McLachlan Effort Pays Off for Western State, Fort Lewis

(Sept. 12) – In another sign of Colorado’s continuing economic rebound, state budget experts estimated today that the state government ended its 2013-14 fiscal year on June 30 with a budget surplus of $235.8 million, 15 percent of which is destined for capital construction projects at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison and Fort Lewis College in Durango.

By law, the surplus will be divided as follows:

· $135.3 million to the Capital Construction Fund
· $34.5 million to the State Education Fund
· $30 million to the Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund
· $25 million to remain in the General Fund
· $10 million to the Hazardous Substance Site Response Fund
· $1 million to the Economic Development Fund

The list of Capital Construction Fund projects includes $25.8 million to renovate Quigley Hall at Western State and $10.8 million for Berndt Hall at Fort Lewis College.

“The numbers tell us that we budgeted conservatively and that our economy continues to gain momentum,” said Rep. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango). “I’m especially pleased that we’ll be able to fund much-needed capital projects at Fort Lewis and Western State, to better serve our students while creating construction jobs in Durango and Gunnison.”

During the 2014 legislative session, Rep. McLachlan fought to place the Fort Lewis and Western State projects on the Capital Construction Fund priority list.

Disbursement of the surplus will begin on Monday.

The state Comptroller’s office is required to provide an estimate of the previous fiscal year’s budget surplus by Sept. 15 of each year. The $235.8 million estimate, delivered today by legislative staff after consultation with the Comptroller’s office, reflects increasing state revenues that are directly tied to a quickening pace of economic activity.

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