State budget focuses on health care, education, solar energy |

State budget focuses on health care, education, solar energy

Steven K. Paulson
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Gov. Bill Ritter submitted his first comprehensive spending plan on Thursday, focusing on health care, education and solar energy.

The proposal, which would take effect July 1, recommends a $7.5 billion general fund appropriation, a 6 percent increase from this year’s $7.1 billion.

“This budget is both frugal and pro-active in the services and programs it will fund,” said Ritter, who took office in January.

“It addresses high-priority needs in education, public safety, child services, health care, energy and natural resources. It also allows us to modernize operations, offer services to rural Colorado and enhance funding to Colorado’s military veterans,” he said.

The general fund does not include spending for the Legislature, the court system or the offices of the attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer.

Ritter submitted a separate $180 million capital construction request to two legislative panels: the Joint Budget Committee, which sets the state’s spending priorities, and the Capital Development Committee.

It includes funds to renovate the State Veterans Nursing Home in Florence, upgrade the state’s public safety radio system and repair the deteriorating Capitol dome structure.

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