The top Republican transportation bill of the session cleared its first committee on Tuesday despite strong opposition from the executive branch. Bente Birkeland has more.
Senate bill 1 would set aside about 300 million dollars in the state budget for roads and bridges to pay off bonds. It would also ask voters this fall to issue those bonds for some of the major projects on I25 and I70. Republican Senator John Cooke of Greeley is one of the main sponsors.
He believes congestion and unfinished projects are impacting the quality of life. “Since roads and bridges are the top priority for the citizens of Colorado, roads and bridges should be afforded the highest priority for state lawmakers in writing the state budget. Because if not now, when?”
But three state agencies – the Department of Corrections, Human Services and Higher Education testified against the measure, saying that locking the state into long-term bond payments could impact their agency budgets down the line. The bill passed. All Democrats voted no.