Lee’s ‘Economic Gardening’ Bill Advances

(Jan. 29) – A central component of the House Democrats’ jobs and economic development package took a step forward today when the House Business, Labor & Economic & Workforce Development Committee approved a bill to implement an “economic gardening” pilot program at the state level.

HB13-1003, by Reps. Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs) and Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo), would provide management and technical training and consultation to “second stage” Colorado businesses – those 9- to 99-employee concerns that have significant growth potential.

“This bill provides high-level, sophisticated, corporate-level tools that are typically only available to Fortune 500 companies,” Rep. Lee told the committee. “We’re raising the level of consultative services for these companies.”

The committee sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee on a 6-5 party-line vote.

By the same party-line vote, the committee also approved another job-generating component of the Democratic economic development package – a bill to increase funding for the state’s Small Business Development Center system. HB13-1002, sponsored by Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood), would boost funding for the SBDC system by $1 million over three years.

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