Gov. Polis, Western governors push senators to revise aid formula in COVID-19 relief proposal

By: - December 11, 2020 9:59 am
Jared Polis

Gov. Jared Polis discusses the coronavirus pandemic during a media briefing on Nov. 17, 2020. (Moe Clark/Colorado Newsline)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Friday joined a bipartisan group of Western governors in calling on congressional negotiators to revise a proposed formula for state and local aid distribution in a potential COVID-19 relief deal, saying it would “unfairly and inequitably distribute revenue across the states.”

“The current formula, which distributes ⅓ of the state share on the basis of population and ⅔ allocated by revenue loss, would significantly disadvantage Western states like ours that have a low tax rate and have had minimal business shutdowns during this pandemic, as compared to other states,” reads a letter from Polis and the governors of Utah, Nevada and Arizona to a bipartisan group of senators who have been negotiating a relief proposal.

“As such, we would strongly encourage you to consider revising the revenue formula to be either a straight-forward proportional distribution by population or an economic indicator, such as change in unemployment rate,” the governors wrote.

Talks over a potential relief bill have stalled this month in the face of opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators, and are expected to continue into next week as the Senate moves to finalize a short-term spending bill to fund the government on Friday.

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Chase Woodruff
Chase Woodruff

Reporter Chase Woodruff covers the environment, the economy and other stories for Colorado Newsline.