Colorado lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday about the financial difficulties facing much of rural Colorado, which helped a bill aimed at preventing cuts to rural communities in the state pass its first test.
As The Denver Post reports, officials from rural schools, hospitals and business groups testified about the dire financial situation facing much of rural Colorado – a situation that they fear will only get worse in coming years.
Some school districts testified that it’s difficult to retain teachers at the amount of pay their districts can afford. Another rural district had to eliminate a college equivalent science class and teaching position because of budget cuts in 2016
Senate Bill 267, which cleared its first hurdle Tuesday in the Senate Finance Committee by a 4-1 vote, could provide some hope to rural communities because it would deflect deep cuts to hospitals while increasing funding for rural schools and roads.
The bill, as introduced, would send $300 million to schools, hospitals and road projects to counties with populations of 50,000 or less.