DENVER — Colorado lawmakers could have between $956.8 million and $1.22 billion in surplus dollars to put toward education, transportation and other priorities in the 2019-20 budget, according to forecasts Thursday from state economists.
The Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB), in its latest revenue forecast, said the state's economic expansion "has continued at a healthy pace in 2018. Employment growth has been strong, while wage growth has outpaced inflation each month for the past year. Oil and gas production continues to set record highs, but recent price declines may limit growth."
The one dark cloud on the horizon: the potential for the next recession. The risk is low, OSPB economists predicted, but is higher than it was in September due to factors outside of Colorado, such as slower economic growth globally and the ongoing trade war. The tariff dispute is particularly concerning for both agriculture and business costs, the forecast said.
As for revenue, OSPB estimates that in this current fiscal year, the General Fund revenue forecast crept up by $93 million over the September estimate; for 2019-20 revenue is expected to rise by $91.2 million over September's.