FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2009
Evan Dreyer, 720.350.8370, firstname.lastname@example.org
GOV. RITTER CONTINUES BUDGET-BALANCING
Gov. Bill Ritter today continued submitting recommendations to the legislature’s
Joint Budget Committee to close a $1 billion shortfall, with these newest
proposals focusing on fiscal year 2009-10, which starts July 1 and ends June 30,
2010. Click here for detailed documents.
The plan calls for reducing or phasing out services and programs, closing or
delaying the opening of state prisons and other facilities, eliminating or keeping
vacant hundreds of positions, and imposing employee furlough days.
“Three weeks ago in my State of the State Address, I urged lawmakers to set
aside partisan differences and called on all Coloradans to work together as we
confront one of the worst economic crises in generations,” Gov. Ritter said.
“On Jan. 15, my office began submitting a budget-balancing plan to the Joint
Budget Committee, and today we are proposing additional steps that include
deep, targeted and strategic cuts,” Gov. Ritter said. “These reductions, along with
the latest unemployment figures released this morning, should leave no doubt in
anyone’s mind about the seriousness of the problems we face, and of the
collective effort it will take to chart a Colorado way forward.”
The FY09-10 recommendations submitted to the Joint Budget Committee today
$1 billion worth of proposals, including $696.2 million in actual General
Fund cuts and reductions, and another $126.9 million in reduced
obligations, for an overall decline of $823.1 million. The proposals
represent a 10 percent General Fund reduction from Gov. Ritter’s original
Nov. 1 FY09-10 General Fund operating budget request of $8.2 billion to
A carry-over of many of the items from the FY08-09 balancing plan into
An estimated $259 million of anticipated revenue from the federal
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help reduce the impact of
the budget shortfall on health care services.
Other elements Gov. Ritter’s FY09-10 balancing plan:
o Keep vacant or eliminate more than 540 full-time equivalent
o Impose five unpaid furlough days on most of the state’s
workforce, for a $15 million savings (including $7.6 million
General Fund), and authorize up to three furlough days in FY08-
09 if necessary.
o Withhold salary increases for 26,000 state employees, saving
nearly $63.1 million, including $34.3 million General Fund.
o Close the 210-bed Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility in
Canon City effective May 31, saving $5.2 million, eliminating 71
FTEs and requiring the transfer and double-bunking of inmates at
o Close the 192-bed Rifle Correctional Facility effective May 31 and
sell the property and water rights, saving $5.7 million.
o Sell a department-owned 1,000-acre ranch with water rights in
Chafee County, saving $2.7 million.
o Delay the April 2010 opening of Colorado State Penitentiary II in
Canon City until July or August 2010, saving $16.4 million.
o Delay the opening by one year, to July 2010, the expansion of the
Denver Reception Diagnostic Center, saving $2.7 million.
o Close the 20-bed general hospital at the Colorado Mental Health
Institute at Pueblo effective Nov. 1, 2009, saving $4.8 million total
funds, including $3.1 million General Fund, and eliminating 54
o Close the 20-bed Therapeutic Child Care Facility at Fort Logan
effective July 1, saving $2.1 million total funds, including
$417,000 General Fund, and eliminating 30 FTEs.
o Reduce an earlier request for increased funding for developmental
disability services, saving $3.4 million total funds and $1.7 million
o Reduce state K-12 funding by $126 million, a 3.8 percent decline
from Gov. Ritter’s initial FY09-10 budget proposal. Reductions
Suspending a 2nd enrollment count for military children
Reducing charter school capital construction ($2.5 million)
Reducing full-day kindergarten expansion ($17.9 million)
o Reduce state higher education funding by $100 million (this
includes the $30 million reduction from FY08-09 and deepens it
by another $70 million). This overall reduction returns the state’s
contribution to higher education to the FY07-08 non-inflation
adjusted funding level of about $750 million.
o Reduce Medicaid expenditures, provider rates and reimbursement
obligations, saving about $150 million total funds, including about
$70 million General Fund.
o Suspend outreach efforts and reduce funding for Children’s Basic
Health Plan Plus, saving $19.3 million, including $3.1 million
o Senior Property Tax Homestead Exemption: Temporarily suspend
this tax exemption in FY09-10, FY10-11 and FY11-12, with fiscal
year General Fund savings of $91.4 million, $97.6 million, and
$103.4 million, respectively. Similar steps were taken in 2003,
2004 and 2005.
o Colorado Student Before and After School Program: Eliminate
funding to this program, saving $300,000.
o Gun Background Check Fee: Re-institute a $10 to $15 user fee for
the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s “InstaCheck” background
check service, saving $1.6 million General Fund.
Click here for a link to more detailed documents about the budget-balancing plan
or visit www.colorado.gov/ospb.