Our first priority should be getting people back to work and creating sustainable jobs in this state. Many of our other challenges -- budget pressures, education funding, the stretching of the social safety net -- stem from our high unemployment.
The state legislature can make a difference. We need to:
Create an on-bill financing program for home and business retrofitting. Many more home and business owners will participate in energy-saving retrofitting programs when they are offered low interest loans that can be paid directly from their utility bills.
Expand access to capital for small businesses. Colorado currently has a small revolving line of credit available for qualifying businesses which has been successful. The expansion of this program will mean more businesses can access credit and create jobs.
Create a regional or statewide venture capital fund. This fund will provide access to capital for businesses that will most benefit Colorado workers.
Encourage expansion of public-private partnerships. Our universities create innovative ideas all the time. If Colorado provides the necessary support, we can turn those ideas into viable businesses.
Fix our budget and education funding problems. Our budget system is broken and that hurts education and our economy. Fewer businesses will move to Colorado if our schools continue to suffer from budget cuts. In the longer term, our workforce will be less prepared to lead in an innovation dependent economy. A well-educated workforce will insure the long-term growth of our economy.