These are all of the Budget bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.
None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.
Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).
Click on the House bill title to jump to its section:
HB18-1035: Increase General Fund Reserve KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
HB18-1098: Roll Over Year-End Balance Envtl Response Account PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE
Click on the Senate bill title to jump to its section:
HB18-1035: Increase General Fund Reserve
KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
Currently the general fund is required to keep a 6.5% reserve each year (calculated by amount spent on other things in budget). Bill increases reserve to 7% for upcoming year, 7.5% for next year, then 8% for every year thereafter.
Because Colorado is a balanced budget state, the state has to maintain a reserve fund that can be tapped into in economic downturns, when revenue does not match needed expenses. We saw this just recently with the great recession. Colorado was recently rated by Moody’s as one of 15 states that would be in the most trouble in the event of a future recession and the reserve fund has been raided in each of the past two years (by not funding at the required 6.5%). The 7% also matches Governor Hickenlooper’s proposed budget for this upcoming year.
Colorado weathered the great recession, the most catastrophic downturn since the Great Depression and thus an event we are unlikely to see repeated anytime soon. The state can certainly temporarily boost its reserves as needed here and there, but we have too many other things which need to take advantage of the current good economic times, schools (owed over $800 million by the state), roads and transit (underfunded by over a $1 billion each year), and the state retirement plans (severely underfunded).
HB18-1098: Roll Over Year-End Balance Envtl Response Account
Currently the state’s oil and gas commission account that mitigates adverse impacts of oil and gas activities must return its balance into the commission’s larger fund. This bill rolls over the mitigation impact account year-to-year.
PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE
It makes sense to keep money in this account rather than sending it back only to send more in the next year. We have mitigation efforts required all of the time, that money is going to get used.
This breaks the annual budgeting concept by leaving residues from previous years in the account.