Lawmakers Working on State Budget

co-state-capitol-300Colorado’s budget constrictions mean that they’ll have to refund about $58 million from the new pot taxes- even though the taxes were approved by voters. Expect lawmakers to propose a ballot measure after the budget passes to ask voters to keep the money. One change related to pot is in the budget, though, which lawmakers are going over this week. The spending plan last year included a money switcheroo so that the state could use some of it to seek matching federal tax dollars without labeling the state portion as pot money. The shift of $3.5 million from the state’s marijuana cash fund to its general fund was described by some as “money laundering” to hide the source of the money from federal health authorities. This year, budget writers are not doing that. Any pot money used on programs eligible for a federal match won’t be sifted through the general fund. Colorado doesn’t even know yet whether the feds will match the original money, with the state not scheduled to ask about the match until this summer.

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