More focus on economic development announced today from the incoming Democratic-controlled Colorado House, Gov. John Hickenlooper, and even some cooperative Republicans. As FOX 31’s Eli Stokols reports this afternoon after a press conference:
The legislation, introduced at the Capitol Monday by Gov. John Hickenlooper and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, supports the state’s advanced industries, which include bioscience, aerospace, electronics and information technology with grants ranging from $150,000 for research and development to $500,000 for infrastructure funding.
The governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade would manage the grant program.
Incoming Democratic House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, called the proposal, dubbed the Advanced Industries Accelerator Act, a “strategic investment in economic development.”
Supporters of the bill say they want to take advantage of the research institutions and federal labs in Colorado to spur collaboration with private-sector funders.
Stokols reports the Democratic sponsor will be Rep. Dave Young, and Republican Rep. Cheri Gerou will co-sponsor. With this bill, both the incoming Democratic-led House and Senate have announced clean “jobs and economy” legislation as their lead-off agenda items.
Given the inevitably high profile of civil unions, and other bills whose passage was made a certainty by the GOP’s loss of the House, making jobs the first big push is a smart idea.