The passing of SB 17-267, Sustainability of Rural Colorado, marks a significant moment in Colorado history. This bill – in addition to other components designed to support rural Colorado through transportation and education funding – will move the Hospital Provider Fee into a separate enterprise, protecting Colorado’s hospitals from a half billion-dollar budget cut. The bill sponsors and legislators created a legacy for the future of health care in Colorado and for the value of working together to find common ground. This bill has been described as the “compromise of the decade.”
We applaud Colorado legislators who supported SB 17-267 and especially the bill’s sponsors. They serve as a national model for their ability to work across the aisle on behalf of all Coloradans. Senator Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) and Representative Donald Valdez (D-La Jara) are specific examples of how important it is to elect leaders who are committed to representing the best interest of Coloradans and keeping their community interests at the heart of the debate. Senator Larry Crowder and Representative Donald Valdez are champions for all Coloradans.
Not only has SB 17-267 restored the proposed $528 million in cuts to hospitals through the HPF enterprise, it has made great strides in education and transportation, with a large portion of these funds allocated to rural Colorado – $30 million for rural and small schools and $1.8 billion for transportation projects over four years. Of those transportation dollars, 25 percent is required to be spent in counties with populations of 50,000 or less and 10 percent goes to transit. SB 17-267 addresses health care, education, transportation and business – the cornerstones of Colorado’s economy.
Thank you to Senator Larry Crowder and Representative Donald and to all Colorado legislators for your ongoing efforts to work across the aisle to ensure a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all Coloradans.
Konnie Martin, CEO, San Luis Valley Health, Regional Medical Center
Kelly Gallegos, Administrator, San Luis Valley Health, Conejos County Hospital
Arlene Harms, CEO, Rio Grande Hospital
Kay Whitley, CEO, Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center