DENVER (AP) — With just days left in the legislative session, Colorado House Democrats on Tuesday proposed a sweeping rewrite of a transportation funding bill that would boost funding for mass transit, while nixing a Republican plan to issue bonds.
The last-minute proposal places the two sides at another impasse over how much to spend on transportation, with Republicans pushing for long-term budget commitments and Democrats seeking protections to ensure money spent on roads does not come at the expense of already underfunded schools.
The counter-proposal unveiled by House leaders would commit $1.3 billion over the next six years to transportation, on top of $1.8 billion in borrowing that lawmakers already approved a year ago.
The Senate version would have repealed the money that was already approved, and instead set aside $5 billion over the next 20 years to pay off $3.5 billion in transportation bonds.
The majority of the funding would go to state highway projects.
A fourth of the money would be set aside for local governments to spend on roads they maintain. The remaining 15 percent would be earmarked for alternate forms of transportation such as mass transit.
The legislative session ends May 9.