Colorado Budget Shortfall May Be As High As $257 Million, More Cuts Loom

09/20/2010 02:33 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Governor Bill Ritter will be forced to make even more cuts to Colorado's budget after a new economic report showed state revenues continuing to lag.

State economists told lawmakers on Tuesday that, although the economy continues to show "solid signs of a slow recovery," the budget is as much as $257 million short in the current fiscal year and faces a deficit of almost $1.1 billion in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

The Governor has already been forced to cut $60 million from this year's budget using money from medical marijuana registrations, and by cutting funding for the Department of Corrections, among other actions.

It is unclear where the new budget cuts will come from, but Budget Director Todd Saliman told Education News Colorado that "it would be difficult to balance a shortfall of that size without impacting K-12 or higher education."

He added that Governor Ritter will do all he can to protect education.

In a statement Monday, Ritter said his office would "continue to employ a strategy of shared sacrifice and solutions."



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