Biz Lobby Talks Transportation Initiative, Hard Right Freaks

As Denver Post business correspondent Aldo Svaldi reports, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce is moving to resurrect of the major failed priorities from this year’s legislative session–a measure asking voters for more revenue to deal with the growing backlog of badly needed transportation projects all over the state of Colorado:

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce will pursue a ballot initiative next year to boost state transportation funding after the state legislature failed to send voters a measure to raise $3.5 billion for roads and transit this year…

Brough, in an interview after the announcement, said specifics are still being worked on with several other groups, but she hinted that the size and scope of the hard-fought but failed House Bill 1242 offers a starting point.

…The bill, sponsored by Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham, sought to increase the statewide sales tax to 3.52 percent from 2.9 percent for 20 years to raise $3.5 billion for transportation funding.

But Senate conservatives, opposed in principle to tax increases and state spending priorities, contributed to the bill’s demise late in the session, ending what backers had hailed as a grand bargain between Republicans and Democrats to address a critical need.

Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham.

The state’s two principal right-wing ideological hard line groups, Americans for Prosperity-Colorado and the Independence Institute–who were chiefly responsible for killing the bipartisan “grand bargain” between Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran and GOP Senate President Kevin Grantham–reacted with predictable anger:

But we’ll be very interested in seeing what happens with this initiative, since it could take a major argument from local conservatives–that Medicaid and other “social spending” must be cut to pay for infrastructure upgrades everyone agrees are needed–off the table. The zero-sum paradigm forced on the state by the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) is an end unto itself for the ideological “starve the beast” right, and they have no interest in upholding the part of the law that allows voters to grow the proverbial pie if they choose.

But when even conservative Republicans like Kevin Grantham agree that something has to be done–and not on the backs of the sick and poor–there is legitimate reason to keep trying.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    Roads are "free stuff".  We can't have that because they are Socialist roads.

    These guys belong to the Libertarian religion. To them, the only good road is a private-sector toll road, with private-sector cops, going to private sector National Theme Parks.


  2. unnamed says:

    Hope Moldy blows out a tire on a pothole that he didn't want fixed.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      The so-called establishment Repubs need to grow a pair and stand up to the lunatic fringe.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      I personally agree with those who say we could find the money to fix the roads without raising taxes if we were serious about prioritizing. Most of the patients in  the Medicaid expansion are able bodied adults. We don't need to cover them and we could spend that money better on the roads.

      But at least they want to go to the voters like TABOR requires. Good luck and let the chips fall where they may.

      • unnamed says:

        What do you know about their circumstances?  Who are you to judge?  You just use Medicaid cuts for roads as an excuse to screw people over.  

      • DavieDavie says:

        Moldy — I presume you too are "able-bodied" (which says nothing about your mental capacity).  How many times do you or your family go to the doctor?  How many prescriptions do you need?

        Do you have health insurance?  If so, why?  You're able-bodied, right?

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        With all due respect, f*ck you Moddy, with your "We don't need to cover them and the money could be better spent on roads."  In 2012, the Medicaid expansion saved my life, while I was working, but underpaid.

        Who are you to say my life was worth less than fixing a pothole? Especially when there’s enough money to do both if corporations paid the taxes they should be paying?

        You don't need to know any more than that, but there are plenty of stories like mine….even plenty among hard core Republican party loyalists.


  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Moderatus doesn't understand how the state budget works. And it was his far right wing cronies in the legislature that denied the people the right to vote last November on a roads initiative.

  4. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    I will vote against any attempt to subsidize cars and highways with general sales tax revenue..  Let them raise the gas tax, a user fee, and let those who use the roads most pay the most.

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