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18 Jun 2020 Session Wrap-Up

 

Monday marked Sine Die (fancy Latin for ‘end of session’) for the 2020 Legislative Session. No one could’ve anticipated what this session turned out to be, but it was one for the history books.

Halfway through Session, COVID-19 outbreaks developed across Colorado. Things changed quickly, and we were forced to adapt as best as we could during the unprecedented time. To protect those in the Capitol, we went on an extended recess and continued to work from home, watching with despair as the conditions of our communities and our economy continued to worsen. Over the course of a few months’ worth of Zoom meetings and conference calls, we developed a new agenda to help Colorado get back on its feet. On May 26th, we reentered the Colorado Capitol and got to work in what turned out to be one of the most chaotic, yet productive, legislative sessions in Colorado history.

From a devastating global pandemic to unspeakable acts of police violence – our communities have been bruised in more ways than one. Small mom-and-pop businesses have felt the economic impacts of closed doors, and are now rethinking how they do business. The murder of George Floyd sparked outrage across the country, including on the steps of the Colorado Capitol. We listened, and most importantly, we acted. We quickly passed what is likely the most sweeping police reform bill in the country.

Despite the unprecedented challenges we faced this session, our Democratic majority rose to the occasion and exemplified what true leadership in a time of crisis should mean. Together, we accomplished so much for our state. But we know there is more work to do to protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of Coloradans. That work must continue.

Here’s a quick look at what I consider some of our biggest achievements of the 2020 legislative session:

The work must continue.

Yes, we accomplished an immense amount for our state over these past six months. However, we will continue to feel the economic and public health impacts of this crisis for years to come. We now must fight harder than ever for structural reforms to create a more resilient Colorado where all have access to world-class education, clean air and water, and attainable housing that doesn’t threaten economic security. We earned a day or two off, but the future of our state depends on us not letting up.

With immense gratitude,
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10 Jun Combatting Police Brutality

 

This is what democracy looks like.

“This isn’t only about what’s going on in other states. This is about what’s happening in our own backyards.” -Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo)

The death of George Floyd ignited conversations that are long overdue in our society. We’ve seen thousands of people take to the streets to demand change and to affirm once again that Black Lives Matter. In response, the Colorado Senate seized the urgency of the moment and passed a powerful piece of legislation, Senate Bill 217. This bill, which passed with broad bipartisan support, will dramatically reform aspects of law enforcement that have for too long allowed the perpetuation of systemic racism.

Systemic racism has no place in our society, and certainly should have no place in law enforcement. Senate Bill 217 aims to improve Coloradan’s confidence in the integrity of our law enforcement. It requires increased transparency and formalized actions for those found improperly using force.

Here’s what the bill does:

 

 

Some Big Bill Updates

 

 

“Clean Up Colorado’s Air Act” (SB 204)
I’ve been working on this bill all year, and I’m excited to have gotten it out of the Senate and into the House. If signed into law, it will ensure polluters pay their fair share and also will create an office dedicated to funding state-of-the-art air monitoring and collecting unbiased scientific research to help us better address our air pollution problem. In partnership with our universities and federal laboratories, this bill will help ensure the Department of Health & Environment has the resources to clean up Colorado’s air.
“Paid Sick Leave” (SB 205)
Huge victory! This piece of legislation passed the Senate this week, and I couldn’t be more proud to get it done. Coloradans deserve to be able to earn a few days off from work if they’re sick. This not only protects them, but also protects the health of their coworkers and the general public. If there’s anything we’ve learned over these past few months, it’s that people should stay home when they’re sick. Under this bill, all workers in Colorado will be able to earn up to 6 days of paid sick leave each year.
“Requiring Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Public Schools” (HB 1336)
With a vote of 35-0, HB 1336 has passed the Senate and is heading to the Governor’s desk to be signed. Once signed into law, high schools will be required to teach the history of genocide, helping their students to recognize the early warning signs of hate in order to take action and prevent future tragedies. This is the first step of many to ensure future generations understand the importance of tolerance and diversity.

COVID Recovery Package

 

 

We’re working on passing a slew of bills that are specifically tailored for helping Colorado families, small businesses, and our state get back on their feet. Here’s what is in the works:

  • Formalizing prohibitions against price gouging during a health emergency
  • Creating whistleblower protections for workers who speak up about health and safety concerns
  • Providing $20 million of grants to small businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • Dedicating $30 million to support families with housing, utility costs, and food assistance between now and the end of 2020
  • Increasing access to unemployment insurance during this health emergency
  • Requiring insurance companies to cover telehealth services
  • Protecting families who are facing aggressive debt collection actions during this time of financial uncertainty
I will continue to update my Facebook and Twitter with key information during the remaining few days of this session. If there is anything my office can do to help for now, please feel free to reach out. We will do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

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28 May 2020 Session Back In

 

The Colorado Legislature is back!

I was joined by my fellow colleagues as we entered the Capitol for the first time since March. Looking forward to the next three weeks while we’re in session, I’m focused on the health and safety of all families and individuals in Colorado, while ensuring that residents are able to return to work responsibly. While we’re back, we’ll be passing legislation that protects vulnerable communities and helps Colorado get back on its feet. From paid sick leave to expanded telehealth access, we’re prioritizing legislation that eases the burdens this crisis has had on so many working families across Colorado. In the coming weeks, we will be prioritizing a number of bills; for now, I wanted to highlight two vital bills that I’m working on right now:

Senate Bill 204  Clean Up Colorado’s Air Act

This bill aims to improve Colorado’s air quality through the implementation of a sophisticated air monitoring network, better cooperation with the science community, and increased resources for enforcement and responding to public health concerns related to air toxins. Coloradans are breathing in polluted air, and we need access to the best research and science to be able to take aggressive action. This bill will enhance the State’s ability to collaborate with the experts and to better address Colorado’s poor air quality and the public health issues associated with it.

