Colorado

Oct 7, 2010 3:06 PM by Associated Press

Colorado lawmakers looking at steep budget cuts

State prisons, funding for colleges, gambling grants and severance tax grants will all be on the agenda when lawmakers sit down next month to consider up to $1.1 billion in budget cuts.

Rep. Mark Ferrandino is a Democrat who chairs the Joint Budget Committee that sets state spending priorities. He says Republican suggestions to cut state offices like the Governor's Energy Office and consolidate the state's 16 departments are unrealistic.

Republican budget committee member Rep. Kent Lambert said lawmakers need to consider turning over economic development to private companies, cut funding for tourism, education and Medicaid and close a dozen smaller state prisons.

Gov. Bill Ritter submits his budget Nov. 1 and budget committee members begin debate Nov. 10.

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