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Jan 27, 2010 4:20 PM by Associated Press

Colorado Republicans try to block tax break repeal

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's plan to eliminate about a dozen tax breaks to balance the state budget is off to a rocky start.

Rep. Bob Gardner, a Republican from Colorado Springs, tried to save the tax breaks with a filibuster. Democrats retaliated by ruling him absent, forcing him to leave the committee and return to the House floor while Democrats on the committee were excused.

Democrats later relented and the committee meeting resumed after Republicans were promised a full hearing later Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ritter announced a new round of budget cuts on Wednesday after this year's shortfall grew another $47.5 million. The new cuts include moving up the tax break exemptions to this fiscal year to save another $18.8 million, a $5.5 million cut for higher education and keeping $4.8 million in severance tax grants for local governments.

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