House and Senate Resolve Spending Rift

“We promised Coloradans that we would not rubber stamp funding requests for programs that lacked accountability and transparency, and we didn’t,” Senate President Bill Cadman said today, after members of the Joint Budget Committee resolved an impasse over an un-budgeted supplemental spending request.

“This program increased license fees for legally present residents in Colorado by more than 150% in order to subsidize drivers’ licenses and I.D. cards of those who are here illegally.”

Republican members of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) challenged the operation of this program, refusing to increase its funding levels in response to a request from the Department of Revenue contained in a supplemental appropriations bill, SB-161. The Senate went on to pass SB-161 without increased funding for the program, but when the bill arrived in the House, Democrats pushed for the additional appropriations, driving the bill to a conference committee.

The senate president said he was grateful for the consideration of the House Speaker and JBC Democrats, who agreed to revise the request and eliminate inequities in the funding structure.

The Department of Revenue will be revising the fees through upcoming rulemaking and the requested appropriation has been substantially reduced.

“This process, and the discussions it prompted about this issue, provided a resolution to satisfy all parties,” said Cadman.


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