The Colorado House of Representatives today approved the proposed $26.8 billion state budget despite a nearly unanimous "no" vote by the chamber's minority Republicans.

Senate Bill 254 passed the Democrat-led House 38-27, picking up the vote of only one Republican — Rep. Bob Rankin of Carbondale. Rankin is the lone House GOP appointee to the Legislature's Joint Budget Committee, which drew up the government-funding measure for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. The six members of the JBC always vote as a group for the effort
The vote sends the bill to a House-Senate conference committee as a more divisive measure than the one that left the Senate a week and a half ago. The Senate had passed the budget by a 31-4 vote.

House Republicans ran 19 amendments to try to boost transportation spending by a cumulative $600 million in the budget during debate on the proposal last week, but each one lost as Democrats argued there was not money to cut in other areas of the government.

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