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Polis releases 2021-22 budget

The proposed budget would restore operating support for Colorado's colleges and universities to the fiscal year 2019-20 funding level.

November 5, 2020

Colorado State Capitol building.Gov. Jared Polis released his fiscal year 2021-22 budget on Monday. The proposed budget would restore operating support for Colorado's colleges and universities to the FY 2019-20 funding level of $852 million. The budget request is the start of the state's budgetary process and now goes to the Joint Budget Committee.

The governor’s budget request speaks to “critical investments in postsecondary education in order to support economic recovery and resilience, advance college access and affordability for students and families, and promote innovation and adaptation to the post-pandemic ‘new normal.’” In other words, Colorado institutions need to prioritize the very traits and values that Metropolitan State University of Denver has embodied since its inception: resilience, access, affordability and innovation.

Polis’ budget also includes additional investments for Displaced Worker Grants, higher education innovation, cybersecurity and loan forgiveness for educators, and it limits resident tuition increases to 3%. The budget lays the groundwork for the legislature’s final budget in the spring. The state was able to restore higher-education funding due to increased economic activity this fiscal year that was not planned for when the JBC set its budget​.

Budget process

  • November: Following the governor's budget request, the JBC will begin to schedule hearings with departments.
  • December: The state issues its December revenue forecast, which is produced quarterly.
  • January: The Colorado General Assembly convenes. The JBC hears testimony from state agencies and Coloradans to better understand the needs of each and how to best direct funding in crafting the state's budget bill (Long Bill).
  • February-March: As a result of hearings, the JBC makes funding decisions for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • March: The state issues its March revenue forecast.
  • March-April: The JBC writes the budget line by line and passes it out of committee to go to the state Senate and state House to be voted on by the full bodies.
  • April-early May: After completing passage through the Senate and House, the bill is presented to the governor for signature. 

Topics: Colorado, Funding, Gov. Polis

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