Press Release

Budget Surprise: Republican Amendments Make a Splash


April 8, 2021

Press Contact

Sage Naumann

DENVER – Today, Republicans in the Colorado State Senate offered constructive, bipartisan amendments in an effort to refocus state dollars on the priorities of everyday Coloradans. Below is a summary of the most impactful amendments, alongside commentary from sponsors.

Topic: Education

Amendment #2

By: Senators Chris Holbert (R-Douglas County) and Rachel Zenzinger (D-Arvada)
Description: Increased education funding for special needs students by $10,000,000. 
Status: Adopted.

“This additional $10 million for students with disabilities is crucial to helping them get through this difficult time,” said Senator Holbert. “As somebody with dyslexia, I am proud to be a voice for them and I was honored to work with Senator Zenzinger to get this amendment passed. It’s the least we can do for the most vulnerable in our society.”

Amendment #3

By: Senators Paul Lundeen (R-Colorado Springs) and Rob Woodward (R-Loveland)
Description: Increased funding for the Early Literacy Competitive Grant Program with a focus on catching students up who suffered during the COVID-19 crisis. 
Status: Failed.

“Nothing is as important to a student as learning to read by third grade,” said Senator Lundeen. “Ask parents and teachers—today tens of thousands of Colorado students are off track and won’t make it. This amendment puts a targeted amount of money into learning projects proven to get students back on track, and I’m disappointed it was dismissed by Democrats.”

A C.O.W. Amendment was run on this amendment and it was supported by two Democratic Senators, giving the amendment bipartisan support despite being defeated.

Topic: Roads and Bridges

Amendment #24

By: Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld County)
Description: Increased funding for road and bridges by $149,550,000 for the following projects: I70 west metro bridges, Idaho Springs Park and Ride, I25 & SH94 safety and mobility improvements, Pueblo mobility hub, US50 Grand Junction to Delta repairs, SH92 Rogers Meesa & Hotchkiss, arterial transit/bike/pedestrian improvements, Winter Park transit facility, SH119 Safety and Mobility improvements, Estes Park transit improvements, Harmony road park and ride expansion, outrider improvements at Sterling, Hudson, Lochbuie, Ft Morgan and Brush, US 50 and US285 intersection reconstruction, US160 McCabe Creek Major structure replacement, outrider improvements between Alamosa & Buena Vista, and outrider improvements at Durango, Mancos, Cortez, Doloris,and Rico.
Status: Failed.

“Our roads and bridges have been neglected for too long,” said Senator Kirkmeyer. “The Senate Democrats aren’t interested in maintaining and building our roads with the healthiest state budget we have had in over 20 years as much as they are interested in raising taxes for bike paths and buses. This amendment would’ve prioritized some of our most important transportation projects in the state and would’ve shown the people of Colorado that we are serious about modernizing our transportation infrastructure.” 

Amendment #25

By: Senator Rob Woodward (R-Loveland)
Description: Increased funding for road and bridges by $176,200,000 for the following projects: I-70 Harlan Bridge Replacement, I-25 thru Pueblo New Freeway, SH119 Improvements, US 50 Grand Junction to Delta, US 50 Passing Lanes Blue Mesa, SH 149 Lake City North, SH 300 Leadville West, US 24 Leadville South, SH 114 Parlin West, SH 92 between Hotchkiss & Crawford, SH 114 US 50 East, and US 50 North of US 285 Junction.
Status: Failed.

“The Department of Transportation has $10 billion worth of shovel-ready projects and it’s time the state prioritize transportation infrastructure,” said Senator Woodward. “My amendment would’ve boosted our tourism, agricultural, and manufacturing industries that rely on our roads and bridges. Apparently, Democrats would rather burden Coloradans with more fees instead of using the millions – and billions – we already have.”

Topic: Mental Health

Amendment #4

By: Senator Jim Smallwood (R-Parker)
Description: Increases funding for the School Bullying Prevention and Education Program by $2,000,000.
Status: Failed on 2nd Reading, reversed and adopted via C.O.W. Amendment, 29 to 6.

Amendment #19

By: Senator Jim Smallwood (R-Parker)
Description: Increases funding for School-Based Health Centers by $2,000,000.
Status: Failed on 2nd Reading, reversed and adopted via C.O.W. Amendment, 18 to 17.

Amendment #20

By: Senator Jim Smallwood (R-Parker)
Description: Increases Suicide Prevention Program funding by $500,000.
Status: Failed on 2nd Reading, reversed and adopted via C.O.W. Amendment, 21 to 14.

“Proper mental health screening of our students, combined with the sustained resources provided under both suicide prevention programs which include crisis hotlines is critical in helping solve problems like school violence and teen suicide,” said Senator Smallwood. “I am thankful to have earned bipartisan support for three of my budget amendments.”

Topic: Police Reform

Amendment #22

By: Senator John Cooke (R-Greeley)
Description: Increased funding into the Body-Worn Cameras Grant Program by $3 million.
Status: Failed on 2nd Reading, reversed and adopted via C.O.W. Amendment, 20 to 15. 

“We all support body-worn cameras for our law enforcement officers,” said Senator Cooke. “But it is not fair – especially to our rural agencies – to force them to adopt expensive technologies without stepping up to help pay for it. I’m thankful that my colleagues gave this amendment worthwhile consideration and that it earned bipartisan support.”


If any media outlet requires photographs of any of our Senators, they are invited to use anything contained on our Flickr account with attribution to “Colorado Senate Republicans.”

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