This Week in Policy: State Budget Finalized

On Wednesday, the joint budget committee resolved gaps between the House and Senate-approved state budget proposals and finalized the nearly $26 billion state budget for the fiscal year that will start on July 1.

The Chamber has been following the budget talks closely, and $150 million in funding for transportation will be included in the coming fiscal year. However, in the future that funding is not guaranteed because of provisions in TABOR and statute that can cut transportation funding in half or eliminate it entirely, depending on revenue growth. That’s why we continue to urge legislators to act on the hospital provider fee and reauthorize it as an enterprise fund to correctly account for our true state revenues. To learn more or get involved, click here.

Chamber Joins Call for Equitable Financial Footing for Public Charter Students

The Chamber joined education and business-focused organizations to call for legislation to require school districts to share mill levy override dollars equally with public charter students in their district. This inequity has led to public charter school students receiving only 80 percent of the per-pupil funding that traditional students receive. Click here to read coverage from the event in The Denver Post and Chalkbeat Colorado.

Throughout this legislative session, the Chamber has continued to defend education reforms that support high standards for educators, administrators and students. In February, the Chamber announced its opposition to House Bill 1099, which would repeal the requirement that when a teacher moves to a new school that both the teacher and school administrators must agree on that new placement.

This was a key provision of 2010’s Senate Bill 191. We believe it protects the principal from not being forced to hire a teacher who is not the best fit for students and projects the teacher from being forcibly placed into a school where he or she may not be successful. Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Mizraim Cordero will testify in opposition to the bill next week.

The Chamber is taking positions on bills weekly during the legislative session. Click here to see all the bills the Chamber has taken positions on this session.