Colorado state legislators have introduced a bipartisan measure that would create a tax exemption for space hardware sales and applications in order to maintain the state’s competitiveness in retaining aerospace businesses.

The bill, backed by top leaders in the Colorado House and Senate, “will increase the availability of highly-skilled and highly-paid jobs in the state and will encourage capital investment in equipment, machinery, parts, and supplies used in aerospace manufacturing.”

Arizona, California, Florida and Virginia already have similar laws on the books.

The aerospace industry employs about 3 percent of Colorado’s workforce.

Colorado has increased its economic development efforts to attract and keep space-related jobs in the state in recent years. In November, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Jay Lindell as the state’s aerospace and defense industry champion to improve Colorado’s space economy.