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Additional Colorado Comeback Legislation Introduced!

Introduction of wildfire mitigation and community revitalization bills round out recovery package originating in the Senate

DENVER, CO - Yesterday, Senate Democrats introduced the final two Senate bills that are a part of Colorado’s recovery packageSB21-252, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg and Senator Minority Leader Chris Holbert, will provide $65 million to finance various projects across the state that are intended to create or revitalize mixed-use commercial centers. SB21-258, sponsored by Senators Joann Ginal and Bob Rankin, will dedicate nearly $30 million to issue forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation grants for projects on federal lands.

“Institutions that make up the fabric of our communities have been hit hard over the last year, but we’re determined to help them build back stronger,” said Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder. “With this funding, our commercial centers will be able to move forward with creative projects to support revitalization efforts and make necessary improvements to their infrastructure. Doing so will help lift up our communities and restore our Colorado way of life.” 

Specifically, SB21-252 creates the Community Revitalization Grant Program in the Office Of Economic Development and International Trade to issue grants intended to support creative projects in commercial centers that would combine revitalized or newly constructed commercial spaces with public or community spaces. Projects could include flexible live-work or vendor spaces for entrepreneurs, performance spaces, child care centers, meeting spaces for community events, and other projects that renovate vacant property for creative industries, economic development, or historic preservation purposes.

SB21-258 creates the Wildfire Mitigation Capacity Development Fund in the Department of Natural Resources to support wildfire mitigation workforce development, coordinate cross-boundary wildfire mitigation efforts, facilitate engagement, and connect priority wildfire mitigation projects with available resources.

“The impacts of Global warming have been devastating for Colorado. With mass wildfires only continuing to worsen, we have all watched in horror as natural habitats get destroyed, wildlife are displaced, and toxic pollution clouds our state,” said Senator Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins. “We must do everything in our power to mitigate these escalating wildfire seasons by increasing funding for resources to support prevention tactics ahead of what is sure to be yet another treacherously dry summer.”

In addition to the Capacity Development fund, the bill creates the Hazard Mitigation Fund to assist local jurisdictions in obtaining the matching funds required for certain federal hazard mitigation grants. Finally, the bill dedicates almost $30 million across various wildfire mitigation and response funds to help the state bolster wildfire prevention, detection, and response.

To read more about SB21-252, visit leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb21-252. To read more about SB21-258, visit leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb21-258.