state budget

DENVER -- A coalition of 135 Colorado organizations is urging state lawmakers to use all tools in their toolbox to blunt the most serious economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jason Gonzales / Chalkbeat

Chalkbeat Colorado reporter Jason Gonzales joins KDNK's Gavin Dahl on Booked to explain the massive cuts to higher education coming to Colorado. We discussed his article on the COVID budget toll and his article on how these budget woes were decades in the making.

UPDATE: Jason's latest article, published after this interview aired, outlines how severe these cuts will be for higher ed in the state.   

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

Colorado's economic forecast is growing increasingly gloomy as a record number of residents file for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. The state's ski areas and other major businesses remain closed. While lawmakers are staying away from a dark and empty Capitol building, they still need to write a budget before June 30.

Passing a balanced budget is the only thing Colorado lawmakers are required to do during the annual 120-day legislative session. A strong economy means there is more general fund money to spend on priority items including roads and schools. The ‘long bill’ as its known has cleared the Democratic-controlled House and now goes to the Senate which is controlled by Republicans.

Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland breaks down what’s in the budget with reporters Brian Eason of the Denver Post and Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal.