Gov. Jared Polis cuts immediate state spending by $228.7 million, limits evictions

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis slashed immediate government spending by $228.7 million in response to precipitous shortfalls in the state’s budget, as well as banned evictions statewide and extended closures at ski resorts through several executive orders late Thursday night.

The cut in spending affects line items in the state’s budget, like minimizing travel for conferences, delaying projects and not immediately filling some open positions. The spending cuts will not cause any layoffs or furloughs of state employees.

“The economic disruption associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is causing precipitous and significant revenue shortfalls for the State,” Polis wrote in a letter to the state general assembly. “These are challenging times that force difficult financial decisions to maintain a balanced budget.”

The other executive orders issued Thursday night did the following:

  • Strictly limited evictions, foreclosures and public utility shutoffs.
  • Increased government funding to nursing homes to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Extended the closures of ski resorts through May 22.
  • Temporarily suspended some statutes so telehealth can be more easily used.

The spending restrictions enacted by Polis only affect the current fiscal year, though budget cuts and more restrictions are likely in the following year.

“I declare that there are not sufficient revenues available for expenditure during the FY 2019-2020 to carry on the functions of the State government and to support its agencies and institutions such that the suspension of portions of programs and services set forth in this Executive Order are necessary,” Polis wrote in his executive order.

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