These are all of the Budget bills proposed in the 2020 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, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about 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.

Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in []. They are color-coded by party.

Some bills will have text highlighted in pink or highlighted in orange or highlighted in yellow. Pink highlights mean House amendments to the original bill; orange mean Senate amendments; yellow highlights mean conference committee amendments. The bill will say under the header if it has been amended.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Mega, Major, Medium, Minor, and Technical. 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!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.

House

Click on the House bill title to jump to its section:

MEGA

HB20-1360 2020-21 Long Bill PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE

MAJOR

MEDIUM

MINOR

TECHNICAL

Senate

Click on the Senate bill title to jump to its section:

MEGA

MAJOR

MEDIUM

MINOR

TECHNICAL

HB20-1360 2020-21 Long Bill (Moreno (D)) [Esgar (D)]

PASSED HOUSE COMMITTEE

Note: This also includes satellite bills HB1361-HB1401 and HB1406. Some of these budget package bills have their own Engage bill page as well, if they affect specific programs or make statutory changes.

Appropriation: n/a, this is the budget

Fiscal Impact: n/a, this is the budget

Goal:

Make up the $3.3 billion shortfall caused by coronavirus related recession and complete budget for 2020-2021 while preserving as much as possible through a combination of federal aid, removed tax loopholes, using reserves, lower wages/benefits, and redirecting money from various cash funds.

Description:

Enacts the 2020-21 budget. The $3.3 billion shortfall is covered through the following categories:

Money raised from taxes/fees: $264 million
Remove tax loopholes, etc. This to a large degree comes from HB1420

Money from federal government: $1 billion

Money saved from direct general fund cuts: $293 million ($111 million of this comes from 5% reduction in wages and benefits, $60 million from 1% provider rate cut)
K-12 Education: $77 million ($500 million in one-time federal funds offsets larger cut)
Higher Education: $43 million ($450 million in one-time federal funds offsets larger cut)
Corrections: $34 million ($7 million in one-time federal funds offsets larger cut)
Public Health and Environment: $21 million
Human Services: $20 million ($26 million in one-time federal funds offsets larger cut)
Public Safety: $18 million
Judicial: $18 million
Natural Resources: $10.2 million
All other departments except Health ($204 million increase) and Legislative ($2.8 million increase): $52 million

Money saved from non-direct funding cuts: $1.824 billion
Lower amount that goes into reserves: $880 million
Take money away from cash funds either by eliminating them or taking away unspent money they are usually allowed to keep or suspending payments that were supposed to be made to them: $352.2 million
Change PERA funding either by simply not doing it or shifting responsibility onto employees: $227.5 million
Raise fees on hospitals: $161 million
Take marijuana money collected now, rather than having to wait until next year: $137 million
Take tobacco funds: $40.8 million
Eliminate statutory programs: $5.2 million and 4 full-time employees
Delay implementation of programs: $2.7 million and 2.5 full-time employees
(a fuller list of the non-direct cuts is in Additional Information)

The full budget breakdown is:

