As reported widely this morning, the Colorado budget continues to struggle with a sluggish economic recovery, and increased federal Medicaid reimbursement that, while welcome additional help, came in somewhat less than what the state originally forecast.
These ongoing shortfalls add up to over $250 million in additional cuts or revenue finds (not many of those left now) to balance the present fiscal year’s budget, the details of which the Governor will announce next month, and well over a billion dollars of additional cutting by the legislature in January for the fiscal year beginning in June. Release from Gov. Bill Ritter follows: “We will do what we can to minimize pain and protect essential services. We’ll continue to employ a strategy of shared sacrifice and solutions, and we are going to remain aggressive about economic development so Colorado is well-positioned for a strong, sustainable and healthy recovery.”
And remember, folks, these cuts are just a taste of what Republicans are proposing–not just calling for out of necessity, mind you, but campaigning on–should they win majorities in November. And as Ritter says in this release, over $4.4 billion in shortfalls have already been closed by the legislature since the recession began. Everything that’s left to cut is something you, lay citizen, are going to miss dearly.
OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER JR.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, SEPT. 20, 2010
Evan Dreyer, 720.350.8370, firstname.lastname@example.org
Myung Oak Kim, 303.947.5708, email@example.com
GOV. RITTER STATEMENT ON TODAY’S ECONOMIC FORECASTS
Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement regarding today’s quarterly economic and revenue forecasts, which show the need for additional budget cutting and balancing in the current fiscal year:
“Today’s forecasts are a clear reminder that Colorado’s economic recovery is not nearly as robust as Coloradans want or need. Economic growth remains volatile and sluggish, and Colorado families and businesses are not yet seeing healthy, sustainable or certain growth in their bottom lines, while government agencies also continue to face difficult budgets.
“Since the recession started, my office and the legislature have cut spending and closed shortfalls of $4.4 billion. Today’s forecasts mean we face even more difficult and unenviable decisions ahead to keep the budget balanced – and we’ll be making those decisions from a list of options that has grown shorter and shorter since the recession hit.
“We will do what we can to minimize pain and protect essential services. We’ll continue to employ a strategy of shared sacrifice and solutions, and we are going to remain aggressive about economic development so Colorado is well-positioned for a strong, sustainable and healthy recovery.
“As challenging as today’s forecasts are, the fact remains that the economy is better off today than it was a year ago. We are seeing positive signs – consumer spending is growing, new claims for unemployment insurance are down and people are reducing their debt levels – and we are well-positioned for sustainable growth in the months ahead.”
After the Governor’s Office reviews the forecasts, the Governor will announce a plan to close the FY10-11 shortfall by the end of October. At the same time, the Governor’s Office is preparing to submit a proposed FY11-12 budget to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on Nov. 1.