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I_ECR_TFER_2021A 11/08/2021 09:04:36 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
INTERIM COMMITTEE  TASK FORCE ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND RELIEF CASH FUND
Date 11/08/2021
Attendance
Lauren Larson E
Liston X
McKean X
Patrick Meyers X
Rodriguez X
Young *
Valdez A. X
Moreno X
Time 09:04:36 AM to 01:45:58 PM
Place SCR 352
This Meeting was called to order by Moreno
This Report was prepared by Elizabeth Burger
Hearing Items Action Taken
Presentation of the Draft Report Committee Discussion Only
Presentation by SAS Analytics Software Committee Discussion Only
Public Comment Committee Discussion Only
Task Force Discussion Committee Discussion Only

Presentation of the Draft Report - Committee Discussion Only

09:05:47 AM  

Senator Moreno called the meeting to order.  Dr. Phyllis Resnick, Subpanel Chair, discussed the subpanel's draft report of recommendations on spending American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.  (Attachment A). She described the process for creating the draft report and reviewed the order of presentations.

09:09:05 AM  

Jason Schrock, subpanel member, reviewed the subpanel's baseline economic analysis and shared a copy of his presentation (Attachment B). He reviewed the state of Colorado's post-pandemic economy, noting that high wage jobs have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, however low-wage jobs are still reduced. He explained that significant labor shortages exist in the economy.

09:15:49 AM  
Mr. Shrock discussed the factors contributing
to labor shortages, including retirements, COVID-related health concerns,
reductions in immigration, lack of access to child care, and workers holding
out for better pay and working conditions. He continued by discussing job
opening rates by industry.
09:19:26 AM  
Mr. Schrock continued by discussing inflation
and noted that the subpanel believes that inflation will continue to increase
in the near term, but that inflationary pressures will ease next year.
Mr. Schrock responded to questions from the task force regarding growth
in personal income and the effect of increased retirements on personal
income.  Discussion continued regarding the current state of Colorado's
economy.
09:29:20 AM  
The committee discussed unemployment claims,
and Senator Moreno noted that enhanced unemployment payments have ended.
Representative Young asked about the effect of the pandemic on the employment
of older Coloradoans. Ms. Felix discussed data on retirements during the
pandemic. Representative Valdez asked about the increase in inflation.
09:35:56 AM  

Alison Felix, subpanel member, shared her presentation on industry impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (Attachment C). She responded to questions from the task force regarding supply chain and labor shortages. She further responded to questions from the task force regarding the impact of the pandemic on individuals by gender, and the impact of childcare disruptions on the economic recovery. She noted that the pandemic has significantly impacted women without a college degree.

09:58:22 AM  

Dr. Phyllis Resnick began her presentation on the people and households most impacted by the COVID recession (Attachment D). She discussed the labor market prior to COVID, noting that thousands of households relied on employment in four industries most affected by the COVID pandemic. She noted that of these households, the majority have female workers, live in rental housing, and lack a college degree. She further noted that prior to COVID, over half of these households were cost-burdened.

10:05:12 AM  

Dr. Resnick continue by noting that cost-burdened households are distributed among all race and ethnicity cohorts.

10:07:39 AM  
Dr. Elissa Braunstein, subpanel member,
reviewed the changes in the Colorado labor force between 2019 and 2021.
She reviewed the data by race, gender, and age. She continued by discussing
the changes in Colorado's labor force participation by gender and age and
discussed regional impacts. She discussed the relationship between retail
sales and unemployment in counties.
10:18:08 AM  

Representative McKean discussed the relationship between higher education and income and how trade labor affects that relationship, and Dr. Resnick responded.

10:21:18 AM  
Henry Sobanet, subpanel member, presented
the subpanel's proposed framework for the task force to use to evaluate
ARPA funding proposals (Attachment E). He reviewed the evaluation glossary
and the elements of the framework, including relevance to affected groups,
multi-year benefit, multiplier effect, administrative burden, start-up
costs, leveraging other efforts, and federal reporting/accountability.
Mr. Sobanet responded to a question regarding multiplier effects. The task
force discussed the elements of the framework and whether it would be valuable
to pre-screen any ARPA funding proposals using one of the elements. Mr.
Sobanet and Mr. Meyers discussed the one-time nature of ARPA funds. Senator
Moreno discussed incorporating an evaluation of sustainability into the
framework.
10:39:31 AM  

Mr. Meyers asked if the subpanel was evaluating whether proposals fit under the allowable ARPA uses. Mr. Sobanet reviewed the use of the framework to evaluate a proposal to repay the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund deficit with ARPA moneys. Daniel Chase, Department of Labor and Employment, responded to questions from the committee regarding the UI solvency surcharge. He further responded to questions from the task force regarding policy choices related to the UI solvency surcharge.

10:51:53 AM  
Representative Valdez asked about the multiplier
effect of paying down the UI trust fund deficit, and Mr. Sobanet and Mr.
Chase discussed modeling for employer impacts of paying down the UI trust
fund. Mr. Ryan Gedney, Department of Labor and Employment, responded to
questions from the task force regarding employer impacts. Mr. Sobanet and
Senator Moreno also discussed spending the money on capital improvements
and how dollars for capital projects can be leveraged. The taks force discussed
incorporating workforce considerations into the framework.



