Ritter expected to announce deep state budget cuts today

By GARY HARMON
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Gov. Bill Ritter is to announce deep state budget cuts today, prompting speculation that the Grand Junction Regional Center is to be closed.

The regional center, however, will remain open, Ritter’s press secretary, Evan Dreyer, said Monday. Dreyer did not, however, elaborate on what reductions, if any, would take place there.

Ritter is to present a budget-balancing plan at 10 this morning to the Joint Budget Committee in Denver.

“He’s been able to protect many, many critical safety-net services,” Dreyer said. “Still, we’re talking about closing a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars, on top of the $1.5 billion shortfall that we’ve already closed. You can’t make these types of reductions without there being an impact.”

Regional center employees are to meet at 1:30 today on the grounds of the center, 2800 Riverside Parkway.

Guardians and families are to meet at 5 this afternoon.

No information had been shared with the Mesa County legislative delegation.

“The governor has several hundred million dollars worth of cuts to make,” state Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, said.  “What cuts he will make is unknown.”

The Grand Junction Regional Center is one of three regional centers serving developmentally disabled people in Colorado. The others are in Wheat Ridge and Pueblo.

The Grand Junction center houses an intermediate-care facility with a capacity of 45 clients and a skilled-nursing facility with a capacity of 32 clients.


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