We just concluded debating the state budget, and after many hours of debate, I’m excited to announce it passed the House on Monday! Even with budget constraints like TABOR and the Gallagher Amendment, we can announce the following accomplishments:

  • State support for education will increase by an average of $185 per pupil next year
  • The very modest raise for our hard-working public employees
  • The added support for higher education so we can limit tuition increases on students and families
  • Maintaining our commitment to keeping the senior homestead property tax exemption intact and not balancing the budget on the backs of seniors
  • Reimburse our state health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, for the eligibility determinations conducted for Medicaid
  • Approve funding to fully implement the End of Life Options Act that Colorado voters approved by 65%
  • Restore funding for the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey which helps shape the programs most needed by young people

Still, the budgetary constraints placed on the legislature by TABOR and the Gallagher Amendment prevents Colorado from adequately funding many important programs. I am fully committed to reforming these constraints on our budget. However, since both of these provisions are part of Colorado’s Constitution, this would require either a super-majority in the legislature or a vote of the people to change the policy. In either case, educating our fellow Coloradans about our budget constraints and forcing action is key, so help spread the word!

Learn more about TABOR and the Gallagher Amendment and the impact these provisions have on the state budget here.

As your legislators, we relied heavily on your input to ensure important programs and funding remained intact. Thank you for everything you contributed. To stay involved, check out all upcoming bills and committee hearings right here.

Check out this video to learn about Colorado’s unique budgetary constraints and how that affects funding for vital state programs

Effort to Improve Colorado Child Welfare System

A bipartisan team of legislators just introduced bill HB17-1283 to create a task force to examine work-force resiliency in the child welfare system.

Memorial & Tribute to Former Democratic State Representative from Boulder, Richard Gebhardt

On February 13, 2017, Colorado lost a devoted public servant and an outstanding citizen – Richard Glen Gebhardt. Majority Leader Becker and I sponsored a memorial to Richard for his years of dedicated public service. We extend our deep and heartfelt sympathy to the members of his family.

I am proud to serve you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at edie.hooton.house@state.co.us if you ever have any questions, concerns, or ideas on how to move Colorado forward.

All the best,