Partisan politics be damned. At least it looked that way in the Colorado House, where the state budget passed Thursday by a healthy margin of 64-1.
“Politics is compromise, and on a [Joint Budget Committee] with three Democrats and three Republican we got through the budget process without a lot of acrimony,” said Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder), a House Democrat on the Committee, in a press release.
The House-approved budget allots $19 billion for the state's 2012-2013 fiscal year, which begins July 1. A more detailed breakdown of the House's so-called 'long bill' can be found in the Denver Post.
A late-March economic report indicated Colorado's improving economy would have at least $150 million more in the state coffers than previously expected. Governor Hickenlooper indicated he'd like to see the extra funds return to k-12 and college education, where the largest cuts were made at the start of the economic downturn. The Associated Press reports Hickenlooper also pushed for the money to go to local governments and need-based property tax cuts for seniors.
So far this session, over 80 percent of the bills have passed with bipartisan support. "We agree more than we disagree," writes Rep. Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs) in a Gazette Column on the subject.
Rep. Chris Holbert (R-Parker) submitted the lone vote against the budget, explaining to The Denver Post, "We don't sort of save for the future."