Home  |   About us  |   Partner with AWC  |   Login      


Welcome to AWC’s online library of Legislative Bulletin and CityVoice news articles and other updates.

Published on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Long legislative session almost comes to an end

The state's new fiscal year starts today. Two-year operating and capital budgets were passed and signed by the Governor yesterday just before midnight. A government shutdown has been avoided, but session isn't over due to disagreement on how to suspend the grades K-12 class size initiative (I-1351) that narrowly passed last fall by the voters. A new transportation revenue bill has passed both chambers, but the House still needs to vote on the project list and bonds which makes up the whole package.

That said, issues of direct importance to cities are resolved and mostly in a very positive way. Here’s our updated chart of items included in the final enacted operating and capital budgets and how they compare with the last House and Senate budget proposals. We also provide this summary of what's contained in the almost-finalized new transportation package.

Priorities accomplished:

  • All current state-shared revenues, including full distribution of local liquor taxes ($50 million, not $25 million as funded this last biennium) and the Fire Insurance Premium Tax retained
  • Marijuana triple-play: Merged medical and recreational systems, obtained a share of excise taxes, and retained local land use authorities
  • Transportation revenue secured and local options authorized to help maintain city streets
  • New sales tax revenue for cities and the state's operating budget secured

Priorities remaining:

  • House passage of the final bills of the transportation package

Priority not accomplished:

  • The Public Works Trust fund as we've known it for decades appears to have disappeared. Projects currently funded will be funded to completion. There's no funding for new projects as revenue streams have been diverted to the state's education fund. We're committed to working over the coming months to develop ideas for how to fund critical infrastructure projects in the future.

We accomplished these things in large part because you as city officials and community leaders were vocal and insistent that these priorities needed action. Thank you, and be on the lookout later this month for a final detailed breakdown of this session.