The $30.5 billion state budget bill is done, and transportation gets a boost | SkyHiNews.com

The $30.5 billion state budget bill is done, and transportation gets a boost

The House and Senate approved the measure after budget writers tapped two reserve funds to cover extra spending

John Frank, Colorado Sun
From left, starting at second from left: State Rep. Daneya Esgar, a Pueblo Democrat, and Sen. Dominick Moreno, a Commerce City Democrat. The pair lead the Joint Budget Committee.
Courtesy Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun

Colorado lawmakers gave final approval Friday to a $30.5 billion state budgetpackage that includes $300 million for road projects, $175 million for full-day kindergarten and a 3% pay hike for all state employees.

The agreement on the spending plan that starts July 1 came after the budget writers found an extra $70 million for transportation as part of a deal with Republican lawmakers who threatened to obstruct the debate

The additional dollars will come from a variety of sources, including $40 million out of two reserve accounts. The state’s push for full-day kindergarten took a $10 million cut because fewer students are expected to participate. And the remaining $20 million came from unspent dollars and minor accounting tweaks.

The original budget package allocated $230 million for roads. The new $300 million total — which will require additional legislation this session — would get split between the state and local governments for highway construction, mass transit projects and road maintenance. The total need for transportation in Colorado is estimated near $9 billion.

State Rep. Chris Hansen, a Denver Democrat and budget writer, said the budget package boosts spending in key areas, such as education and road building. “We are making historic investments across the areas we care about,” he told lawmakers.

Read the full story via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.


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