FILE - Colorado's Jared Polis and Dianne Primavera

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, right, and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera as then running mates in this October 2018 AP file photo.

The Colorado legislature’s budget includes funding for a more than $66,000 raise for the lieutenant governor, who also will serve as the head of a new state health care office.

Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera would get an additional $66,640 salary to serve concurrently as the director of the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. If approved, the salary would be appropriated from the state’s general fund for the next fiscal year.

The General Assembly still needs to OK Primavera’s concurrent role as lieutenant governor and director of the office in House Bill 1127. State law currently allows the lieutenant governor to also serve as the head of a department, and the legislation specifically allows the additional role as head of the new health care office.

The salary is in addition to the $93,360 Primavera makes annually as lieutenant governor, giving her a total salary of $160,000. Gov. Jared Polis’ salary is $123,193 annually, making Primavera higher paid than the state’s top elected official.

While the legislation isn’t included in the budget package, it’s included for budgeting purposes, according to the narrative for the budget bill.

Polis signed an executive order shortly after taking office establishing the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care, which has a goal “to study, identify and implement policies that will lower health care costs while ensuring all Coloradans have access to affordable, quality care.”

Senate Bill 207, the budget bill, was passed by the Senate last week and will be considered by the House next week.

The budget approved by the Senate tops $32.3 billion and includes a 3 percent salary increase for all public employees.

Republicans and fiscal hawks have criticized the proposed budget, which grew nearly 5 percent from the previous year.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.