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Colorado: Governor requests spending increases for education, wildfire mitigation and fracking studies

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

State ranks near the bottom for per-pupil funding

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As Colorado’s budget picture continues to brighten, Gov. John Hickenlooper this week requested budget amendments that would boost spending on education and allocate funds to study environmental impacts of energy development and for forest health work.

The 2013-2014 budget will be the first in several years that includes more spending on education and without any big cuts. Overall, the state’s general fund is expected grow by about $.5 billion, from 7.6 billion to $8.1 billion.

State budget officials said Hickenlooper’s request fulfills his intent to spend increased revenue on education, public health, safety and infrastructure. Specifically, spending on k-12 education would increase by $12.8 million, boosting per-student funding to $6,607 dollars, up $228 from last year.

Only a handful of states spend less per pupil than Colorado, including Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, North Carolina. See the rankings here. Top-ranked states like New York, Vermont and Connecticut spend about twice as much per student. Continue reading

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Colorado: Economic recovery brightens budget picture

Hickenlooper continues push to streamline state government

Increased revenues will bolster funding for education and social services.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — State lawmakers got a first look at Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposed FY 2013-14 budget last week, including increased funding for K-12 education, as well as restoration of funding to other critical programs that saw cuts in recent year.

The FY 2013-14 proposed budget is $21.9 billion, of which $8.1 billion is from the General Fund. Relative to the FY 2012-13 appropriation, these amounts represent increases of $1.1 billion (5.4 percent) in total funds and 5 percent ($387 million) in the General Fund.

“Colorado’s economy is outperforming other states,” Hickenlooper said. “This gives us the ability to restore some cuts and modestly increase funding in critical areas of the state’s budget. But we still have a long way to go to fully recover from this recession.” Continue reading

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