DENVER
01/21/2011 03:16 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Pinnacol Tax Exemption Bill Dies In Joint Budget Committee

A bill that would have eliminated tax exemptions for Pinnacol Assurance was killed in the Joint Budget Committee on Thursday

The bill, introduced in the Joint Budget Commitee last week, is ostensibly aimed at chipping away at the state's budget deficit. The Denver Post reported last week that the proposal, which would have taken away most, but not all of Pinnacol's tax exemptions, would have saved the state $3 million.

Pinnacol, which was chartered by the state to be the unemployment insurer of last resort, does not pay state taxes. The insurer is mandated to cover businesses that cannot get coverage from other carriers. Its board members are appointed by the Governor.

The introduction of the bill to strip Pinnacol's tax exemption coincided with widespread criticism of Pinnacol after the company released financial records from a $300,000 California golf outing.

State Senate Predident Brandon Shaffer has called for Pinnacol's board and CEO to step down, and Governor Hickenlooper has also been critical.

The bill, however, was killed on Thursday on a straight 3-3 party-line vote with Republicans voting against the measure. It required unanimous approval from the JBC in order to be considered on the House floor.