Hickenlooper signs rural economic development bill

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Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signs into a law a bill that will provide economic development grants to job creation projects in smaller, rural communities.

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Tuesday signed a bill into law that will continue to fund economic development grants for projects in smaller, rural communities.

House Bill 1241 funds the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), which administers grants to spark job creation projects through the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).

“This program delivers much-needed funds and technical expertise to rural Colorado communities,” Hickenlooper said during a small bill signing ceremony in the Capitol’s west foyer Tuesday.

“REDI supports plans and projects that create jobs, drive capital investment and increase wages to help grow and create economic diversity in rural economies.”

The program has a total grant budget of $2.7 million, of which $530,000 has been awarded. Right now, seven projects are under consideration, representing $20 million in capital investment and more than 150 new jobs in rural areas.

“This is focused on growing jobs,” said Ken Lund, the executive director of OEDIT. “Our normal programs help larger projects that create a certain number of new jobs. This program helps us get funding to rural communities and smaller projects that don’t qualify for the kinds of grants we normally offer.

Hickenlooper, who faces reelection this fall, might have signed the appropriations bill behind closed doors if not for the political imperative of repairing some of the damage done by Democrats last year with voters in rural communities.

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6 comments

  • Aaron Davidson

    So he raised our electric rates and banned our firearm magazines, but now he’s got a job for us! I’m not buying it. Democrats have pretty well proven they neither understand, nor care about, rural communities. They want a “one size fits all” approach to Colorado, which is about the last state where that works. Applying the same gun control laws to Yuma as Denver proper is asinine.

  • Kae Mechiso

    Hick’ loyal campaign bundlers and supporters are probable the only ones to benefit from this spending bill. The only thing missing from the announcement was that “it’s for the children”?

  • Dan Madajski

    Keep your laws and ideas in your city.. Keep your jobs, they wont pay the increases you forced on us. Leave our electric rates up to those of us that use it

  • Kelly Wiedemer

    Here’s a great model to sustainability, jobs and a stronger, local -rural- economy:
    “…That path is Veterans to Farmers, a free 12-week-long intensive program teaching post-9/11 veterans a new generation of greenhouse farming. The program taps into aeroponic technology, a highly efficient and space-saving system of vertical growing towers requiring comparatively less water than hydroponic greenhouse farming and traditional agriculture. The magic is in the roots, which are suspended in air and never submerged or oversaturated in precious water.

    Once launched, Adams’ training program will accommodate about 15 students per session, or a total of 60 veterans annually, who will receive a living stipend during training. “The program will cover everything from greenhouse construction to plant biology and how to grow using vertical towers,” says George. There will also be information on sales, marketing and securing loans.”

    http://www.confluence-denver.com/features/veterans_to_farmers_021913.aspx

  • Tom Sanders

    It doesn’t matter…they will only do what they figure will get them more votes…it will never be what’s best for the general public. Your government is corrupt and all of them need to go.

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