DENVER (CBS4) – There is a battle over money every legislative session in Colorado but this year it’s going to be a bigger fight than ever. The 2016 Legislative Session opened on Wednesday once again with Democrats in charge of the State House and Republicans in charge of the State Senate.
Both sides are already battling over the budget.
The budget is growing in 2016 by about 3 percent the problem is to keep up with enrollment and inflation, K-12 education could eat up all that additional money.
Democrats want to move a fee, paid by hospitals, out of the budget to lower taxpayer refunds and free up more money for spending. Republicans want the state to spend less on Medicaid which represents a third of the budget.
“I think you’ll see a lot of attempts around economic development, workforce development, we definitely want to grow Colorado’s economy, we have a huge housing issue in Colorado with a rising cost of living, so we want to make sure we’re addressing these issues as best we can,” said Rep. Jevon Melton, a Democrat representing Aurora.
“You know, it’s about priorities in government and yes, we certainly have to deal with our budget this year. There will be constraints but I think that’s going to produce good government, we’re going to have some good agreements, some good accomplishments we can work on together and we’ll be forced into a position where we have to prioritize those programs that really need to get done,” said Rep. Dan Nordberg, a Republican representing Colorado Springs.