Dec 23

Hospital Provider Fee Lawsuit Update

Where do we stand today on the Hospital Provider charge lawsuit?

There has been a flurry of activity.  The original lawsuit (“Complaint”) languished in the Court without resolution for more than 18 months.  Then, late in the session the legislature passed the infamous SB267, which among other steps, increased future state taxes up to $400 million per year without voter approval, and moved the Hospital Provider Fund off the books and supposedly redefined that welfare program as a government business.

The TABOR Foundation’s attorneys at Mountain States filed an amended Complaint to address the additional unconstitutional provisions of SB267.  More recently Mountain States met the deadlines imposed by the Court for any further amendments.  The revised Complaint (attached here) broadens the parties with standing to include individuals who paid the Hospital Provider charge, Rebecca Sopkin and Scott Rankin, and added the Colorado Union of Taxpayers; a change that the Board approved earlier this year.   There was some refinement of the arguments.

Some uncertainty exists about how the lawsuit will proceed.  There is a Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss that will probably be addressed in January.  However, the Court has allowed the lawsuit to proceed, so Steve Lechner will simultaneously be preparing the case for the June Hearing.  Motions for discovery were issued timely and Defendants’ (now both the State and the Hospital Association) information will be gathered.

Stay tuned; this lawsuit is now moving along quickly.

Penn R. Pfiffner

Dec 15

Hear Penn Pfiffner discuss TABOR First Amendment rights vs city of Denver Campaign Disclosures on December 15

At 6:00 PM tonight, Penn Pfiffner talks about TABOR First Amendment Rights Vs Campaign Disclosures … The Goldwater Institute Takes To The Courts To Protect Free Speech

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Dec 14

Taxpayer groups file suit against Denver to prevent disclosure of nonprofits’ donors in election spending

Goldwater Institute-backed effort challenges campaign finance rules changed by city in September

By | jmurray@denverpost.com | The Denver Post

Matt Miller, an attorney for the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, discusses a lawsuit filed by the group challenging part of the Denver campaign finance law. With him outside the Denver City and County Building on Dec. 13, 2017, are Marty Neilson, left, of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, and Penn R. Pfiffner from the TABOR Committee.

Jon Murray, The Denver Post

Matt Miller, an attorney for the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute,= discusses a lawsuit filed by the group challenging part of the Denver campaign finance law. With him outside the Denver City and County Building on Dec. 13, 2017, are Marty Neilson, left, of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, and Penn R. Pfiffner from the TABOR Committee.

 

Two conservative taxpayer advocacy groups filed suit Wednesday against Denver over campaign finance disclosure rules that they say will violate the privacy rights of their donors when the groups get involved in city elections.

The lawsuit, filed by the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute on behalf of the two groups, says changes approved by the City Council in September violate the free speech provision of the First Amendment. The city ordinance requires clubs, associations, corporations and groups that advocate for or against local ballot measures to meet the disclosure requirements of issue committees once they raise and spend at least $500.

Once it passes that threshold, an issue committee must identify by name and address each donor who gave $50 or more within that calendar year.

“We have donors who like to remain anonymous, and we’d like to honor their requests,” said Marty Neilson of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers. “We think this is an unconstitutional ordinance.”

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