Colo. House debates $8 billion spending plan

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

12:46 PM 04/11/2012

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado House lawmakers are beginning to tinker with an $8 billion spending plan to try to add funding to pet projects that will likely not pass before the budget is approved.

Lawmakers will be debating the state's general fund for next year on Wednesday. They're expected to debate nearly four dozen amendments, including taking funding from private prisons to fund childhood literacy programs and reducing funding for school tests to fund economic development programs.

Most of the amendments are from Democrats who are in the minority.
Other highlights of the budget include no cuts to schools, although their funding per student is still about $600 lower than it was in 2009. The plan also includes a $100 million property tax break for some seniors.

The Senate could debate the budget next week.

(COPYRIGHT 2012 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

BELOW WAS WRITTEN PREVIOUSLY ON 04/11/2012
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DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado House will debate an $8 billion spending plan that includes good news for schools, colleges and seniors.

Schools don't face cuts this budget, but their funding per student is still about $600 lower than it was in 2009.

Education makes up more than a third of the general fund budget. Colleges that have been repeatedly cut in recent years are faring better with a proposed cut of just under $6 million.

The spending plan also includes a $100 million property tax break for homeowners 65 and older who have lived in their houses for at least 10 years.

The tax break was expected to be a contentious part of the budget but better-than-expected tax revenues meant the state could easily afford it. The proposed budget will be debated Wednesday.

(COPYRIGHT 2012 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)


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