Colorado’s General Assembly recently passed six bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bills were signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis along with the bipartisan budget or “long bill” on June 22.
“Coloradans are hurting, and I’m truly proud that we were able to pass crucial legislation to address those needs in a matter of weeks,” said Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, in a recent press release.
“These bills will go a long way towards helping Coloradans keep the lights on, keep food on the table, and stay in their homes during these unprecedented times. The House found important solutions that address this crisis head-on, and I’m thrilled that the Governor signed them into law today,” Becker said.
“Despite the unprecedented nature of this session, the legislature came together to support our state and deliver bipartisan results for the people of Colorado,” said Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver.
Coronavirus Relief Funds for Housing Assistance
HB20-1410 — This bill provides $20 million in direct rental and mortgage assistance to Coloradans experiencing a financial need during these turbulent times, including $350,000 for legal aid for renters at risk of eviction.
Coronavirus Relief Funds for Utility Assistance
HB20-1412 —The bill allocates $4.8 million to the Energy Outreach Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund, which helps Coloradans who are at risk of having their service shut off catch up on their utility payments.
Coronavirus Relief Funds for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Programs
HB20-1411 — This bill dedicates $15 million to critical mental health programs and substance abuse treatment.
2-1-1 Statewide Human Services Referral System
HB20-1197 — This bill provides an additional $500,000 to extend 2-1-1 information hotline to provide human services referrals related to the pandemic, including information on COVID test sites, emergency assistance, housing support, and information related to worker protections and health care discrimination through the end of 2020.
Food Pantry Assistance
HB20-1422 — This bill provides $500,000 in funding for food banks to purchase more food and make it available across the state, and to create new market opportunities for Colorado’s agricultural producers.
HB20-1417 — This bill establishes that the $70 million the governor allocated to the General Fund from the CARES Act will be set aside in an account called the CARESare Subfund and reiterates that the funds can only be used for CARES Act approved expenditures.