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House GOP Newsletter  
April 14, 2015  Like

The Budget Process and Fiscal Year 2015-16 

♦Upcoming Bills   ♦Press Releases   ♦In the News  

♦Tweets of the Week   ♦Capitol Pictures

The Budget Process and Fiscal Year 2015-16

By Representative Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale)

Last week the House of Representatives debated and ultimately passed Senate Bill 234, the annual budget bill, also known as the Long Bill. As one of six members on the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), I wanted to use this newsletter to tell you about the Long Bill process and Colorado's fiscal year 2015-16 budget.

The budget process begins in November, well before the legislative session starts in and involves a great deal of research and preparation. During the interim, all of the state departments present their budget request to the JBC and provide substantive evidence to support their funding needs. Our JBC staff spends countless hours analyzing these departments' operations and budgets, and then provides specific recommendations based on their findings. As we approach the session, the governor and our fellow legislators make requests to prioritize our available resources for state programs and functions. In December, which is the mid-point of a fiscal year, we re-evaluate the departments' budgets and assess any supplemental needs. Budget supplementals bills are considered during the first half of the legislative session to address legitimate shortfalls. Then following the March budget forecast, one of four forecasts that are produced quarterly, the legislature balances the budget and submits the Long Bill for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1st.

So how did we come out? The fiscal year 2015-16 budget topped $26 billion dollars. Many urban regions of our state saw continued growth and the subsequent tax revenue increased our general fund by more than 6 percent. The General Fund, which could be considered our discretionary spending account, grew by $573 million, bringing the total to approximately $9.6 billion dollars. This increase allowed us to direct an additional $102.6 million dollars into transportation and $210 million into K-12 education

In addition to increasing funds to transportation and education, we will be refunding $70 million dollars back to Colorado taxpayers. TABOR, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, establishes a revenue threshold that triggers a refund back to taxpayers if tax revenue exceeds a set limit. In other words, TABOR requires the $70 million in overpayments, or excess taxes, be refunded back to the individual taxpayer. Taxpayers can expect to see these refunds applied to their 2015 tax returns.

The JBC members and staff worked very hard this year and put together a balanced budget that addresses a number of issues around the state. As a freshman on the JBC, I give tremendous credit to both JBC veteran Senators Kent Lambert (R- Colorado Springs) and Pat Steadman (D-Denver) who helped mentor four new members of the committee, myself, Senator Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) and Representatives Dave Young (D-Greeley) and Millie Hamner (R-Dillon) through this process.

Thank you for taking the time to read about our budget process and look at our newsletter, and I welcome any questions about the process and our fiscal year 2015-16 budget. You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting www.cohousegop.com .

Sincerely,

Bob Rankin

Upcoming Bills of Interest

House Bill 1273 -- Comprehensive School Discipline Reporting

Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence (R-Roxborough Park)

Wednesday, April 15th, House Education Committee, upon adjournment

House Bill  1341-- Increase Penalty for Exploitation of Child

Representative Kathleen Conti (R-Littleton)

Thursday, April 16th, House Judiciary Committee, 1:30 pm

House Bill 1125 -- CO State Academic Standards & Flexible Assessments

Representatives Paul Lundeen (R-Monument) and Terri Carver (R-Colorado Springs)

Monday, April 20th, House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee, 1:30 pm

Press Releases

In the News

 Tweets of the Week 

Today the Governor signed my workforce development bill. Thank you to Rep. Moreno for being the co-prime sponsor! pic.twitter.com/KdreEx3N0j

Getting ready for Weds, floor work on the 2015/16 budget. Yes, it will be balanced. #coleg

Capitol Pictures

   Representative Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Spings) attends the bill signing for his bill, Senate Bill 019, which expands the state's audit authority over Connect for Health Colorado.

Representative Jack Tate (R-Centennial) celebrates the signing of his bill, House Bill 1197, with members of the American Institute of Architects. 

Representative J.Paul Brown (R-Ignacio) addresses his concerns with Senate Bill 255 to the House Committee of the Whole.

You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting COHouseGOP.com.

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