Colorado Gov. Polis signs lean state budget

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a $30 billion budget Monday — later and far tighter than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget takes effect July 1 and dictates state spending through the end of next June.

It calls for about 3% less spending than the state has committed to in the current fiscal year. And it could’ve been much worse: Lawmakers tapped a slew of one-time funds to help close a more than $3 billion shortfall that set in over just a few weeks in the spring. They also passed House Bill 1420 to eliminate corporate tax breaks and free up about $180 million for next year.

Those one-time funds won’t be around for the next budget cycle, and state lawmakers are planning as though Colorado won’t receive federal stimulus money anywhere close to the $2 billion it got through the CARES Act. Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, who chairs the state’s Joint Budget Committee, has said she expects the budget process will be even more grueling next year.

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