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Despite all that talk about salvaging the budget by hiking taxes on items like soda and candy, Colorado’s budget remains troubled, and all lawmakers could do Wednesday was start slashing.
In an effort to shave another $475 million, House lawmakers approved 31 bills that cut into nearly every part of state government, reports The Associated Press. Republicans sponsored amendments that sought to force state agencies to cut workers but were ultimately foiled by majority Democrats, who warned that layoffs would endanger public safety and leave those who rely on state services with less assistance.
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The budget cuts will hit services for the mentally ill, disabled people, the state’s uninsured, and higher education. The news prompted a protest by students at the University of Colorado, who dressed in black to “mourn the death” of higher education, decrying rising tuition and the heavy burden of student loans on less affluent families, writes 9News. In Fort Collins, students at CSU also rallied, according to the Coloradoan.
Meanwhile, high school principals are bracing for the cuts by telling parents teaching positions will be eliminated, class sizes will grow, and some electives, such as art and music, might not be available, notes Boulder’s Daily Camera.