As Colorado prepares to spend $1.9 billion on road projects, “battle lines are clearly drawn” as familiar debate roils at state Capitol
The implementation of Senate Bill 267 — the wide-ranging measure that boosted money to highways and rural schools while exempting a hospital fee from the state’s spending caps — has drawn mixed reviews in recent weeks from lawmakers
The fight over transportation dollars in the 2018 legislative session is starting on a familiar, intractable dynamic: Republicans pushing to squeeze more transportation dollars out of Colorado’s $11.5 billion general fund. And Democrats pushing back with the argument that more revenue is needed.
After a $3.5 billion transportation measure couldn’t clear the state Senate during this nonelection year for lawmakers, the odds are stacked against anything of that magnitude passing the legislature in 2018, when looming state elections are likely to make compromise that much more difficult.
The good news for traffic-weary Coloradans: Implementation is underway for the consolation prize of last session, Senate Bill 267, which authorized $1.9 billion in financing for transportation projects.
The bad news? Construction is still a year or more away, because that money is coming from 20-year mortgage-like certificates on state buildings and officials are still identifying the structures to use as collateral. Further, the funding falls well short of the need, which CDOT estimates at $9 billion over a decade.
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