DENVER (AP) — The Colorado House gave a $7.4 billion spending plan preliminary approval Wednesday, and House members expect to take a final vote today.
“I think we did Colorado very proud today in bringing forth a responsible budget,” said Republican Rep. Jon Becker, one of the budget writers.
The Senate could debate the budget next week. The $7.4 billion is money from the general fund that lawmakers have discretion over.
Some proposals had House Republicans questioning how seriously Democrats were taking the budget debate. Republicans accused Democrats of setting up what Republicans called “gotcha” amendments, including one forbidding the use of state money for vasectomies or the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
“I find this lack of seriousness insulting,” said the GOP’s lead budget writer, Rep. Cheri Gerou.
Democratic Rep. Dan Pabon said the proposal was a response to the national debate on whether insurance should be forced to cover birth control. He withdrew the amendment but not before making quips from the House podium.
“I know that this amendment, you know, hits many below the belt,” Pabon said.
Associated Press writer Kristen Wyatt contributed.