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Polis talks about priorities for proposed state budget

The governor discussed the fiscal year 2022-2023 state budget.

DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) held a briefing on the state budget on Monday afternoon.

During the briefing, Polis highlighted the key elements of his proposed budget as being fiscal responsibility, historic investments in the educational workforce, money in the paychecks of citizens, healthy and safe communities, and education.

"We are requesting a historic reserve of $2 billion," Polis said. "We are also proposing transformative, one-time investments that total $1.3 billion."

The governor proposed $300 million to the state education fund, and $30 million in one-time funds to renovate up to 15 state facilities, including child-care centers across educational institutions and worksites.

"Education is the best investment that we, as a state, make," Polis said.

The budget also aims to eliminate fees for small businesses starting in Colorado, and $104 million in fee relief for individuals and businesses, including prepaying the family leave program. This also includes health-care professional relief so nurses do not have to pay to renew their licenses.

The proposed budget also sets aside $600 million for unemployment insurance premium relief, as well as $51 million to help workers get short-term credentials.

Polis also proposed spending $113 million on public safety and another $200 million on combating homelessness.

The public safety package in the budget would aim to reduce crime, ensure safer streets, build diversity in the public safety workforce and provide support, training and financial support for police officers.

The key priorities for combating homelessness include $100 million for a competitive grant program to help local communities reduce homelessness. It would also go toward two key supportive residential campuses.

And $40 million of the proposed budget would go toward building safer streets for to support local downtown business and to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

The budget would also invest $424 million in one-time spending for initiatives to advance clean energy and clean air.

> Watch: Air quality funds included in governor's budget proposal

Polis proposed spending $100 million to provide infrastructure grants to communities; $25 million for financing energy improvements to help low- and middle-income residents have more affordable access to electricity; $25 million for prefabrication home production, and $25 million for the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority's middle-income access program.

RELATED: College students shoulder financial burden as state funding for higher education dwindles

RELATED: Polis' budget plan would boost economic recovery, state's savings account



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