Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gov. Hickenlooper delivers budget to JBC

Gov. John Hickenlooper today delivered FY 2010-11 and FY 2011-12 budget changes to the Joint Budget Committee.

“This budget proposal is about tough choices and sustainability. Frankly, it is about living within our means at a difficult time,” Hickenlooper said. “We are taking difficult steps now to ensure that Colorado’s budget is on a sustainable path, which is critical as we seek to achieve both short-term and long-term economic growth.”

The budget package is based on the most conservative economic forecast and reduces expenses across state government, including reductions to K-12 education, higher education, Medicaid and human services. The budget changes also include closing a state prison, repurposing four state parks, reducing local grants and restoring a 4 percent budget reserve – which is approximately 14 days of operating funds for the state.

“Make no mistake, the choices we are making today will hurt,” Hickenlooper said.

While the budget contains many difficult choices, it minimizes reductions for the most vulnerable people in Colorado in programs such as Medicaid, Child Welfare, Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health.

“We view our task in three parts: to balance the annual budget, to utilize the resources we have more effectively and to find efficiencies and do better planning, and to harmonize our tax and spending requirements,” Hickenlooper said. “This plan addresses the first of these parts. We believe this plan is a critical first step to restoring structural balance to the state’s General Fund.”

State Employees and the public are invited to submit budget-saving ideas here. Information about the state’s Bottom-up Economic Development plan is also available on the website, as well as more information about the budget changes for the next two fiscal years.

“We would like to thank the leadership of the General Assembly and the members of the Joint Budget Committee for their partnership in this process and the thoughtful and productive meetings we have had to date,” Hickenlooper said. “We look forward to working with them on behalf of the people of Colorado.”

Click here to view the Budget Balancing plan letter to the JBC

Click here to view the FY 2011-12 Budget Balancing Plan

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