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PNS Daily Newscast - December 8, 2017 


In focus on our Friday rundown; two members of Congress are stepping down over sexual misconduct allegations; the BLM suspends natural gas waste standards; and we have a noted historian's take on the GOP Tax plan.

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Bigger Umbrella for CO's Next 'Rainy Day'

April 23, 2007


Denver - Save it for a rainy day. That's what a bill being heard in the Senate Finance Committee this week would do with over $70 million of next year's state budget. The money would bolster the general fund reserve, which is currently just 4 percent of the entire budget. State Treasurer Cary Kennedy says 4 percent is a very thin margin.

“What we know is we don't even need to see a drop in revenues, but really just a reduction in the growth of our state revenues is going to trigger some automatic cuts.”

The hope is to eventually build the reserve to 8 percent of the budget. The $70 million would be the first step, adding another half-percent.

Carol Hedges with the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute says increasing the reserve means important services like health care and education are less likely to disappear next time the economy takes a hit.

“Rather than having to cut preschool slots, for example, the legislature will have money set aside so that they can use money from that reserve to keep those preschool slots in place.”

During the last recession, the state made cuts to programs like preschool and higher education. Those opposed to putting more in savings worry it would take money away from road projects in the state, which currently receive any leftover funds. Hedges says that may be true, but preserving services for children should be a higher priority.

Kennedy adds that the bill will help keep important services from being cut during the next recession.

“So that we don't have to go in and disrupt services for folks being treated at hospitals or depend upon state-funded services, including higher education.”

The bill is HB-1302. It is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Finance Committee at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - CO