Next year’s budget for Colorado has passed the state Senate with funding increases for public schools, higher education, and money for construction projects at colleges and state buildings.
The improving economy is giving Colorado lawmakers the power to restore budget cuts from recent years, and the Democrat-led Senate gave an initial OK to next year’s spending plan on Wednesday.
The improving economy and increasing tax receipts are allowing Colorado lawmakers to fund more programs as they prepare to vote on next year’s budget.
Democrats have consolidated control of both chambers and the governor’s office, and the 2013 session could see a flurry of legislation after two years of divided control, tight budgets and little significant change.
Colorado’s budget situation is improving, but it’s still worse than before the recession.
Colorado lawmakers don’t finish work for the year until Wednesday. But their biggest task could be complete by the end of the day.
The unusually jovial tone of Colorado’s state budget debate is continuing in the Senate, where lawmakers are closer to signing off on the $7.4 billion spending plan.
The Colorado House approved a $7.4 billion spending plan Thursday, turning what many believed would be an acrimonious process unusually jovial as they kept funding for schoolchildren at the same level as last year and returned a property tax break for seniors.
Colorado budget writers finished the aptly named “Long Bill” with more funds this year for education, colleges, and seniors.
Lawmakers are deadlocked over whether to cut spending at state agencies and potentially prompt layoffs in what has become the next flashpoint in Colorado budget negotiations.