Lawmakers Juggle Funds for Judges, Roads

By  | 

Denver (AP) Lawmakers are considering a bill that would add 43 new judges for the state --20 less than originally planned.

Supporters of hiring more judges are scaling back their proposal because of the potential impact on highway funds.

A Senate committee has come up with the compromise.

The bill would authorize hiring 43 judges over three years. The plan would cost about $15 million a year.

Under the compromise, more of the money would come from increasing court filing fees. That means less money would be diverted from transportation under the state's complex budget laws.

The state budget can increase only six percent over the previous year. Anything above that amount must be spent on transportation projects.

But transportation funding will still take a hit because money from court fees will go into a separate account. That will leave less money in the main fund, reducing the amount that spills over the six percent limit and into transportation.