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CO Lawmakers Say They Need to Cut $3.3 Billion From State budget

The coronavirus outbreak is expected to take even more money out of the state budget than lawmakers were originally expecting.

Lawmakers thought they’d have to cut between 2 and 3 billion from next year’s budget. But the state’s chief economist, Kate Watkins, says they need to cut 3.3 billion dollars. She says the virus’ impact on the economy over the last two months has been "unimaginable."

WATKINS: Getting back up to that pre-Covid economic levels of activity it’s going to take years to get back up to that level.

Watkins says there is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast and a resurgence of the virus could make the projections even worse. Lawmakers are planning to return to the Capitol later this month to decide how to cut about 10 percent from their spending plan.

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.
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