Editor’s Note: This audio testimony is from today’s budget briefing.
STATE BILL COLORADO
Chief Colorado Economist Natalie Mullis told lawmakers today that she’s forecasting increased corporate income, personal income and sale-tax collections for 2009-10 and 2010-2011, but the increases are small, and the state still must make budget cuts.
Mullis pointed out that Colorado’s recovery is slight, and may even lag the nation’s recovery. She’s not currently forecasting a double-dip recession, however, but she acknowledged that one may occur.
She also warned of multiple “budget cliffs” that are to come when stimulus-related funds begin to decline before completely phasing out. These cliffs and the weakness of the recovery will all but require Colorado legislators to cut the state’s budget further.
Just minutes before Mullis’ briefing to the Joint Budget Committee, representatives took steps to cut money for K-12 education by $260 million. The decision drew tears and speeches of anguish from some legislators.
Mullis’ full budget forecast is published here.