Long Bill prevents more cuts to schools; magnifies shortfall to the rest of Colorado’s 2012-13 budget

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The Colorado House of Representatives begins debate this week on the 2012-13 state budget already approved by the General Assembly’s budget-writing panel, the Joint Budget Committee. Known as the Long Bill, the 2012-13 budget spends more than the current budget and maintains funding for public schools at the current level. That has prompted some lawmakers to claim that the budget avoids cuts to schools or even restores cuts to schools. Those suggestions gloss over cumulative losses incurred during the recession. The proposed 2012-13 budget not only fails to maintain the current level of services provided by state government, but it also fails to begin closing the gap on four years of budget cuts.