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Polis, state lawmakers announce $700 million stimulus plan for Colorado
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DENVER — Governor Jared Polis and top state lawmakers from both parties announced a $700 million stimulus plan for Colorado on March 10. It's called the Colorado Recovery Plan.

“Colorado will be well poised to build back faster, build back stronger,” Polis said in a press conference. 

The governor commended state lawmakers for the bipartisan effort, contrasting it to President Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill that passed earlier in the day without a single republican vote. Polis also criticized the price tag on the president’s $1.9 trillion bill.

“Here in Colorado, we only get to spend money we have,” Polis added.

The funding for the $700 million bill comes from some of the $3.5 billion in budget cuts state leaders made at the beginning of the pandemic.

According to The Colorado Sun, much of the funding in the stimulus plan will go to “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects like repairs to the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels and Interstate 70 bridges.

Here are some of the other spending priorities in the plan, as listed by the Colorado Sun:

  • $30 million on projects to revitalized community Main Streets
  • $60-80 million in matching funds for downtown revitalization efforts and to create more affordable housing options in urban areas
  • $50-75 million to expand broadband internet infrastructure
  • $30-40 million for existing clean energy programs
  • $40-50 million in sales tax relief for small restaurants and bars 
  • $20-30 million toward lending institutions that cater to “historically underserved” entrepreneurs
  • $10-15 million in one-time grants to small businesses, with a priority for rural, women, minority and veteran-owned businesses
  • $10-15 million to rent, lease or buy hotel rooms for unhoused individuals
  • $8-10 million in seed funding for a program to incentivize local governments to adopt affordable housing development policies
  • $5-10 million to support childcare businesses
  • $8-9 million for mental health screenings in schools

 

Beth Gruitch, Chair-elect for the Colorado Restaurant Association and owner of Rioja and other restaurants, praised the sales tax relief in a press conference.

“This is incredible for us," she said. "This will help keep more dollars in the restaurants’ pockets.”

Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia also spoke at the press conference, saying the stimulus plan will bring “targeted relief” to Coloradans who need it the most.

"After the challenges of this last year, it is time to come together and work to restore Colorado. By working together to prioritize fixing our roads and bridges, getting Colorado back to work, and getting students back in school, this is an opportunity to get our lives going again and bring Colorado back to life," said House Minority Leader Hugh McKean.

You can read the full details of the stimulus plan here. The full press conference is available below.

Colorado Voices

Colorado Recovery Plan Press Confrence

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Press conference outlining Colorado Recovery Plan.

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