  • K-12 Education: $5.6 billion, a 9.4% decrease from last year, including $4 billion in general fund money (10% decrease) and $620 million in federal funds. Does not include $500 million in federal aid from CARES act (2% overall decrease with CARES funds included). 612 full-time employees (state employees, not school district employees), 0.7% decrease. Includes full-day Kindergarten, and inflationary increases required by law. $13.5 million in cuts to multiple programs (full list in Additional Information). Unclear yet if this will double the negative factor (money owed to schools) due to cuts or if CARES act money will count
  • Health: $12 billion, a 11.2% increase from last year, including $3.2 billion in general fund money (6.4% increase) and $7 billion in federal funds (11% increase). 552 full-time employees, a 1.4% increase. Much of this is automatic spending but it does include the 1% provider rate cut. Includes health care reinsurance plan.
  • Higher Education: $4 billion, a 27.5% decrease from last year, including $610 million in general funds (45% decrease) and $26 million in federal funds (1800% decrease). Does not include $450 million in federal CARES act aid (17% overall decrease with aid). 26,733 full-time employees, a 1.6% increase. In addition to broad spending cut, also includes $12.7 million cuts to numerous programs (in Additional Information), but keeps $1 million for wildfire mitigation (run through CSU)
  • Human Services: $2.3 billion, a 1% decrease from last year, including $968 million in general funds (4.4% decrease) and $681 million in federal funds (8.2% increase, includes federal CARES money). 5,172 full-time employees, a 0.7% increase. $19.9 million in cuts to numerous programs (in Additional Information) as well as the 1% provider decrease
  • Transportation: $2 billion, a 6% decrease from last year, including $1 million in general fund money and $630 million in federal funds (1.3% increase). 3,326 full-time employees, a 0.1% decrease
  • Corrections: $960 million, a 3.9% decrease from last year, including $851 million in general fund money (4.6% decrease) and $9.7 million in federal funds (70.3% increase due to CARES act). 6,463 full-time employees, a 2.9% increase. Includes some savings from reduction of prison capacity as well as end of hepatitis C treatment cost (state has worked through its backlog), 1% provider rate cut, and cuts to offender services and transitional work programs
  • Treasury: $865 million, a 0.4% increase from last year, including $349 million in general fund money (2.9% increase) and no federal funds. 33 full-time employees (no change)
  • Judicial: $824 million, a 1.3% increase from last year, including $588 million in general fund money (3% decrease) and $4.4 million in federal funds. 4,946 full-time employees, 1.5 % increase. Includes $4.7 million in cuts to a few programs (see Additional Information)
  • Public Health and Environment: $582 million, a 5.9% decrease from last year, including $40 million in general fund money (34% decrease) and $301 million in federal funds. The decrease here is mostly the tobacco money being taken out to use elsewhere. 1,399 full-time employees, a 1% increase. $2.2 million in cuts to a few programs (see Additional Information)
  • Public Safety: $506 million, a 5.2% decrease from last year, including $153 million in general fund money (10.7% decrease) and $70 million in federal funds. 1,905 full-time employees, a 0.2% decrease
  • Revenue: $406 million, a 0.5% increase from last year, including $118 million in general fund money (5.3% decrease) and $1 million in federal funds. 1,574 full-time employees, a 0.6% increase
  • Local Affairs: $337 million, a 3.6% decrease from last year, including $39.8 million in general fund money (18.4% decrease) and $82 million in federal funds. 200 full-time employees, a 5.6% increase
  • Natural Resources: $309 million, a 8.7% decrease from last year, including $33 million in general fund money (23.7% decrease) and $27 million in federal funds. 1,512 full-time employees, a 1.1% increase
  • Other departments faced the following general funds changes: Agriculture: 4.9% cut (removal of various unspent cash funds, decrease in support for 4H and FFA programs); Governor’s Office: 15.7% cut (includes cuts to tourism office and TV/film office); Labor and Employment: 0.7% cut and lost full-time employees; Law: 1.4% cut and lost full-time employees; Legislative: 4.6% increase; Military and Veterans Affairs: 0.7% increase; Personnel: 13.2% cut and lost full-time employees; Regulatory Agencies: 0.7% increase; State: 22.1% cut

Additional Information:

Complete list of non-direct cuts (done through other pieces of legislation
Lower amount that goes into reserves: $880 million
Reduce the general fund reserve from 7.25% to 3.07% for FY 2019-20 and 3.84% for FY2020-21 and 2021-2022 ($880 million)

Take money away from cash funds either by eliminating them or taking away unspent money they are usually allowed to keep or suspending payments that were supposed to be made to them: $352.2 million

  • Take $117.8 million away from various cash funds ($45.5 from severance tax perpetual base fund, $43 million from unclaimed property, $10 million from multimodal transportation fund, $8.3 million from indirect costs excess recovery fund, $7.9 million from Fort Logan land sale account, $1.9 million from state supplemental security income stabilization fund, $1 million from veterans assistance grant program cash fund, minimal from Moffat Tunnel cash fund, and negligible from employment verification fund)
  • Suspends payments from limited gaming revenue to the Colorado Travel and Tourism Promotion Fund, the Advanced Industries Acceleration Cash Fund, the Local Government Limited Gaming Impact Fund, the Innovative Higher Education Research Fund, the Creative Industries Cash Fund, and the Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media Operational Account Cash Fund ($54 million)
  • End the state employment reserve fund (which has not been utilized for its desired purpose of merit pay increases since creation) and the technology advancement and emergency fund (generally funded by extra money in the state IT budget) and take all money currently in those funds for the general fund ($50 million)
  • Delay by another year the ballot initiative seeking voter approval for bonding notes for transportation which would replace lease-purchase agreements as revenue sources and delays transfers due to state highway fund for next two years ($50 million kept in general fund)
  • Take higher than expected revenue from lease-purchase agreements away from highway fund and put into capital construction fund for maintenance projects ($49 million)
  • Repeals automatic transfers of excess budget funds for Older Coloradans cash fund and Veterans Assistance grant program ($13 million)
  • Suspends payments to support expense of asset depreciation to the Capital Construction Fund and the Controlled Maintenance Fund ($7.6 million)
  • Removes ability of Disability Benefits Application Assistance Program, Full Child Support Pass Through Program, Child Care Services and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Pilot Program, and High-Risk Families Cash Fund to keep unspent funds ($4.3 million)
  • Change in how limited gaming and extended limited gaming revenue is distributed by reducing extending limited gaming distributions until gaming revenue reaches 2018-19 levels resulting in $3.2 million more general fund money, and $1.8 million more for the historical fund (limited gaming diversions) and $4.7 million less for community colleges ($3.2 million)
  • Divert $2 million from older Coloradans cash fund ($2 million)
  • Remove ability of department of justice to keep money they have not spent in their law enforcement assistance grant program ($1.3 million)
  • Eliminate requirement that state assist and staff the stroke advisory board and the coroners standards and training board. State can retain an independent agency to manage the boards (negligible)
  • Suspends transfers of any unspent child welfare funds to the Child Welfare Prevention and Intervention Fund (unknown)

