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Lawmakers look at stimulus efforts at state, federal level

State Capitol
Posted at 3:12 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 19:05:01-04

COLORADO — Whether waiting for a check or other financial programs, "stimulus" has become a part of everyday vocabulary during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress recently passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package and Colorado lawmakers are in session, looking at a stimulus plan with multiple pieces of legislation amounting to $700 million.

"We prepared for the worst and that is the prudent thing to do," Governor Jared Polis said in a press conference last week, pointing out the planning done by lawmakers on the Joint Budget Committee made room in the budget for programs to recover from the pandemic.

Here's a look at some of the key components of the legislation.

American rescue plan

Congressional lawmakers passed the $1.9 trillion bill without a single Republican lawmaker approving the plan. With stimulus checks already arriving in bank accounts of Americans, there are items of note. Anyone who hasn't received stimulus money yet can check to see if the payment is pending with the IRS "Get my Payment" tool.

  • Stimulus Checks: Americans making less than $75,000 or couples making less than $150,000 will receive $1,4000. Anyone who claimed dependents will receive $1,400 for each dependent as well
  • Unemployment Benefits: those claiming unemployment will be eligible in the coming weeks for an additional $300 weekly payment
  • Child Tax Credit Expansion: one-year expansion from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17

Colorado recovery plan

Colorado lawmakers are constitutionally required to have a balanced budget. The $700 million price tag is made up of a series of bills that target five areas the state outlined: small businesses, infrastructure, family support, rural Colorado, and developing the state's workforce. Some of the more expensive items fit under the infrastructure section.

  • Housing programs: lawmakers are proposing $60-80 million going to transform spaces in downtown areas for affordable housing
  • Broadband expansion: proposed $50-75 million to grow broadband access in the state
  • Programs focusing on education including funding for summer school and tutoring programs, mental health screenings, and childcare business support.

All of the items lawmakers outlined in the plan will require individual pieces of legislation to go through the capitol and receive final approval.