Jared Polis' budget plan puts millions toward crime fighting
Gov. Jared Polis put his campaign promise to curb crime in Colorado front and center in his roughly $40.6 billion proposed state budget for the next fiscal year.
Driving the news: The Democrat has pledged to make Colorado one of the 10 safest states if he wins re-election next week. His budget plan would put $42 million more toward addressing public safety challenges, cracking down on auto theft, fentanyl and violent extremism.
- $12.6 million would go toward an auto theft task force and 10 prosecutors to focus on convictions for those arrested.
- $2.4 million would create two special investigation units inside the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to focus on "novel crimes," such as fentanyl distribution.
The intrigue: On the campaign trail, Republican rival Heidi Ganahl and her allies are attacking Polis, saying he hasn't done enough to address sky-rocketing auto thefts and fentanyl overdose deaths.
What he's saying: Asked whether his proposal comes too late, Polis told Axios Denver that "it's something that meets the needs today."
The big picture: Polis — who must submit a budget to the Legislature by Nov. 1 each year — pitched his spending plan to lawmakers as fiscally prudent.
- It represents a 7% increase in discretionary spending from the general fund and sets aside 15%, or $2.2 billion, for reserves given the "great economic uncertainty" looking ahead, he said.
Of note: The governor's budget plan puts total spending at $42.7 billion, but it double counts some dollars shifted between departments.
- It's also the starting point in a six-month process in which lawmakers set the state's annual budget.
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