House Committee Approves Bill to Help Colorado Workers

‘Just Transition’ legislation would ensure state studies and prepares for future

(Apr. 10) – The House Business Affairs & Labor committee approved Speaker KC Becker and Rep. Rochelle Galindo’s bill to create the Just Transition Office within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to support the livelihood of coal transition workers, their families and their communities, and to help provide these workers access to training and job opportunities.

“The time to take action on climate is now, but we cannot work towards a clean energy economy without also working on solutions to support workers who are affected by this transition,” said Speaker Becker, D-Boulder. “Workers and communities whose livelihoods are threatened by shifting economic tides and advancements in technology need support.  We can support these communities in this transition and that’s the intention of this bill.”

Due to market forces, Colorado’s power sector is transitioning toward renewable energy resources and natural gas. This bill would help ensure communities and workers who are going to be impacted by this market driven transition away from coal won’t be left behind. The bill provides critical benefits to workers who are laid off to help them get back up on their feet and provides workforce and economic development grants to communities whose residents and local economies  are disproportionately impacted by the decline of coal.

“HD-50 is a working class community. I’m the daughter of working people and work in a blue collar job myself. I understand the plight of working people and the struggles they go through every day,” said Rep. Galindo, D-Greeley. “This bill is about looking out for workers whose livelihoods could be impacted by inevitable market shifts. We need to be responsive, compassionate and proactive for workers when addressing the transition.”

The bill was approved on a vote of 7-3. The bill now goes the the House Appropriations committee.

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