Colorado Politics


Pat Poblete


Lawmakers on Friday advanced a dozen bills from the $800 million Colorado Recovery Plan stimulus package, setting the stage for a vote on final passage on all 12 pieces of legislation.

Among those were eight bills approved on second reading by the House with scant debate other than overviews offered by the sponsors. Those included:

  • Senate Bill 236, which seeks to create four early childhood care and education grant programs as well as make changes, including eliminating the repeal date, of two existing childcare grant programs;
  • Senate Bill 202, which would put $10 million toward public school air quality improvement projects;
  • Senate Bill 203, a $2.5 million measure promoting food grown in Colorado;
  • Senate Bill 204, which would put $5 million toward a pair of rural economic development grant programs administered by the Department of Local Affairs;
  • Senate Bill 230, which would send $40 million to the Colorado Energy Office, a bulk of which would go toward the office’s former chief operating officer who now runs the Colorado Clean Energy Fund, which he set up while he was still in the state energy office;
  • Senate Bill 229, which creates a grant program for businesses that open in a designated rural jump-start zone;
  • Senate Bill 231, a $3 million measure funding grants to help low-income households bring down their energy costs and insulate their houses; and
  • Senate Bill 239, which would require the Colorado 2-1-1 Collaborative to provide referrals to behavioral health services.

Six of those eight bills had amendments added by House lawmakers after the Senate approved the legislation, meaning the two chambers will have to reconcile the differences. Senate Bills 203 and 239, meanwhile, cleared the House unamended and are heading to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk.

Lawmakers in the Senate also advanced four House bills past second reading with similarly abbreviated debate. Those included:

  • House Bill 1149, which asks a number of state agencies to develop career pathways for the energy sector;
  • House Bill 1215, which seeks to expand the Justice Reinvestment Crime Prevention Initiative to Grand Junction and Trinidad as well as create a training and grant program for those who have previously been incarcerated;
  • House Bill 1253, a $5 million measure for grants for renewable and clean energy projects;
  • House Bill 1270, which would put $3 million into the Colorado Employment First Program in an effort to draw down a matching total from the federal government for counties and third-party organizations to provide employment support, job retention services and work-based learning opportunities.

Three of those four bills cleared the Senate unamended, but the chambers will have to reconcile the different versions of HB1215 before that bill goes to Polis’ desk.