Budget integrity and economic relief and resilience bills move forward
DENVER, CO– The House today passed legislation to allocate federal stimulus funds to fortify Colorado’s budget and ensure the state’s long-term economic resilience.
“By setting aside over $1 billion to fortify future budgets, Colorado will be positioned to grow and sustain funding for critical state services such as K-12 education, health care and agriculture programs,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “We’ve made a lot of progress to make our budget more equitable, and by creating this fund, we’ll be able to protect that progress and ensure we continue to make investments that help small businesses, workers, students and all Coloradans thrive.”
“We have a responsibility to use some of the federal funds Colorado is receiving to ensure our budget can continue to fund the services Coloradans rely on,” said Rep. Shannon Bird, D-Westminster. “The $1 billion we’re setting aside will help buy down future obligations to ensure Colorado can make necessary investments in education, health care and housing programs that Coloradans need.”
SB21-289, which is sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Shannon Bird and passed 41-23, creates the Revenue Loss Restoration Cash Fund, which will hold $1 billion of the federal funds to fortify the state budget and maintain fiscal integrity as Colorado bounces back. The funds will be deployed in future budget years to support critical priorities, such as K-12 education, housing, seniors, state parks and agriculture programs. The funds essentially buy down future obligations now to bolster the long-term health of Colorado’s state budget.
“We are grateful for the significant federal relief that has helped so many small businesses stay open through the pandemic, but we know many Colorado businesses are still struggling to recover,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon. “The legislature is setting aside $848 million in federal funds for future economic stimulus that will help sustain our recovery. The bill we passed today invests $40 million now to attract new businesses while allowing us to take the next six to eight months to see where there are gaps in the existing relief and craft policies that will help as many businesses and workers as possible.”
SB21-291, which is sponsored by Representatives Dylan Roberts and Kevin Van Winkle and passed 53-11, creates the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund to respond to the economic impacts of the pandemic. It allocates $848 million for economic stimulus and relief initiatives that will be recommended through a robust interim committee process involving a diverse set of stakeholders from across the state. Additionally, it directs $40 million to the Strategic Fund in the Office of Economic Development and International Trade in order to incentivize companies to create jobs in Colorado and small businesses to relocate to rural Colorado.