Developed with bipartisan input from lawmakers and community partners across the state, this stimulus plan prioritized one-time investments that would have a stimulative effect on the economy, create jobs and benefit the hardest-hit communities. Passed in the spring of 2021, five big goals guided dozens of bills narrowly tailored to meet the challenge at hand:
Strengthening small businesses
Revitalizing our infrastructure
Supporting Colorado families
Investing in rural Colorado
Developing our workforce
Following the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March 2021, the state launched the “Build Back Better Tour,” an extensive yet rapid listening tour coupled with numerous stakeholder meetings to hear from folks across our state about the challenges they were facing. It was these early conversations that led us to identify housing, mental and behavioral health, workforce development, and targeted economic relief as key areas for transformational investment.
The state developed a strategic recovery framework that incorporated this robust public input and bipartisan, bicameral engagement to ensure Colorado would build back stronger and correcting course towards a system that benefits ALL Coloradans.
- A common refrain from the listening tour was the opportunity to use this once in a generation funding infusion to make transformational change on the greatest challenges facing our state.
- Based upon this feedback and the collaboration between the Governor and legislature, we were able to develop a framework that ensured that Colorado could use these one-time ARPA funds for not just recovery and relief, but for transformational change.
As one of the first states to reach this type of consensus, Colorado was able to designate ARPA funds to address the direct impacts of the pandemic, invest in long-standing issues, invest in transformational systemic change, and to begin building out the systems necessary to ensure the efficacy, sustainability, and performance of all of these critical investments.
- Whereas Governors in other states used their custodial authority to appropriate dollars, Colorado has been strengthened by the collaborative development of our recovery framework with the legislature.
- We are grateful for the work of four interim committees whose recommendations informed the legislation that appropriated these dollars during the 2022 Session.