Here’s what’s in Colorado’s $28.9 billion state budget proposal for 2019
The budget calls for state employee raises, a 9.2 percent jump in higher education funding and an $875 million infusion into roads, schools and PERA
The Colorado House of Representatives on Wednesday will begin debate on a $28.9 billion state budget bill that calls for major investments in transportation, education and the state’s beleaguered pension fund.
In contrast to years past, when lawmakers have been offered the painful choice of cutting one popular public service or another, the 2018-19 budget will have something for virtually every special interest under the Golden Dome.
That’s thanks to glowing quarterly revenue forecasts, which expect the state to have $11.4 billion to spend in its discretionary general fund — a 7.5 percent jump from the current fiscal year.
Despite the booming growth, lawmakers don’t expect to hit the revenue cap set by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, meaning no taxpayer refunds next year. Instead, the budget calls for state employee raises, a 9.2 percent jump in higher education funding and an $875 million infusion into the top three priorities of the legislative session — roads, the Public Employees’ Retirement Association’s unfunded debt and K-12 schools.
The new revenue will replenish the state’s reserves to $766 million next year, about $41 million more than the 6.5 percent of discretionary spending required by law. But budget writers rejected a governor’s office request to boost the state’s savings requirement to 7 percent.