Lawmakers struggle with the politics of state’s budget
Health care advocates like it. So do crusaders of more funding for transportation and education.
Some Colorado lawmakers believe they can fix the state’s most immediate budget issues to meet those needs by making what, on the surface, appears to be an innocuous change in how the state accounts for a fee on hospitals to fund health programs for the poor.
What they want is to take that charge — called the hospital provider fee — out from under the revenue caps mandated by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and call that program a standalone government enterprise, something allowed for under the 1992 voter-approved constitutional amendment that limits how much money the state can collect.
Doing so isn’t as easy as all that, however, because it would negate any TABOR refunds for years to come, turning the issue into more of a political question than one of policy.
REFUND, OR NO REFUND?
Some Republicans inside the statehouse say they have committed to taxpayers that they will refund money when state revenues exceed TABOR limits, something that will happen starting next year. Continue reading