The House Passes a Budget
The legislature decides how we spend $7 billion from our General Fund. Over 42 percent, ($3.3 billion) of Colorado’s general fund is spent for K-12 education and 11 percent is committed to the state’s colleges. Most of the rest of Colorado’s revenue is spent for corrections and courts, health care, and human services. Colorado is unable to run a deficit and the budget is limited to what taxes can raise in a year.
I voted to pass the budget, but with reluctance and disappointment. My hesitation arose from the fact that it contained significant cuts to education, human service and increased fees on working families. I voted for this budget after working with my Democratic colleagues on over two dozen amendments designed to replace money for education, preventative health care for low income women and children, including for breast cancer and cervical screenings, for community health centers, court advocates for abused or neglected kids, for programs to educate and rehabilitate our prisoners, for family literacy and for need-based scholarships (see the video below). I fought for need based scholarships, for money to divert juveniles from jails, and for school counselors, among others.
House Democrats fought hard during the budget debate to reduce the cuts to K-12 education and the vital services so many Coloradans depend upon; and we will continue to work hard to find innovative solutions to reduce the burden on our kids, seniors, women, veterans, and low-income Coloradans. And after hours of debate and attempts to make the budget better, we worked with our colleagues across the aisle to pass an imperfect budget in tough economic times.