Lawmakers begin debate on Colorado budget for next year


DENVER | Colorado lawmakers are beginning debate on the state’s $25 billion budget for next year.

The state’s spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1 reflects an improving economy. The budget has about $70 million set aside for surplus tax refunds required under Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. TABOR requires refunds when tax revenue exceeds the rate of inflation and population growth.

Schools, health care, and prisons take up the biggest chunks of the budget as they do every year.

The Senate takes up the budget first, debating it Wednesday and taking a final vote to pass it Thursday. Then next week it’s the House’s turn.