Jan 17

Colorado Title Board denies attempt to repeal Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

DENVER — The Colorado Title Board rejected a proposal on Wednesday to put a full repeal of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) before voters in a future election.

The board voted 3-0 that the proposal violated the single subject rule and the board did not have jurisdiction to set a ballot title.

Proponents Carol Hedges and Steve Briggs had an initial hearing before the Title Board at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Although voters several years ago passed new rules that make adding an amendment to Colorado’s constitution harder, it still only takes a simple majority to repeal an amendment.

Denver-based attorney Edward Ramey, who represented the proponents, said the proposal was to do “one thing and one thing only.”

“That’s to repeal Article X, Section 20 of the Constitution,” Ramey told the board. “I emphasize that because we’re not adding anything to it. We’re not trying to tweak anything. We’re not repealing and ellipsis doing anything. This is just a straight repeal.”

Ramey said the single subject debate keeps coming up because the consensus is TABOR itself contains more than one subject, but he disagreed with those findings. He cited a couple of Colorado Supreme Court rulings that addressed the subject in a manner that he believed favored his clients in this case. Continue reading

Jan 15

Effort launched to repeal Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

Effort launched to repeal Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights; possible ballot issue before the Title Board

The Title Board is the first step in putting a citizen-initiated question before voters.

TABOR is a constitutional amendment that was passed by voters in 1992 that requires voter approval to increase taxes or take on new debt.  It also limits the growth of a portion of the state budget to a formula of population growth plus inflation. It has been a controversial topic since its inception, and it’s been debated in the courts numerous times.

Many Democrats say it is a threat to Colorado’s education, transportation and health care funding, while Republicans counter that it is what has allowed the Colorado economy to prosper, as well as allowing Colorado to more easily weather economic downturns than states that lack taxpayer protections such as TABOR.

Many attempts to repeal or tweak portions of the amendment have come before the Title Board. This is the first time, however, that anyone can recall where a full repeal of the amendment has been proposed.

Continue reading

Jan 13

In exclusive interview, Gov. Jared Polis previews his legislative agenda and bold, new approach

The Democrat plans to move aggressively to implement his priorities, starting with executive orders as early as this week.

The 43rd governor of Colorado didn’t have time to move into his new office before he took the oath Tuesday, and his desk sits mostly bare except for a ceramic plaque that says: “BE BOLD.”

The slogan is how Democrat Jared Polis won the seat and exactly how he says he will govern for the next four years.

In his first sit-down interview as governor, just hours after the inauguration, Polis told The Colorado Sun that “bold” describes how his administration will approach “anything and everything.”

“I will do things differently,” he said. “And we are focused on the big ideas — meaning things that will really move the dial and improve the quality of life for Coloradans.”

His administration is prepared to push aggressively on a number of issues — from education to health care to corporate tax breaks — from the start, leveraging the Democratic majority in the General Assembly to advance his agenda.

“If it was easy, it would have been done already,” he said. “I don’t think anything we are tackling is easy because it wouldn’t have been left to be done if it was.”

Before he even took office, he convened a meeting that included his predecessor, Gov. John Hickenlooper, and education and transportation advocates to look at ways to overhaul the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, a controversial topic.

And instead of waiting for legislative action, Polis plans to issue executive orders as early as this week to begin to implement his campaign pledges, including one to put the state on a path toward 100 percent renewable energy.

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