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Posted inBusiness, Politics and Government

To balance budget, Colorado lawmakers add to PERA’s long-term debt and backtrack from landmark deal

Just two years after Colorado approved sweeping pension reforms aimed at wiping out what was then an unfunded $32 billion debt to public sector retirees, state budget writers — facing a financial catastrophe of their own — have temporarily undone a portion of the landmark rescue package. The Joint Budget Committee tentatively decided to eliminate […]

Posted inBusiness, COVID, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Colorado’s tourism marketing budget revived as lawmakers bet travelers will be crucial to coronavirus recovery

The Joint Budget Committee on Friday finalized a plan to give the Colorado Tourism Office $10 million, reversing an initial plan to defund tourism promotion as lawmakers slash more than $3 billion from the state’s COVID-19-ravaged budget.  The tourism industry rallied last week after committee staff recommended eliminating 87% of the state’s tourism budget. The […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Tread lightly when looking at cuts to Colorado’s economic-development programs

As part of the state’s efforts to find cash during the novel coronavirus pandemic, sweeping cuts have been proposed to the budget and staff of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). The office may not be familiar to many, but OEDIT houses programs that support some of our state’s most important economic […]

Posted inCOVID, Crime and Courts, Education, News, Politics and Government

Coronavirus is threatening school safety efforts prompted by STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting

Colorado lawmakers spent the months after the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting last year trying to find policy avenues to improve school safety.  But now, a year after the attack that left one student, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, dead and several more wounded, the slate of measures they drafted to try to keep students and teachers […]

Posted inBusiness, COVID, News, Politics and Government

Colorado could stop tourism marketing as budget writers look to slash $3 billion in spending

Budget-slashing in the governor’s economic development office is calling for a sweeping reduction of Colorado’s tourism and marketing budget.  The Joint Budget Committee is weighing an 87% cut to the $18.5 million Colorado Tourism Office budget as gambling revenue evaporates under COVID-19 closures. Nearly $15 million of the state’s tourism promotion fund comes from gambling […]

Posted inCOVID, Health, News, Politics and Government

With Colorado’s budget in tatters, advocates worry the public safety net will further fray

The safety net that protects Colorado’s most vulnerable residents was badly frayed by Gov. Jared Polis’ deep budget cuts last week and now advocates are seething about potential reductions in services for next year. Facing a massive budget shortfall resulting from steep declines in sales and income taxes because of the coronavirus, Polis and the […]

Posted inBusiness, COVID, Crime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

Colorado governor slashes state spending, outlaws evictions and keeps ski areas closed in series of late-night orders

In a late-night executive order, Gov. Jared Polis declared Colorado does not have the money “to carry on the functions of the state government” amid the coronavirus and immediately slashed $229 million in spending. The emergency move to reduce state services — included among a series of other executive orders limiting evictions, boosting the response […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Many Colorado teachers willing to walk out to protest school funding, union survey finds

Colorado’s largest teachers union says most of its members are prepared to participate in walk-outs if the state does not significantly increase education funding and teacher pay. In its first Colorado State of Education report, the Colorado Education Association laid out a number of legislative priorities for 2020 based on a member survey and a 13-stop […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Lawmakers are finally setting out to retool Colorado’s school funding formula. They’ll have to reach a consensus on these questions first.

A legislative committee is exploring how to revise a school funding formula many deem outdated, but lawmakers have more questions than answers and less than two months to decide how dollars will flow to schools. The Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance, which has spent close to three years contemplating changes to the formula, known […]