Governor Bill Ritter says the state is going to struggle in the months ahead as lawmakers seek out another $241 million for a projected budget shortfall.

“All indications are the cuts we’ve had to made in state spending aren’t going away,” Ritter tells The Pueblo Chieftain. “We expect the economy to rebound but at a much slower pace in the future.”

That’s bad news for those in the unenviable position of relying on the government to meet some of their needs, such as the jobless people who qualify for public health care. And the news doesn’t bode well for the growing number of children living in poverty. The poverty rate among kids increased 73 percent from 2000 to 2006, the nation’s highest rate of growth, according to The Denver Post.

While stingy public policies are a contributing factor to the downward spiral, other forces, including bad financial choices by families, are also to blame. The consequences are profound for kids, who are more likely to grow up in poor health, be involved in crime, and never earn enough to climb out of poverty.