Friday, March 25, 2011

Senator Kopp Outlines GOP Budget Principles

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp presented Mary Hodge, Chairman of the Colorado Joint Budget Committee, a letter outlining the Senate Republicans budget principles:

Dear Senator Hodge:

We recognize that difficult choices must be made in these challenging times. We do not relish this, but must learn to live within our means, both in the FY 2011-12 cycle and in future years – our constituents expect and deserve nothing less. It is our belief that higher government spending will result in further job losses. With that in mind, we propose enacting structural reforms that will ease budgetary pressures both in FY 2011-12 and in future years.

Senate Republicans believe the following eight budget principles provide a sound basis for a fiscally responsible FY 2011-12 state budget. We pledge our support in committee and on the Senate floor for a budget which:

• Maintains a reserve of at least 4 percent as recommended by the Governor;

• Budgets to the most conservative General Fund revenue estimate available for FY 2011-12;

• Avoids suspending the $65 million vendor fee that has already cost thousands of jobs;

• Makes structural, long term changes to entitlements, which are increasingly crowding out needed funding for core functions of government such as K-12, higher education, and transportation;

• Consolidates prisons and increase utilization of cheaper private corrections facilities;

• Increases the amount that government workers pay for their retirement as recommended by the Governor;

• Avoids the use of one-time fund sources to prop up General Fund spending that will create a shortfall next year; and

• Is amenable to and supportive of additional structural changes and cuts in spending which will be offered by our caucus in floor amendments.

We look forward to working with the Joint Budget Committee to pass a balanced budget that fulfills our obligations for sound fiscal management, not only for the FY 2011-12 budget cycle but for long term economic growth and prosperity. These challenging times require hard decisions – let’s get to work.

Mike Kopp
Senate Minority Leader

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