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End of Session Updates – Government Affairs, Education, and Energy / May 3 and June 7, 2018

As the 2018 legislative session wrapped up on May 9, May and June meetings focused on bills making their final push and post-session updates.  There were 721 bills introduced, 432 passed the Senate and House, and 222 were signed by the Governor.

During the session, the Chamber had a strong focus on bills regarding K-12 Education, Transportation and PERA.

Transportation: SB – 001: Transportation Infrastructure Funding: The bill sets aside $645 million for transportation projects over the next two years.

K-12 Education: HB18 – 1322: Long Appropriation Act and HB18- 1323: Funding three Pay for Success Projects. Better-than-expected state forecast allows to strengthen key areas of the budget including K-12 education and higher education. Highlights of the 2018-2019 budget include:

  • Funding K-12 education with $150 million above enrollment and inflation.
  • Rural schools receive an additional $30 million.
  • Higher Education receives more than $75 million.

PERA: SB18-200: Directs the state to allocate $225 million each year to PERA to reduce the unfunded liability. This includes:

  • Increasing contributions from employers and employees
  • Modifying retirement benefits, including reducing the annual increase for all current/future retirees as well as raising retirement age for new employees
  • Establishing an automatic adjustment provision to keep PERA on a path to full funding in 30 years

At the June 7 meeting, the committee heard from Lisa Weil, executive director for Great Education Colorado, which is seeking The Chamber’s endorsement for Initiative 93: Great Schools Thriving Communities. Learn more at GreatSchoolsThrivingCommunities.org.  The committee motioned to support the initiative, which will go to the Board of Directors for a final decision.

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