The proposed legislation will focus on five key areas:
1. Transportation: Create Thousands of Jobs Repairing Our Crumbling Roads and Bridges;
2. New Businesses: Offer Tax Incentives to Companies that Move to Colorado and Create Jobs;
3. Credit: Increase the Availability of Loans to Small Business to Help Create Jobs;
4. New Energy Economy: Expand New Energy and Clean Technology Jobs, and;
5. Rural Job Creation: Create Rural Medical Jobs and Promote Job Training.
The announcement was led by Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass Village), Chair of the Select Committee, who said, "While Colorado has fared better than most other states, we know we are not immune. Just this week we heard the latest job numbers. Even though Colorado's unemployment rate is still lower than the national average, it does not make up for the fact that almost 47,000 Coloradans have lost their jobs in the past year. The Joint Select Committee on Job Creation and Economic Growth started looking at how to address these challenges and we are proud of these nine bills. Let's get more Coloradans to work."
Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton), Co-Chair of the Committee said, “We all feel these tough times, whether we are here working to balance the budget in the Capitol, or tightening our belts at home with our families, or facing budget cuts at work. We brought together the best ideas from many different leaders, from all different sectors and perspectives, and put the very best of those ideas into legislation that will get Colorado working again. We are here today to proudly announce that we have begun to meet our goal: with this job creation package, we begin to put Colorado back to work, and to put our economy back on the right track.”
Representative Don Marostica (R-Lovelend) said of his bill (SB 67) expanding access to credit, “This will help Colorado’s small businesses at a time when they need to borrow money most.”
Other speakers at the mid-day event at the Capitol included Tom Clarke, Executive Vice President, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation/Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Tony Gagliardi, Colorado Director, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); Blake Jones of the solar energy association CoSIEA; and Don Childears, President and CEO, Colorado Bankers Association.
The Joint Select Committee on Job Creation and Economic Growth includes Senator Gail Schwartz, Chair, (D-Snowmass), Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton), Senator Jennifer Veiga (D-Denver), Rep. Judy Solano (D-Adams), Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), Rep. Buffie McFadyen (D-Pueblo), Senator Shawn Mitchell (R-Broomfield), Rep. Larry Liston (R-El Paso), Senator Mark Scheffel (R-Parker), and Rep. David Balmer (R-Centennial).
Business Advisors to the Select Committee include: Gail Lindley, Denver Bookbinding Co, Inc.; Neil Hall, Building Construction Trades Council; Craig Cox, Interwest Energy Alliance; Jim Hertel , Colorado Managed Care Newsletter; Mark Mehalko, AECOM; Felix Lopez, Trinidad State Junior College; Chuck Ward, Qwest Communications; Patricia Barela-Rivera, Consultant; Rob Perlman, Steamboat Ski Resort; and Michael DeBerry, Chevron.