The Gold Dome

 The gold dome that provides a sentinel over downtown Denver is home of the Colorado Capitol and the annual General Assembly.

In the waning days of the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers under the Gold Dome are putting the finishing touches on the $800 million Colorado Recovery Plan stimulus package.

Between the House and Senate, lawmakers this week advanced 20 bills through the legislative process and on to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk. Those include:

  • House Bill 1104, which seeks to extend the licensing period for educators from five to seven years;
  • House Bill 1149, which asks a number of state agencies to develop career pathways for the energy sector;
  • House Bill 1234, which aims to provide just under $5 million in grants to local education providers for high-impact tutoring to address learning loss brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • House Bill 1253, a $5 million measure for grants for renewable and clean energy projects;
  • House Bill 1263, a $10 million program to incentivize meetings and events in Colorado;
  • House Bill 1265, which would allow 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;
  • 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;
  • House Bill 1290, a $15 million measure to put funding behind Colorado’s plan to support workers and communities reliant on jobs in coal mines and factories;
  • House Bill 1302, which would send $15 million to the Office of Economic Development to continue a grant program approved last year to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic;
  • 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 229, which creates a grant program for businesses that open in a designated rural jump-start zone;
  • 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 231, a $3 million measure funding grants to help low-income households bring down their energy costs and insulate their houses;
  • Senate Bill 235, which would send the Department of Agriculture $5 million for energy efficiency and soil health programs;
  • 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 239, which would require the Colorado 2-1-1 Collaborative to provide referrals to behavioral health services;
  • Senate Bill 252, a measure that puts $65 million toward projects that create or revitalize mixed-use commercial centers in small town Colorado; and
  • Senate Bill 241, which creates the Small Business Accelerated Growth Program, which is designed to provide business development support for companies or businesses with fewer than 19 employees.

Should Polis sign those bills into law, and he is expected to, they would join Senate Bills 42, 110 and 112 — the pieces of the package that have been already enshrined in state law.

Still outstanding from the package are roughly a dozen bills, though those are also close to the finish line.

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