Change PERA funding either by simply not doing it or shifting responsibility onto employees: $227.5 million

  • Do not fund PERA liabilities as required by law this year ($225 million)
  • Change PERA contribution rate for next two years only by reducing employer contribution by 5% and increasing employee contribution by 5% (except for Denver judges) ($2.7 million)

Raise fees on hospitals: $161 million
Raise the Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability fee on hospitals to maximum 6% allowed ($161 million)

Take marijuana money collected now, rather than having to wait until next year: $137 million
Allow the state to take marijuana money immediately, rather than waiting for the next fiscal year ($137 million)

Take tobacco funds: $58.8 million

  • Take $40 million away from tobacco master settlement fund ($40 million)
  • Allow tobacco funds to be used for Medicaid spending by declaring state fiscal emergency ($18.8 million)

Eliminate statutory programs: $5.2 million and 4 full-time employees

  • Eliminates the Skilled Worker Outreach, Recruitment, and Key Training Act, set to expire in 2021 ($3.3 million and 2 full-time employees)
  • End Department of Youth Services Pilot programs to provide care in a more home-like and less prison-like environment ($890,000)
  • EliminateLower the funding for the public awareness campaign for safe use of opioids and overdose drugs ($750,000 annually from $750,000 to $500,000)
  • Eliminates the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities and the Disabled Parking Education program (program was not funded at all last year) ($239,000 and 1 full-time employee)
  • Repeal the waste grease program for oversight of waste grease disposal (lose nearly 1 full time employee equivalent)

Delay implementation of programs: $2.7 million and 2.5 full-time employees

  • Delay funding a grant program for community substance abuse and mental health services ($1.8 million)
  • Removes requirement to implement behavioral health capacity tracking system and care navigation system and instead makes it subject to available appropriations, and of course does not give it any ($546,000 and 2.5 full-time employees)
  • Remove requirement that children and youth at risk of out-of-home placement or already in out-of-home placement receive high-fidelity wraparound and that the state provide training for primary care providers on standardized screening tools. Both now are subject to available appropriations and of course are not given any ($300,000)

Minimal

Delay implementation of electronic preservation of abandoned estate documents bill passed last year (minimal)
Reduce prosecution training for state DAs (minimal)

Delay transfers from unclaimed property fund earmarked for affordable housing

Education Program Cuts:

  • $3 million for Behavioral Health Care Professionals Matching Grant Program (20% cut)
  • $3 million for Quality Teacher Recruitment Program (100% cut)
  • $1.4 million for stipends for National Board Certified educators (100% cut)
  • $1 million for School Bullying Prevention fund (50% cut)
  • $800,000 to delay implementation of 9th grade success program
  • $800,000 for Workforce Diploma Pilot Program (79% cut)
  • $500,000 for English Language Learners Excellence Awards Program (100% cut)
  • $500,000 for Computer Science Education Grants (48% cut)
  • $500,000 for Career Development Success Program (10% cut)
  • $500,000 for State Grants to Publicly Supported Libraries Program (17% cut)
  • $500,000 to delay implementation of the Local Accountability Systems Grant program
  • $375,000 for School Leadership Pilot program (50% cut)
  • $280,000 for Accelerated College Opportunity Exam Fee Grants (50% cut)
  • $250,000 to delay implementation of Automatic Enrollment in Advanced Courses Grant program)

