State Senator Hansen Report on Special Session

December 9, 2020 / Comments (0)

General

Special Session 2020: Helping Colorado Recover

On Wednesday, my colleagues and I wrapped up the three-day 2020 Special Session. It is my hope that the targeted relief we passed will help to alleviate some of the hardships that so many Coloradans face. In today’s newsletter, I want to highlight some of the ways in which we worked to address the many issues our state is facing due to the pandemic.

SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF
It has been devastating to watch our small businesses, especially local restaurants and services, suffer in the face of the pandemic. Our COVID-19 relief package will allow restaurants and bars to retain sales tax funds through February 2021, providing small businesses with up to $10,000 in tax relief each month. We also set aside $57 million for small businesses, which includes:

  • $37 million for direct relief payments to small businesses that have had reduced capacity restrictions
  • $7.5 million for direct relief payments to eligible arts and culture institutions
  • $4 million for direct relief payments designated for minority-owned businesses.

CHILDCARE & FOOD ASSISTANCE
Currently, 1 in 3 Coloradans are struggling with food insecurity. That is why our relief package includes $5 million in support of food banks and other essential services that help keep everyone from going to bed hungry. Our relief package also prioritizes hardworking parents and families by preserving childcare for over 100,000 children and creating capacity for tens of thousands more across Colorado.

RENTAL & MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE
Over 40% of Coloradans are living in a household that is behind on their rent or mortgage or at risk of foreclosure or eviction. Our special session legislation includes $50 million for initiatives that keep Coloradans housed, including $1 million for Eviction Legal Assistance Fund. (Property owner protection language)

PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE
As our healthcare professionals work tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19, we need to do our part to make sure they have the resources they need.  That is why we authorized $100 million for public health and emergency response funding.

UTILITY PAYMENT ASSISTANCE
So many Coloradans are not only worrying about their rent, but their monthly utility bills are stacking up. To help ensure people can keep the lights and the heat on this winter, we allocated $5 million to the Energy Outreach Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund.

HELPING STUDENTS ACCESS REMOTE LEARNING
Nearly every student’s school year has been disrupted by the pandemic and many districts have had to switch to remote learning. Unfortunately, many households do not have the adequate resources for remote learning, so we allocated $20 million in grants to expand access to technologies to help students remain connected to the classroom when in-person education isn’t possible.

If you are still in need of resources or information regarding COVID-19, please visit covid19.colorado.gov. And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me through phone or email if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

State Senator Chris Hansen
CO Senate District 31
[email protected]
303-866-4861

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