Letter from the Governor

By , November 4, 2011 4:16 pm

Nov. 1, 2011

Dear State Employees,

 Today, we submitted a proposed budget for FY 2012-13 to the Joint Budget Committee that reflects the ongoing work of closing the State’s structural budget gap and funding the demands of numerous federal and State Constitutional requirements.

 The budget proposal also contains several initiatives to protect the most vulnerable Coloradans, promote job creation and continue needed reforms in education.

 The FY 2012-13 proposed budget is $20.09 billion, of which $7.39 billion is from the General Fund. These amounts represent growth rates over the last fiscal year of 1.7% ($342 million) in total funds and 3.2% ($227 million) in the General Fund.

Demands for State services and benefits over the past five years have increased substantially and reflect the pressures of a growing population and a weak economy.

The largest areas of increase in spending in FY 2012-13 are in mandatory areas of the budget. The new General Fund resources for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) accounts for more than 81.7 percent of the statewide General Fund increase. This is even after HCPF made $31.9 million of Medicaid budget reductions.

With respect to the total funds budget, absent the increase to HCPF, the overall FY 2012-13 State budget would decline from initial FY 2011-12 levels.

For state employees, we are proposing a return of the traditional State contribution to the Public Employees Retirement Association. That means your contribution to PERA will decrease 2.5 percent. At the same time, we expect higher premiums for health, life and dental insurance in the next fiscal year will have to be passed on to employees. The budget also reverses a payday shift for state employees paid bi-weekly who in recent years were paid in July instead of at the end of June. All other employees will remain on their current pay schedule.

The proposed budget does not include any furlough days next year, nor are there any wage increases. We know you haven’t received a raise in four years, and we are working hard to find ways to provide increases to your compensation.

Budget proposals, particularly in recent years, don’t often carry good news. But we know from the hard work you do every day that our state can operate efficiently and effectively even as revenues decline. Colorado would face even greater financial challenges if not for your efforts and commitment to serving the public. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

John

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