Thursday, June 25, 2009


Gov. Bill Ritter today directed his Cabinet members to submit plans and ideas on how to reduce their budgets by 10 percent. The Governor also said more employee furloughs and other personnel reductions will be necessary to close a $384 million budget gap in the fiscal year that starts July 1.
"We will go through each of the department submittals line-by-line and item-by-item as we determine how best to balance the budget," Gov. Ritter said. "We'll do it thoughtfully and carefully, the way we've been doing it, and we'll make sure our priorities and values are reflected in the cuts."
Department heads must submit their plans to the Governor by July 20. Reductions will be implemented in August, reviewed by the legislature's Joint Budget Committee in September and ratified by legislature in January.
The reductions come on top of $1.4 billion of budget-balancing steps already taken for FY08-09 and FY09-10. State employees currently are scheduled to take four unpaid furlough days in FY09-10, and Gov. Ritter said more will be needed. The shortfalls are the ongoing result of the recession, which continues to mean lower-than-expected revenues, particular in the areas of personal income and sales taxes.
"Over the past few days, I have talked with members of the JBC and leadership from both parties," Gov. Ritter said. "We all agree we need to move quickly to close the shortfall and keep the budget balanced – and we are.
"We will continue to make the tough choices we've been making for nearly a year," Gov. Ritter said. "We've been thoughtful and responsible in our approach – being more efficient, investing in better ways to do business, and protecting the delivery of vital services.
"We're positioning Colorado to lead this country out of the recession. Earlier this month, even Moody's predicted thatColorado will be one of the first five state's to emerge from the downturn.
"As Governor, I will continue to ensure we have both a balanced budget and a vision for building the Colorado our children and grandchildren deserve."