Governor proposes Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget request, sets goals to build opportunity, protect families and strengthen the middle class

DENVER — Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 — Governor John Hickenlooper delivered the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 State budget request to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the General Assembly. Relative to expected FY 2018-19 appropriations, the request reflects a total funds budget of $33.4 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion or 4.8 percent. In the General Fund, the request totals $13.2 billion, an increase of $0.6 billion or 4.7 percent, with more than 40 percent of the requested increases for strategic investments.  

This year’s request is a stark contrast to the one first proposed seven years ago when Colorado faced deep budget cuts following the Great Recession. Since that time, Colorado has worked hard to rebuild, and our economic recovery has surpassed the nation’s. This budget proposal harnesses strong economic times to make strategic investments in Coloradans and the state’s reserves to protect prosperity through the next downturn.

The Governor’s letter to the JBC highlights three priorities aimed at building opportunity, protecting families, and strengthening the middle class.

“These priorities transcend politics and ensure the state is focused on the same priorities that families throughout Colorado make year after year,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.

The budget request sets aside a sufficient amount of expected collections to grow the State’s General Fund budget reserve to 8.0 percent of spending from the current 7.25 percent target. For context, the reserve was a mere 2.3 percent when the Governor first took office.

The Governor noted that the request builds opportunity by making a significant contribution to education and infrastructure improvements; protects families from crime, health and environmental risks; and expands the middle class by addressing the affordability of child care and college. The three key priorities are addressed in the following ways:

Building Opportunity

  • Make a significant contribution to K-12 by reducing the Budget Stabilization Factor

  • Invest in K-12 State of Education leadership initiatives

  • Provide more money for teacher scholarships

  • Expand funding for agriculture industry promotion to increase international awareness

  • Continue investments in transportation

Protecting Families

  • Provide funding for fire fighting and regional radar systems

  • Give additional support to river projects making them more fish friendly and boat passable, while investing in drought protections for our important agricultural industry

  • Support the census outreach so every Coloradan is counted

  • Improve nutrition in rural and underserved communities

  • Enhance family planning programs

  • Provide for more state troopers as our roads fill with more drivers

Expanding the Middle Class

  • Increase funding so college tuition remains flat for one year

  • Provide tax credits for child care expenses

  • Provide tax credits to educate and train the workforce of tomorrow

Click here for the entire budget proposal and letter, and here to view a message from Gov. Hickenlooper.

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.