A bill that would grant emergency money to rural communities that see sudden layoffs or plant closures is working its way through the Senate. The goal is to help small towns reduce population loss.
Some of Colorado’s rural communities are heavily dependent on the coal industry, oil or natural gas, for example. If those natural resources hit a bust, that means layoffs and business closures. It oftentimes also means people have to move away to find work.
Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail is seeking to soften the blow by making $2 million available every year to rural towns or counties that see sudden economic shocks. The money would come from Colorado’s unclaimed property trust fund. It’s currently being considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.