DENVER (AP) -- Gov. John Hickenlooper signed next year's Colorado budget on Wednesday, increasing dollars for schools and colleges, boosting the state's rainy day fund, and spending money for a state-owned aerial fleet to try to spot wildfires sooner.
The budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which begins July 1, is about $23 billion -- a figure that includes federal dollars and fees. It's an increase from the current budget, which is about $21 billion.
With improving tax revenues, lawmakers were able to increase funding for public schools to keep up with enrollment and inflation, raising per-student funding at public schools by more than $200 to $6,875. Public colleges and universities are getting an extra $100 million to limit tuition increases and help with financial aid.
The state's general-fund budget reserves, which dipped to 2 percent during the recession, are increasing to 6.5 percent, so the fund stands at $576.4 million. Currently, the reserves are at 5 percent.