Statehouse Democrats on Sunday unveiled eight coronavirus relief bills they will prioritize during Colorado’s special legislative session, which begins Monday and will run at least three days.
The legislation, much of it bipartisan, includes direct payments to small businesses, tax forgiveness, grants for child care centers and money to expand broadband access.
The aid, which is constrained by the state’s budget, totals about $200 million and is aimed at providing a bridge until a much larger congressional stimulus measure is approved. Lawmakers concede that the money isn’t a silver bullet, and business leaders say it’s unlikely to revive businesses that are on at the edge of demise.
“The amount the Colorado state government can do to alleviate the burdens of struggling communities is limited,” Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said in a written statement. “But it’s not nothing.”
There is an additional $100 million in spending related to Colorado’s public health response.
Republicans in the legislature are expected to introduce measures of their own during the extraordinary lawmaking term, though they are in the minority at the Capitol and thus would need significant support from Democrats to pass anything through. It’s also possible other Democratic pieces of legislation could be introduced.
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