A short time ago, the office of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock released the so-called September draft of his proposed 2019 budget for the City and County of Denver. And it's nothing if not ambitious.
The document is accessible below in its entirety. But to provide a quick look, we've excerpted key passages from the budget's summary section, which notes that the city's operating budget for next year has been set at $2.4 billion, an increase of 3 percent over 2018.
Also highlighted are a slew of priorities, including "Expanding Affordable Housing & Homeless Services," "Protecting Denver’s Unique Neighborhoods," "Improving Transportation and Mobility," "Growing Our Parks and Enhancing Our Recreation Programs," "Keeping Denver a Safe Big City" and "Bolstering Mental Health Services and Addressing Substance Misuse." And that's not to mention a number of significant capital projects.
Among the most interesting sections is one titled "Marijuana-Related Budget in Detail," which makes it clear just how dependent the city has become on money from cannabis. Revenues from marijuana are estimated at just over $32 million next year, and, as seen in a graphic we've included, the cash will go toward projects that fall under the umbrellas of regulation, enforcement, education, public health, affordable housing and more.
Note that Hancock opposed Amendment 64, the 2012 measure that legalized limited recreational marijuana sales in the state.
Continue to get your first look at next year's budget.