Colorado Governor Polis Submits Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020-21

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis today submitted his budget proposal to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the General Assembly.

“Our bold budget builds upon our bipartisan achievements and the vision we have for our amazing state. It is critical that we continue to succeed and are prepared for the future. Investing in education, working to lower the cost of health care, making our transportation dollars stretch and ensuring everyone has access to opportunity is the focus of my administration,”  said Governor Polis.

The Governor’s letter to the JBC highlights priorities including:

Savings and increasing reserves:

  • After a thorough budget review, the Polis administration found $238 million in savings, $73 million of which are from the general fund.

  • This budget recommends a $31 million increase to the General Fund reserve, bringing it from 7.25% to 7.50%. This will return Colorado’s reserves to the national average.

  • The proposal includes a request to reduce the budget stabilization factor by an additional $40 million, down to 6.4% of Total Program funding, its lowest percentage in 10 years.

Investing in Education:

  • The administration continues investing in Colorado students with $27.6 million to expand the Colorado Preschool Program for children who might not otherwise be able to attend. This would eliminate the reported waitlist and provide funding for 50% of eligible children.

  • This budget includes funding to improve support for teacher evaluations, including through free evaluator trainings and investments in innovative approaches to support educators.

  • The budget recommends funding that would support struggling schools earlier with evidence-based interventions and investments to empower parents with more meaningful information about their children’s schools.

Protecting the Colorado Way of Life:

  • This budget proposal includes a 26% increase for the Stationary Sources Program to improve and enhance our air quality.

  • Proud to have announced Colorado’s newest state park this year. This budget dedicates $10 million in FY 2019-20 to expand access to our state parks system and accommodate record-setting attendance.

  • We are continuing our commitment to Colorado water by investing $10 million in infrastructure improvements to protect our state’s water future and our rural communities.

  • Expands rural economic development grants and extends rural jump start.

Lowering the Cost of Health Care:

  • By establishing Colorado’s reinsurance program, we have seen an average 20.2% decrease in premiums on the individual market. This budget continues the success of this program.

  • This budget also tackles the high costs of prescription drugs because Coloradans are tired of being ripped off. The budget funds the development of an innovative tool that physicians and other providers can use to make more cost-effective decisions about prescriptions.

  • This budget includes $87 million in new Medicaid coverage for substance use disorder treatment and a new $15M federal grant for combating the opioid crisis

Transportation:

  • Coloradans are tired of being stuck in traffic and want to see improvements in Colorado’s roads. That’s why this budget includes $550 million in funding for transportation in FY 2020-21.

Click here for the Governor’s letter and here for the entire proposal.

SOURCE: www.colorado.gov/governor

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian 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.