Senate Bill 205  Sick Leave for Employees

This bill requires all employers to provide 80 hours of paid sick leave related to COVID-19 through the end of this calendar year. Starting January 2021, all employees will be able to accrue paid sick leave up to 48 hours that can be used in a calendar year. The paid sick leave can be used for the following reasons: mental or physical illness; caring for a family member with a mental or physical illness; if employee or family member has been the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment; or if there are closures due to a public health emergency which would necessitate the employee’s absence from work. This bill also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who uses their paid sick leave.

 

 

Boulder County Updates

(NEW) Masks are required until the end of June. Residents and visitors, over 12 years old, are required to wear a face covering whenever in public in Boulder County, where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. This Order is in effect through Tuesday, June 30.

(NEW) COVID-19 testing site available for BoCo. The CDPHE has encouraged anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. There are currently more than 35 testing sites open to the public in Colorado, and there is a new Boulder County COVID-19 Community Testing Site Map now available.

(NEW) The City of Boulder will be hosting a Virtual Mental Health Chat on Thursday, May 28, at 7:30pm, to discuss mental health and wellness at home for parents and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will be bilingual and community members are able to participate on English or Spanish. The registration link can be found here.

(NEW) Updates to Restaurants and Food Services was provided by CDPHE, as Governor Polis has now allowed for the re-opening of indoor dine-in services. Although they will not be allowed to open at full-capacity, many restaurants will open at 50% of the posted occupancy code (with a maximum of 50 patrons). These guidelines can be found here, or on CDPHE’s official website.

(NEW) Residential overnight camps are prohibited in June; on the other hand, decisions for July and August overnight camps will be made in mid-June. Children’s residential camps that choose to operate as day camps will be working with the Colorado Department of Human Services, and their local public health agency for approval. Guidance for Children’s Day Camps and Youth Sports Camps have been provided by CDPHE.

Residential and commercial evictions are prohibited until May 30, 2020, for Coloradans that have experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19. Executive Order D 2020 051, which authorized the decision, additionally prohibits late fees or penalties from being applied to your rent for nonpayment due to hardships relating to COVID-19. These can be extended by an additional Executive Order.  Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants and Landlords has also been provided by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Rent assistance is available for those in need in Boulder County. Residents who are struggling to pay rent can call the Housing Helpline at (303) 441-1206 and leave a detailed message. You can also visit boco.org/COVID-19Housing for info.

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

As always, I will continue to update my Facebook and Twitter with key information, and let you know of any important developments.

If there is anything my office can do to help for now, please feel free to reach out. We will do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More

14 May Boulder County Updates

 

Join me

for a

Virtual Town Hall: Supporting health and economy as Boulder County re-opens

Friday, May 15th | 3:30p – 4:30pm

Registration link: click here
Facebook event: click here
Submit questions here

Please join me, Speaker KC Becker, and Representative Edie Hooton for a virtual town hall this Friday at 3:30PM.

We will be joined by President & CEO of Boulder Chamber John Tayer, Boulder County Public Health COVID-19 Community Mitigation Liaison Lane Drager, and Boulder County Public Health COVID-19 Business Liaison Zac Swank.

 

 

Boulder County Updates

Residential and commercial evictions are prohibited until May 30, 2020, for Coloradans that have experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19. Executive Order D 2020 051, which authorized the decision, additionally prohibits late fees or penalties from being applied to your rent for nonpayment due to hardships relating to COVID-19. These can be extended by an additional Executive Order.  Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants and Landlords has also been provided by the Colorado Division of Housing.

A Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program has been announced for small businesses in unincorporated Boulder County (including Niwot, Ward, and Jamestown) that need some help to ensure a strong, safe reopening. Grants will be awarded in fixed amounts of $2,500, $5,000, or $7,500. According to Boulder County, the funds are intended to help businesses cover near-term expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, payroll, or other essential operating costs. The deadline to submit the application is Monday, May 18, at 11:59pm. For questions, please call 720-776-0822 weekdays, 8am – 6pm, option 5 or email economicrecovery@bouldercounty.org. Application in English. Solicitud en Español.

Rent assistance is available for those in need in Boulder County. Residents who are struggling to pay rent can call the Housing Helpline at (303) 441-1206 and leave a detailed message. You can also visit boco.org/COVID-19Housing for info.

 

 

Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

 

This can be a very difficult time for those who are living in unsafe situations in their own homes. In addition, this pandemic increases isolation of those confronted with domestic violence. The Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) has provided a list of resources for domestic violence survivors and their children.

  • The SPAN 24-hour Crisis & Information Line is fully operational at (303) 444-2424. Or email at hotline@safehousealliance.org.
  • The SPAN Emergency Shelter will continue to provide safe refuge for domestic violence survivors and their children. Precautions have been taken to limit the spread of COVID19.
  • SPAN’s Outreach Counseling and Legal Advocacy services can be accessed by contacting the SPAN crisis line at (303) 444-2424.
  • SPAN’s Housing Team is providing rental assistance and delivering food boxes to our community-based housing clients.
  • Youth involved in SPAN’s Peers Building Justice (PBJ) Program are meeting through video conferencing and planning a youth-led virtual Open Mic event for May.

 

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

Ways to Donate & Volunteer

 

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised millions to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Also, private sector companies who want to partner with us on acquiring testing, critical constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated, please go here to submit information.

