DENVER (KDVR) — Congress has a packed agenda at the beginning of President Joe Biden’s term. One of the biggest items they will take up is Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
The proposal would send money to cities and states around the nation. Mayor Michael Hancock says funding from the Biden Administration could be the key to getting jobs back on track.
“We’ve worked hard to trim the budget and to get through these difficult times. Those dollars are very important,” Hancock tells FOX31.
Now the city is hoping to make up for the losses dealt by the pandemic through the massive relief plan.
“We account for about $226 million in revenue loss between the start of the pandemic in March of last year and to date. So, it will be somewhere between $226 and $250 million that we hope to receive to help us kind of restabilize our city and get us back moving in the right direction,” Hancock said.
If the city gets that allocation, it would be welcomed news for government workers who were met with furlough days and hundreds of position shortages to close the gap in this year’s budget.
“Last year they had, I think, six furlough days they had to take. This year, we planned for nine. I think the first thing we are going to do is begin to restore or at least cut back on these furlough days to give our city employees the confidence that they are okay, and the city government is going to do what they can to restore their ability to care for their families,” Hancock said.
On top of restoring jobs, Mayor Hancock highlighted three other areas he hopes to target to move past the pandemic: “Vaccines into the arms of our American citizens, making sure our schools have what they need to safely reopen, and let’s get relief to our families in need, right now.”
Gov. Jared Polis expects the state to the receive billions, depending on federal distribution. His office issued the following statement Wednesday:
“Governor Polis is focused on building Colorado back stronger than before the pandemic and would welcome a federal COVID relief package. Federal funding will make a profound impact on the state’s and local governments’ ability to offset revenue losses due to the impacts of COVID-19. It will assist the state and local governments to continue our response and recovery to ensure public health, education, and build back stronger. The Biden Administration proposal includes $350 billion in aid to states and local governments. Colorado’s share would depend on the formula for how the funds would be allocated. A pro-rata share by population would yield about $6 billion for Colorado state and local governments.”