After weeks of wrangling and very open disputes, Democrats and Republicans in the Colorado Legislature said today that they’ve agreed on a massive bill that will keep hospital funding intact, put $1.8 billion to road improvements, begin to cut down Medicaid spending and offer a small cut in the business personal property tax for the first time to all Colorado companies.
Senate Bill 267 will be heard Friday morning in the Senate Appropriations Committee — but only because bipartisan committee members made a procedural move this morning that forces the committee chairman, Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud, to hear the bill and likely let it advance despite his objections to what he considers an unconstitutional provision in the measure.
It will then have just five days to navigate both the Senate and the House of Representatives before the Legislature adjourns as required on May 10. The bill’s bipartisan sponsors said, however, that they are confident that it has the support to make to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office and into law.
And if that happens, they will at least have addressed every major business-related issue that House and Senate leaders identified at the start of the 2017 session, even if observers believe more work remains to be done on issues like transportation funding and the hated business personal property tax.