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State Lawmakers Disagree On How To Pay For Transportation Bill

DENVER (CBS4) - The only transportation funding bill that has been introduced in the 2018 legislative session would ask voters to allow the state to issue $3.5 billion in bonds and pay for them with existing tax dollars.

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Copter4 flew over the state Capitol (credit: CBS)

The money would go toward projects across the state including widening Interstate 25 between Denver and Fort Collins and expanding Interstate 70 through the high country.

(credit: CBS)

Republicans and Democrats agree the improvements are needed, but disagree whether those projects are funding with existing money or new money.

The bill would repeal a law that committed $1.9 billion to transportation last year.

(credit: CBS)

If passed, the bill would also ask voters to dedicate 10 percent of the states current sales tax to transportation in order to pay off the bond over 20 years.

That means less money in the general fund for education and healthcare.

Sen. John Cooke argues each of those received a third of the Referendum C funding while transportation received one half of one percent.

(credit: CBS)

The bill passed its first committee on Tuesday with only Republican support. Democrats control the House of Representatives, which if they don't pass the bill, it won't go to voters.

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