Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Senate Passes 17.6 Million Dollar Budget

DENVER - After a fiery and sometimes personal debate today, a divided Senate passed the state's $17.6 billion budget on a near party-line vote.

Following Wednesday's lengthy tussle over the budget, the approval was expected, but the emotion the budget aroused this morning was not.

"This is the best deal for any budget in any state in the country," Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, roared, his face turning red.

Democrats said the budget is both fiscally and morally responsible. Republicans said the budget is irresponsible because it does not do enough to conserve money for a likely recession.

"This budget is a disappointment; this budget is a frustration," said Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield. "We are spending our children's inheritance."

The Senate passed the budget 21-14, with only one Republican - Joint Budget Committee member Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins - voting in favor.

"No, the budget's not perfect," Johnson said. "But overall I think it's a good document."

The budget next goes back to the House to approve the Senate's amendments. That likely will not happen, and a conference committee will probably be appointed to work out the differences.

The Denver Post

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