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Governor Signs Next Year's Budget With Time to Spare

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Bente Birkeland
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Governor John Hickenlooper signed the state’s more than $7 billion budget Monday. It has widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans.

The budget funds everything from roads and schools to prisons and healthcare.  Gov. Hickenlooper praised lawmakers for sending him a budget that almost everyone could support.

"We got 86 votes out of 100," Hickenlooper said. "That’s unusual in a purple state with split chambers. People found the places to compromise."

The bipartisan joint budget committee worked through several contentious issues, such as whether to cut benefits to state workers. They ultimately preserved benefits and pay.

It also helped that the legislature ended up with nearly 200 million additional dollars to work with. That money helped preserve a property tax break for seniors, and prevented additional cuts to Colorado's K - 12 schools.

According to The Sunshine Review, Colorado's total budget for FY2013 is nearly $20 billion. Lawmakers only control a portion of that, including the $7.4 billion General Fund that was approved in April.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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