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Colorado could get up to $2.23 billion from federal coronavirus stimulus package

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Derek Draplin | The Center Square

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that includes $150 billion to be allocated among states, with up to $2.23 billion of that aid going to Colorado.

The $2.23 billion for the Centennial State is from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation passed the Senate unanimously on Wednesday night, but still needs approval from the House of Representatives.

“Coloradans and the American people need our help now more than ever and this bill delivers that relief,” U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said after the bill’s passage. “My office and I have been in constant conversation with Governor Polis, Colorado’s medical professionals, families, small business owners, and workers across every industry.”

Each state’s allocation is calculated based on their 2019 populations. Both the Tax Foundation and National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) say Colorado should receive up to $2.23 billion. 

Of that funding, 45 percent – or just over $1 billion of Colorado’s allocation – goes to local governments in the state that have populations of 500,000 or more, according to NCSL. Denver is the only city in the state with a population above that threshold.

The remaining 55 percent – or $1.3 billion – goes to Colorado’s state government, NCSL says.

The CARES Act also includes $250 billion that would go towards direct payments, so every adult Coloradan making under $75,000 would receive a $1,200 check, and children under age 17 would receive $500 checks. 

The stimulus package would also provide $250 billion to expand unemployment insurance benefits, $350 billion for small business loans and $500 billion in loans for other businesses.

The House is slated to vote on the legislation on Friday.

"The longer Congress waits to act, more Americans will suffer. Now that the Senate has approved the CARES Act, the House must do the same," Gardner added. "No excuses, no delays – the American people need relief now."

Colorado, which is under a stay-at-home order starting Thursday, has 1,086 cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday.

Unemployment claims in the state jumped by over 17,000 just last week, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.