Transportation funding compromise reached at Colorado Capitol

DENVER — Democratic House Speaker and Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham reached a compromise on transportation late Monday.

The proposal, known as Senate Bill 1, would invest $495 million dollar into transportation funding this year from the State’s General Fund and $150 million dollars next year. $50 million would be invested then in future years.

Under the bill, voters would be asked to approve a bonding measure in 2019 for $2.337 billion in transportation projects.

According to bill sponsors, the $50 million in future years would ensure the state could make a down payment on bonding debt.

The bonding proposal however may never reach Colorado voters.

That is because there are competing ballot measures set to be voted on in 2018 in Colorado.

One proposal would raises the state’s sales tax to pay for road projects, another proposal – known as “Fix our Damn Roads” would demand lawmakers fix transportation without raising taxes and instead use bonding.

The 2019 bonding vote would be contingent on what happens in the 2018 election.

Colorado has $9 billion in backlogged transportation projects according to CDOT.

According to the bill, 70 percent of funds would go to state projects, 15 percent to local projects, and 15 percent to multi-modal projects like bike lines or public transit.