Gas fee among ideas as Colorado lawmakers figure out how to pay for transportation
When it comes to the $9 billion project backlog that faces Colorado’s state highways, state legislators agree on one thing: There’s an urgent need to raise more money to chip away at it.
But concern about a slowing economy as well as competing priorities during the legislative session have resulted in little clarity for some big outstanding questions, even as legislators prepare to unveil the roughly $32 billion state budget next week.
Legislators from both parties say it’s likely they will set aside extra money for transportation from the excess revenue predicted Friday by two varying budget forecasts. It would be on top of about $200 million that’s already been promised in prior sessions for the coming budget year — but how much to add is still under debate. That’s especially so as new Gov. Jared Polis seeks $227 million to pay for the first year of his proposed universal full-day kindergarten initiative.
But transportation advocates don’t want the condition of the state’s roads to get lost in the discussion.
“Whether they are driving on crumbling sections of Highway 96 in Kiowa County, in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-25 near Fort Collins, or stuck on a gridlocked I-70 trying to get home from the mountains on a Sunday evening, Coloradans have had enough and expect action from this legislature,” said Sandra Hagen Solin, who represents a coalition called Fix Colorado Roads. It includes statewide business groups and chambers of commerce in several cities, predominantly along the Front Range.
Read the full story via The Denver Post.