Next year's $27 billion state budget that starts its path through the legislature Monday features funding increases to schools by more than $100 per student, avoids threatened cuts to higher education, but delivers hits to hospitals and road construction.

House Majority Leader Chrisanta Duran, D-Denver, says it could have been worse.

"It’s been a difficult year, of course, because of some of the fiscal issues that we are faced with," she said. "We are very thankful that the budget was again able to be balanced."

The package's first stop is the House, where Duran predicts work will wrap up by Friday. Unless something unexpected happens, the Senate should hold its budget vote next week. From there, it will head to conference committee before finally reaching the governor’s desk.