This week we are sharing key updates around legislative activity at the Capitol.
In Denver, and across the country there are protests of the murder of George Floyd happening.
We are deeply saddened and enraged at yet another black life lost at the hands of the police. Black lives matter and it is up to all of us to hold oppressive systems and leaders accountable.
As an organization, we seek to be anti-racist in our practices, in the policies we pursue, and in our personal lives. We stand with those demanding justice and are reflecting on how we can do better as individuals and as an organization. The time is and always has been now.
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Legislative session resumed on Tuesday after being in recess since March 14. The top priority is to approve the state budget before the state’s next fiscal year starts on July 1, however due to the mid-session pause many bills are still on the calendar. In the House Education Committee, multiple lawmakers chose to kill their own bills, in the face of extremely high pressure around the budget and anticipation of painful cuts in education.
As a reminder, K-12 education spending makes up 36% of the state budget and faces $724 million in reductions of state spending this year. Over $120 million in cuts to grants and programs have already been included in the Long Bill (budget) that was introduced on Tuesday. Further details on cuts to formula dollars to schools will come with the School Finance Act, expected to be introduced by the end of next week.
There is also a bipartisan conversation about asking voters to repeal the Gallagher Amendment, which requires that residential property owners contribute no more than 45% of total property tax collections. A repeal would mean the state could collect more money for schools. This move would require a two-thirds majority vote from lawmakers and a 50% approval from voters if it makes it to the ballot.
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