Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

I_ECR_TFER_2021A 10/18/2021 09:07:19 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
INTERIM COMMITTEE  TASK FORCE ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND RELIEF CASH FUND
Date 10/18/2021
Attendance
Lauren Larson X
Liston X
McKean *
Patrick Meyers X
Rodriguez X
Young X
Valdez A. X
Moreno X
Time 09:07:19 AM to 04:34:30 PM
Place Old State Library
This Meeting was called to order by Moreno
This Report was prepared by Elizabeth Burger
Hearing Items Action Taken
Subpanel Update Committee Discussion Only
Supply Chain Disruptions and Inflation Committee Discussion Only
Local Governments and ARPA Funds Committee Discussion Only
Business and Industry Panel Committee Discussion Only
Affected Workers Panel Committee Discussion Only
Tourism, Lodging, and Hospitality Panel Committee Discussion Only
Disproportionately Impacted Communities and Families Panel 1 Committee Discussion Only
Disproportionately Impacted Communities and Families Panel 2 Committee Discussion Only
Agriculture Panel Committee Discussion Only
Affordable Housing Task Force Update Committee Discussion Only
Behavioral Health Task Force Update Committee Discussion Only
Workforce and Education Task Force Update Committee Discussion Only
Discussion with Subpanel and Next Steps Committee Discussion Only

Subpanel Update - Committee Discussion Only


09:08:14 AM  

Dr. Phyllis Resnick, Subpanel Chair, described the subpanel's activities and meeting schedule. She discussed the draft report the subpanel will present to the task force on November 8, and the components of the report. She asked that the task force and subpanel discuss the schedule for the subpanel's meetings and work at the end of today's task force meeting.



Supply Chain Disruptions and Inflation - Committee Discussion Only


09:14:28 AM  
Gregg Macaluso, Leeds Business School, University
of Colorado, began the presentation on supply chain disruptions and inflation,
including the source of disruptions, economic reactions by supply chains
and risks moving forward, and ideas for speeding recovery.  A copy
of his presentation is available as Attachment A.
09:19:04 AM  
Mr. Macaluso noted that a confluence of
factors have resulted in disruption of supply chain performance. He responded
to questions from the task force about how workforce shortages have affected
the supply chain issues. He discussed the factors that contributed to the
current issues, including outsourcing, a pre-COVID e-commerce explosion
in demand for last mile servicing, and other factors.
09:34:01 AM  
He continued by discussing the economic
reaction and risks to supply chain issues, including that the Producer
Price Index is up 19 percent in the last year through August. He discussed
the short-term risks to the supply chain balance.
09:35:39 AM  
He discussed potential opportunities for
Colorado to address supply chain issues, including seeking inter-state
partnerships to create shorter supply chains,  regional collaborations,
and supporting infrastructure development efforts to expand non-truck-based
logistics capacity providing better scale.  He further suggested supporting
transportation agency efforts to use technology to improve supply chain
transparency and visibility, and investigating root causes for staff attrition/resignation
in supply chain roles.
09:41:29 AM  

Mr. Macaluso responded to questions from the members of the task force regarding spending on infrastructure. He continued to respond to questions regarding shortages in trucking labor.



Local Governments and ARPA Funds - Committee Discussion Only


09:55:57 AM  

The panelists from the Special District Association (SDA) began the presentation on local governments.  Materials provided by the SDA can be found in Attachment B.   Ann Terry, Executive Director, Special District Association, noted that special districts were direct recipients of American Rescue Plan Act funding, and she described how special districts have been affected by reduced revenue.

