Colorado lawmakers consider cuts after Wall Street meltdown | SummitDaily.com
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Colorado lawmakers consider cuts after Wall Street meltdown

DENVER ” The meltdown on Wall Street trickled down to the state on Monday, forcing lawmakers to consider a hiring freeze and other budget cuts to cope with declining revenues.

Rep. Al White, R-Hayden, told the Joint Budget Committee it would be better to begin making cuts as soon as possible rather than wait for the Legislature to convene in January.

Democrats on the panel also agreed the state needed to cut its spending. While other states may be able to borrow money to make up for shortfalls, Colorado’s constitution bars deficit spending.

White said the Legislature should resurrect a list of proposed cuts during the last economic downturn, a list that became known as the “horrible” list because of the huge cuts that would have been required. State agencies drew up a list of proposed cuts that recommended $256 million in budget cuts, including the permanent closing of 11 state parks and eliminating 210 jobs in the health department.

“I think another list of horribles might be a good idea,” White said.

The budget committee cannot order cuts on its own but lawmakers plan to ask Gov. Bill Ritter to consider immediate action, including a hiring a freeze.


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