|State Budget Debate
With almost 12 hours of discussion, the senate considered over 80 amendments to the state budget and passed 23 of them. Here are some highlights:
- Fully funding the Colorado Civil Rights Division
- Investing $3 million into wildfire preparedness
- Committing $3 million from marijuana tax revenue into medical marijuana research grants to study potential benefits for Parkinson’s, autism, cancer, etc.
- Increased funding for higher education, which will reduce tuition increases on students
- Setting aside $495 million for transportation and infrastructure spending
- Paying down the “negative factor” to pay back some of the money we owe k-12 public education
- Ensuring healthcare coverage & child care services for our most vulnerable
- Setting aside more than $200 million to pay towards the employer’s increased share of our state’s pension system, PERA
- Investing $2 million towards mental health training for police officers
- Adding $5 million for affordable housing grants
I didn’t like everything that made it into the budget and some of my amendments didn’t pass, such as creating a fund to investigate attacks on our election integrity, but overall, I was a proud yes vote on this year’s state budget.