Colorado Politics

Pat Poblete


Gov. Jared Polis on Monday opened the post-legislative session bill signing period with a flurry, signing into law more than a half dozen bills from the $800 million Colorado Comeback stimulus package in four separate ceremonies around the Denver metro area.

The day opened with a four-bill slate on Polis’ agenda at the governor’s residence at Boettcher Mansion. Those included:

  • House Bill 1253, a $5 million measure from Reps. Meg Froelich, D-Greenwood Village, and Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, and Sens. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, for grants for renewable and clean energy projects;
  • Senate Bill 230 from Winter, Sen. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Reps. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, and Tracey Bernett, D-Longmont, 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; and
  • Senate Bill 231, a $3 million measure from Sens. Tammy Story, D-Conifer, and Dennis Hisey, D-Fountain, and Reps. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder, and Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, funding grants to help low-income households bring down their energy costs and insulate their houses.

Polis also signed Senate Bill 251 while at the Boettcher Mansion ceremony, the lone bill of the day that didn’t come from the state stimulus package. The measure from Winter, Gray, Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton, provides a $1.5 million loan from the general fund to help with implementation of the paid family and medical leave program approved by voters as part of Prop 118 in 2020.

The show then picked up and moved to Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center in Denver’s Arts District on Santa Fe Drive for a signing ceremony for a pair of bills aimed at boosting arts and events in Colorado.

The first of those bills – House Bill 1285 from Denver Democratic Reps. Leslie Herod and Adrienne Benavidez as well as Sens. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Longmont, and Janet Buckner, D-Aurora – will directly infuse $10 million into the state’s arts and film industries as well as cultural organizations and transfer up to $13 million in unexpended funds from the Small Business Relief Program for the same purpose. Debate on the bill in the House was the backdrop from the now-infamous “Buckwheat” comment from Rep. Richard Holtorf, R-Akron.

Polis also signed House Bill 1263 while at Su Teatro. The bill from Reps. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle, and Matt Soper, R-Delta, as well as Hisey and Sen. Robert Rodriguez, D-Denver, provides $10 million over two years to incentivize meetings and events in Colorado.

The governor rounded out the day with stops in Westminster and Northglenn.

At the Front Range Community College in Westminster, he put pen to paper on Senate Bill 241 from Sens. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, and Reps. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora, and Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada. The legislation creates the Small Business Accelerated Growth Program, which is designed to provide business development support for companies or businesses with fewer than 19 employees.

Polis finished the day’s bill signings at the The Glen Bar and Grill in Northglenn, where he signed House Bill 1265. The bill from Reps. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn, and Kevin Van Winkle, R-Highlands Ranch, and Sens. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and Rob Woodward, R-Loveland, allows restaurants, bars, caterers and other food and beverage service providers to deduct up to $70,000 each month from state net taxable sales between June and August of this year.

The bills signed today bring the overall tally of stimulus measures signed into law by Polis to 10 after he earlier in the session signed Senate Bills 42, 110 and 112. That leaves roughly 30 bills from the package that cleared the General Assembly awaiting action from Polis.