The storm that began brewing last year is now upon us.
Colorado’s economy has declined, which was caused by a13 percent plunge in revenues last fiscal year. However, Gov. Bill Owens said the state anticipates a 2.6 percent growth in the current fiscal year and a 6.2 percent increase in the 2003-04 fiscal year that begins July 1.
But with the decline in revenues, the state has to cut back. Currently, the state is seeking options to avoid major layoffs. One idea that has surfaced is that they can delay paying state employees one day in June. Instead of paying employees on June 30, the state can save $268 million by paying employees on July 1.
This, however, only delays the inevitable because it pushes the spending from one fiscal year to the next.
This shows the state is at least seeking ways around layoffs and other measures that could hurt the public. So far, the state and the Governor’s plans are to be applauded.
However, we, as students and faculty, need to be ready for cuts in higher education.
Last year, Owens called for a freeze on all “non-essential” hires in higher education. Some construction projects were held because state revenues were down.
Owens said Colorado needs to approach the budget just like a family. This means we can only buy what we can afford.
For us in higher education, we need to understand and have patience with our budget. We must get used to Raman Noodles instead of steak and lobster.