Colorado lawmakers agreed Wednesday to budget $21 million for an aerial firefighting fleet designed to spot and attack wildfires faster, a response to historic back-to-back wildfire seasons.
As Colorado’s economy continues improving, lawmakers are beginning to talk about constitutionally mandated refunds to taxpayers in the coming years.
Large, destructive wildfires and historic flooding put a dent on Colorado’s finances, influencing Gov. John Hickenlooper’s latest budget proposal Friday, but the state is doing well enough that colleges and schools will see more funding.
Colorado’s economy continues to outperform expectations, spurred on by tax revenue from stock sales, although unemployment remains high, state economists told lawmakers Monday.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s budget proposal released Thursday includes more funding for education, more Medicaid spending, and pay increases for state employees for the first time in five years.
Colorado’s revenue picture is continuing to improve at a faster-than-expected rate because of taxes on stock sales and oil and gas development, state economists said Thursday, but they predicted growth will slow because of federal and global uncertainties.
Colorado is facing accusations of misusing money from medical marijuana patients.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is pitching more cuts to education to balance next year’s budget but the reductions aren’t as dramatic as previous years.
Colorado lawmakers will likely have to cut another $400 million to $500 million next year as the state continues trying to dig out of the economic downturn.
Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper has announced another Cabinet choice. On Tuesday, he appointed Reggie Bicha to head the Department of Human Services.