Colorado lawmakers pass $80 million supplemental budget package

Colorado lawmakers on Thursday passed an $80 million supplemental budget package, sending the legislation to Gov. Jared Polis’s desk for final approval.

The legislative items include funding for K-12 education, local firefighters, investments in health care for Native American communities, and relief funds for Boulder county communities impacted by the Marshall fire.

“Budgets reflect priorities, and this budget package will move Colorado forward and deliver real, transformational change to address the challenges folks are seeing in their everyday lives,” Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, said in a statement.

“This package will boost support for Colorado’s public schools, ensure first responders and health care providers have the resources they need, mitigate impacts from the Marshall Fire, and help more Colorado families thrive,” he added.

The largest investment lawmakers passed came from House Bill 22-186, which Moreno sponsored alongside Sen. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Reps. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, and Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon.

It appropriates more than $68 million to buydown the state’s budget stabilization factor, a tool used to determine funding for state school districts. The bill also makes more than $91 million available for schools to spend on programs that serve at-risk students.

“Colorado’s schools and students have faced numerous challenges in recent years, and we have worked hard to address funding levels and support our schools,” Hansen said.

The same four Democratic lawmakers also sponsored another bill in the package, House Bill 22-1190, which appropriates more than $118,000 to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to expand health care options for Native American communities.

Other bills that were passed on Thursday include House Bill 22-1183, which will provide $3.7 million in relief funding for communities hit by the Marshall fire. Lawmakers also passed House Bill 22-1194 to give firefighters an additional $5 million to purchase new equipment and protective gear.

Polis has requested a $40 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, along with a supplemental budget package totaling nearly $500 million.

This article was originally posted on Colorado lawmakers pass $80 million supplemental budget package