Five stimulus bills pass Colorado Senate

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DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Senate passed five stimulus bills on Thursday. Two are headed for the governor’s desk and three bills are waiting for a final House vote.

Gov. Jared Polis will receive bills addressing small business aid and tutoring for students.

Help for food service industry

Bill HB21-1265 extends sales tax assistance for qualified restaurants, bars, mobile food services, caterers and food service contractors by providing state sales deductions in June, July and August 2021.

“This bill will continue critical relief to local bars and eateries that have been struggling to survive – granting them some necessary breathing room while they get back on their feet,” said Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood).

Funding for tutoring

Bill HB21-1234 funds the Colorado high-impact tutoring program. Grants will be awarded to local education providers to create high-impact tutoring programs.

“Between school closures, at-home learning, and social isolation, students have faced some of the toughest challenges of this pandemic,” said Sen. Dominick Moreno (D-Denver). 

The three bills heading back to the House provide funding for agricultural events, a business startup loan program and youth mental health services.

Money for agricultural events

Bill HB21-1262 provides funding for the Colorado Stock Show, the state fair and other agricultural events organizations across the state.

“Without direct support to the agriculture industry, Colorado won’t truly recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo).

Colorado Startup Loan Program

Bill HB21-1288 establishes the Colorado Startup Loan Program. It would provide loans and grants for people seeking capital to start, restart or restructure a business.

“With the rapid increase in vaccination rates and the repeal of capacity restrictions, Colorado small businesses are primed for an economic recovery. However, many are still picking up the pieces after the recession of last year,” said Sen. James Coleman (D-Denver). 

Mental health resources

Bill HB21-1258 would create a temporary program in the Office of Behavioral Health to reimburse providers for up to three mental health sessions with a young person.

“The pandemic has resulted in increased mental health needs for so many Coloradans, but especially for our young people, whose lives and learning have been severely disrupted over the last year,” said Sen. Janet Buckner (D-Aurora). 

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