Gov. Hickenlooper signs one of the most important bills of the year

Senate Bill 267 preserves the hospital provider fee program and offers a boost to rural Colorado

John Frank
The Denver Post

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday signed into a law a far-reaching spending bill that averts a $528 million cut in payments to hospitals, generates $1.9 billion for transportation projects by mortgaging state buildings and lowers the state’s spending cap by $200 million.

The measure became the capstone of the 2017 legislation session and won approval just before General Assembly adjourned May 10.

The Democratic governor signed the legislation at a high school in Fowler, one of the Eastern Plains communities expected to benefit from provisions that earmark 25 percent of the transportation spending and $30 million in new money for classrooms in rural areas.

In remarks ahead of the signing, Hickenlooper said “not only is this … going to allow us to keep the lights on at a number of rural hospitals that almost certainly would have had to be closed, but it is also going to provide a significant amount of transportation funding.”

Read the full story at