Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter recommended Friday that lawmakers cut $632 million from the current state budget, with major reductions for higher education, public education and health care. He also warned that more cuts are coming.
Ritter said his top priorities are public safety and public health, and despite his proposed cuts, he said he wants to protect higher education as much as he can.
Todd Saliman, Ritter's budget director, told lawmakers the state faces a $632 million shortfall in this year's $18.6 billion operating budget - and that that figure could soar to more than $1 billion over the next two years.
"The governor's plan is to try to fairly distribute the pain across the entire state government," Saliman told the Joint Budget Committee, which will have to vote on final cuts in coming weeks before working on more cuts for next year's budget.