COVID-19 Updates – State Budget Cuts, Day of Remembrance

This past Friday, Colorado had a Day of Remembrance for those we have lost to COVID-19. Coloradans came together at 7PM for a moment of silence to remember those that we have lost to COVID-19.

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It is important to remember that those we have lost are more than just a number or a bar on a graph – they all had their own stories, along with communities of grieving loved ones. Often, those who have passed from this deadly virus died without the comfort of family or friends by their side, nor were they able to have a proper funeral or remembrance in most cases.

It is our responsibility as Coloradans and more importantly, a community, to remember those who have lost their lives and loved ones to this terrible virus.

The State lowered flags to half staff, and buildings across the state lit their lights up in red at 7PM to honor those we have lost.

Polis Declares Friday A Day Of Remembrance For Coloradans Lost To ...
The City of Denver building lit up red for the Day of Remembrance.

Legislature & Budget Updates

Last week, on Tuesday, the Joint Budget Committee released an updated revenue forecast. You can watch and listen to the forecast here. The presentation told us to prepare for a budget shortfall of about $3.3 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1st, 2020.

This is a hard loss – $3.3 billion is about 10% of the overall state budget and 25% of the General Fund, which finances vital programs in Colorado including education and transportation. The legislature, along with the Joint Budget Committee, has been working tirelessly for the past few weeks to cut spending for the next year based on this anticipated shortfall.

The legislature is still currently recessed; however we are working hard from home. This past weekend, Representative Kraft-Tharp, along with Representative Titone and Senator Zenzinger, hosted Jefferson County Superintendent and School Board members Stephenie Schooley and Shannon Miller on our Facebook Live Town Hall Meeting to discuss education in JeffCo. We had a great conversation and answered questions from the community – 120 people tuned in live to ask questions – about plans for the Fall and how we will work through the COVID-19 impacts. You can watch the full meeting here.

The impacts of COVID-19 have been difficult. We have lost loved ones, we have seen our front line workers working tirelessly to provide services to the ill, and our economy has taken a large hit. However, we will prevail. Part of what makes Colorado such a great place is our ability to come together and move forward through the toughest of times. The number of people who have stepped up to the plate to help out during these difficult times is incredible. Thank you to all who have been helping our community right now.

Haikus From Quarantine
We all share this storm
But our boats are different
Some strong, some battered

Essential workers
At risk, yet still hard at work
Tip well and often

Don’t worry about
Who is “too big to fail”, but
Who’s “too small to fail”

Wealth means family
Wealth means health and a safe home
And toilet paper

We stay together
By staying apart. So we
Can stay together

Every night at eight
Neighborhood howling erupts
We are all one pack

Thank you to Platte Park Post for sharing these haikus.

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