Today President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a sweeping COVID recovery package that will do more to support low-income Americans and middle class families than any piece of legislation in a generation.
The widely popular plan is supported by a majority of Republican and Democratic voters, in addition to Republican mayors and governors across the country — including Aurora’s Mike Coffman. Senator John Hickenlooper has heard from thousands of Coloradans desperately seeking the aid this bill delivers.
The American Rescue Plan provides billions in pandemic relief directly to Coloradans. Here’s what’s in it for our state:
MONEY IN POCKETS
- 4.7 million Coloradans (82%) will receive stimulus checks of up to $1,400.
1 in 3 Coloradans — approximately 1.4 million — reported difficulty covering normal household expenses (food, rent, car payments) in the last seven days.
- Beginning in July, working families in Colorado with kids will start receiving $250-$300 each month thanks to a massive expansion of the Child Tax Credit.
57,000 kids in Colorado will be lifted out of poverty because of this expansion.
- The Earned Income Tax Credit is tripled, from $543 to $1,502 for 2021.
298,000 Coloradans without children will see more money in their paycheck thanks to this expansion.
SHOTS IN ARMS
- More than $160 billion in nationwide public health funding for vaccination distribution, testing, and contact tracing.
HELP FOR OUT-OF-WORK COLORADANS
- More than 200,000 Coloradans who are currently relying on unemployment benefits will receive a 6-month extension and a supplemental payment of $300 a week, which had been set to expire on March 14th.
- Laid off Coloradans will also get a 100% subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums to ensure they can remain on their employers’ health care plans at no cost through the end of September.
STUDENTS BACK IN CLASSROOMS
- $1.2 billion for Colorado K-12 schools to reopen safely and address the significant impact of the pandemic on students’ education and well-being.
- $495 million for Colorado higher education, half of which will go directly to students to prevent hunger, homelessness, and other hardships.
- $466 million for Colorado child care providers to help them keep their doors open and reduce costs for struggling families, plus another $10.8 million for Head Start.
Colorado is ranked in the top 10 nationally for most expensive infant care — the average annual cost is $15,000.
FOOD, HOUSING, & HEALTH CARE HELP
- Extends the 15% increase in SNAP through the end of September.
More than 500,000 Coloradans rely on SNAP to put food on the table.
- $300 million for Colorado in emergency rental assistance to help low-income households and the unemployed afford rent and utilities.
14% of Coloradans — 181,000 people — are behind on rent.
- Lowers or altogether eliminates health insurance premiums for more than 184,000 Coloradans who buy insurance through the Connect for Health marketplace.
LOCAL AID & SMALL BUSINESS FUNDING
- $6 billion in direct aid to the state and to local Colorado cities, towns and counties. For the amount of funding going to your community, email us.
- Nearly $60 billion in grants and loans for small businesses, including a new $25 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
In a survey last month, 86% of Colorado small businesses said they wouldn’t be able to survive another 6 months in current conditions.
Thousands of Colorado businesses have shuttered and for those that have remained open, small business revenue has declined by 30%.