40 Colorado Organizations Call for Federal Relief Legislation

In an open letter sent to the Colorado congressional delegation, 40 organizations across Colorado urge elected leaders to pass new federal relief legislation to address the needs of state and local governments. 

The letter — signed by groups representing K-12 education, health care, direct service providers, and more — is in response to the state’s economic downturn and underscored by  today’s economic forecast. With a budget shortfall of $3.3 billion and limited federal funds, working families will bear the brunt of Colorado’s economic crisis, the letter warns. 

“Right now, Colorado is facing deep cuts to balance a budget ravaged by COVID-19. We cannot weather this storm or put our communities on the road to recovery without investments in crucial public programs,” says Scott Wasserman, president of the Bell Policy Center. “These investments will shape how Coloradans and our economy rebound. Without the help of federal funds, Colorado risks an unequal recovery that threatens the state’s long-term prosperity.” 

Colorado and most other states across the country cannot deficit spend, meaning they cannot take out debt to compensate for revenue shortfalls. As such, Colorado and local governments in the state will depend upon federal aid to maintain needed investments in communities.

“Mi Casa Resource Center relies on governmental funding to support small businesses in particular,” says Mi Casa Resource Center’s CEO Monique Lovato. “Funds from the federal government to the state of Colorado help us support more than 2,000 job seekers, business owners and inventors every year. Small businesses employ millions in this country and are disappearing every hour at this time and that’s why we support this call to action.”

“We should not have to contemplate massive cuts to the state budget and crucial programs in the moment Coloradans need support the most. But without federal financial help to state and local governments, we will see cuts to health care, education, child care, and other services that are vital to Colorado recovering from this health emergency and the resulting economic fallout,” says Adela Flores-Brennan, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “We hope lawmakers in D.C. will step up to this moment and provide the budgetary support that states need before this crisis deepens further.” 

“We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past,” the letter says. “We remember during the Great Recession cuts to state and local governments only prolonged the recovery and increased the pain felt by millions of Coloradans.” 

Read the full letter here.