- Associated Press - Thursday, April 4, 2019

DENVER (AP) - The Latest on House debate on Colorado’s state budget (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Colorado House leaders have announced a deal to spend $300 million for transportation in the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Democratic House Speaker KC Becker and GOP Minority Leader Patrick Neville announced the deal after a negotiating break during Thursday’s debate on a draft $30.5 billion budget.

Majority Democrats say it’s endorsed by the Senate Democratic and Republican caucuses.



Representatives then approved an amendment directing $70 million from other needs for roads, for a total of $300 million in fiscal year 2019-2020.

Where that $70 million will come from is unclear. Neville says new legislation is required.

Becker says K-12 and higher education spending won’t take a hit because of transportation spending.

The Senate’s proposed budget had called for $336 million in general fund spending for roads.

___

4:35 p.m.

Colorado House leaders say they’ve reached a deal to spend $300 million for transportation in the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Democratic House Speaker KC Becker and GOP Minority Leader Patrick Neville reached the deal during a break from Thursday’s debate on a draft $30.5 billion budget.

They urged the chamber to approve an amendment directing $70 million from other needs for roads, for a total of $300 million in fiscal year 2019-2020.

Legislators did so by voice vote.

Neville says new legislation will be required to support the funding figure.

Becker says she wants to ensure K-12 and higher education won’t take a hit because of transportation spending.

The final figure remains in flux. The Senate’s proposed budget had called for $336 million in general fund spending for roads.

___

2 p.m.

Colorado’s House is considering a proposed $30.5 billion state budget, with transportation spending the biggest point of contention between minority Republicans and majority Democrats.

At the insistence of the GOP, the Democrat-led Senate added $106 million to transportation in its version of the bill, diverting the money from other programs.

That brought to $336 million total general fund spending on roads for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville wants to keep that intact during Thursday’s debate.

Speaker KC Becker wants to eliminate the $106 million, arguing it harms education needs.

Colorado has an estimated $9 billion backlog in transportation projects.

The budget includes $185 million for full-day kindergarten for school districts and families that want it this fall. Colorado now guarantees half-day funding.

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