The straight poop is on the way…
Governor Bill Ritter told the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee yesterday that funding public schools will be his top budget priority. As Mark Couch of The Denver Post reports:
“Education is fundamental to all that we do,” Ritter said in his first meeting with the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee, the six lawmakers who write the state’s annual spending plan.
Calling the budget a “moral document,” Ritter tied school spending to prisons, human services, economic development and other state programs. Ritter said departmental budgets are “interconnected” and should not be considered separately.
In addition to focusing on schools, Ritter said he would push to reduce prison spending, with rehabilitation and other programs focused on reducing the return rate of prison inmates. Ritter said reducing fast-growing prison costs would give the state more money for other programs such as higher education and human services, which are vulnerable to budget cuts.
Speaking of Ritter, he is one of a contingent of “tough Democrats” who were elected in 2006. Ritter is the second consecutive Democrat elected to statewide office in Colorado after serving as a prosecutor