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Gov. Jared Polis announces Colorado budget proposal for 2021-22

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Posted at 2:12 PM, Nov 02, 2020

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis on Monday announced his state budget proposal for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year, calling for a restoration of some reductions made in the current budget, an economic stimulus plan to help Coloradans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and a savings plan to prepare for budget shortfalls in the years ahead.

The restorations include more funding for education and state pension plans, and funding to ensure COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment and support for local public health agencies.

Polis' stimulus proposal includes $1.3 billion for local businesses and hundreds of millions in tax relief for restaurants other small businesses; eviction prevention, childcare and public projects aimed at creating job growth.

Read the governor's entire budget proposal here.

“2020 has been a challenging year and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed our vulnerabilities, which is why this budget isn’t just about getting back to where we used to be," Polis said in a news release. "It’s about taking this time of turmoil to utilize the lessons learned and boldly forging a path forward that positions our state for the future by making key strategic investments to ensure we build back stronger, more inclusive and resilient."

From here, a bipartisan Joint Budget Committee in the Colorado legislature will begin meeting this month to go over Polis' proposal. The budget will be finalized in March or April, when it will then be introduced in the legislature and then returned to Polis' desk for approval. Colorado law requires a balanced state budget.

Colorado lawmakers in May had projected a $3.3 billion shortfall for 2020-21 due to the coronavirus crisis, as opposed to a forecast $27 million surplus before COVID-19.

The state in September announced mandatory furlough days for state employees making more than $50,000 per year, in an effort to address the shortfall.