March 21, 2019

Denver, CO — The Joint Budget Committee completed negotiations on the budget recently and approved the “Long Bill” package for introduction. Democrats are focused on responsibly managing tax-payer dollars while taking care of the priorities of the entire state. Democratic members of the committee released the following statements:

“I am confident that this budget will enable us to address the needs of Coloradans across this great state in a fiscally responsible manner,” said JBC Chair Senator Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City. “We won Democratic majorities because we had a strong, clear vision for solutions to issues like rising healthcare costs and a lack of education and transportation funding. I am confident that this budget will enable us to make necessary investments to help hardworking Colorado families while also protecting our state’s long-term finances.”


“I’m proud of the bipartisan and responsible budget we are putting forward that addresses our state’s most pressing needs and reflects the values of all Coloradans,”said JBC Vice-Chair Representative Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Families and individuals in Southern Colorado will be better served by the responsible investments we are making in health care, transportation and other priorities by having more access to full-day kindergarten.” 


Several highlights of the budget package completed today are:

  • Increases K-12 education funding by $335.9 million, including an additional $77 million buy-down of the budget stabilization factor and a $185 million set-aside for a bill that would begin to implement full-day Kindergarten
  • Invests in higher education to keep tuition flat for students
  • Frees up preschool slots for Colorado’s youngest learners
  • Increases funding towards the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities waitlist so more people can access the services they need
  • Invests an additional $30 million General Fund in transportation, on top of $200 million already budgeted this year for transportation
  • Adds $10 million for implementation of the Colorado Water Plan
  • Adds $1 million for family planning services
  • Makes critical investments in mental health care services 

“We were able to balance many competing priorities because of the JBC’s commitment to writing this budget in a bipartisan and fiscally responsible way,” said Senator Zenzinger, D-Arvada. “These decisions were difficult, but I believe that we have drafted a budget that will address many of our state’s biggest needs and ultimately improve the lives of Coloradans in every corner of our state.”


“In the face of needless trade wars, a poorly targeted federal tax change and uncertainty from Washington, we are still able to put forward a budget that is responsible and works for all,” said Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver. “This an historic opportunity for all of us here in Colorado to put more kids on the path to receiving a strong education and I’m happy we have a found a way to invest in Colorado’s students and education that carefully manages tax payer dollars.”


The Joint Budget Committee staff will complete drafting on the Long Bill package that was approved today, and the package will be introduced in the Senate for consideration next week.

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