Senate Bill 273, which would have authorized the state to take $500
million from Pinnacol Assurance to offset $300 million in higher
education budget cuts, is off the table.
Today, lawmakers and Gov. Ritter rejected the bill; however, both
government branches are stating that alternative reductions must be
found because higher education could not take such a drastic cut in
Among the alternatives being discussed are eliminating some tax
exemptions and tax credits, and possibly requiring state employees to
take furloughs. The idea of furloughing state employees or cutting
their pay, had been considered once before, but been rejected. House
Majority Leader Paul Weissmann said five- to 10-day furloughs for
non-essential state employees in the next budget year might now be
As @Metro went to press, no specific decisions had been made.
Earlier today, Ritter had worked with the Joint Budget Committee and
bipartisan legislators to broker a deal with Pinnacol. After that fell
through, Ritter announced that he would no longer negotiate with
In a statement released to the press, Ritter said, “Members of my
staff and I have tried in good faith to reach an agreement with
Pinnacol. However, there remain too many unresolved issues and
questions for Colorado citizens and Pinnacol shareholders and
customers. Therefore, with a budget deadline looming, I have halted
negotiations with Pinnacol.”
Both Ritter and legislators said that the possibility of a court
battle with Pinnacol meant that there would be no money from Pinnacol
for the state this year, anyway.
The other bill involving Pinnacol, Senate Bill 281, is still alive.
That bill would put the quasi-governmental agency under state control.
The bill also includes a requirement that a study should be conducted
regarding the company’s future and whether the state should sell it.
Save Colorado Colleges Day of Education
for a Save Colorado Colleges Day of Education are going forward. The
event is scheduled for April 21, 11 a.m. -2 p.m. at the Auraria
Athletic Fields. Event organizers hope to draw 5,000 college students
Watch @Metro for details as they are made public.
For more information about the budget crisis or to submit a question or comment, go to www.mscd.edu/president/higheredfunding.
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