Hickenlooper signs next year's budget for Colo.

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DENVER (AP) -- Gov. John Hickenlooper signed next year's budget for Colorado and it includes more funding for public schools, pay raises for state workers, and money to expand mental health services.

The Democratic governor signed the budget Monday.

Improving tax receipts allowed state lawmakers to fund areas of the budget they had cut during the recession. Per-pupil spending at public schools will increase by $172 next year. It's currently about $6,500 per student. Colleges are also getting about $31 million more in funding next year.

State employees will also get a pay increase of 2 percent -- the first in four years. And lawmakers are using $2.8 million to pay victims of last year's Lower North Fork Fire.

The budget is $20.5 billion, including federal funds and money from the state's general fund.



 
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