Budget writers finalize Colo. budget

Budget writers finalize Colorado budget, send back to House and Senate

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado budget writers agreed to set aside money for wildfire victims, pay down police and firefighter pension debt, and allocate scholarship money as they finalized details of next year's spending plan.

The budget includes more money for public schools, colleges, and the first pay raise for state employees in four years.

The Colorado Joint Budget Committee agreed on Wednesday to amendments that that House and Senate made in approving the $20.5 billion budget during the previous two weeks.

Those amendments include $2.8 million for victims of the Lower North Fork Fire that started from a state prescribed burn last year. Lawmakers also want to pay down $132 million in pension debt to police and firefighters, and use $3 million for merit-based scholarships.

Each chamber will now vote to re-pass the budget.

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