Thursday, January 29, 2009

Colorado Governor: Furlough State Employees to save money

Colorado Governor. Bill Ritter proposed furloughing state workers and closing two prisons, to address a $1 billion deficit over the next 18 months.

And the state would eliminate a property-tax break for seniors for the next three years.

"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," said Ritter.

The state faces a more than $600 million shortfall in the budget year that ends in June and a $385 million hole the next year.

Ritter's plan calls for furloughing state workers for five days next year, saving the state $15 million total, about $7.6 million from the general fund.

And state workers would get neither performance nor cost-of-living pay increases, saving nearly $63.1 million, including $34.3 million from the general fund.

Ritter's proposed cuts must be approved by lawmakers, who may have different ideas about how to balance the budget or a better idea of federal stimulus amounts. And cuts may have to be rethought after a March economic forecast that could show the budget hole has grown larger.

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