10:03:01 AM  
Fire Chief Don Lambardi, West Metro Fire
Rescue, discussed funding for fire agencies during and after the pandemic
and the resulting impact on services. He discussed how supply chain and
manufacturing issues have affected the fire fleet, the cost and availability
of equipment, and the ability to provide fire services. He responded to
questions from the committee regarding vehicle miles traveled.
10:09:29 AM  

Yvonne Fischbach, Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, provided testimony to the task force regarding the importance of public parks and recreation areas (Attachment C). She asked the taskforce to approve reimbursement funding for special districts and noted that the pandemic dramatically affected the use of parks and recreation areas across the state. She discussed how the pandemic affected fee-based operations, and specifically highlighted the impact of the pandemic on Water World. She continued by discussing the revenue loss for parks and recreation districts and the potential continuing impacts.

10:15:19 AM  
Sherrie Baca, Pueblo City-County Library
District, discussed the impact of the pandemic on library operations in
the Pueblo County Library District. She discussed staffing shortages and
how that may affect library services.


Ms. Terry responded to questions from
the task force regarding collaborating with counties and municipalities
to share ARPA funding. She noted that only 2.6 percent of counties and
cities were considering spending funding to support special districts,
and noted that local governments also suffered pandemic-related revenue
losses. The taskforce discussed potential reductions in property tax revenue.
10:24:57 AM  

Kevin Bommer, Colorado Municipal League, explained that municipalities around Colorado have delayed or cancelled infrastructure projects as a result of the pandemic, and the costs for these projects have dramatically increased.

10:34:12 AM  
John Swartout, Colorado Counties Inc, spoke
regarding the impact of the pandemic on counties, and discussed property
tax revenue. He noted that local governments have been advised to use ARPA
funding to address immediate needs, andas well as to invest in long-term
investments through regional partnerships.
10:40:51 AM  

Mr. Bommer responded to questions from the task force regarding wastewater projects and projections of need. Ms. Terry discussed data regarding projects for water, sewer, and broadband, and noted that it is a great time for investment in infrastructure.



Business and Industry Panel - Committee Discussion Only


11:03:20 AM  
Kathie Barstnar,
representing NAIOP Colorado Chapter, began the presentation on the effects
of the pandemic on commercial real estate and convention and tourism-supported
businesses.
11:10:24 AM  
Loren Furman, Colorado Chamber of Commerce,
focused on the continuing effects of the pandemic on Colorado businesses.
She highlighted the labor shortage as a significant issue for employers.
She asked the task force to use ARPA funding to replenish Colorado's Unemployment
Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.
11:14:36 AM  
J.J. Ament, Denver
Metro Chamber of Commerce, noted that Colorado's underlying economy was
healthy prior to the pandemic.  He testified in support of using ARPA
funding to support the UI Trust Fund, and to support one-time investments,
rather than ongoing programs.  He spoke regarding the regulatory burden
on businesses.
11:21:30 AM  

Rich Werner, Economic Development Council of Colorado, discussed the impact of the pandemic on economic development in the state of Colorado.

11:25:12 AM  

Leslie Hylton, Office of Economic Development and International Trade, read the remarks of Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries.

11:30:35 AM  

The members of the panel responded to questions from the task force regarding ways the task force can direct ARPA funding to support Colorado businesses. Ms. Furman discussed the additional expenses associated with the UI program that employers will have to pay in 2022. She responded to questions from the task force about the workforce and whether individuals are not returning to work because of government payments offered during the pandemic.

11:37:18 AM  

Mr. Daniel Chase, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, commented on the UI program.



Affected Workers Panel - Committee Discussion Only


11:48:03 AM  

Kathy White, Emergency Economic Relief Coalition, began the panel discussion on the effect of the pandemic on workers.

11:49:41 AM  

Crystal Hulin spoke regarding her experience as an essential worker and her work as a nurse during the pandemic.

11:53:16 AM  

Sandy Chavez spoke regarding her experience as an essential grocery worker during the pandemic.

11:55:15 AM  

Leontine Djahi, spoke regarding her experience as long-term care provider during the pandemic.

11:57:19 AM  

Katie Lichtenstein spoke regarding her experience as a nurse working at Denver Health during the pandemic and the effect of the pandemic on health care workers.

