March 19, 2012

(Denver) – Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the House Democratic leader, said the state revenue forecasts released today gave the state “breathing room” to restore proposed cuts to education spending.

The legislature’s chief economist, Natalie Mullis, said the state’s economic recovery “has matured and is not as fragile as it used to be,” and estimated that the state government’s revenues in the current fiscal year would grow by $108 million more than had been estimated in December. The governor’s budget director, Henry Sobanet, provided an even higher estimate, $149 million.

“In terms of the state budget, we get some breathing room,” said Rep. Ferrandino (D-Denver). “House Democrats will be pushing to prevent additional cuts to K-12 education.”

“The best news, of course, is that the Colorado economy keeps getting stronger,” Rep. Ferrandino said. “We’re still a long way from a full recovery from the Great Recession. But I’m a cautious optimist.”

Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder), a member of the legislative Joint Budget Committee, said the new revenue projection would allow the panel to put the final touches on the proposed 2012-13 state budget. The panel has been working on the budget for months and will submit it to the full legislature by month’s end.

“We will be working with the Republican members of the committee to produce a budget that supports the Coloradans who are being left out and left behind by the recovery, including needy seniors,” Rep. Levy said.

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