Lawmakers made billions in cuts to finish budget

By John Frank

THE COLORADO SUN

In the final hours of the lawmaking session, the General Assembly finalized a $30.3 billion state budget after weeks of difficult work to close a $3 billion deficit. Instead of expressing relief at the finish line, the top legislative budget writer issued a warning.

“For those of you who haven’t heard the news flash, next year is going to be worse,” said state Rep. Daneya Esgar, the chairwoman of the Joint Budget Committee.

The bad news may come sooner rather than later. On Friday, when new economic forecasts are released, Colorado lawmakers will find out if they left a large enough cushion on the bottom line to absorb revenue fluctuations.

If the projections from the Polis administration show tax revenue in the general fund — which covers core government operations — falling by half, the governor must implement immediate budget cuts by executive order.

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