April 16 2009, 10:13 AM
Cash-desperate lawmakers are going back to the drawing board on Colorado's budget after plans failed to take $500 million from Pinnacol Assurance, which provides workers' compensation to state workers. That's according to The Denver Post, which notes that with $300 million in proposed cuts to state colleges and universities now also off the table, lawmakers will consider forcing state employees to take unpaid vacations, cuts to state health insurance for the poor, and increasing some kinds of cigarette taxes as the legislative session's May 6 end-date approaches. 9News reports that $94 million in cuts have been slated but does not provide specifics, saying that lawmakers have yet to iron out details. Meanwhile, Pinnacol president and chief executive officer Ken Ross is happy, stating "Pinnacol assets are private, not public, funds held in trust to protect our policyholders and their employees," reports the Denver Business Journal, which writes that House Democrats, who control the Legislature, are expected to announce new budget plans this morning.