Bipartisan legal opinion surfaces regarding Colorado’s hospital fee and road funding
Feb 11, 2016, 2:56pm MST Updated Feb 11, 2016, 3:53pm MST
Ed Sealover Reporter Denver Business Journal
Former legal counsels for the past two Colorado governors opined Thursday that the Legislature can turn the hospital provider fee into an enterprise fund and create more room in the general fund for transportation and education spending — a development that business leaders hope will convince some Republicans who may be sitting on the fence to back the move for such a change.
The release of the opinion came just hours after Gov. John Hickenlooper told a meeting of the Colorado Municipal League that if he can convince legislators to back his idea about turning the fee into an enterprise fund, he would like to use some of the newly freed revenue stream to sell bonds and raise $4 billion to $5 billion for immediate transportation solutions.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks to a Colorado Municipal League meeting on Feb. 11,… more
Ed Sealover | Denver Business Journal
Republican legislative leaders did not react immediately to either the opinion or to Hickenlooper’s bonding plan.
But Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said that GOP leaders to whom she has spoken in favor of the enterprising plan have promised her to keep an open mind. And if the constitutionality of the enterprise plan was the tipping point for anyone to oppose the idea, she thinks the new arguments might be enough to push them the other way.
“For those for whom this truly is a legal issue, it could make a big difference,” Brough said. “Now we have two additional attorneys coming out and saying that they feel that the enterprise fund is legal.” Continue reading