State lawmakers reach deal to pay for roads, save hospitals

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DENVER — State lawmakers reached a tentative deal Thursday to save hospitals from $500 million worth of cuts and provide funding for some transportation needs.

Lawmakers will have to move fast because the General Assembly’s session ends Wednesday.

The compromise, which represents weeks of negotiations, does not raise the state’s sales tax as previous spending proposals have suggested.

Instead, the measure raising the marijuana sales tax will increase Medicaid co-payments and restructures the controversial hospital provider fee.

The bill also uses bonds to pay for transportation projects and sells off old state-owned buildings.

The $1 billion proposal will face its first test Friday morning in committee.