Fri Nov 6th, 2020
Governor Polis and Legislative leadership took action today to stimulate the state’s economy and extend support to those Coloradans hit hardest by the current recession. While Washington D.C continues to negotiate a new relief package, many Coloradans continue to struggle without the needed help. Since the pandemic struck in March, hundreds of thousands of Coloradans have filed for and received unemployment insurance benefits to help pay for groceries, rent, and utilities, and the hardest working Coloradans are still struggling because of the economic recession caused by COVID-19.
“Washington D.C has failed to act to provide additional direct cash support for hardworking Coloradans and to further stimulate the economy, so today Colorado is boldy doing our part to help our own. I am taking swift action in close consultation with legislative leadership and members of the JBC to direct immediate payments to people whose lives and jobs have been hurt due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Polis. “Colorado can and should act now to help the hardworking people who will help lead us out of this challenging time and that’s what we’re doing today.”
Enhanced federal benefits for those receiving unemployment have dried up since September 5th, and so the State will help fill this gap left by federal inaction by sending one-time direct payments of $375 to approximately 435,000 individuals in early December. Governor Polis today signed an Executive Order directing the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) to make one-time direct stimulus payments to qualifying individuals experiencing economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These direct payments will help Coloradans who have been hit hardest by this crisis get through the pandemic, pay their rent or mortgage, and cover their essential needs,” said Majority Leader Alec Garnett. “If we don’t act now, Coloradans across our state will face an even larger mountain to climb to recover. This is the Colorado way – working together to govern responsibly and put our economy on the path to recovery.”
CDLE expects the population of qualifying Coloradoans to include approximately 435,000 workers making less than $52,0000 per year. CDLE anticipates these much-needed direct payments to reach 65% of all unemployment claimants since March 15th, with a distribution across all 64 Colorado counties.
Colorado’s unemployment rate remains high but not as high compared to other states. Low and middle-income earners have been hit the hardest by job loss. Colorado has been recognized as a leader in managing economic fallout, especially when paying out unemployment claims quickly and efficiently.
Targeting these workers will help fill the gap left by the ending of the Lost Wages Assistance Program and help Coloradans as the state enters the difficult winter months ahead.