $440 million in economic activity over the first five years of operation, including $261 million in direct expenditures through the facility. The creation of Denver's patent office stemmed from an amendment Michael passed in the 2011 patent reform law.
- To foster the work for Colorado's bioscience industry, Michael worked to pass a bipartisan measure that expedites FDA approval of drugs and therapies that show dramatic responses early in development, while still ensuring safety and effectiveness. The ‘breakthrough' therapy designation gives the FDA more flexibility to advance the approval process for these treatments.
- Michael has worked to remove obstacles to medical device innovation, working to pass a bipartisan provision that ensures regulators are only focused on relevant information when reviewing medical devices and consider alternative approaches to evaluating devices to reduce the time, effort, and cost of reaching a regulatory decision. He also authored a provision to give the FDA tools to improve oversight and tracking of medical devices after they are approved for patients.
- Colorado has long been a hub for innovation in the aerospace industry with its research universities and private industry standing at the forefront of space exploration. In 2013, Michael authored and passed legislation to reform regulations that made it difficult for Colorado aerospace companies to compete in the global markets. Michael's bill gives the Administration flexibility to set appropriate export controls for satellites and space-related items that have non-defense applications, allowing Colorado's satellite manufacturers to export their satellite components to the growing overseas market.
- To enhance Colorado's growing status as the ideal place to start a new business and build up the state's venture capital community, Michael has worked to build up the state's venture capital community and help startups find the support they need to grow. For example, Michael helped introduce the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to Colorado's startup community, leading to the creation of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, a mentor network for emerging growth companies across the aerospace, bioscience, energy, natural foods, and technology sectors. The entre led to a $4 million grant to the University of Colorado Silicon Flatirons Center, the foundation's largest grant to date.
- Michael has worked to support Colorado's entrepreneurs and small businesses by making it easier to raise equity financing via the Internet. Michael's bipartisan CROWDFUND Act, which was signed into law in 2012, allows entrepreneurs, start-ups, and companies to use crowdfunding websites to raise capital in a way that protects investors.
- Since coming to the Senate, Michael has supported Colorado's diverse energy industry, including a growing wind energy industry that supports thousands of Colorado jobs. While Congress has failed to take a long-term view to certain renewable energy sources like wind, Michael has worked to provide more certainty to the industry by leading efforts to extend the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). He has sponsored bipartisan legislation and written letters in support of extending the credit until Congress considers comprehensive energy legislation.