DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed a bill to support workers and communities making the transition from coal-based economies.
“No community, no worker should be left behind in Colorado’s transition away from a coal-based economy,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Our law directs funding to impacted workers to assist with tuition and child care assistance, career planning services, and more. This money will help build vibrant and resilient economies in parts of our state, including Southern Colorado, that are struggling as market forces move our nation away from coal. This law directly impacts Colorado communities and helps build stronger economies.”
“As our energy economy moves forward, it’s critical we make sure that every affected community and worker is supported,” said Senator Faith Winter, D-Westminster. “This legislation will make an equitable investment in projects to help diversify our rural economy, support working families, and help make sure no transitioning community is left behind.”
“Our bill that the Governor signed today is a vital step forward for transitioning communities and demonstrates our commitment to giving them the resources needed to support workers and diversify local economies during this time,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon. “With this new $15 million of funding, communities like Oak Creek, Hayden and Craig will be able to invest in new projects that diversify their economies, incentivize new energy jobs, and provide workers with career services and other supports. I am proud to represent and fight for Northwest Colorado, and this funding is a commitment to protecting those communities and the people that make them great.”
“In Colorado, we take care of each other,” said Senator Kerry Donovan, D-Vail. “This new law aligns with that value and provides resources to some of the best places in the state to envision and build what’s next for them.”
HB22-1394, sponsored by Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and Representative Dylan Roberts as well as Senators Faith Winter and Kerry Donovan, funds efforts by the Office of Just Transition to boost communities and workers transitioning from coal-based economies. The new law supports coal workers to help them provide for themselves and their families, and access innovative education and training opportunities. It will also provide funding to bolster coal-transition communities and help them create vibrant, resilient and sustainable local economies with good-paying jobs. $5 million will go to support economic development and assistance to local businesses, and $10 million will go directly to workers and their families.