Governor Presents Budget Proposal to State Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee

Earlier this month, Governor Polis released his $35 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2021-22. The request included three key elements to boost Colorado’s economy and support critical investments:

  • Restoring major reductions made to key areas in FY 2020-21
  • Investing in stimulus programs to accelerate Colorado’s economic recovery
  • Increasing reserve funds to 10%  

CBSA was encouraged to see the Governor prioritize investment in the state’s workforce and funding to incentivize business growth, including his request for a one-time infusion of $10 million for the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program. Learn more.

On Thursday, the Governor had the chance to present that proposal to the General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC) and advocate for his spending priorities.  He told the state legislators that his $1.3 billion economic stimulus package would create up to 15,000 jobs and boost the state’s economy by 11% over current projections.

He also asked the JBC to approve spending $205 million of that stimulus package in the next few weeks. This would pay for a temporary sales tax cut of up to $10,000 for restaurants and other business; an additional $50 million in rental and mortgage payment assistance; and $50 million in payments to early childhood centers.

While the idea of an economic stimulus package resonates with both Democrats and Republicans, it is unclear whether Colorado has the funds to do it and whether the JBC will get on board.

Since the Governor’s budget request was released before the election, it also did not account for the impact of 2020 ballot measures. There were several measures that passed this year with a significant budgetary impact including Amendment B, which repeals the Gallagher Amendment; Proposition EE, which increases taxes on nicotine products; and Proposition 116, which reduces the state income tax.

During the Joint Budget Committee meeting this week, the director of the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB), Lauren Larson, said that when all the ballot measures are taken into account, the impact to the state budget is actually $105 million in the black for 2021-22.

Director Larson explained that Amendment B led to most of that adjustment. Repealing the Gallagher Amendment eliminated a $300 million placeholder that would have been needed to cover the property tax losses anticipated next year (as a result of Gallagher).

The budget process officially began on Wednesday with the JBC’s organizational meeting and hearing with JBC staff. 

CBSA will continue to monitor the budget process and share updates with our community. The next state revenue forecast will be presented to the JBC on December 18.

Categories: CBSA News