Gessler keeping $3.5M slated to balance budget

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Secretary of State Scott Gessler plans to keep $3.5 million that his predecessor had offered to state lawmakers to help balance the budget.

The Denver Post reports that Gessler, a Republican, wants to use some of the money to fight identity theft.

The money at issue is from a fund generated by fees on business filings. Some of that money is used to fund elections but Gessler said it shouldn’t be used to support the general operations of government.

Former Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, a Democrat, said he wanted to give the money back to state lawmakers to help balance the state budget. Lawmakers face up to a $1.1 billion shortfall in the budget year that begins in July.