New Colorado law secures hospital subsidies, $1.8B for roads

FOWLER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed into law an ambitious bill that spares hospitals severe budget cuts and generates $1.8 billion for transportation.

Hickenlooper signed the bill, initiated by Republican Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, in the southeastern town of Fowler on Tuesday.

Among other measures, the law exempts from state income limits payments that hospitals make to obtain federal matching funds. Rural hospitals especially depend on those funds.

Before the Legislature passed the bill, Colorado hospitals stood to lose $528 million because of cuts in those subsidies that were made to balance the state's $26.8 billion budget.

The law also raises $1.8 billion for transportation over the next 20 years, in part by increasing recreational marijuana taxes and leasing state buildings.

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