 

 

As always, I will continue to update my Facebook and Twitter with key information, and let you know of any important developments.

If there is anything my office can do to help for now, please feel free to reach out. We will do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More

02 May Unemployment Insurance Q&As

 

Unemployment Insurance  Questions and Answers

We’ve received a lot of questions about unemployment benefits, especially from independent contractors, gig workers, and those who are self-employed. Although these workers are newly eligible for benefits under the CARES Act, the process has been especially confusing for workers who have income from both normal employment (W-2 employment) and from independent contract work (e.g. driving for Uber). I’ve been in conversations with the Department of Labor and Employment to get answers to some of the questions we’ve received. A quick summary is below.

Background

State Unemployment Insurance is the traditional unemployment benefit administered by the state of Colorado that employees can access when they’ve become unemployed. It’s called “insurance” because a small deduction is taken out of your paycheck to pay into an insurance pool for when you need it. Click here to apply.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is the new unemployment benefit that was established in the CARES Act, which was recently passed by Congress (not the state legislature), in order to provide unemployment benefits for workers who are independent contractors, self-employed, or work in the gig economy like driving for Uber. This is now administered by the State of Colorado, but all of the rules and parameters were dictated by Congress in the CARES Act. Click here to apply.

What if I have both W2 AND contractor income?

If you are eligible to receive unemployment assistance through State UI, meaning that you have W-2 wages of at least $2,500 over the last 12 months, then you need to apply through the state UI system — not PUA. Even if you have both W-2 wages and an independent contractor income, these benefits will be calculated only on the actual reported (W-2) wages; your additional independent contractor income will not be taken into account for this calculation. Once your benefits for your W2 income have run out, then you can apply for PUA for your independent contractor income.

If you do not have more than $2,500 of reported W-2 wages over the last 12 months, and have income from gig/contract/self-employed work, then you should apply for the PUA. These unemployment benefits will be backdated as far back as March 29th.

How do I know if I’m eligible for State UI?

The current determining factors are:

  • Loss of job through lay off or furlough
  • lf your hours have been reduced, or you cannot work due to statewide closures
  • W-2 earnings of $2,500 or more over the 5 calendar quarters (currently back to January 1, 2019)
  • Eligible applicants cannot be working more than 32 hours per week and may not be making more than what the state would pay – roughly 55% of an average weekly paycheck.

Please note that some of the regular requirements for receiving benefits like maintaining an active job search have been waived in light of COVID-19. Please click here for additional information.

How do I know if I’m eligible for PUA?

You are eligible for PUA if you are an independent contractor or self-employed and don’t have $2,500 or more of W-2 earnings over the last 12 months. Others who can access PUA benefits include employees of religious organizations that do not pay unemployment, those diagnosed with COVID-19, those with families members diagnosed with COVID-19, those instructed by a health care provider to self-quarantine, primary caregivers for children/dependents currently unable to attend school, those scheduled to start work but no longer have a job offer due to COVID-19, and those who have become head of household due to a COVID-19-related death. Click here for more information.

Other things to know

  • Traditionally, state UI benefits lasted 26 weeks, however the CARES act extended those benefits to 39 weeks.
  • If you qualify for either the State UI or PUA, there is an additional $600/week payment through the federal relief package. You do not need to take any additional action to receive this benefit and it will be back dated as far back as March 29th. The $600/week will be deposited into your account.
  • On April 20, the Colorado Division of Unemployment Insurance hosted a virtual town hall discussing the proper steps to filing for unemployment insurance, and provided further information. Click here to view it in English and here to view in Spanish.
  • The Governor’s office and CDLE have created this website to assist those who have lost their jobs due to this pandemic.

 

 

Town Hall on Monday

 

Join me

for a

Virtual Town Hall: Conversation on meeting Boulder County’s housing needs

Monday, May 4th | 3:30p – 4:30pmRegistration link: click here
Facebook event: click here
Submit questions here

Panelists include Speaker K.C. Becker, Representative Hooton, Frank Alexander (Director of Boulder County Housing & Human Services), Chris Nelson (Attention Homes), Julie Van Domelen (Emergency Family Assistance Association), Isabel McDevitt (Bridge House), and myself.

We will be discussing available resources for all those in our districts, and will host a 30 minute Q&A session.

 

 

Governor Polis extends Executive Order about Evictions

 

Late Thursday, Gov. Polis signed several new Executive Orders, including EO D2020 051, which extended his previous Executive Order limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections for the next 30 days. Specifically, this EO mandates the following:

  • No evictions shall occur during the month of May, for both residential and commercial tenants, unless there is a public safety risk. A person testing positive for COVID-19 or his/her potential exposure to COVID-19 is not considered to pose a public safety risk.
  • Landlords and lenders are prohibited from charging late fees or penalties due to nonpayment of rent or mortgage during this period.
  • Landlords are directed to notify tenants in writing of the federal protections against evictions and foreclosures as provided in the CARES Act.
  • DOLA, CDLE and DORA should work with property owners and landlords to create model repayment agreements to allow tenants the time they need to repay rent.

Click here for additional resources and guidance regarding evictions, foreclosures and public utilities disconnections.

 

 

Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

 

This can be a very difficult time for those who are living in unsafe situations in their own homes. In addition, this pandemic increases isolation of those confronted with domestic violence. The Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) has provided a list of resources for domestic violence survivors and their children.

