Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Mark Salley 303-866-6323
OWENS RELEASES 2006-07 PROPOSED BUDGET
(DENVER) - In his first budget proposal following the passage of Referendum C,
Governor Bill Owens emphasized the importance of fulfilling commitments made to the
voters and allocating the funds as outlined in the Referendum.
"Fiscally conservative" budget prioritizes education, health care, transportation
"With the passage of Referendum C, we have been able to avoid painful cuts to next
year's budget. However, funds are not plentiful. I am proposing a common sense,
fiscally conservative budget that begins to restore cuts from prior years and also honors
the tenets of Referendum C. The trust the voters placed in us cannot be violated," Owens
The budget was delivered to the Joint Budget Committee today. Owens is scheduled to
make a formal presentation to the Committee on November 28.
The Governor's 2006-07 budget represents a 4.1 percent increase over this year. Of the
additional revenue ($505 million) provided by Referendum C, approximately $187.7
million will be needed for just two programs: Medicaid and K-12 education.
Medicaid expenses are expected to increase by $69.3 million next year of which $35.4
million is from the General Fund. Under Amendment 23 the General Fund
appropriations for K-12 education must increase by $126.1 million.
Owens' proposal also includes full restoration of the senior homestead property tax
exemption ($66 million). Other budget highlights include:
Owens also announced that he would present a supplemental budget request to the
Legislature in January to increase funding this winter for the Low-income Energy
Assistance Fund (LEAP). The Governor is requesting $10 million from severance taxes.
- Higher education. Increase the stipend for the College Opportunity Fund to
$2,580 per student, up 7.5 percent. Financial aid will increase 6.0 percent.
Overall, the General Fund appropriations to higher education will increase by
10.2 percent. Because of this increased support for higher education from the
General Fund, tuition increases would be capped at 2.5 percent.
- Transportation. Since the General Fund will grow with the passage of
Referendum C, transfers from the General Fund to the transportation fund (under
Senate Bill 1 passed in 1997) will again be possible. The transfer this year will
total an estimated $216 million. The Governor will also request an additional $80
million for transportation from the General Fund in this current fiscal year when
the Legislature returns in January.
- Health care. The Governor recommends an increase of 5.8 percent ($28.8
million) for the Department of Human Services. This increase will help provide
care for additional patients in the child welfare, developmental disabilities and
youth corrections programs. This budget also will allow the state to serve an
additional 7,392 children from low-income families under the Children's Basic
- Corrections. The Department of Corrections budget would increase by 9.3
percent ($49.4 million). The inmate population in state facilities is expected to
grow by approximately 1,000 prisoners next year. The proposed budget includes
funding to house the additional inmates, open the La Vista Correctional Facility
for Women and additional resources for parole officers and drug treatment.
"Sharply higher heating bills will make life even more difficult for poor Colorado
families," Owens said. "The demands on the LEAP program will be greater than ever
this winter. This state support will make an important difference in many lives."
In addition to the state, LEAP also receives funds from the federal government ($30
million) and Energy Outreach Colorado ($2.0 million).
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