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Federal aid: How the Democrats who run Colorado plan to spend $3.8 billion

Polis, lawmakers announce federal stimulus recovery money use
Posted at 11:54 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 13:54:52-04

The state of Colorado has a rough sketch of how it plans to spend $3.8 billion in federal pandemic recovery money.

Colorado’s top Democrats, both state and congressional, assembled on the steps of the State Capitol Building on Monday morning to explain their plan. About $2 billion will be allocated in the coming weeks, while the remainder will be spent next session.

American Rescue Act help in Colorado

“We don’t need to passively look toward better days,” Gov. Jared Polis said. “We have to actively bring them into existence.”

Specifics were scant, but the announcement includes a skeleton framework for the spending:

  • $1 billion to fortify the state budget through expenditures in areas including K-12 education and housing, to be spent this year.
  • $817 million on COVID-19 recovery and relief, almost all of which will be allocated in 2022 based on the recommendations of to-be-established interim committees.
  • Up to $550 million to “build housing supply” and “remove barriers to increase housing affordability and address homelessness” (roughly $150 million spent this year, with the remainder spent in 2022).
  • Up to $550 million to address mental and behavioral health, including addiction (roughly $100 million spent this year, with the remainder spent in 2022).
  • Up to $414 million on “shovel-ready” transportation, infrastructure, parks and agricultural projects.
  • $300 million on continued support for the public health response to the pandemic, to be spent this year.
  • $200 million to “support innovation in workforce development” through, among other things, investment in programs that connect high school students with opportunities in various industries (half spent this year, with the remainder spent in 2022).

Click here to read the full story on The Denver Post's website.