(June 19) – This morning, the members of the Joint Budget Committee heard the June quarterly budget forecasts which showed a strong economy in the state of Colorado, an increase in expected revenue, and high wage growth. While the state economy was projected to continue growing, the forecasts also showed uncertainty and potential negative impacts due to federal tax policy changes and the potential for tariffs and trade wars.
In response, members of the JBC released the following statements:
“I am encouraged by the strong budget forecasts presented this morning; however, we will need to address the challenges resulting from prolonged TABOR refunds which mean fewer opportunities to invest in healthcare, education, and transportation. I am hopeful that we will be able to continue to protect our state’s finances while delivering for hardworking Colorado families in the coming year,” said JBC Chair Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City.
“Originally, we were only expecting a TABOR refund for the current fiscal year, but due to tight labor market and rising wages, this new forecast shows a refund for the foreseeable future ,” said JBC Vice-Chair Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “We have a great opportunity to strengthen our state’s resources for hardworking individuals and families, especially in Southern Colorado. These increases can strengthen our state’s K-12 education, transportation and help lower the cost of healthcare, leaving a state for our kids to thrive in.”
“With more revenue predicted for the 2019-20 fiscal year, I believe that we will be able to build on the successes of this past legislative session and make much needed investments in our state’s education and transportation systems. As always, members of the JBC will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to balance competing priorities, make smart investments to address our state’s biggest financial needs, and prioritize fiscal responsibility,” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada.
“While this new forecast shows an increase in revenue, it also shows a slight economic slowdown on the horizon,” said Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver. “Uncertainty at the federal level from rising trade tensions with the Chinese and tariffs with Mexico is dragging down our economy, hurting our agricultural sector and creating uncertainty for businesses across the board. If this uncertainty continues at the federal level with this administration, we will see a slowing rate of growth and less ability to invest in the key needs of our state.”