The 2022 state legislative session concluded May 11, and Metropolitan State University of Denver’s active engagement helped secure significant budget and policy successes. 

Yearlong negotiations on the funding formula and resources for higher-education institutions came to fruition with passage of the long bill. MSU Denver saw the highest percentage increase of any Colorado higher-education institution at 14%, with a net increase of $10.2 million. This increase is a direct result of MSU Denver’s leadership and advocacy among the other institutions to ensure that $50 million of the total funding for higher education was distributed through Step 1 of the funding formula. That formula is used to promote equity initiatives such as funding for Pell-eligible students, first-generation students and underrepresented minorities across the state. 

Capital Funding

MSU Denver also secured funding for such critical infrastructure and programmatic initiatives as:                

  • $10 million  to build updated and expanded simulation labs for Nursing and other health disciplines, supporting the labs’ relocation from Boulder Creek to West Classroom and nearly doubling the programs’ student capacities. 
  • $3.35 million for million for IT enterprise-resource planning and the Workday HR and Finance transformation initiative  
  • $750,000 for an IT network project 
  • $300,000 for Cybersecurity programs 

MSU Denver also advocated for additional support for the Auraria Higher Education Center, which included: 

  • $22.2 million for the campuswide building envelope capital project 
  • $3.7 million for controlled maintenance projects 
  • $4.07 million general fund for bond assistance  

Watch a Wrap-Up of the Legislative Session

Bills Breakdown

MSU Denver also engaged on behalf of a number of successful legislative initiatives aimed at improving opportunities and/or financial resources for the students whom the University serves. Such students include those with disabilities, former foster youth, ASSET students and Displaced Aurarians.  

Priority bills passed are listed numerically below and discussed in this legislative session recap featuring MSU Denver Janine Davidson, Ph.D., and Director of Government Affairs Kaycee Gerhart. 

  • HB 1049: Prohibiting Transcript and Diploma Withholding  
  • HB 1107: Inclusive Higher Ed Opportunities  
    • $450,000 grant program to assist IHEs in creating an inclusive program for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities
  • HB 1155: In-state Tuition for Colorado High School Graduates  
    • Updates the ASSET statute to make in-state tuition even more accessible to undocumented Coloradans 
  • HB 1220: Removing Barriers to Educator Preparation 
    • $11,000-$22,000 stipends to students training to become educators + educator loan forgiveness 
  • HB 1255: Improve Higher Ed for Students with a Disability 
  • HB 1349: Postsecondary Student Success Data System  
  • HB 1350: Regional Talent Development Initiative Grant Program 
    • $91 million grant program 
  • HB 1366: Improving Students’ Postsecondary Options  
    • Funding to increase completion of financial-aid forms
  • HB 1393: Displaced Aurarians Scholarship  
    • $666,667 for an MSU Denver endowment to support Displaced Aurarians ($2 million total for the three institutions on the Auraria Campus) 
  • SB 008: Higher Education Support for Foster Youth  
    • Ensures no cost of attendance for former foster youth; state to cover 50% of remaining cost after federal and state aid is applied 
  • SB 139: Juneteenth as State Holiday 
  • SB 172: Colorado Rural Health-care Workforce Initiative 
    • $65,000 seed funding for MSU Denver 
  • SB 192: Opportunities for Credential Attainment 
    • Supports creation of more stackable credential pathways in higher ed 
  • SB 226: Programs to Support Healthcare Workforce 
    • $61 million from American Rescue Plan Act funds to multiple programs supporting the education, training, recruitment and retention of health-care workers

To engage in the University’s advocacy efforts and receive regular updates about relevant legislation, sign up to become an MSU Denver Champion at