These are all of the Business and Economic Development bills proposed in the 2020 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.
None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.
Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in . They are color-coded by party.
Some bills will have text highlighted in pink or highlighted in orange or highlighted in yellow. Pink highlights mean House amendments to the original bill; orange mean Senate amendments; yellow highlights mean conference committee amendments. The bill will say under the header if it has been amended.
Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Mega, Major, Medium, Minor, and Technical. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.
Click on the House bill title to jump to its section:
Click on the Senate bill title to jump to its section:
SB20-002 Rural Economic Development Initiative Grant Program (Donovan (D))
Fiscal Impact: None
Goal: Establish a matching grant program to aid rural communities in creating new jobs and diversifying their local economies into state law.
Establishes the rural economic development initiative (REDI) grant program to provide matching grants to rural communities for projects that either create new jobs or create diversity and resiliency in the local economy into law. REDI was created several years ago but does not currently exist in state law. REDI currently can also be used to retrain displaced workers and help local governments with infrastructure improvements. This bill does not allow these things. Local government, housing authorities, farmers just starting out, Ute tribes, non-profit economic development organizations, and private companies are all eligible. The program must prioritize grants that will create new jobs and must consider if the grant would create unfair competition issues. Dollar match requirements to be determined by the managing state agency.
Rural community is defined as county with population of under 50,000 or city with under 20,000 that does not border another city with more than 20,000 people.
Grant applications must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
- Benefit a key industry in the region by encouraging capital development
- Increase average wages in region
- Encourage growth that benefits more than one rural community through collaboration
- Show compatibility with relevant communities and existing plans
- Show strong support from local government
- Show strong support from local workforce agencies or boards if grant is being sought for workforce development
Grant money can only be used for REDI approved project unless local community has been impacted by significant economic event (or such an event has been announced), then the local government can use the funds for administering the Rural Economic Advancement of Colorado Towns act created in 2018. This allows the local government to coordinate non-monetary resources and assistance for the area.
Over the last decade a whopping 98% of the state’s job growth has been in just ten counties along the front range. Many rural areas have lagged behind and those that are overly dependent on one industry are at risk of economic ruin at any point. This could particularly be true of regions that rely heavily on the fossil fuel economy, given the increased state regulations and growing attempts to combat climate change. The problem is that the REDI program as it exists now was never implemented into state law (and so struggles to obtain consistent funding) and has lost some of its focus, which should be on job creation and resiliency. Given the limited funds available from the state, we need to better prioritize this fund so it is more effective. We already exceed the meager funding (usually $750k a year) this program gets every year, so the need is clearly there, but we have to make sure the funds are being spent in a way that gets the best bang for our buck. Thus the matching funds requirement as well.
If the problem is that there is more need than we can meet, then we should look toward adding more funding, which this bill does not do but instead trusts that putting the program into statute will secure more funding, rather than putting larger limits on what can qualify. Retraining displaced workers is also critical for rural communities as is improving infrastructure to be able to attract a wider array of businesses.
People are free in this country to live wherever they would like. If some folks choose to live in rural communities that is their choice but the rest of us should not be asked to subsidize their lifestyle by sending taxpayer money their way in order to make it easier to live in rural areas.
SB20-046 Clarify Double Electrical Inspection Fees If Late (Tate (R)) [Arndt (D)] TECHNICAL BILL
From the Statutory Revision Committee
Clarifies that electrical inspection fees charged by the state electrical may be doubled if an application for a permit is not filed in advance of the beginning of installation.