Colorado budget bill heads to governor's desk

May 4, 2017


Colorado’s $26.8 billion state budget bill headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk Wednesday after the Senate approved the final version on a 33-1 vote.

As The Denver Post reports, the Senate approved the final version of the budget despite reservations about a move to balance the budget by cutting $264 million from hospitals – a move that is worth double that once federal matching dollars are added.

Senators on both sides of the aisle hope a separate bill aimed at eliminating the cuts makes it to Hickenlooper’s desk before the end of the legislative term next week. That bill would reclassify the hospital provide fee program to prevent the $528 million in spending cuts from hospitals.

The final version of the state budget includes a 2.5 percent salary increase for most state employees, a $185-per-pupil hike in education spending, $15 million for an affordable housing program and $9.5 million to provide high-speed internet to rural schools.