After months of debate, on May 8 the Colorado House and Senate passed Senate Bill 1, which allocates an additional $495 million to transportation for 2018-19 and another $150 million for 2019-20. SB1 also refers a measure to the voters in 2019 so the state can issue up to $2.4 billion in bonds, which will be repaid over 20 years by a combination of existing transportation revenues and an additional transfer of $50 million per year from the state general fund.
SWEEP drafted language to create a new fund for multimodal options, focusing on public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and new mobility such as shared electric vehicles. The legislature incorporated this language into the bill, meaning that 15 percent of the money outlined in SB1 (or $456 million) will be allocated to this fund. The bill requires a one-to-one match from other funding sources, potentially leading to more than $900 million in multimodal investment. The bill also removes an existing restriction that prevented local governments from spending more than 15 percent of gas tax revenues on public transit operations.
SWEEP congratulates the House and Senate for this bipartisan compromise. Two legislators really stand out for their hard work, insisting that public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure had to be part of the package – Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran and Representative Faith Winter, who chairs the House Transportation and Energy committee.