Higher Education Program Cuts

  • $5 million from merit based grants (100% cut)
  • $4 million from cybercoding cryptology program (40% cut)
  • $1 million from Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (14% cut)
  • $1 million from Colorado First Customized Job Training (22% cut)
  • $800,000 from Institute for Cannabis Research (44% cut)
  • $500,000 from Rural Teaching Fellowship program (41% cut)
  • $350,000 from Prosecution Fellowship program (100% cut)

Human Services Program Cuts

  • $5 million from Building Substance Use Disorder Treatment Capacity in Underserved Communities Grant program (100% cut)
  • $3.1 million from the Circle Program
  • $2.8 million from substance use treatment and detoxification services
  • $1.9 million from the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program
  • $1.2 million from substance use treatment in criminal justice system
  • $1 million from the Community Transition Services program
  • $1 million from the Assertive Community Treatment program
  • $1 million from community mental health treatment for juvenile and adult offenders
  • $750,000 from the Short-Term Intensive Residential Remediation and Treatment Program
  • $637,000 from the High Risk Pregnant Women program
  • $600,000 from the Crisis Services public information campaign (100% cut)
  • $545,000 from the Crisis Services secure transportation pilot program (100% cut)
  • $380,000 from the Persistent Drunk Driver cash fund

Judicial Department Cuts

  • $2.5 million from the Underfunded Courthouse Facilities Grant program
  • $1 million from the Mental Health Criminal Justice Diversion Grant program
  • $500,000 from the Family Violence Justice grant program
  • $400,000 from the Adult Pre-Trial Diversion grant program
  • $300,000 from the Eviction Legal Defense Fund

Public Health and Environment Cuts

  • $715,000 from the Family Planning Program
  • $510,000 from the Primary Care Office
  • $490,000 from the Comprehensive Sexual Education program
  • $300,000 from the CARE network
  • $175,000 from the Community Crime Victims Grant program


Arguments For:

This is our sad current reality. When you have to cut a whopping 25% of the current budget and don’t yet have federal dollars to shore up the entire difference (that may change in the next Coronavirus relief bill and if it does, the state can of course revisit these cuts), really tough decisions have to be made. This bill makes a few right off the top: we can delay numerous new programs passed last year and this year which have not yet been implemented, we can delay large payments into the state worker’s retirement fund, we can delay the next level gaming payouts, and we can delay our ongoing effort to find transportation funding. On the other hand we can accelerate some marijuana cash, raise the hospital fee designed to help support the state’s Medicaid and indigent care programs, and get rid of some tax loopholes. In other words a balanced approach to make the best out of a terrible situation and keep as many people working as possible to try to avoid making the economic situation worse. If you are recoiling at any of these cuts, the best thing you can do is put pressure on your federal lawmakers to send more aid to the states. Because the state government would happily revisit these cuts if we are given more federal money. On the elimination of the opioid public awareness campaign, it was duplicative of efforts being made already by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.

Arguments Against:

We have to make big cuts and be creative, there is no doubt about that. But there is some penny wise and pound foolishness panic going on here. We save $750,000 a year by not funding a public awareness campaign concerning safe use of opioids and other drugs. OK this is a crisis and perhaps that $750,000 can be better spent in our schools, even though we know that long-term opioids cost us so much more than $750,000 a year. But why completely destroy the program? Just leave it unfunded. The same thing is happening to the skilled outreach training grant program. This program has awarded $13.6 million in grants since its inception in 2015. Sure, don’t fund it for now. But let’s leave it alone in statute until we are past this emergency. Along the same lines, we can save quite a bit of money by better tracking of behavioral health services availability and better navigation of the system. Preventative care can reap enormous cost savings down the road. So removing work for 2.5 full-time employees (which has further ripple effects in our economy) and a mere $546,000 could hurt a lot more than helping by chopping away that funds from somewhere else. We should not be operating in a Last In, First Out, mindset (we are acting to delay implementation of bills passed in last session rather than hacking away at an older bill). Let’s try to cut as smart as we can instead, if a new bill has multiplier savings effects, then it shouldn’t be shunted aside because it is newer. And then there is the impact on people’s paychecks. On the smaller end we are saving $2.7 million by in essence taking it from employees in the judicial division (but not Denver judges). This acts to suck $2.7 million out of the economy by pulling it out of people’s wallets by reducing their paycheck by 5%. Think about your own household, how would a 5% pay cut play out? On the larger end, the $111 million we are taking out of people’s wallets is going to hurt the economy. That’s a big number of course and not easily replaceable by something else. But we need to do better by our state employees so they can continue to spend and help prevent our economy from collapsing completely.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB1360