Gov. Bill Ritter on Tuesday marked a
health care milestone, announcing that more than 100,000 children have
been added to state health coverage rolls since he took office.
But Ritter, a Democrat who isn't seeking re-election, did not rule
out cuts to state health programs when his administration draws up the
2011-12 budget this fall. The state is facing what could be a $1 billion
shortfall in that budget year, which begins in July 2011.
"In a downturn, everything is on the table," Ritter said.
2010 was an impressive year for Colorado’s legislature, which
passed several hallmark bills that cemented the state’s reputation as a
leader in renewable energy and health care reform. Despite careful
cutting and compromising in order to end the year in the black as
required by state law, the session was relatively bipartisan overall and
ensured that outgoing Gov. Bill Ritter ended his tenure on a high
The payday lending trap has been shorting working families to the tune
of nearly $5 billion
per year ever since the industry exploded onto the scene in the
1990’s. The number of payday lending institutions has jumped
exponentially from 500 in 1990 to about 22,000 today (compared
with 14,000 McDonald's), mainly targeting low-income African
American and Latino communities.
Last week, the Massachusetts House unanimously passed the
Revenues and Expenditures Transparency Act, H
2972, to create a searchable, online database that details state
spending and revenue sources. Lawmakers also approved an amendment to
create greater taxpayer accountability by providing increased
transparency around some business tax credits. As House Chairman of the
Joint Committee on Revenue Rep. Jay Kauffman explains,
"[p]ublic access to the way we raise and spend money is essential,
enabling us to make more-informed decisions for the tax-paying
constituents who elect us to serve on their behalf."