Colorado lawmakers seek money to attract tech jobs

DENVER - A plan of up to $20 million in grants to attract more high-tech industries to Colorado will be the first House bill of this year's session.

The legislation unveiled Monday is aimed at growing Colorado's advanced industries, which include bioscience, aerospace, electronics and information technology. The grants would range from $150,000 for research and development to $500,000 for infrastructure funding.

Gov. John Hickenlooper's Office of Economic Development and International Trade would manage the grant program. Hickenlooper says the investments can be a magnet to bring entrepreneurs.

Incoming Democratic House Speaker Mark Ferrandino says the goal is to have between $15 million to $20 million for grants annually.

Supporters of the bill say they want to take advantage of the research institutions and federal labs in Colorado to spur collaboration with private-sector funders.

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