State Senate Backs $605M In Budget Cuts

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- The Senate has given initial backing to trimming about $605 million from this year's budget, about $20 million less than recommended by the committee that drafts the state budget.

That's because senators dipped into some of the extra $85 million in Medicaid funding Colorado is now expected to get from the federal stimulus package. The $17 million would be used roll back unpopular cuts and transfers involving payments to doctors treating Medicaid patients and aid to Children's Hospital.

They also took $1.6 million from a hazardous waste fund to provide support services to more developmentally disabled people.

Fiscal analysts advise that the state will get $85 million on top of the $107 million in extra Medicaid money that's already been factored into the budget. Joint Budget Committee member Sen. Abel Tapia warned lawmakers against spending the extra money yet because it's not clear exactly when the money will be distributed.

But Sen. John Morse said the state shouldn't be balancing its budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.

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