DENVER, Colorado — When state lawmakers get an update on the state's piggy bank on Friday, we'll know whether or not one of the governor's key promises will be kept right away.
On Friday morning, the Joint Budget Committee will get updated revenue forecasts from the governor's budget director and Colorado Legislative Council. The forecast will give lawmakers a better idea of how much the state really has to spend in the budget year that starts on July 1.
What lawmakers see will determine the fate of Gov. Jared Polis' primary promise of having the state fund full-day kindergarten.
"The past forecasts have shown that we can probably afford full-day kindergarten," said Joint budget Committee chairman Sen. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City).
When Polis sent his budget to the Joint Budget Committee right after he took office, he included $227 million to fund full-day kindergarten.
"The struggle that you're seeing right now, and where you're maybe seeing a little bit of separation between the legislature and the governor is, full-day kindergarten is absolutely a priority, we all share that priority, there's a lot of priorities that the state needs to meet," said Moreno. "We have a backlog in transportation funding projects. There's $200 million in the Governor's request for transportation projects. We need a lot more than that."
In January, Polis said projected higher property values, thus more property tax collections, would help fund the education request beyond this year.
"I fully understand the governor has made a promise to deliver on free full-day kindergarten, what I would hope that we all understand is that a promise is a promise kept whether it's in the first year or whether it's in the next couple of years," said Moreno.
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