Al White named to Joint Budget Committee |

Al White named to Joint Budget Committee

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” State Sen.-elect Al White, R-Hayden, will continue to serve on a crucial legislative body that will set the state budget proposal for next year.

Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, the state Senate’s GOP minority leader, said he named White to the Joint Budget Committee largely because of his experience representing the state House Republicans on the committee and his “success as a small-business owner and entrepreneur.”

Since mid-November, the Joint Budget Committee has been hearing from state agencies and other officials about their funding requests for the next year. The committee is expected to submit its budget to both chambers of the Legislature in late March.

White, the former House District 57 representative, defeated Ken Brenner, a Democrat from Steamboat Springs, in their battle for the Senate District 8 seat. That district includes all or parts of Garfield, Eagle, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt and Jackson counties.

“Al White has exactly the right kind of know-how and experience to make decisions about how our state’s dollars should be spent,” Penry said in a prepared statement. “His wealth of experience with the state budget is truly unparalleled, and I know he will be prudent with our government’s money in this time of economic uncertainty.”

Colo. Gov. Bill Ritter has imposed a hiring freeze and halted capital construction projects in the wake of the faltering economy. He says officials will determine whether other cuts are warranted when the state’s Planning and Budgeting Office presents its quarterly revenue and economic forecast on Dec. 20.

White said many on the Joint Budget Committee are anticipating that revenues to the state are going to be down.

“It will give us difficult decisions to make,” he said.

But White said it was a goal as a member of the Joint Budget Committee to maintain the nearly $20 million the state’s tourism office spent to market Colorado nationally and internationally. He said a recent study showed the state’s private sector raked in much more money than was spent on tourism marketing.

“I think that is certainly critical for all of us on the Western Slope,” White said of tourism. “It is a main economic engine for the Western Slope.”

White will also serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which largely is responsible for considering bills with funding issues connected to them, White said.

“The appropriations committee hears bills that have cost to the state and we determine whether those costs are going to be paid and what funds they will come out of,” White said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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