The current recession is the deepest and most sustained economic slowdown since the Great Depression. State tax revenues have plummeted with the economy and consumer confidence. Over the past two budget years Colorado has trimmed over $2 billion from its budget. Gov. Ritter and those who have served in the legislature during this time have done their best to react to tough times and comply with our constitutional requirement to balance the budget. It hasn't been easy, and the going only gets tougher. Gov. Ritter's proposed budget for FY 2010-11 shows reductions in many key government services, such as K-12 education, higher education, Medicaid reimbursement rates and human services. It's going to be painful and the debates probably won't be pleasant.