  • The SPAN 24-hour Crisis & Information Line is fully operational at (303) 444-2424. Or email at hotline@safehousealliance.org.
  • The SPAN Emergency Shelter will continue to provide safe refuge for domestic violence survivors and their children. Precautions have been taken to limit the spread of COVID19.
  • SPAN’s Outreach Counseling and Legal Advocacy services can be accessed by contacting the SPAN crisis line at (303) 444-2424.
  • SPAN’s Housing Team is providing rental assistance and delivering food boxes to our community-based housing clients.
  • Youth involved in SPAN’s Peers Building Justice (PBJ) Program are meeting through video conferencing and planning a youth-led virtual Open Mic event for May.

 

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

Ways to Donate & Volunteer

 

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised millions to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Also, private sector companies who want to partner with us on acquiring testing, critical constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated, please go here to submit information.

 

 

As always, I will continue to update my Facebook and Twitter with key information, and let you know of any important developments.

If there is anything my office can do to help for now, please feel free to reach out. We will do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More

26 Apr Safer-At-Home Order

 

A new phase for Colorado? Sorta.

Tomorrow, the statewide Stay-At-Home order will be replaced by a “Safer-At-Home” order. However, if you live in Boulder County (and several other metro area counties), a local Stay-At-Home order will be in place until May 8th.

So what does all of this mean?

Having a local order that differs from what you may be reading or seeing in the statewide news can get confusing, so think of it this way: the statewide Safer-At-Home order is the baseline minimum that all cities and counties must follow, but many of the metro-area counties will have more stringent orders in place due to the regional risk of the virus.

The statewide “Safer-At-Home” order does not mean that life Is returning to normal. We are still asked to maintain social distancing measures, and encouraged to wear face masks when leaving the house. Here are some things we can expect:

  • Group gatherings will be limited to 10 people.
  • Gyms, nightclubs, and spas will remain closed.
  • Some non-urgent medical and dental procedures will be allowed, but strict precautions will need to be maintained.
  • Vulnerable populations and older adults will still be required to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
Here in Boulder County, the main thing that will change from what’s been in place for the last month is that more businesses will be offering curbside pickup starting on Monday. Many of the other restrictions will begin to ease up on May 8th.

“The Safer-at-Home phase is not a return to normal. This is merely transitioning to a more sustainable level of social distancing that we are going to have to maintain for the long haul  likely months.”
– Governor Jared Polis


Below, I’ve highlighted some new developments from the state level, the federal level, and the local level. In addition to what is listed below, please follow the state of Colorado’s COVID19 webpage that posts current updates, along with a list of resources.

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

 

 

State response 

  • With the transition to a “Safer-At-Home” order, Colorado has finally begun to secure a much larger amount of covid-19 testing as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). More details and procedures regarding testing and contact tracing will be announced this week.
  • The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has launched a new website which connects Coloradans with job opportunities, resources, and services to assist those who have lost their jobs during this pandemic.
  • Colorado’s nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and assisted living residencies are required to submit a Prevention and Response Plan by May 1, 2020. More information on how to submit a plan can be found here.

 

 

Federal response

  • The President signed a $484 billion COVID-19 relief bill into law on Friday, April 24. The breakdown of the funding is as follows:
    • $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. $60 billion is set aside for small lenders. This allocates additional funding for small financial institutions and community credit unions, as well as minority-owned businesses. The application can be found here.
    • $60 billion for Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans and grants. Business can apply through SBA’s online application portal.
    • $75 billion in grants to hospitals struggling to cover costs related to the pandemic.
    • $25 billion to increase coronavirus testing availability and accessibility.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has mentioned that Congress is looking to pass another bill that includes relief for states and municipalities. She has estimated the total cost could be roughly $700 billion.

 

 

Local response

  • Boulder County is extending the current Colorado Stay-At-Home order through May 8. This will give the county time to develop clear strategies and guidelines to operate safely when our community moves to the “Safer-At-Home” phase.
    • There is one difference between the statewide Stay-at-Home Order and the Boulder County extension: Beginning on April 27, non-critical businesses may also start offering curbside delivery of products, and travel to pick up those goods will be considered necessary travel.
    • Boulder Country’s press release on the extension can be found here.
  • With limited exceptions, Boulder County buildings and facilities will remain closed to the public until June 1, 2020. More information and exceptions to this decision can be found here.
  • Resources are available for those most impacted in Boulder County, and a call center is also open 7 days/week from 8a-6p to answer questions at (720) 776-0822.
  • With Boulder Valley School District suspending in-person learning for the remainder of the school year, SPAN’s Education Team has transformed their classroom-based violence prevention curriculum to an online format available to BVSD schools.

 

 

Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

 

This can be a very difficult time for those who are living in unsafe situations in their own homes. In addition, this pandemic increases isolation of those confronted with domestic violence. The Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) has provided a list of resources for domestic violence survivors and their children.

  • The SPAN 24-hour Crisis & Information Line is fully operational at (303) 444-2424. Or email at hotline@safehousealliance.org.
  • The SPAN Emergency Shelter will continue to provide safe refuge for domestic violence survivors and their children. Precautions have been taken to limit the spread of COVID19.
  • SPAN’s Outreach Counseling and Legal Advocacy services can be accessed by contacting the SPAN crisis line at (303) 444-2424.
  • SPAN’s Housing Team is providing rental assistance and delivering food boxes to our community-based housing clients.
  • Youth involved in SPAN’s Peers Building Justice (PBJ) Program are meeting through video conferencing and planning a youth-led virtual Open Mic event for May.

 

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

Ways to Donate & Volunteer

 

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Also, private sector companies who want to partner with us on acquiring testing, critical constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated, please go here to submit information.

 

 

More information will be coming out in the coming weeks, and I will continue reaching out as guidelines are updated and developed. As always, I will continue to update my Facebook and Twitter with key information, and let you know of any important developments.

