Mar 302003
Authors: Melissa Pester

On Wednesday the state legislature’s Joint Budget Committee decided to look for $12.9 million in other places rather than requiring a state-employee furlough, a mandatory three days off in April or May.

The state legislature’s budget writers voted March 24 to recommend the three days off, because of the potential to save the state $9 million.

Sen. Dave Owen, JBC committee chairman, stated Monday that the money was needed to begin planning a strategy to spark an economic turnaround. However, the budget panel speculated that the money would not be used because of the war and only having three months left in the fiscal year.

The president of the University of Colorado, Betsy Hoffman, complained last week when the committee began discussing the furlough, stating it would present an administrative nightmare for colleges and universities under the Department of Higher Education.

The furlough plan came about after Gov. Bill Owens threatened to veto any effort to take $9 million from his tourism and agricultural promotion. Owens said he would give up no more than $3 million of the tourism package.

The Denver Post contributed to this brief.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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