Pinnacol exploring ways to help state budget

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Denver (AP) - Pinnacol Assurance is exploring ways to use its $2 billion in assets to voluntarily help the state balance its budget.
The move comes even as the state-created insurance company fights legislation that would hand over control of its funds to the state government.
Pinnacol CEO Ken Ross said today that there might be some “investment vehicle” the company uses that could help the state.
He declined to elaborate but said the company hopes to let lawmakers know of any possible alternatives by next week - their deadline for passing a budget for the next fiscal year.
Pinnacol's surplus has grown to nearly $700 million. And some lawmakers see taking $500 million of that as a way to reverse $300 million of the proposed cuts to higher education. That would prevent possible double-digit tuition increases and the closure of some state colleges.
Two bills that would allow lawmakers to do that passed their first hurdle at the state capitol today. Senate Republicans blasted the move as a step toward socialism, but backers say the state has no other options.

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