The 2018 Colorado General Assembly squeezed just about every second out of the statutorily prescribed 120-day legislative session, concluding official business at 11:58 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9. As is often the case, the state legislative body was left clamoring until the very end over contentious issues that were repeatedly kicked down the road over the preceding months. Nevertheless, the final days and hours proved fruitful, capping off what was ultimately a record-breaking session, with a total of 721 introduced bills. Those bills included measures to address the opioid crisis, expand access to rural broadband, provide much-needed funding for transportation infrastructure, and close funding gaps in Colorado’s public employee retirement program.
While of course not all stakeholders are heading into summer happy campers, many of the major legislative priorities of the 2018 session were addressed in one form or another. Michael Best Strategies’ clients fared particularly well this session. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the state’s 2018-2019 budget. Below are a few highlights of client budget objectives achieved by the team at Michael Best Strategies.
Michael Best Strategies Budget Highlights for Legislative Session 2018
- Secured $18 million from the General Fund (GF) to restore the reductions for Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement programs that include the Ryan White and Special Purpose Disease Control Programs.
- Increased the Destination Development Program with an emphasis on rural tourism promotion by $500,000 GF.
- Increased the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) membership dues for indirect cost recoveries.
- Increased provider rates in Human Services by $8,705,852.
- Secured funding for the Child Welfare Reform bill in the amount of $14,546,680.
- Secured funding for the All Payer Claims Database in the amount of $2,640,790.
- Received a $250,000 increase in funding for family loan repayment program.
- Increased the Family Medicine Residencies line by $600,000.
- Increased provider rates in Medicaid by $43,041,910.