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Capitol Coverage: Hospital Cuts Compromise

Posted: May 9, 2017 at 11:50 am by , in Capitol Coverage, Morning Magazine

A measure to prevent a half billion-dollar funding cut to hospitals is making its way through the statehouse. Bente Birkeland has more.

Senate bill 267 would remove a fee hospitals pay from counting against the state’s revenue limit under the Tax Payers Bill of Rights. That would free up more money in the budget and avoid hitting the limit. Republican Senator Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling is one of the main sponsors.

 

“There’s some things that cause the Democrats to cringe to vote yes and there’s things in here that are going to cause Republicans to cringe to vote yes but, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Sonnenberg says many hospitals in his part of the state said they would have had to cut crucial services and possibly close altogether if funding were to be cut. But the bill has strong opponents too like Republican Tim Neville of Littleton.

“In my time in the CO legislature I’ve seen my share of large complicated bills at the end of session. I can say the ones that passed often graded very poorly after the dust settled and we had a chance to see the flaws.”

The measure cleared the Senate with ten no votes. It still needs a final vote in the house. But time is running out. The legislative session wraps up on Wednesday. I’m BB at the state capitol.