JOINT RELEASE: JBC Dems Praise Budget’s Focus on Education, Families and COVID-19 Recovery

Denver, CO – Democratic members of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) today released the following statements in response to Governor Jared Polis’s FY2021-FY2022 budget request, which prioritizes funding to help hardworking Coloradans and small businesses persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic and protects essential services for those who need them the most.

“After our unprecedented action to responsibly balance the budget in the face of dire economic forecasts, we now have a window of opportunity to both restore some of the major cuts and also stimulate our economy to provide critical relief to hardworking Coloradans,” said JBC Chair Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “The governor’s proposal prioritizes supports for hardworking families, small businesses, and students to revitalize our state’s economy and build back stronger. As budget chair, I am still cautious, as we await the results of ballot initiatives and two additional economic forecasts before the budget is finalized, but the goal is right on, helping people. I am committed to working across the aisle to boost Southern Colorado’s recovery and help those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done to mitigate the economic impacts of the coronavirus in Colorado. We acted quickly and prudently to address the biggest challenges in the state budget and because of that work we are primed for a rapid recovery,” said JBC Vice-Chair Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City. “I look forward to continued collaboration with the governor in order to aid hardworking Coloradans and invest in our state’s most critical needs.”

“Our mountain and rural communities have been drastically hit by this pandemic and need Congress to act to support small businesses, boost our recovery and provide critical funding to our schools,” said JBC member Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “As state revenues begin to improve and Congress continues to negotiate, this budget proposal bridges the gap by restoring essential services, prioritizing students, enhancing wildfire prevention and investing in jobs and our outdoor economy. There are a lot of good proposals in the governor’s plan, and I look forward to working with him and my colleagues on the JBC to craft a balanced budget that helps Colorado recover faster and build back stronger.” 

“COVID has decimated our country, and thousands of Coloradans are still struggling. But thanks to our coming together as a state, we are seeing an even more promising recovery than expected,” said JBC member Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada. “There is still so much work to be done and so much restoration that needs to occur, but I am confident that alongside the governor, we will be able to create a budget that reinvigorates our most crucial community pillars and leads Colorado into a more hopeful future.” 

For FY 2020-2021, the General Assembly took unprecedented action to responsibly balance the state’s budget and protect essential services for hardworking Coloradans, including closing tax loopholes for special interests in order to fund K-12 education. Because of these steps, and as state revenues begin to recover, the governor’s budget request for FY 2021-2022 responsibly restores reductions to essential services and state support for K-12 and higher education. It offers ideas to stimulate Colorado’s economy, including additional assistance for housing, broadband, small businesses, and middle and lower income Coloradans.

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