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State budget office submits amended spending request to JBC

DENVER — Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 — The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) today submitted an amended spending request to the Joint Budget Committee. The request details how excess funds from the December revenue forecast should be spent.

 

The forecast originally indicated $142 million was available for additional allocation in FY 2013-14. Subsequent to that projection, a Congressional deal related to the “fiscal cliff” resulted in a downward revision of $145 million for income tax revenue for fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14. Even with these changes, additional funds remained available for allocation.

 

“This amended request stays true to the Governor’s intent on spending increased revenue on education, public health, safety and infrastructure,” said OSPB Director Henry Sobanet. “We look forward to working with the Joint Budget Committee in the coming weeks as it reviews our proposed budget.”

 

In the General Fund operating budget, the Governor recommends the following new expenditures:

 

  • An increase to the Nov. 1, 2012, request for K-12 education in the amount of $12.8 million. If this request is adopted, the average per pupil funding in FY 2013-14 will increase to $6,707.67, or $228.25 over FY 2012-13 levels;
  • The Department of Human Services is developing a comprehensive proposal to improve various aspects of Colorado’s child welfare system. While final estimates will be available soon, the amended budget proposal leaves room for up to $22 million in FY 2013-14 for the plan;
  • A new $10.3 million allocation to the Department of Natural Resources for a grant program that would match local dollars for improving forest health and wildfire prevention in wildland-urban interface areas;
  • Two initiatives in the Office of Information Technology (OIT): The first would allocate $1,394,368 for improvements to the main data network operated by OIT; the second calls for $300,000 for OSPB to contract for an in-depth analysis of the billing and financial allocation methodologies employed by the Office;
  • As a means to understand better the impact of oil and gas exploration and development on air quality, the Governor recommends $492,776 General Fund for the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to conduct a targeted survey of the impacts of specific oil and gas extraction operations on environmental air quality (there is also a $567,000 capital component to this request, explained below).

 

Separately from the General Fund, the Governor recommends $1.3 million in cash fund spending authority for CDPHE to enter into a collaborative partnership with Colorado State University to begin collecting data for a broader study of the impacts of oil and gas operations on air quality in the northern Front Range.

 

In the capital construction budget, the Governor recommends the following items:

 

  • In the Office of Information and Technology, an appropriation in the amount of $3,726,190 as the first installment of a new annual financing model for maintenance and necessary upgrades to the statewide Digital Trunked Radio system;
  • In response to a recommendation by the Office of the State Auditor, $2 million to finalize a facilities master plan for the Capitol Complex;
  • As noted above, $567,000 to purchase equipment associated with the air quality survey in CDPHE; and
  • Approximately $2 million to amend the Department of Personnel and Administration’s request for scanning equipment to improve the efficiency of Colorado’s Tax Revenue Pipeline.

 

In FY 2012-13, the total available General Fund is $8.8 billion. Requested expenditures total $7.7 billion General Fund, leaving an ending balance of $1.1 billion. Of this ending balance, $372 million is associated with the 5 percent reserve calculation, leaving $728.4 million General Fund available for transfer to the State Education Fund.

 

In FY 2013-14, the total General Fund available is $8.6 billion. Requested expenditures total $8.2 billion General Fund, leaving an ending reserve of $389.2 million, equal to 5 percent of General Fund appropriations subject to reserve requirements.

 

Two letters related to the budget request can be found here and here.

 

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