12:00:57 PM  

Roger Low, Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative (CEEMI) began his presentation (Attachment D). He spoke regarding models for middle skill training programs for low-income workers, and asked the task force to consider funding these programs with ARPA moneys.

Ms. Lichtenstein responded to questions from the task force regarding federal stimulus payments, and spoke regarding the importance of recognizing essential workers. Ms. Djahi responded to questions from the task force regarding how to support essential health care workers.

12:12:17 PM  

Ms. White noted that none of the workers who testified received hazard pay during the pandemic. She spoke regarding the burnout associated with employment as an essential worker, and the importance of access to mental health services.

12:15:52 PM  

The committee recessed for lunch.



Tourism, Lodging, and Hospitality Panel - Committee Discussion Only


01:07:04 PM  
Chris Howes, Colorado Retail Council, spoke
regarding the difficulties experienced by the retail industry, including
workforce shortages and increased crime and distributed a handout (Attachment
E). He highlighted the changes  to the industry that occurred during
the pandemic shutdowns as well as supply chain issues.
01:12:17 PM  
Sonia Riggs, Colorado Restaurant Association,
distributed a handout to the committee (Attachment F). She described the
experience of restaurants during the pandemic, and stated that the recovery
has yet to begin for the industry. She spoke regarding the labor shortage
in the restaurant industry. She asked for the state's consideration in
creating an employee retention tax credit. She spoke regarding the effect
of increased UI payments on employers, and asked the state to consider
providing more direct aid to restaurants.
01:19:23 PM  
Tim Wolfe, Colorado Tourism Office, also
speaking on behalf of Amie Mayhew, Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association,
discussed the effect of the pandemic on the office's tourism promotion
strategy.  He discussed how increased in-state tourism has affected
rural areas and small towns in terms of workforce shortages and increased
traffic. He discussed the decline in business, convention, and international
travel. He discussed the efforts of the office to promote tourism in Colorado.
01:27:41 PM  
Ms. Riggs responded to questions from the
task force regarding whether the impact on restaurants varies geographically.
 Mr. Howes responded to questions about the increase in crime and
violence experienced by the retail industry and the workforce shortage.
Ms. Riggs also commented on factors affecting the workforce. The task force
and panel discussed workforce and supply chain disruptions and the solvency
of the UI Trust Fund. Discussion continued about how to create incentives
for workers to return to jobs in restaurants, hospitality, and retail.



Disproportionately Impacted Communities and Families Panel 1 - Committee Discussion Only


01:54:35 PM  

Kristen Blessman, Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce, spoke regarding the impact of COVID on women in business.

01:55:46 PM  
Mike Ferrufino, Colorado Hispanic Chamber
of Commerce, discussed the disparate impacts of the pandemic on the Hispanic
community in Colorado.
02:04:42 PM  

Mark Turner, Colorado Nonprofit Association, discussed the economic impact of nonprofits in the state, and discussed the health of the nonprofit sector after the pandemic. He discussed how nonprofits could benefit from ARPA funds.  A copy of his presentation is included as Attachment G.



Disproportionately Impacted Communities and Families Panel 2 - Committee Discussion Only


02:14:38 PM  
Sarah Hughes, Colorado Children's Campaign,
began her presentation (Attachment G). She shared data regarding children
in poverty in Colorado. She discussed the impact of the pandemic on Colorado's
child care system.
02:21:29 PM  

Effie Rorke, Feeding Colorado, began her presentation regarding food assistance programs in Colorado (Attachment I).

02:26:51 PM  

Amelia Lobo, Violence Free Colorado, spoke regarding the increase in domestic violence during the pandemic. She discussed the increased need for domestic violence services.

02:31:50 PM  
Scott Wasserman, Bell Policy Center, testified
regarding the impact of the pandemic on Colorado's economy. He discussed
how the economic recovery is varying across racial groups and by gender.
He noted that caregivers are extremely strained and that income inequality
has gotten worse during the pandemic. He further emphasized how lack of
child care can exacerbate workforce shortages. He discussed the long-term
outlook for declines in child poverty and the overall financial health
of Coloradoans. He spoke to the importance of leveraging the one-time ARPA
funds to provide a stabilizing effect on income inequality in the state.
02:40:11 PM  

Mr. Wasserman responded to questions from the task force regarding impacts on Colorado seniors and individuals with disabilities.



