DENVER (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a long-running lawsuit challenging Colorado’s strict tax and spending limits as unconstitutional but more appeals are possible.
U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore ruled Thursday that none of the former or current elected officials, educators or citizens challenging the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill or Rights or TABOR have proved they were harmed by it. As a result, he said they don’t have the right to challenge the voter-approved measure in court.
TABOR also requires tax increases to be approved by voters. Challengers say that violates the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees a republican form of government in each state where elected officials make decisions.
The lawsuit was filed in 2011. Along the way, part of it was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, which sent the case back to court in Denver.
Judge Throws Out Challenge To Colorado’s Spending Limits
DENVER – The six-year fight over whether Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) violates state and federal laws came close to a possible end Thursday, when a U.S. District Court of Colorado judge dismissed the latest appeal and ordered the case be closed entirely.
The latest court actions from the federal district court came after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s earlier decision that the plaintiffs in the case – which included numerous former and current state legislators, teachers and various city and county jurisdictions and departments – had standing in the case. The 10th Circuit sent the decision back to district court last June.
But the 10th Circuit’s decision came after the U.S. Supreme Court had sent the circuit court’s decision back to it in 2015, following a ruling in a similar case out of Arizona. Continue reading
What you need to know about the bill Colorado lawmakers are “screaming” about behind closed doors
The latest proposal includes a larger co-pay for Medicaid patients, $1.8 billion for state road repairs
The final stretch of the Colorado legislative session is becoming a must-watch political theater — with huge stakes.
Republican and Democratic leaders are negotiating behind closed doors on a far-reaching spending overhaul designed to erase a half-billion-dollar financial hit to hospitals
Senate President Pro Tem Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican, unveiled early Monday what he believed was an agreement on the legislationonly to receive a note moments later from Democrats calling off the deal.
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Colorado Senate Republican leaders said Monday they are close to agreeing to a deal that would save more than half-a-billion dollars in proposed funding cuts for statewide hospitals.
The deal would also offer up a $37 million business personal-property tax cut and clear space in future budgets for transportation and education funding hikes.
The deal on Senate Bill 267 was so close, in fact, that co-sponsoring Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, had passed out a bullet-point sheet describing the details of the deal and had begun to inform a media briefing about the plan Monday morning when he received a note from co-sponsoring Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman telling him that the Denver Democrat was pulling back from what he’d described as a “handshake agreement.”
Surprised, Sonnenberg said he would sit down again with Guzman and with the bipartisan House sponsors of SB 67 and hoped to come up with a deal in the next week.
The biggest sticking point between Republicans and Democrats remains Republicans’ insistence on including efforts to slow the growth of Medicaid costs that include an increase on co-pays by Medicaid recipients.
The issue first surfaced when House Republicans tried to increase co-pays during the budget debate and put the savings for the state to transportation funding — an effort blocked by Democrats who insisted the budget would not be balanced on the backs of the poorest and sickest state residents.
The bill, put forth as a way to forgo a proposed $528 million in funding cuts via the hospital-provider fee, has always been a complex piece of legislation that also seeks to increase funding for rural roads and schools and to cut state funding across the board in order to help for that re-prioritizing.
But it took on an even greater diversity of topics over the past week, when Sonnenberg added a long-sought business personal property tax cut to offset what he called his concessions on lowering the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights cap in order to offset the money being taken out for the hospital provider fee. Continue reading
Let’s apply ten conservative political principles to this hospital provider fee situation.
- 1. Limiting growth of state government requires setting state spending priorities.
- 2. Allowing any business to fail that has insufficient market demand is called the free market. Government intervention violates the meaning of a free market.
- 3. What does the most good for the most people–propping up failing businesses or providing broad benefits of limited government services equally to everyone?
- 4. Who was forced to live in remote rural areas with fewer services? (No one.)