Colorado’s state budget: Here’s what you should know

By John Herrick

THE COLORADO INDEPENDENT

A new economic forecast by the nonpartisan Legislative Council estimates Colorado faces a $3.3 billion budget shortfall this coming fiscal year, a historic drop in revenue not seen since the Great Recession. 

Lawmakers have been waiting for this forecast so that they have a more clear picture of just how deep they will have to cut into state programs in order to pass a balanced $30-plus billion state budget by June 30. 

They will have to trim at least 10% of the state budget. And over the last week, the Joint Budget Committee has started to make cuts across the board. The decisions have brought some lawmakers to tears.

Much is still at stake as lawmakers prepare to return to the Capitol later this month. The budget shortfall likely will result in less funding for K-12 schools, environmental programs, social safety nets and much more. 

Here’s a breakdown of what you should know about the budget situation. 

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