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Bill Ritter delivered a sobering State of the State address yesterday, the last such speech the lame duck governor will give. He scolded lawmakers who score short-term political points as partisans at the expense of long-term solutions to help Colorado navigate a difficult budget.
“Decades from now, our grandchildren will look back at this moment and ask us what it was like, the same way we look back at the Great Depression,” the Democratic governor said (via The Denver Post). “This is a hinge in history, and I hope we can tell them that, ‘Yes, it was tough, but we worked together and rose to the challenge.'”
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Though Colorado faces a $601 million budget shortfall this year and as much as $1.3 billion more in the next fiscal year, the governor says there are bright spots that will see the state through, including “one of the best business climates and economic outlooks in the country” and gains in industries such as renewable energy (via the Denver Business Journal).
Ritter promises to work across party lines to bring jobs to Colorado, but won’t tolerate any “$10 solutions to billion-dollar problems” (via the Associated Press).
He also warns of “three of the most backward-thinking ballot measures this state has ever seen”: Proposition 101 and amendments 60 and 61. The trio, he says, would shut down colleges and prisons and prevent the repair of unsafe roads and bridges: “If these measures pass, the state could never again support building another public school, library, or rec center. The cynical game the proponents are playing with our future would quite literally destroy the safety net and wipe out any hope of creating a better future for our children.”
Read the full text of Ritter’s address at 9News.