Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Wed., Feb. 10, 1999
|CONTACT: Dick Wadhams
Amy Jewett Sampson
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DENVER - Governor Bill Owens today announced his plan to spend Colorado's $2 billion share of the national tobacco settlement by creating a billion-dollar Colorado Endowment trust fund, a Read to Achieve third grade reading program, a 21st Century School Fund to provide for school capital construction, and by increasing children's health care coverage.
"Colorado has an historic opportunity to fund some major education initiatives for our children with our share of national tobacco settlement money," Owens said. "We can increase third grade reading levels, make our school buildings safer, and expand children's health care coverage while creating a billion dollar trust fund for future generations."
Colorado will receive approximately $2 billion over the next twenty years (1999-2018) from the national tobacco settlement fund. While the federal government will create a $4 billion national anti-tobacco use program, the states are essentially free to spend their portion as they see fit.
"My proposal puts future generations ahead of special interests," Owens said. "We are investing in our children to ensure they can read and attend school in safer buildings."
The Owens tobacco settlement plan would create the following:
COLORADO ENDOWMENT: $1.4 billion to be saved as a legacy for future generations.
21st CENTURY SCHOOL FUND: $380 million to create a revolving fund providing seed money to assist poor school districts with K-12 capital construction funding. Modeled after the very successful federal Clean Water Act revolving fund which assists local governments with municipal water treatment plants, the 21st Century School Fund would provide direct cash grants, zero interest loans, and the buying down of interest rates on loans for local school districts.
READ TO ACHIEVE: $380 million to increase reading levels among third graders. Recent test scores indicate one out of three Colorado third graders cannot read at grade level. Provides $20 million annually to fund intensive reading programs and creates a new CSAP test for second grade students to determine which children are not below being proficient in reading.
COLORADO HEALTH PLAN PLUS: $380 million to increase the number of children covered under Colorado's health plan for uninsured low- income children.
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER: $38 million to provide the next generation of doctors a world class education.
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