Colorado lawmakers reach deal to spend $300 million on transportation. Now what?
Democrats and Republicans in the Colorado legislature have reached an agreement to allocate $300 million for transportation in this year’s budget package, but it’s unclear what will be cut in order to make that spending possible.
“We’re going to dig through the couch cushions,” said Rep. Daneya Esgar, a Pueblo Democrat and state budget writer who sits on the legislature’s powerful Joint Budget Committee.
The deal was reached as the House was debating the state’s $30.5 billion budget on Thursday and after the Senate agreed to spend an extra $106 million on transportation on top of the initial $230 million that was set aside.
The agreement — which has support from both parties in both chambers — drops that extra appropriation to $70 million, but still represents a major win for Republicans who have been battling to find more money for the state’s roads and bridges.
Democrats in the House say education funding will not be tapped to pay for the extra transportation funds.
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