Denver (AP) -- State Senators plan to introduce a plan Thursday to set aside more than $1 billion in energy revenue for higher education and construction projects in areas affected by oil and gas drilling in the next decade.
The bipartisan plan involves spending the state's share of federal mineral lease and bonus payments.
Democrats released details of the plan Thursday as Republicans in the Senate tried to make cuts in the budget to set up a rainy day fund. Republican Senator Josh Penry backs the energy money proposal but criticized Democrats for not cutting anything in next year's $17.6 billion budget to prepare for a possible recession.
Governor Ritter backs the federal mineral lease proposal but opposed the Republican cuts. Ritter's spokesman says the cuts would have cut into funding for things like public safety, health care and renewable energy.
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