Governor Bill Owens is on a holiday spending spree.
On Monday, Mr. Owens announced plans to spend $60 million on
road projects across the state and $10 million to help the poor pay skyrocketing heating bills---all courtesy of the federal government.
The money is part of $146.3 million given to Colorado earlier this year to help it weather the recession. Owens has already spent $30 million. Now he plans to spend another $111.3 million.
The Governor allocated the $60 million for road projects as follows:
Widening Santa Fe (US 85) from Highlands Ranch south: $7 million
Improvements on SH 86 from County Road 25 to County Road 33: $3 million
Safety improvements along US 24 east of Colorado Springs: $6 million
Widening project along US 160/350 to improve the road serving the new prison northeast of Trinidad: $1 million
Resurfacing along US 50 in Bent and Otero counties: $3 million
Resurfacing I-70 near Grand Junction: $3 million
Resurfacing SH 82 near Glenwood Springs: $4 million
Resurfacing SH 133 from Paonia Reservoir east: $3 million
Install cable guard rail and safety improvements on I-25 from SH 7 to Fort Collins: $4.5 million
Replacing portions of I-76 in northeastern Colorado: $5.5 million
Improvements along US 160 in southwestern Colorado: $10 million
Advancement of the I-70/58th Avenue interchange project: $5 million
Additional funding for the replacement of the I-25/Broadway viaduct: $5 million
The Governor allocated the following federal funds for the following projects and services:
Assistance for Low-income Families on Heating Bills
$10 million for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).
This program gives cash assistance to qualified Coloradans to help pay home heating bills. The $10 million represents a 30 percent increase in funding for the program this winter.
Jobs for Colorado
$15 million for economic development efforts to help the state attract new businesses and jobs and business retention. Included in these efforts will be $2.5 million of job training.
$3 million total: $2 million to improve access to dental care for Medicaid and Children's Basic Health Plan (CHP+) children and $1 million in development funds to enhance and expand consumer directed
support programs that allow Medicaid recipients to direct their own home care services.
$5 million to help provide health insurance to people who are otherwise uninsurable.
$500,000 for increasing immunization rates among Colorado children.
Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program
$204,000 to provide low-income individuals with life-saving medication and treatment for AIDS.
Tuition Assistance for National Guard
$250,000 to help recruit and retain National Guard members.
State Veterans Nursing Home
$1 million to cover the cost of the outside health care management group to operate the nursing home.
$2.2 million to improve the states DNA testing capability at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Charter School Capital Construction
$3.2 million to help narrow the inequity of funding between public neighborhood and public charter schools.
State Internet Portal
$7.5 million to modernize Colorado's information technology network, allowing a single point of contact for citizens to do government business.
Forensics Unit at the Colorado Mental Health Institute
Approximately $900,000 for construction. Pueblo Minimum Center and Youthful Offender System (YOS)- $1.8 million to allow the state to move women into the YOS facility and move the YOS inmates into the Pueblo Minimum Center, thereby alleviating the current shortfall in women's beds. The state has 287 vacant beds at the YOS while women prisoners are increasing at a rate of 21 per month.
$785,000 to help put the State Fair in a more solvent financial position.
Talking Book Library for the blind and disabled
$50,000 to buy periodicals and other resources.