Bills totaling more than $300 million in spending toward COVID-19 relief measures were adopted this week in a Colorado General Assembly Special Session. Key policy issues addressed in the session included small business relief; child care support; housing and direct rental assistance; increasing broadband access for P-12 education; food insecurity; utilities assistance; and public health response.  35 bills were introduced on Monday and yesterday 10 were passed to Gov. Polis for his signature.

Robin Brown spoke with Rep. Matt Soper in a special edition of Business Beat to discuss the process behind a Special Session and the bills that passed. Listen in.

Below is more information and links to the 10 bills that were adopted.  

  • HB20B-1001 — Grants to Improve Internet Access in P-12 Education  —  The bill creates the Colorado Students Grant Program to provide $20M in grants to local education providers to use in providing broadband services and other technology for increased access for students, educators and other staff.
  • HB20B-1002 — Emergency Relief for Child Care Sector —  The bill creates two grant programs to support child care in the state and appropriates $45M for these programs.
  • HB20B-1003 — Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program —  The bill makes changes to the Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program and appropriates $5M for the program.
  • HB20B-1004 — Qualified Retailer Retain Sales Tax For Assistance —  The bill allows qualifying retailers to temporarily deduct up to $70,000 in net taxable sales from their monthly state sales tax return and retain the resulting sales tax revenue for sales made in November and December 2020 and in January and February 2021.  This bill applies to retailers in the alcoholic beverages drinking places industry, the restaurant and other eating places industry, and the mobile food services industry.
  • HB20B-1005 — Local Authority to Impose Food Delivery Fee Restrictions —  The bill allows municipalities and counties to limit the fee that a third-party food delivery service may charge to a retail food establishment and place other restrictions on delivery services.
  • HB20B-1006 — Insurance Premium Tax Payments and Credits —  The bill makes changes to how insurance premium estimated taxes are paid, including adjusting how calendar quarter estimates are calculated and allowing each calendar quarterly estimate payment to include adjustments for any previous calendar quarter estimates of taxes including tax credits.
  • SB20B-001 — COVID-19 Relief Small and Minority Business Arts Organizations —  The bill provides relief to small businesses, arts and cultural organizations, and minority-owned businesses.  It appropriates $57.1M for these purposes.
  • SB20B-002 — Housing and Direct COVID Emergency Assistance —  The bill creates the Emergency Direct Assistance Grant Program in DOLA to support housing assistance programs.  It transfers $60M from the General Fund for these purposes.
  • SB20B-003 — Money for Energy Utility Bill Payment Assistance —  The bill transfers $5M from the General Fund to the Energy Outreach Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund to provide direct energy bill payment assistance  to low-income households.
  • SB20B-004 — Transfer to Make Money Available for COVID-19 Emergency —  The bill transfers $100M from the General Fund to the Controlled Maintenance Trust Fund and allows the Governor to transfer these funds to the Disaster Emergency Fund for public health and critical response associated with the COVID-19 emergency.