If there is anything my office can do to help in the meantime, please feel free to reach out and we’ll do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More

19 Apr CDLE Unemployment Updates

 

 

Unemployment Benefits Expanded

 

Tomorrow, April 20th, Colorado’s Unemployment Benefits program will be open–for the first time–to gig workers, independent contractors, and those who are self-employed. These new claims will be accepted via application found on the Colorado Department of Labor’s website.

Also, all unemployment recipients will now receive an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits. This additional money will be backdated to March 29th and current recipients do not need to take any additional action to receive that money.

To handle the unprecedented amount of claims and to manage questions, Colorado has also launched a new 80-person call center that will go live tomorrow, April 20th. Additionally, two Virtual Town Halls will be offered by the Colorado Department of Labor tomorrow to discuss these new programs and the extension of benefits to gig workers and independent contractors:

Virtual Town Hall (in English): Register here
Monday, April 20th at 9:15amVirtual Town Hall (in Spanish): Register here
Monday, April 20th at 11:30am

 

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

My staff and I are available to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to reach out and we’ll do everything we can to get you answers to your questions, or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More

03 Apr COVID-19 Update

 

Updates from the Capitol

There have been a few updates since the Governor’s Stay-At-Home announcement last week, and those have been added to his most recent public health order. The Governor has also extended school closures and provided updates on what the state is doing to secure hospital beds, ventilators, and personal protection equipment. The good news is that the latest data shows that the rate of new cases of Covid-19 in Colorado may have slowed a bit, but the peak is still expected to be at least a few weeks away. 

Next week, I’ll be hosting two telephone town halls. We’ll send more details out shortly, but wanted to get them on your radar now:

Student Debt Town Hall with New Era Colorado
Thursday, April 9th from 3-4pm

COVID-19 Town Hall with Congressman Joe Neguse
Friday, April 10th from 5-6pm

In this week’s email, I want to highlight some new developments, both at the state level and at the federal level. In addition to what is listed below, please follow the State of Colorado’s webpage that posts current updates, along with a list of resources.

As always, I will continue to frequently update my Facebook and Twitter with important information, and let you know of any important developments.

 

 

The Supreme Court Weighs In

Just before suspending the legislative session a few weeks ago, we submitted an interrogatory (a fancy term that means “question”) to the CO Supreme Court to ask if we can come back to session after this public health crisis is behind us. Fortunately, the court ruled in our favor and decided that the legislature can return back to work to extend session once this public health crisis is further behind us. Read the article from the Colorado Sun about this here.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

 

 

State response 

  • Governor Polis instituted a statewide Stay-At-Home order that went into effect at 6am on Thursday morning, March 26, and lasts until Saturday, April 11, 2020.
  • The Colorado Supreme Court ruled, on April 1, in favor of Colorado Democrats that the legislature can return back to work to extend session once this public health crisis is further behind us. This ruling means that when we return to the Capitol, we’ll have time to pass legislation to get Colorado back on its feet. Read the article from the Colorado Sun about this here.
  • Boulder County will receive $485,056 in federal Community Development Block Grants, secured through the $2 trillion federal relief package. U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse’s office announced the grant for the county Thursday, and more information will be coming shortly.
  • Governor Polis ordered school campuses across Colorado to remain closed for in-person learning through April 30.
  • If you are a small business looking for help navigating the relief options, please reach out to the Small Business Assistance Hotline: (303) 860-5881.
  • The special enrollment period for health insurance was extended to April 30th. For more information, please go to Connect for Health Colorado.
  • Unfortunately, some people are taking advantage of the situation and there have been many reports of schemes that result in stolen funds and/or identity theft. Beware! And please report any concerns to stopfraudcolorado.gov.
  • The Governor announced a plan to add patient facilities due to the expected overcrowding during the month of April. He added that the State is aiming to add 12,000 hospital beds.

 

 

Federal response

  • Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package which was signed into law by the President on March 27. The bill ensures that up to 90% of adults in the United States will receive a one-time payment of $1,200, with a $500 addition per dependent child. Payments will be in the form of a check or direct deposit and will likely be processed in a matter of weeks.
  • The White House officially extended social distancing guidelines through the end of April.
  • During a press conference on April 1, the President noted that medical equipment is being sent directly to hospitals, not the national stockpile.
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that a select bipartisan committee will be created to oversee the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the management of the most recent relief package.

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

Resources

 

 

Children & Family Services

Food Assistance

  • Boulder Valley School District is distributing several meals’ worth of food items and fresh produce to families on, and after, March 30, between 11:30am – 1:30pm. They will not be offered next as the District is in Spring Break. The addresses for each of the following location can be found on the BVSD website.
    • Creekside Elementary School
    • Crest View Elementary School
    • Columbine Elementary School
    • Emerald Elementary School
    • Louisville Middle School
    • Nederland Middle-Senior High School
    • Pioneer Elementary
    • University Hill Elementary School
    • Sanchez Elementary School
  • St. Vrain Valley School District is operating 11 drive-through pick-up sites where students, families, and staff can receive lunch and breakfast food items between 11:00am-12:30pm. (Due to anticipated weather on Thursday, March 19, no meal distribution is planned, but will resume on Friday, March 20.) Addresses fro the following SVVSD meal distribution locations can be found on the SVVSD website.
    • Timberline PK-8
    • Northridge Elementary School
    • Altona Middle School
    • Sunset Middle School
    • Soaring Heights PK-8
    • Frederick High School
    • Mead Middle School
    • Lyons High School
    • Hygiene Elementary School (12:00 – 12:30 only)
    • Niwot High School (11:00 – 11:30 only)
    • Learning Services Center (11:00 – 11:30 only)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps individuals and families buy food that is healthy and nutritious. Apply for Health First Colorado through Colorado PEAK.
  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder offers grab-and-go food bags for pick up at their main office on Yarmouth during regular business hours for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Hunger Free Colorado has set up a Food Resource Hotline for anyone who needs help locating food. Call 855-855-4626, M – F (8 am – 4:30 pm) to find school meals, food pantries, and SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Mental Health

  • Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health of substance use challenges.
  • Colorado Crisis Services: If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or you can text TALK to 38255.
  • Mental Health Partners is still taking new clients, using telehealth sessions for assessments and evaluations. Please call 303-443-8500 to access those services. 