Agriculture Panel - Committee Discussion Only


02:48:41 PM  

Dan Waldvogle, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, discussed the impact of the pandemic on farmers in Colorado. He discussed how investments in workforce development and infrastructure would assist farmers, and suggested that the legislature consider a grant program to help farmers comply with new legislative requirements.

02:54:58 PM  
James Henderson,
Colorado Farm Bureau, discussed the long lead time for some agricultural
products and the impacts of the pandemic on prices for agricultural goods.
 He discussed other strains, including workforce demands, inflation
in agricultural feed prices, supply chain and shipping issues, and drought,
coupled with soft commodity prices.  He discussed the need for Colorado
farmers to compete in a global market.
03:00:15 PM  
Terry Fankhauser, Colorado Cattlemen's Association,
discussed the impacts of the pandemic on the agriculture industry, prices,
and logistics. He suggested that there be further investment at the federal
level in logistics.



Affordable Housing Task Force Update - Committee Discussion Only


03:24:32 PM  
Senator Gonzales, Vice-Chair of the Affordable
Housing Transformational Task Force, gave an update on the activities of
the task force. She discussed the structure of the task force and subpanel,
and the charge to the subpanel to identify gaps in housing.  She discussed
areas of focus for the subpanel, and discussed a housing survey done by
the subpanel.
03:36:54 PM  

Senator Gonzales responded to questions from the task force regarding how affordable housing relates to workforce shortages. She further responded to comments regarding the diversity of housing needs in Colorado.



Behavioral Health Task Force Update - Committee Discussion Only


03:49:13 PM  

Senator Pettersen discussed the activities of the Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force and the areas of focus for the task force and its subpanel. She discussed the task force's timeline for approving recommendations and the task force's report. Senator Moreno reviewed the timeline for the Economic Relief and Recovery Task Force's meetings and recommendations. The task force discussed with Senator Pettersen and Senator Gonzales how the task forces may work together on various policy initiatives.



Workforce and Education Task Force Update - Committee Discussion Only


04:08:13 PM  
Sarah Kendall Hughes and Berrick Abramson,
Colorado Commission on Higher Education, reviewed the activities of the
Student Success & Workforce Revitalization Task Force (Attachment I).



Discussion with Subpanel and Next Steps - Committee Discussion Only


04:14:08 PM  
The task force and subpanelists discussed
drafting the task force's report.  Dr. Resnick noted that a possible
approach is for the subpanel to develop a rubric for the task force to
use when evaluating spending proposals. Senator Moreno stated that developing
a rubric to evaluate proposals is a good approach, but if the subpanel
finds some proposals that show good promise, they could be included in
the report. Director Meyers commented on issues that the subpanel should
examine including the UI Trust Fund and the labor market and workforce
shortages. Senator Liston commented on addressing the UI Trust Fund insolvency.
04:20:09 PM  
Representative McKean further commented
on the task force's charge and recommendations. Representative Valdez asked
the subpanel to examine how to provide the greatest return on investment
for the funding.  Senator Rodriguez commented on the UI Trust Fund
and how to increase funding for workers. Senator Moreno commented on whether
hazard pay for workers could help with workforce shortages in certain industries.
Director Meyers commented on whether there is a potential for the state
to partner with local governments on some projects.
04:28:46 PM  
Senator Moreno commented on the number of
subpanel meetings allotted under the resolution that created the task force
and subpanel and Dr. Resnick commented on the need for additional meetings.
The task force lent their support for the subpanel's request to add additional
meetings.


04:34:30 PM   The committee adjourned.






Email addresses for the Colorado legislature have changed from the @state.co.us domain to the @coleg.gov domain on December 1, 2022. Details