Weekly Policy Update: State Budget Forecast
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 09/24/2021
The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB), along with nonpartisan Legislative Council staff, presented similar budget forecasts during their quarterly presentations to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC). Overall, both forecasts showed a strong economic recovery from the pandemic for the state, with revenue expected to exceed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) refund cap. If the forecasts hold, the General Assembly would have $3.3 billion in additional spending to use next year, which would be a significant increase from this year’s current budget. Both entities will provide the JBC with one more quarterly forecast for the year in December.
- The OSPB forecast anticipates that General Fund revenue will be $14.24 billion for FY 2020-21 and $15.76 billion for FY 2021-22, these figures were adjusted since the last forecast was given in June.
- The Council staff forecast anticipates General Fund revenues to be $14.24 billion in FY 2020-21 and $15.11 billion in FY 2021-2022, these figures were adjusted since the last forecast was given in June.
- With both forecasts estimating revenues exceeding the TABOR refund cap, Council staff estimate the cap will be exceeded by the following amounts: FY20-21: $453.6 million, FY21-22: $1 billion, FY22-23: $1.2 billion.
These forecasted budget numbers are a positive sign for the state’s economic recovery and are equally important to CBSA’s policy priorities. In 2021, CBSA and our partners at the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), led the fight to preserve partial program funding for the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program. It was among many state programs to see its funding significantly reduced in 2020. Senate Bill 42, passed earlier this year, restored $10 million in lost funding for the program. These forecasts should hopefully signal that the program will not see further funding cuts next session.
Additionally, these forecasts are extremely helpful with ongoing conversations related to the reauthorization of the Advanced Industries Investment Tax Credit, which CBSA will be leading advocacy efforts on next session. The credit is currently capped at $750,000 annually. As outlined in a report by the Office of the State Auditor, an increase of the cap would lead to greater success and usage of the program. CBSA is proud to be working with bill sponsors, Rep. Shannon Bird and two members of the JBC, Senators Chris Hansen and Bob Rankin. They have all been strong supporters of our life sciences ecosystem and have a wealth of knowledge and experience with the state budget process.