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Colorado’s Still Broke, Lawmakers Learn

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DENVER (AP) – In case high gas prices and disastrous images from Japan haven’t gotten the attention of Colorado lawmakers, they heard gloomy economic news Friday in a final revenue report before they write next year’s budget: Colorado’s still broke.

Revenue forecasts delivered to lawmakers Friday predicted the economy isn’t improving fast enough to prevent deep budget cuts for next year, including likely teacher layoffs.

Lawmakers received revenue forecasts from economists working for both the Legislature and the governor’s office. The forecasts both predicted an improving economy. But the pictures weren’t rosy enough to forestall deep cuts expected when legislative budget writers propose their spending plan next week for the upcoming fiscal year.

Colorado’s projected budget deficit still hovers around a half-billion. Economists noted uncertainty about how the Japanese earthquake would affect Colorado.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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