Rent and Utilities

  • A guide for tenants in Colorado has been created by housing advocates to answer many frequently asked questions related to paying rent, relationships with landlords, and evictions. It can be found here.
  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) provides financial assistance for utilities, rent, or mortgages for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Coordinated Entry staff will be working remotely and will be conducting assessments via phone only. If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, call 720-386-9002.
    • Longmont Coordinated Entry: Client should call 303-579-7364 between noon-2:00pm.
    • Boulder Coordinated: Clients should call 303-579-4404 (daily 10:00am – 4:00pm except Tuesdays, from noon-4:00pm).
  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) assists low-income families and individuals with their heating costs (ends April 30th).
  • Energy Outreach Colorado is a statewide nonprofit organization that helps Coloradans pay their utility bills during hardship.
  • Xcel Energy agreed not to disconnect residential customers until further notice.
  • Comcast is increasing internet speeds for all customers and offering 60 days of free internet services to low-income families.
  • Additional resources for assistance with payment of rent, mortgagen and utility bills can be found by calling 211 or by visiting www.211colorado.org.

Unemployment

  • The Governor has ordered up to four days of paid sick leave for certain workers experiencing flu-like symptoms and awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • Anyone who has lost their job or had their hours cut due this pandemic may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • For employers looking to avoid layoffs, CDLE’s Work-Share Program allows eligible employees to work fewer hours and collect partial unemployment benefits.

 

 

Additional resources

To prioritize your own health and safety, please consult with local health care professionals, and take advantage of the resources that have been provided. Below is some information with up

 

 

Ways to Donate & Volunteer

 

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Also, private sector companies who want to partner with us on acquiring testing, critical constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated, please also go to https://covrn.com/#Join-Innovation-response-team.

 

 

Personal Protective Equipment

To donate PPE keep the bare minimum amount of supply you need to conduct essential or life saving functions, and contribute the remainder to our state’s COVID19 response. If you have small quantities of supplies to contribute, between 1-25 boxes of personal protective equipment donate these supplies to your local public health department, local community health center, community clinic, or local hospital. If you have more than 25 boxes, or the pieces of larger equipment such as anesthesia machines or ventilators, fill out THIS FORM.

 

 

If there is anything my office can do to help, please feel free to reach out and we’ll do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More

26 Mar Stay-At-Home Order Updates

 

 

Updates from the Capitol

The Governor recently announced a statewide Stay-At-Home order, which went into effect today. I want to encourage each of you to follow the guidelines provided by our State health and safety experts. I also want to thank those of you who have followed the recommendations made thus far to ensure the health and safety of your friends, family, and community.

I wanted to highlight some new developments, both at the state level and at the federal level. In addition to what is listed below, please follow the State of Colorado’s webpage that posts current updates, along with a list of resources.

Again, I will continue to frequently update my Facebook and Twitter with important information, and let you know of any important developments.

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

 

 

State response 

  • Governor Polis instituted a statewide Stay-At-Home order that went into effect at 6am on Thursday morning, March 26 and will last until Saturday, April 11, 2020.
    What this means:

    • Coloradans are only to interact with their household and only leave their houses for essential activities and to take extreme precautions to limit coming in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.
    • Essential activities include: obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine (and liquor or cannabis…); going to and from work if you are an essential employee; seeking medical care; caring for dependents or pets; and caring for a vulnerable person in another location.
    • Outdoor recreation is permitted at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties.
    • Critical businesses are exempt from this Executive Order. Click here for a full list of critical businesses.
    • Exceptions to the order have been made for schools to provide meals/housing/distance learning, pastoral services for people in crisis, legal/title/real estate services, and houses of worship, as long as social distancing or online services are also implemented.
    • Coloradans are required to self-isolate if showing symptoms of COVID-19.

 

 

Federal response

Congress is set to pass a $2 trillion relief package at the end of this week, and it is expected to be signed into law shortly after.  The following is included in the bipartisan package:

  • Up to 90% of adults in the United States will receive a one-time payment of $1,200, with a $500 addition per dependent child. Payments will be in the form of a check or direct deposit and will likely be processed in a matter of weeks.
  • Unemployment assistance will include 13 additional weeks of coverage, with coverage for part-time workers.
  • Small businesses will be provided $350 billion in loans, and much of this may be forgiven if employees are retained instead of laid off.
  • Food stamps will receive $15.5 billion, with more funds sent to food banks and farmers’ markets.
  • Additional funds will be provided for child care, heating/cooling help, and other social programs.
  • The package also includes injections of money into certain industries (e.g. airlines), but luckily, Democrats were at least able to put in requirement to prohibit things like stock buybacks.

More detailed analysis of the federal package in the coming hours and days.

