Colorado to receive $6B in state and local government funding, $1.2B in emergency relief for K-12 schools, $495M for higher education, $466M for child care
Coloradans, including dependents, will receive $1,400 stimulus checks, an extension in unemployment benefits until September 6, and an expanded Child Tax Credit championed by Senator Bennet
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper released the following statement after voting for the American Rescue Plan, a widely popular bill to help families and small businesses across the country get through the COVID-19 pandemic:
“‘I’m homeless now, my truck is out of gas and I’m parked on a street. I have two days of food. I can’t take it any longer. Help! Quickly, please!’
“A Coloradan sent me this message, one of thousands I’ve received these first months, each one desperately seeking relief. They are gut-wrenching – stories of loved ones lost, of evictions served, and cars repossessed. People need help now. This relief bill provides stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits, vaccines, small business grants, and many other critical programs. We’re close to the end of this pandemic – we can’t let anyone fall through the cracks.”
In addition to providing stimulus checks to Coloradans, extending unemployment benefits for out-of-work Coloradans until September 6th, and funding vaccine distribution, the bill also includes $6 billion in direct aid to the state and local Colorado cities, towns, and governments to help them recover from the pandemic. Additional funding that will go directly to Colorado includes $1.2 billion in emergency relief funding for K-12 schools to help them reopen safely, $466 million to help child care providers keep their doors open, and $495 million for higher education institutions in the state.
Thursday night, Hickenlooper read more than a dozen messages from Colorado constituents on Twitter livestream to highlight how intensely Coloradans are suffering from a pandemic that is approaching its one-year mark.
The bill’s direct funding for Colorado includes:
– $6 billion in state and local government funding for Colorado and Colorado localities, including an estimated $71 million for Colorado Springs, $68 million for Aurora, $11 million for Grand Junction, $19 million for Greeley, $25 million for Fort Collins, $34 million for Pueblo, and $157 million for Denver.
– $1.2 billion in elementary and secondary school emergency relief funding, to give Colorado schools the resources they need to reopen safely for in-person instruction.
– $466 million in funding to Colorado for child care, which will help child care providers keep their doors open and reduce costs for struggling families.
– $10.8 million in emergency funding for Head Start programs in Colorado, which will be used to maintain access for children and families.
– $495 million in higher education emergency relief funding, awarded directly to institutions of higher education in Colorado. At least half of this funding must be distributed to students in the form of emergency grants to prevent hunger, homelessness, and other hardships caused by COVID-19.
Other highlights of the $1.9 trillion relief bill include:
– $160 billion in public health funding to address the pandemic, including $20 billion to effectively distribute the vaccine.
– An extension of the $300 per week emergency federal unemployment benefits until September 6th.
– $1,400 stimulus checks for Coloradans, including all dependents, capped for individuals making $80,000 and couples earning $160,000.
– $15 billion in grants for the hardest-hit small businesses, $25 billion to support restaurants, and an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program to help businesses keep their doors open.
– An expansion of the Child Tax Credit championed by Senator Michael Bennet, which is estimated to help reduce child poverty by 45 percent.
– An extension of the 15 percent SNAP increase through September to ensure that families can put food on the table.
– An additional $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to support live entertainment venues.
– A $10 billion down payment on much-needed infrastructure investments, including broadband.