Governor Polis Budget Supplemental Builds Upon Budget Request to Provide Key Investments to Ensure Colorado is Affordable for the Next Generation, Gets to Root of Pressing Issues
DENVER, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis and the Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) submitted a package of requests for supplemental adjustments to the FY 2021-22 budget and amendments to the November 1, 2021 budget request for FY 2022-23 to the Joint Budget Committee.
The January 3rd package builds upon Governor Polis’s budget priorities, including saving people money by reducing fees and costs, record investment in our schools, making it free to start a business in Colorado, enhancing public safety, and improving air quality, while maintaining a balanced budget with strong reserves. Key takeaways include:
Expanding Fee Relief for Vehicle Owners – Building on the November 1 package of $104M in requested fee relief for businesses and individuals, the Governor proposes to use $63M General Fund to provide fee relief for vehicle owners. The request is to delay the road usage fee included in S.B. 21-260 Sustainability of the Transportation System, as well as to extend the temporary reduction of a vehicle registration fee (Road Safety Surcharge) included in S.B. 21-260 through December 2023 saving every Colorado vehicle owner $11.10 on their annual vehicle registration, putting money back in people’s pockets during the state’s economic recovery.
Securing Funds for Infrastructure Improvement – The bipartisan federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides a rare opportunity to advance Colorado’s competitiveness by improving our infrastructure for roads, broadband, water, and other areas. OSPB estimates that the state’s share of funding from the bill could double if the state is successful with grant applications, many of which require a state match. The Governor proposes that $100 million be appropriated for matching funds for this bill to attract more federal funds to Colorado.
Protecting Firefighter Safety – The Department of Public Safety’s Firefighter Safety and Disease Prevention Grant provides funding for equipment and training to increase firefighter safety and prevent occupation-related diseases. In response to new data about funding needs, the department requests an additional $5.0M General Fund in FY 2021-22 to address personal protective equipment (PPE), basic training, and other equipment needs of local fire departments. This item builds upon a state match item in the November 1 submission that would draw down federal funds for equipment and training needs.
This request builds upon the historic investments the Governor and legislature made in the previous budget related to wildfire prevention and mitigation.
Strengthening Colorado Nursing Facilities – Colorado must continue to support the critical services provided by nursing facilities. This proposal devotes $20.0M ($10.0M General Fund and $10.0M matching federal funds) in FY 2021-22 to support workforce and industry sustainability and provide temporary payments to facilities to accept more individuals ready for discharge from hospitals.