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

Resources

 

 

Children & Family Services

Food Assistance

  • Boulder Valley School District is distributing several meals’ worth of food items and fresh produce to families on, and after, March 30, between 11:30am – 1:30pm. They will not be offered next as the District is in Spring Break. The addresses for each of the following location can be found on the BVSD website.
    • Creekside Elementary School
    • Crest View Elementary School
    • Columbine Elementary School
    • Emerald Elementary School
    • Louisville Middle School
    • Nederland Middle-Senior High School
    • Pioneer Elementary
    • University Hill Elementary School
    • Sanchez Elementary School
  • St. Vrain Valley School District is operating 11 drive-through pick-up sites where students, families, and staff can receive lunch and breakfast food items between 11:00am-12:30pm. (Due to anticipated weather on Thursday, March 19, no meal distribution is planned, but will resume on Friday, March 20.) Addresses fro the following SVVSD meal distribution locations can be found on the SVVSD website.
    • Timberline PK-8
    • Northridge Elementary School
    • Altona Middle School
    • Sunset Middle School
    • Soaring Heights PK-8
    • Frederick High School
    • Mead Middle School
    • Lyons High School
    • Hygiene Elementary School (12:00 – 12:30 only)
    • Niwot High School (11:00 – 11:30 only)
    • Learning Services Center (11:00 – 11:30 only)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps individuals and families buy food that is healthy and nutritious. Apply for Health First Colorado through Colorado PEAK.
  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder offers grab-and-go food bags for pick up at their main office on Yarmouth during regular business hours for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Hunger Free Colorado has set up a Food Resource Hotline for anyone who needs help locating food. Call 855-855-4626, M – F (8 am – 4:30 pm) to find school meals, food pantries, and SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Mental Health

  • Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health of substance use challenges.
  • Colorado Crisis Services: If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or you can text TALK to 38255.
  • Mental Health Partners is still taking new clients, using telehealth sessions for assessments and evaluations. Please call 303-443-8500 to access those services. 

Rent and Utilities

  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) provides financial assistance for utilities, rent, or mortgages for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Coordinated Entry staff will be working remotely and will be conducting assessments via phone only. If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, call 720-386-9002.
    • Longmont Coordinated Entry: Client should call 303-579-7364 between noon-2:00pm.
    • Boulder Coordinated: Clients should call 303-579-4404 (daily 10:00am – 4:00pm except Tuesdays, from noon-4:00pm).
  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) assists low-income families and individuals with their heating costs (ends April 30th).
  • Energy Outreach Colorado is a statewide nonprofit organization that helps Coloradans pay their utility bills during hardship.
  • Xcel Energy agreed not to disconnect residential customers until further notice.
  • Comcast is increasing internet speeds for all customers and offering 60 days of free internet services to low-income families.

Unemployment

  • The Governor has ordered up to four days of paid sick leave for certain workers experiencing flu-like symptoms and awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • Anyone who has lost their job or had their hours cut due this pandemic may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • For employers looking to avoid layoffs, CDLE’s Work-Share Program allows eligible employees to work fewer hours and collect partial unemployment benefits.

 

 

Additional resources

To prioritize your own health and safety, please consult with local health care professionals, and take advantage of the resources that have been provided. Below is some information with up

 

 

Ways to Donate & Volunteer

 

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Also, private sector companies who want to partner with us on acquiring testing, critical constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated, please also go to https://covrn.com/#Join-Innovation-response-team .

 

 

Personal Protective Equipment

To donate PPE keep the bare minimum amount of supply you need to conduct essential or life saving functions, and contribute the remainder to our state’s COVID19 response. If you have small quantities of supplies to contribute, between 1-25 boxes of personal protective equipment donate these supplies to your local public health department, local community health center, community clinic, or local hospital. If you have more than 25 boxes, or the pieces of larger equipment such as anesthesia machines or ventilators, fill out THIS FORM.

 

 

If there is anything my office can do to help, please feel free to reach out and we’ll do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More

19 Mar Small Business Disaster Relief & COVID-19 Updates

 

Updates from the Capitol

Thank you to all of those who’ve abided by the guidelines and recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19, and for the tireless efforts of those on the front lines. Although the legislature has been temporarily suspended, we’ve been working around the clock with the Governor’s office to ensure the state is doing everything possible to fight this pandemic and ensure Coloradans will be able to get through these uncertain times.

It’s normal to feel stressed, confused, scared, or angry. I encourage you talk with friends and family you trust–with appropriate social distancing, of course!

I will continue to update my Facebook and Twitter with important information, and let you know of any changes the Governor and Legislature make along the way. In order to provide you with as much information as possible in one comprehensive email, I have included a number of resources and updates below.

 

 


Boulder County has put together a website with local resources for accessing economic, housing, food assistance, etc.

 

 

New Website & Fund Launched

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Organizations helping with the response to COVID-19 will be able to apply for funds starting next week. The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts. This will include things like medical and cleaning supplies, food services, early childhood education, small business support, behavioral health services, and more.

 

 

NEW: Small Business Disaster Relief

 

 

Governor Polis just announced that Colorado has been approved for Federal Loan Assistance for Colorado’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This approval unlocks billions in economic recovery loans where businesses will be able to apply for up to $2 million from the Injury Disaster Loan program. Go here for more details.

