STATEWIDE, Colo.-A bipartisan bill aiming to economically level the playing field between urban and rural communities in Colorado is gaining momentum.
Senate Bill 267 addresses funding shortfalls for highways, healthcare and education in rural areas of the state.
One of the bill sponsors says that it’s clear that rural communities have been left behind, compared to the front range.
The bill puts money into small rural school classrooms, into critical care hospitals to stay open and running, and will direct 1/4 of the bonding for highways to rural projects.
The bill will let hospitals access funding from the expansion of healthcare from the federal government and highway funds will be diverted from the current budget.
Bill cosponsor Jerry Sonnenberg says that the Western Slope has never fully recovered from the oil and gas decline, and this is needed.
“That also effects the tax base stand in rural Colorado, and when that effects everything involved, the economy and tax base of rural Colorado tends to get left behind when it comes to roads, hospitals and education,” says Sonnenberg.
The bill is set to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee next Tuesday, potentially making its way to the governors desk in about a month.