Supplemental package includes funding to support Boulder County, help fire departments purchase new safety equipment, open Sweetwater Lake State Park and get the new Department of Early Childhood up and running
DENVER, CO – The House today advanced the FY21-22 supplemental budget package. The package of bills will boost funding for public schools, reduce the amount the state owes to school districts, provide grant funding to help fire departments purchase safety equipment, and kickstart efforts to get the new Department of Early Childhood off the ground and running.
“The budget package will significantly increase funding for public education to prepare our students for success and ensure they have the resources they need in their classrooms to thrive,” said JBC Chair Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “The package makes a critical investment to get the new Department of Early Childhood up and running and save Coloradans money on child care. I’m proud that we’re making additional resources available to our fire departments and especially excited that we’re doing everything we can to open our newest state park, Sweetwater Lake, as soon as we can.”
“We’ve made tremendous progress to make school funding more equitable and direct additional resources into public education, and I’m excited to continue that work by further reducing the Budget Stabilization Factor and providing new funding for at-risk students,” said JBC Member Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “This package makes responsible investments in public education, public safety, and critical health and pay equity evaluations to support Colorado’s workforce and boost communities all across our state.”
School Finance: HB22-1186 will buy down the Budget Stabilization Factor by $68 million and provide an additional $91 million to districts to better serve at-risk students. By holding total program funding steady amidst an increase in property tax revenues and an enrollment decline, the legislature will reduce the Budget Stabilization Factor. As the legislature moves to improve how at-risk students are counted, the bill would significantly increase funding to districts with higher numbers of at-risk students.
Department of Early Childhood: Years of hard work to save Coloradans money on child care is paying off. Starting next year, Coloradans are going to save money on child care. In 2020, the legislature put Proposition EE on the ballot, which voters overwhelmingly passed. Then in 2021, Democratic lawmakers created the Department of Early Childhood to implement universal Pre-K. Now, HB22-1197 will get the Department of Early Childhood up and running so it can launch universal Pre-K on the timeline voters expect.
Firefighter Safety: As part of House Democrats’ commitment to build healthier and safer communities, HB22-1194 will direct additional resources to help our firefighters access the best equipment available. The bill makes $5 million available this year to provide grants to help local fire departments purchase safety and disease prevention gear.
Marshall Fire Property Tax Reimbursement: As one of the many ways that the state is responding to the Marshall fire, HB22-1183 will transfer $3.7 million to the impacted counties to ensure they don’t face additional revenue shortfalls as a result of the devastation.
Sweetwater State Park: Over the last few years, we have invested in exciting additions to our state park system and significant new resources to improve our parks. Soon we’ll be adding another beautiful classic Colorado open space for all Coloradans to enjoy. HB22-1177 will help open Sweetwater Lake State Park, the newest park in our system, even sooner.