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Attorney General Phil Weiser highlights priorities with budget request amendments to Joint Budget Committee

Jan. 15, 2019 (DENVER, Colo.) — Recruiting and retainable high-caliber legal talent, combating the opioid epidemic, and managing the criminal appeals backlog are among the top budget priorities Attorney General Phil Weiser highlighted during testimony today before the General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC).

In a letter to the JBC, Weiser presented a budget amendment request to the Department of Law’s Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget that includes:
  • $2.1 million in additional salary support to better position the Department of Law to retain and recruit top legal staff;
  • $535,820 in FY2019-20 and $565,607 in FY2020-21 to enhance the Department’s efforts to manage current and future litigation needs to combat the opioid epidemic, improper prescriptions and deceptive sales practices of drug companies; and,
  • $388,429 in FY2019-20 and $412,873 in FY2020-21 for an Energy Advisory Unit to provide technical assistance and guidance on best practices to local governments regarding energy development.
“Budget is policy. Whether fighting the opioid epidemic, protecting the public health, safety and environment, or handling some of the most complex and demanding civil and criminal cases in the state, each of these requests is critical to the Department’s ability to protect and serve the people of Colorado. I look forward to working with the JBC and all legislators on these important priorities,” Weiser told the committee members.

Other priorities in the budget amendment request include funding for increased staffing support to keep pace with the quantity and complexity of the criminal appellate case backlog, additional funding for water law-related legal services, and reestablishment of a Conviction Integrity Unit to assist district attorneys in reviewing past convictions and identifying potential cases of wrongful conviction utilizing recently discovered or recently processed evidence.

A copy of the Attorney General’s letter to the JBC and related documents are attached.


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