The TABOR Foundation is suing the State of Colorado over the bed tax termed a “Hospital Provider” charge, which was imposed without voter approval in strict violation of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Our lawsuit had to be substantially amended when Senate Bill 17- 267 further flaunted the constitution by increasing the tax limit by $400+ million, defining the hospital welfare program as an off-the-books government business, issuing $2 billion in debt and much else – all without any regard to the requirements in TABOR.
In late March, we learned that our attorneys at Mountain States Legal Foundation had to withdraw. From our outside observation point, some internal reorganization appears to have been the reason. From everything that I have seen and heard, neither the TABOR Foundation nor the other three Plaintiffs contributed to the difficult situation.
In early April, Judge Buchanan gave us 60 days to find replacement counsel.
This email is a happy announcement that the TABOR Foundation met that deadline to recruit new attorneys and the hand-off is just about complete. Yesterday, the TABOR Foundation appeared at a new Hearing as ordered by Judge Buchanan. With us were the outgoing attorneys and participating by telephone were our new attorneys. One of the other Plaintiffs, Scott Rankin, also attended. The Court approved the substitution. We have pulled together another very strong team so the outlook is positive. Our new legal representation is by Cause of Action Institute, with Lee Steven and James Valvo stepping into the lead roles. Our Colorado-licensed attorney is Michael Francisco, who while working in the Colorado Attorney General’s office helped to write the defense of TABOR in Kerr vs. Hickenlooper.
Now that the legal activity may move forward, look for more communications about developments no later than the fall…..
Penn R. Pfiffner