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STATE BILL COLORADO
Colorado’s revenues continue to fall short of state spending projections, requiring Gov. Bill Ritter to plan for more budget cuts. Here’s how the state’s media covered Monday’s budget forecast.
Denver Business Journal: Colorado faces a budget deficit of between $50 million and $257 million for the rest of this fiscal year, a gap that has begun a debate among legislators over how many service and personnel costs — or revenue increases — need to be made to the current budget. Rep. Mark Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat and chairman of the state’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC), said after receiving the September revenue forecast Monday that he hopes that Gov. Bill Ritter, who must submit a budget-balancing plan by the end of October, starts on the lower end of the estimates.
Denver Post: Colorado school districts, already hit with 6 percent cuts in the current fiscal year, could face another reduction after a new budget forecast that shows the state is back in the red. The potential new cut to schools could come just after districts received federal funding to help offset previous funding decreases. According to the forecast presented to lawmakers Monday, the state budget is as much as $257 million short in the current fiscal year that ends in June and faces a deficit of almost $1.1 billion in the next fiscal year.
Denver Daily News: Colorado is facing a budget shortfall of $248.7 million in the current fiscal year that ends in June, and lawmakers may need to cut an additional $67.2 million to compensate for less federal Medicaid funds, according to a state revenue forecast released yesterday.
Aurora Sentinel: The state’s budget shortfall could amount to about $249 million for fiscal year 2010-11, about $189.1 million higher than was originally proposed by Gov. Bill Ritter in August.
Associated Press: Comparing Colorado’s economic recovery to a hangover, state budget officials warned lawmakers on Monday that Gov. Bill Ritter may be forced to cut another $189 million from this year’s budget because of a sluggish economic recovery. Legislative economist Jason Schrock told lawmakers that Colorado’s economic recovery is like having a hangover: “You’re a little bit slower, a little less energetic” than expected, he said.
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: The state’s economy has shown “solid” signs of bouncing back in recent months, but full recovery could take at least another year, state economists told lawmakers Monday. The state’s private sector added jobs in June and July, marking the first employment growth in Colorado since businesses began shedding workers in April 2009, Natalie Mullis, chief economist for the Legislative Council, told members of the Joint Budget Committee on Monday.