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April 25, 2017 06:50 PM UTC

Republicans Kill Transportation Funding Bill

  • 9 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
No road repairs for you!

As John Frank reports for the Denver Post:

A bipartisan measure backed by Colorado’s top lawmakers to seek a sales tax hike for transportation reached the end of the road Tuesday.

A state Senate panel defeated the proposal to pump $3.5 billion into improving the state’s highways along party-lines with the three Republican members citing ideological opposition to increasing taxes.

The outcome became clear a week earlier when the Senate’s bill sponsors hastily announced an impasse in the negotiations on the term’s No. 1 priority, a major setback for legislative leaders and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“This is a statewide solution bill,” said Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City. “Yes it contains things both sides may cringe at. … But we must start looking at some of these things.”…

Most supporters urged the Senate Finance Committee to allow the measure to reach the Senate floor, where it has the votes to pass, and emphasized the need to take action. [Pols emphasis]

But the bulk of opponents criticized the tax hike and suggested lawmakers cut spending elsewhere to prioritize money for transportation, suggesting everything from reductions in spending on libraries to selling an airplane used by the governor.

As Frank notes, there were enough votes in the Senate as a whole to get this transportation legislation out of the Upper Chamber and onto the Governor’s desk…but three partisan Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee refused to allow the bill to advance (despite support from Senate President Kevin Grantham). Senators Tim Neville (R-Jefferson County), Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) and Jack Tate (R-Centennial) did the bidding of the Koch-funded group Americans for Potholes Prosperity, making the same tired old argument that we can just find enough money in the couch cushions of various state offices if we look hard enough.

For partisan Republicans like Neville, Hill, and Tate, it’s easier to just say “NO” to everything than it is to try to actually come up with solutions.

Comments

9 thoughts on “Republicans Kill Transportation Funding Bill

  1. This is an honest question on my part.   Given that overdepence on the automobile is the primary cause of our planetary destruction, is it just possible that tea party hatred of taxes, which extends to even basic transportation needs, is a good thing?  In short, will ruining our highways help save the environment?  I honestly don't know.   

    1. Always about to find a silver lining behind every dark cloud, hey Voyageur? You would think the Fossilonians would approve of this spending proposal. 

      1. They definitely do, it's always been a priority for the business community.   But the anti-gummint crowd sees any growth in government spending as sin.  You're supposed to shut down schools so you can build highways.  As long as we have tabor or a republican senate we will be at the mercy of the Grovver Norquist crowd.

    2. Potholes are just as destructive to public transportation, and they can be fatal to bicyclists, who might have to swerve into traffic to avoid them.

          1. There is probably enough money now to fix potholes, if nothing is diverted to new highways for fast-growing suburban areas, mj.  Is that really a good policy?  And why subsidiize highways with sales taxes when user fees — like a gas tax increase — are much fairer.

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