Hickenlooper: Cut K-12 by $375 million

Education and state employees look to take the take the brunt of the state’s fiscal woes in the governor’s budget plan released today.

Gov. Hickenlooper’s proposal asks state employees to contribute another 2 percent of their salary into PERA on top of a 2.5 percent increase already in place and due to be extended.

His plan would further cut K-12 education by $375 million, which equates to approximately $500 per student. The plan further calls for cuts to higher education of $36 million. Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, said he questioned whether some of the proposals were either “principled or wise.”

Steadman said taking more money from state workers to put that money into a reserve fund was unlikely the right direction to go.

Noting the cuts to education, Rep Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, said it was time to bring the question of tax increases to the voters in hopes of saving jobs and educational programs.

Speaking before the Joint Budget Committee, Gov. John Hickenlooper said he thought it was imperative to reinstate a 4 percent rainy day fund.

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