Friday, February 4, 2011

Further cuts to public services could harm state's economy

Many states are considering additional deep cuts to important public services as they formulate budget proposals, according to a report out today from our allies at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

"Thirty-one states have released their initial budget proposals for fiscal year 2012 (which begins July 1 in most states), and, for the fourth year in a row, these budgets propose deep cuts in education, health care, and other important public services — in many cases, deeper than previous cuts.1 These cuts will delay the nation’s economic recovery and undermine efforts to create jobs," the report says.

Among the highlights from our state:
  • Former Colorado Governor Ritter, in a budget submitted before leaving office, proposed extending a suspension of certain tax and fee exemptions; current Governor Hickenlooper is expected to largely follow Governor Ritter’s plan.
  • Former Colorado Governor Ritter’s budget would underfund by $123 million the state’s K-12 education formula, which is designed to ensure that funding keeps pace with the growth in the number of students and inflation. This amounts to a $40-per-student reduction.
All this just underscores our view that additional revenue must be part of the solution to maintaining vital services.

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