DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's budget proposal released Thursday includes more funding for education, more Medicaid spending, and pay increases for state employees for the first time in five years.

The Democratic governor's budget plan represents something the state hasn't seen in years: no major cuts.

"It is heartening to be on the other side of what has been a steep decline," Hickenlooper said.

As the state economy has begun to improve, Hickenlooper's economists have emphasized a theme of cautious optimism. They point out that the state's economy is growing slowly, and that it has been boosted by taxes on one-time stock sales, not necessarily by more jobs.

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