A massive bill to increase funding for highways, hospitals and business-tax cuts, the proposal inched toward the governor's desk, advancing through the Senate despite a prominent Republican calling it “one of the worst pieces of legislation that I’ve seen in my 15 years in the Legislature.”

Senate Bill 267, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman of Denver, passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 5-2 vote and then received preliminary approval from the Senate as a whole. It is likely to get final Senate approval Monday morning.

House Majority Leader K.C. Becker, a Boulder Democrat and co-sponsor of the measure in that chamber, said she does not see any problems passing it through the House.

Introduced on March 28, SB 267 became first and foremost an effort to help rural Colorado by saving hospitals from expected funding cuts and increasing money for rural roads and rural schools. But as the bill found unexpected momentum, especially after a Senate committee killed a proposed multi-billion-dollar sales-tax hike measure for roads, Sonnenberg worked to negotiate a veritable Christmas list of Republican priorities onto the bill in return for giving Democrats one thing they have wanted for years.

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/2pPSn1O