The State Senate adopted the annual budget Thursday, approving $9.6 billion dollars for Colorado's general fund to pay for schools, parks, roads and prisons among other state programs. The budget gained unanimous support from Republicans who hold a one-seat majority in the chamber.
"I believe it has hit the proper balance," said Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel (R-Parker).
Passing a balanced budget is the only job lawmakers are technically required to do under the state constitution. It starts with a draft from the Governor, followed by months of meetings from the Joint Budget Committee to craft it. Following passage in the Senate, the budget moves on to the Colorado House.
More than $34 million in grants from the state will go to local communities for public improvement projects.
Forty communities across the state received grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
Hotchkiss got $1.1 million to upgrade the town’s sewer system. De Beque received $2 million to help build a new fire station. The state awarded Mesa County $1 million for road and structure improvements.
The Montrose Recreation District got $1.9 million to expand its community recreation center. And, Cedaredge received nearly $2 million.
Spring has officially started, but on the Western Slope of Colorado, people have been noticing signs of warm weather for a while. iSeeChange.org has seen a lot of postings about early arrivals in the natural world. Andrea Lecos, for example, noticed a spring time sound in the beginning of February.
Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:20 am
Under current state law Colorado provides 186 tax breaks — everything from vending machine food to dairy equipment, affordable housing, livestock feed, and fuel for light, heat, and power.
"I think it's worth us taking a look periodically to make sure we are being responsible to the tax payers with their tax money to say where is it being spent and are we getting a good return on the investment," said Representative KC Becker (D-Boulder).
With that in mind, Colorado lawmakers want to see whether the state is getting its money's worth from all those tax breaks designed to create jobs and boost the economy.
Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:57 pm
The Obama administration is pledging that the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels over the next 10 years. The new target was submitted today to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 6:48 pm
A badly abused Peruvian bear named Cholita is coming to a sanctuary in Colorado. Animal Defenders International announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expedited the request and she will be on her way next month.
A new report estimates national parks need $11.5 billion to address maintenance and repair projects. The National Park Service report finds Colorado parks alone could use more than $200 million dollars.
KVNF’s Laura Palmisano speaks to Sandra Snell-Dobert, a spokesperson for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area.