Gov. Polis Releases Budget Proposal to Accelerate Economic Recovery

Today, Governor Jared Polis released his budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The budget addresses a number of major challenges facing the Colorado business community and helps put the state on track for economic recovery.

One of the most significant issues the governor’s budget addresses is the looming unemployment insurance (UI) premium increases facing Colorado employers. The Colorado Chamber has raised concerns that if this issue isn’t addressed, many businesses could face exponential increases to their UI premiums, which will pose a major burden on the state’s economy. Polis wants to dedicate $600 million to help backfill the state’s unemployment trust fund to help support businesses and their employees. This would provide significant relief at a critical time.

Polis’ budget also seeks to address workforce shortages that many businesses are experiencing. Workforce shortages have impacted businesses across the nation, and Colorado is no exception. The budget would dedicate more than $50 million in programs to help businesses find talent, while also providing training opportunities for workers.

In addition, the governor’s proposal would make other critical investments to help revitalize our economy, like paid family and medical leave premium relief, incentives to start a new business, and dedicating funds to reduce homelessness. More details on the proposal can be found below.

Overall, the governor’s balanced budget proposal is good for both employers and employees, helps businesses recover and hire workers, and provides opportunities for more Coloradans. Lawmakers will be tasked with writing and passing a budget when they return to the capitol in January.

Key budget items for Colorado businesses:

  • A historic $1.84 billion investment to prepay some of the state’s most important programs to ensure funding of these essential services and protect our future fiscal foundation.
  • This request builds on joint efforts with the General Assembly and Joint Budget Committee earlier this year to set a historic state General Fund reserve of 15% to better prepare Colorado for economic uncertainty.
  • $600 million for Relief from Pandemic-Related Unemployment Insurance charges to save employers money and protect worker wages
  • $104 Million in fee relief for individuals and businesses, including making it free to start a business, FAMLI Paid family and medical leave premium relief, and healthcare professionals fee relief.
  • $5M to help workers find in-demand opportunities
  • $51 million to help businesses find workers and helping workers find good-paying jobs through short-term credentials and apprenticeships
  • $30M to create more child care facilities; Colorado can create more child care options for hard-working Coloradans by renovating existing state buildings, including higher education institutions, so that these facilities can be used as child care centers for the public, state employees, and students. This effort will increase the supply of child care for Colorado’s workforce and help build the workforce of the future.
  • $200 million in investments from the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund to be used to leverage local and other funding to reduce homelessness.

The governor’s proposal can be viewed here.