Presentation by SAS Analytics Software - Committee Discussion Only


11:09:36 AM  
Val Cherry, Director of Sales, US Government
and Public Sector, and Kay Meyer, Director of Industry Consulting, US Government
and Public Sector, SAS, began the presentation regarding Analytics for
Government Decisions (Attachment F). Ms. Meyer discussed how analytics
can support government decision making.
11:19:31 AM  

Ms. Meyer discussed the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a sweeping and sizeable workforce impact, affected industries, and minimizing an anticipated recession. She continued discussing how economic development activities can be supported by analytics. Ms. Meyer responded to questions from the task force about the data necessary to build a model to support the task force's efforts and how long the model would take to build.



Public Comment - Committee Discussion Only


11:44:41 AM  

The committee recessed briefly.

11:45:25 AM  

The task force reconvened.

12:13:08 PM  

The task force began the public testimony portion of the agenda.  Written testimony submitted to the task force can be found in Attachment G.  Mr. Mike Riley, representing himself, testified regarding his experience as a front-line health care worker.

12:15:14 PM  

Linda Zarei, representing herself, testified regarding her experience working as a pharmacist during the pandemic.

12:19:59 PM  

Elizabeth Newman, representing Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, testified regarding the affect of the pandemic on victims of sexual assault and the need for additional funding for services for victims.

12:24:17 PM  
Sterling Harris, Colorado Organization for
Victims' Assistance, spoke regarding the importance of funding for victims'
assistance programs and the impact of the pandemic on that funding.
12:28:07 PM  

Brie Franklin, representing Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, testified regarding the importance of funding for victims' services.

12:30:47 PM  

Fran Lanzer, representing Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado, testified regarding the increase in impaired driving deaths in Colorado during the pandemic.

12:33:26 PM  

Ms. Franklin and Ms. Harris responded to questions from the task force regarding the pandemic's effect on crime victims.

12:36:03 PM  

Agustina Gordo, representing United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7, testified regarding her experience as an essential food worker during the pandemic.

12:38:05 PM  

Benjamin Arnold, representing UFCW Local 7, testified regarding his experience as an essential food worker during the pandemic.

12:41:41 PM  
Randy Moorman, representing Recycle Colorado
and Eco-Cycle, testified regarding the need for increased funding for the
recycling, reuse, and composting industries in Colorado.
12:46:48 PM  

Monique DiGiorgio, representing Table to Farm Compost/Recyling, encouraged the task force to invest in the recycling and composting industry.

12:50:22 PM  
Josh Kuhn, representing Conservation Colorado,
encouraged the task force to invest funding in efforts to reduce climate
change. He also spoke regarding the importance of investing moneys to address
the energy needs of low-income households.
12:54:11 PM  

Jonathan Greenspan, representing himself, testified regarding the impacts of increased tourism driven by COVID and urged the task force to focus funding on rural communities.

12:57:36 PM  

Wendell Fogland, representing himself, testified regarding his experience as an essential grocery store worker during the pandemic.



Task Force Discussion - Committee Discussion Only


01:01:54 PM  
The task force discussed next steps.  Director
Meyers asked whether there was a process to allow proposals to come before
the task force for evaluation. Senator Moreno asked the subpanel to discuss
their comfort level with making specific recommendations for funding, and
Dr. Resnick responded that the subpanel could support the task force.  Director
Meyers commented on whether the subpanel could provide a gap analysis.
Dr. Resnick stated that the subpanel could identify areas of greatest need.
Representative Valdez asked for an identification of the gap areas by impact.
He further asked if there could be research conducted on how other states
have addressed similar challenges.
01:10:49 PM  
Senator Moreno asked if the subcommittee
has capacity to evaluate specific proposals through the subcommittee's
rubric. Dr. Resnick expressed concern that the funding options were not
fully conceived into specific options, and thus would be difficult to evaluate
using the rubric.  She stated that the subcommittee could assist in
evaluating the proposals that are identified as promising by the task force.
Senator Moreno discussed how to create a portal to submit funding ideas
that could be shared with the subcommittee for evaluation. Elizabeth Burger,
Legislative Council Staff, commented on the timing for the task force to
approve recommendations and submit its final report.
01:20:14 PM  

Dr. Resnick commented on the subpanel's comfort level with making funding recommendations. She stated that the final funding decisions should be made by the task force, but the subpanel is comfortable conducting evaluations of proposals. The task force discussed whether the task force's report should contain specific proposals for funding. The committee discussed the elements of the task force's report, and whether funding proposals could be included as an attachment to the final report. 

The task force moved its next meeting to 3:30 on December 7. It was decided that the subpanel would revise the draft report to make recommendations on broad areas of focus and flesh out the decision-making rubric. The task force decided to discuss at its December 7 meeting how to receive submissions of funding proposals.


01:45:58 PM   The committee adjourned.






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