Responding to a larger-than-expected general revenue stream, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has announced that he would like to see a portion of that money used for a variety of long-delayed transportation projects.
“It’s not often that we find ourselves in a position where resources are available to actually go beyond our initial budget request,” Hickenlooper said in a public letter to the Colorado State Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has issued a report saying that the state is looking at a $9 billion shortfall in money needed for transportation projects, particularly in maintaining the state’s 23,000 miles of roads and 3,500 bridges.
In trying to come up with a solution to the problem, legislators last year unsuccessfully proposed putting on a statewide ballot a question that would call for a half percentage point increase in Colorado’s sales tax which would generate an annual revenue stream of $250 million for transportation projects.
Hickenlooper is proposing that just over $148 million be set aside for transportation spending out of the $256 million in general fund revenues for this coming fiscal year.
Colorado lawmakers will have until the first week of May, when the legislature concludes its 2018 session, to act on Hickenlooper’s suggestion.
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