The headline from today’s revenue forecasts presented by Legislative Council Staff (LCS) and the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) is: General Fund revenue is increasing but because of the TABOR Cap revenue will remain consistent. In short, Colorado will have $3.2 billion to spend in the 2022-23 fiscal year. Legislative Council Staff cautioned that this $3.2 billion includes significant one-time money which will not be replenished therefore any spending above 3-4% for 2021-22 will cut into the one time funds.
Joint Budget Committee members focused their discussions on inflation and the gap between high wage earners and low wage earners. Inflation was specifically discussed as it relates to the expected impact of rising inflation on how much money can be spent below the TABOR cap. Regarding the wage earners gap, both Senators Hansen and Moreno expressed concern about the growth in this gap. Economists will send more information on the labor force to the JBC.
OSPB also presented preliminary information about the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Colorado is likely to receive $3.5 billion to $7 billion based on how the state can compete for various grants within the Federal bill. OSPB will present a preliminary dollar amount to set aside for potential matching funds during their budget amendments and supplemental package be released in early January 2022.