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House GOP Newsletter

Monday, April 10, 2017

♦2017/2018 Budget Bill Summary
    ♦Recent Press   ♦Upcoming Legislation
♦In the News   
♦Member Tweets   ♦Capitol Pictures

2017/18 House Long Bill (Budget) Summary

The Long Bill passed the House with only one Republican vote - the customary vote from the Republican Joint Budget Committee member. Below is a summary of the highlights and lowlights from the final House version.

  • The total budget for fiscal year 2017/2018 is $28.3 billion - an increase of $1.1 billion or 4.2% over last year.

Lowlights

  • $79 million is prioritized for transportation - less than 1% of the General Fund and only about 7% of what the Colorado Dept. of Transportation has said is necessary per year to keep up with Colorado's growing population.

  • House Democrats added $3 million in movie incentives, yet offered no amendments to prioritize transportation funding.

  • House Democrats Added $16.3 million from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to support Governor Hickenlooper's plan to build more homeless shelters.

  • House Democrats added a non-binding footnote barring the state from suing local municipalities that ban fracking.

  • $264 million was cut from hospitals across Colorado.

Highlights

  • House Republicans demonstrated their fiscal conservatism by offering dozens of amendments that would have limited unnecessary spending, eliminated wasteful programs and prioritized transportation.

  • House Republicans offered more than a dozen transportation amendments, proving that more tax revenue is not necessary to fund Colorado's transportation needs:
    • 11 would have resulted in nearly $600 million for transportation - roughly the same amount being proposed by Democrats in a new tax increase. 

  • Representative Jon Becker (R-Fort Morgan) successfully passed amendments that could provide about $16 million for rural hospitals, and takes $9.5 million from a telecommunications service charge fund and puts it into broadband services for rural communities.   

  • Representative Phil Covarrubias (R-Brighton) successfully passed an amendment that transfers $3.8 million from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to improve career and technical education. 

  • Republicans proposed an amendment that would have increased education funding by $314 million using existing revenue. That amendment was defeated but the budget does include an increase in per pupil funding of $185 this year.   
In The News

  • Nineteen times Colorado House Republicans strode to the well of the chamber to try to increase transportation funding in the state budget during a marathon House debate Thursday, April 6th. Nineteen times Democrats rebuffed them, saying the money they sought to cut from other departments couldn't be pared. And now, as the House prepares to give final approval as soon as Monday to the $26.8 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, it has left the Legislature with a stark decision: Pass the tax-hike-seeking House Bill 1242, wrap their arms around the complex Senate Bill 267 that generates less money for roads, or end the session without any progress on the crucial hero. ("19 transportation-funding amendments crash during Colorado budget talks," Denver Business Journal, 04/07/17)

  • Colorado will receive $124 million in federal aid for emergency repairs to roads and bridges damaged by storms or catastrophic events, making it the top recipient in the nation of such funds released on Thursday. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the release of $768.2 million emergency repair funds in 40 states. ("Colorado to receive $124 million in federal aid for emergency road repairs," Denver Post, 04/06/17)

  • Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday, April 4, signed legislation that aims at protecting free speech on college campuses. Senate Bill 62 addresses "free speech zones" on campuses, where people are confined to an area of campus to express political and other views. The bipartisan bill's sponsors, Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, and Reps. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, and Stephen Humphrey, R-Eaton, had a little fun ahead of the bill signing, confining themselves to a mock free speech zone behind a red rope attached to a gold post. ("Student free speech protection legislation signed into law," Colorado Politics, 04/04/17)

  • Surrounded by family and his soon-to-be Supreme Court colleagues, Neil Gorsuch took the first of two oaths on Monday as he prepared to take his seat on the court and restore its conservative majority. The 49-year-old appeals court judge from Colorado is being sworn in after a bruising fight that saw Republicans change the rules for approving high court picks — over the fierce objection of Democrats. ("Colorado's Neil Gorsuch takes first of 2 oaths, becomes newest justice on Supreme Court," Associated Press, 04/10/17)

GOP Member Tweets



Pueblo has a win! Co State Fair will be left alone! And the LONG bill goes on. @ChieftainNews @COHouseGOP #copolitics #coleg @colostatefair


Thanks for joining us on @RushToReason Asst Minority Leader @colewist to explain that we CAN fix our roads without raising taxes. #coleg

Cole Wist @colewist

No more empire building. Shrink the size of state government. #coleg #copolitics


Philip Covarrubias @PhilipACovarru2

Congratulations on @JudgeNGorsuch on being confirmed by the US Senate to serve as a Supreme Court justice. You've made Colorado proud!

Capitol Pictures

Representative Kimmi Lewis (R-Las Animas County) speaks from the well about Coloradans still caught in conservation easement disputes with the state.
Assistant Republican Leader Cole Wist (R-Centennial) poses with children from Indian Ridge Elementary School in honor of Children's Health Day.
Representative Susan Beckman (R-Littleton) speaking at the Colorado Federation for College Republicans convention.
 
 
 
 

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