Capitol Conversation: Previewing the Budget Debate

March 28, 2016
91.5 KRCC

State lawmakers are set to debate the annual budget, which funds everything from roads and schools, to healthcare and parks. This year Colorado has a shortfall, so that means making budget cuts. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reporters about some of the major budget issues.

Highlights:

On Budget Cuts:

John Frank, Denver Post:

"Colorado budget writers started with a nearly two million dollar deficit they had to fill. And they've worked to close that gap through a number of budget tricks and cuts. For one, we're not going to need see TABOR refunds in fiscal year 16/17, which is a significant change. A number of accounting moves eliminated those refunds. The second part is transportation funding was cut about fifty million."

On the Hospital Provider Fee Debate

Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

"The Governor has said he continues to negotiate with [Republicans]… the politics, which you can't ever separate in this building, is about to get heated up a little bit here.

John Frank, Denver Post:

"The hospital provider fee debate, this big thing we've been following all session, both sides, Republicans and Democrats chewing at each other on it, has really started to fade. And the Governor admitted this when he talked to reporters recently, that the urgency was strong although he still wants to do it, but without a TABOR refund the hospital provider fee switch and moving it to an enterprise fund won't actually benefit the budget much at all."