1:46pm

Mon April 11, 2011
State Capitol

Senate Approves Budget, the House is Next

The state Senate passed a bi-partisan budget on a 30 to 5 vote capping off five months of hearings and negotiations.

The $18 billion budget funds everything from roads and bridges to Medicaid and schools. Lawmakers went through tense negotiations just to reach a compromise on budget cuts last week. Senate minority leader Mike Kopp (R-Littleton) praised the process for being inclusive.

“I think it’s a good day for Colorado when both sides are equally assured that they suckered the other side a little bit,” Kopp said on Monday.

Republicans won some concessions to reinstate several business incentives, while Democrats reduced cuts to K-12 schools by about $80 million. Even so, the budget still cuts $250 million in education funding and a handful of Democrats voted against it. Several Republicans said this marks one of the first budgets they’ve ever voted for.

The House is expected to vote on the budget later in the week.

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