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

 

 

Newest state measures to respond to COVID-19 

  • Governor Polis applied for a Medicaid 1115 waiver to enroll uninsured patients who are impacted by COVID-19.
  • Spaces that encourage large gatherings have been closed (such as gyms, casinos, and performance spaces).
  • Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • The Governor has begun to relax regulations and remove red tape for medical professionals to ensure an increase in medical and other frontline assistance.
  • Statewide in-person learning at all schools has been suspended until April 17. Denver Public Schools are switching to remote learning for the remainder of the year beginning Tuesday, April 7.
  • The National Guard has been mobilized to help with hospital surge capacity and increased COVID-19 testing.
  • The State launched a new website to centralize information on COVID-19 in Colorado.
  • Governor Polis announced a relief fund to help those struggling and/or who have lost their jobs.
  • Businesses in all 64 Colorado Counties are now eligible in the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

 

 

Federal response

Congress passed a multibillion-dollar aid package in response to COVID-19, which was signed into law on Wednesday. The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” expands Medicaid and unemployment benefits, mandates paid sick leave, and more. The following are some of the mandates in the bill:

  • Paid sick leave and family leave has been expanded for employers of companies with fewer than 500 employees who have been impacted by COVID-19;
  • Those caring for a family member with a COVID-19 diagnosis, or to care for a child under 18 whose school has closed as a result of the outbreak, will be eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave at no less than two-thirds your regular pay rate;
  • Full-time employees will be entitled to 80 hours worth of paid sick time, and part-time employees will be entitled to the number of hours they normally work in a two-week period;
  • $500 million provided in additional funding for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program;
  • $400 million provided in additional funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program;
  • $82 million provided in additional funding for the Defense Health Program;
  • $250 million provided in additional funding for food programs, including home delivery food programs, for the elderly and disabled;
  • Extensions to, and additional funds for, unemployment benefits;
  • Free COVID-19 testing without co-pays or deductibles.

 

 

 

Resources

 

 

Children & Family Services

Food Assistance

  • Boulder Valley School District is distributing several meals’ worth of food items and fresh produce to families on, and after, March 30, between 11:30am – 1:30pm. They will not be offered next as the District is in Spring Break. The addresses for each of the following location can be found on the BVSD website.
    • Creekside Elementary School
    • Crest View Elementary School
    • Columbine Elementary School
    • Emerald Elementary School
    • Louisville Middle School
    • Nederland Middle-Senior High School
    • Pioneer Elementary
    • University Hill Elementary School
    • Sanchez Elementary School
  • St. Vrain Valley School District is operating 11 drive-through pick-up sites where students, families, and staff can receive lunch and breakfast food items between 11:00am-12:30pm. (Due to anticipated weather on Thursday, March 19, no meal distribution is planned, but will resume on Friday, March 20.) Addresses fro the following SVVSD meal distribution locations can be found on the SVVSD website.
    • Timberline PK-8
    • Northridge Elementary School
    • Altona Middle School
    • Sunset Middle School
    • Soaring Heights PK-8
    • Frederick High School
    • Mead Middle School
    • Lyons High School
    • Hygiene Elementary School (12:00 – 12:30 only)
    • Niwot High School (11:00 – 11:30 only)
    • Learning Services Center (11:00 – 11:30 only)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps individuals and families buy food that is healthy and nutritious. Apply for Health First Colorado through Colorado PEAK.
  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder offers grab-and-go food bags for pick up at their main office on Yarmouth during regular business hours for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Hunger Free Colorado has set up a Food Resource Hotline for anyone who needs help locating food. Call 855-855-4626, M – F (8 am – 4:30 pm) to find school meals, food pantries, and SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Mental Health

  • Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health of substance use challenges.
  • Colorado Crisis Services: If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or you can text TALK to 38255.
  • Mental Health Partners is still taking new clients, using telehealth sessions for assessments and evaluations. Please call 303-443-8500 to access those services. 

Rent and Utilities

  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) provides financial assistance for utilities, rent, or mortgages for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Coordinated Entry staff will be working remotely and will be conducting assessments via phone only. If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, call 720-386-9002.
    • Longmont Coordinated Entry: Client should call 303-579-7364 between noon-2:00pm.
    • Boulder Coordinated: Clients should call 303-579-4404 (daily 10:00am – 4:00pm except Tuesdays, from noon-4:00pm).
  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) assists low-income families and individuals with their heating costs (ends April 30th).
  • Energy Outreach Colorado is a statewide nonprofit organization that helps Coloradans pay their utility bills during hardship.
  • Xcel Energy agreed not to disconnect residential customers until further notice.
  • Comcast is increasing internet speeds for all customers and offering 60 days of free internet services to low-income families.

Unemployment

  • The Governor has ordered up to four days of paid sick leave for certain workers experiencing flu-like symptoms and awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • Anyone who has lost their job or had their hours cut due this pandemic may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • For employers looking to avoid layoffs, CDLE’s Work-Share Program allows eligible employees to work fewer hours and collect partial unemployment benefits.

 

 

Additional resources

To prioritize your own health and safety, please consult with local health care professionals, and take advantage of the resources that have been provided. Below is some information with up

 

 

 

Ways to Donate

 

 

There are multiple organizations that are spearheading efforts to help our communities. To those who are able to assist, please consider volunteering or donating to a local nonprofit that is helping those impacted by COVID-19.

Here are a few:

  • The Community Foundation has established the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County to ensure essential services for community members who find themselves at the intersection of being most vulnerable to the virus and most impacted by inequity.
  • Impact on Education is coordinating volunteers and donations to help deliver meals and items to Boulder Valley Schools. You can sign up to volunteer via this link.
  • Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation set up a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund to help restaurant workers stay afloat.
  • Help Colorado Now is a new collaboration between the state and Mile High United Way to connect volunteers with at-risk community members in need.
  • Blood banks are reporting severe shortages due to cancelled blood drives. Vitalant tells you where to donate blood according to your zip code.

 

 

If there is anything my office can do to help, please feel free to reach out and we’ll do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,

 

 

Read More