Budget Cycle

Governor Submits Budget
November 1 

Fiscal Year Begins
July 1 

Governor Signs Budget 

Budget Links

FY2023 (enacted)
FY2023 (proposed)
FY2022 (enacted)
FY2021 (enacted)
FY2020 (enacted)
FY2019 (enacted)

Proposed Budget - Fiscal Year 2023

On November 1, Colorado Governor Jared Polis released his recommended budget for fiscal year 2023. The proposal calls for $40.0 billion in total fund spending and $13.5 billion in general fund operating spending, reflecting increases of 3.9 percent in total spending and 8.1 percent in general fund operating spending compared to fiscal 2022 levels. The governor’s budget also recommends a package of one-time transformational investments of $1.3 billion in general funds. Gross general fund revenue in fiscal 2023 is expected to total $15.9 billion. Combined with the state’s beginning balance of $3.5 billion, total forecasted general fund resources for fiscal 2023 are $19.4 billion. Including one-time investments, transfers to other state funds, and projected refunds to taxpayers required by state law, general fund expenditures in the budget total $17.2 billion. The governor recommends a general fund reserve level of $1.997 billion, or 15 percent of general fund spending subject to the reserve. The executive budget also outlines the governor’s funding priorities for remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Proposed Budget Highlights
 The budget focuses on four elements: fiscal responsibility; historic investments in education and workforce; putting money back in Coloradans paychecks and supporting Colorado businesses; and healthy and safe communities. Funding recommendations include:

One-Time State Investments (General Fund):
  • $424 million for improving air quality
  • $500 million for unemployment insurance premium relief
  • $51 million in workforce investments (including renovating state facilities to provide childcare)
  • $45 million in public safety investments
  • $150 million transfer to the State Education Fund in fiscal 2023 to increase per-pupil funding and prepaid transfers of $300 million for the next two years
  • $104 million in fee relief for individuals and businesses.

One-Time Federal Investments (ARPA SLFRF):

  • Affordable Housing: $175 million in funding priorities for affordable housing investments, including infrastructure grants for local infill infrastructure needs, energy improvements, housing innovation incentives, and increasing middle-income housing access.
  • Behavioral Health: $275 million in funding priorities, including matching grant funds for local and community organization programs; provider support for care integration and payment reform; residential facility for children and youth with complex needs; and behavioral health workforce investments.
  • Workforce Development and Education: $95 million in funding priorities to foster cross-sector collaboration through a regional approach to investing in workforce programs.
  • Economic Recovery and Relief: $100 million for additional unemployment insurance premium relief; $200 million to leverage local and other funding to reduce homelessness; $126 million in other agency proposals identified as “high-impact”.
  • Revenue Replacement Funds: Carries forward $1 billion in SLFRF to prepay for other essential government services.

Other Budget Highlights:

  • K-12 Education: Increases funding by $381 million, as well as increases access to resources on evidence-based supports for school improvement
  • Early Childhood: Invests $13 million in the new state Department of Early Childhood that will prepare to launch the state’s new Universal Preschool Program
  • Higher Education: Increases operating support for higher education institutions by $43 million (4.6 percent) and student financial aid by $10 million, and provides $140 million in capital maintenance and improvements, particularly for more underserved institutions, combined with freezing tuition rates.
  • Health Care: Provides $530 million over three years to expand and improve home and community-based services, as well as additional funding for technology enhancements to enhance rural healthcare and other priorities.
  • Public Safety: Recommends a series of ongoing general fund investments, supplemented with one-time state and federal investments in public safety described above, to total $113 million for community investments, domestic violence initiatives, behavioral health investments, workforce transformations, and recidivism reduction initiatives.
  • State Employee Compensation: In accordance with a labor agreement reached in October, funds a 3% across-the-board pay increase, sets a $15 minimum wage, provides funding for expanded paid family medical leave benefits, creates a new Colorado Equity Office, and other actions.