Politics

Apr 15, 2014 3:05 PM by David Randall

Colorado budget finalized, heads to governor

DENVER (AP) - Lawmakers approved a $23 billion budget for Colorado next year, sending to the governor a spending plan that increases money for public schools, colleges, and funds an aerial firefighting fleet.

The House approved the budget Tuesday on a 38-26 vote with only one Republican voting yes. The Senate approved the budget Monday with greater bipartisan support.

The budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year increases per-student funding, and adds $100 million to limit tuition increases at colleges.

Lawmakers are also setting aside nearly $20 million to pay for a firefighting fleet in the aftermath of historic wildfire seasons.

It is now up to Gov. John Hickenlooper to sign the budget, which highlights an improving state economy. In recent years, lawmakers had to cut schools and drained the state's rainy-day fund.

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