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Colorado House Republicans

House GOP Newsletter

Monday, April 3, 2017

Funding Colorado’s priorities starts with fixing the budget process
   ♦House GOP Weekly Update   ♦Recent Press   ♦Upcoming Legislation
♦In the News   
♦Member Tweets   ♦Capitol Pictures
Funding Colorado’s priorities starts with fixing the budget process

By: House Assistant Republican Leader Cole Wist (R-Centennial) 

We are more than two-thirds through the 2017 legislative session, meaning both the Colorado House and Senate, have just started debate on the state’s budget. The more than 600-page bill, known as the Long Bill, is presented to both chambers by the six members of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) and is scheduled to be passed in two short weeks. If it sounds unusual that the legislature is just beginning debate on the budget, or that only six members out of 100 in the General Assembly present the budget bill, or that the other 94 members have only two weeks to read, amend and vote on the Long Bill, it is. In fact, very few states have a similar budget process, and none give as much autonomy to their budget committee. 
For the current budget, some legislators, the governor’s office and even many news reports allege Colorado’s budget is rife with deficiencies, and has deep fiscal holes that require significantly more tax revenue to fill. However, in none of these fiscal analyses is Colorado’s unusual budget process considered a culpable factor.

To be clear, we are not implying the JBC members are responsible for any funding deficiencies. The committee members are very well-informed and commit a laudable amount of time to the budget process. Rather, expecting six people to know all of Colorado’s 22 government agencies on a level necessary to identify specific inefficiencies and misappropriations is highly ineffective. Moreover, this budget approach fails to fully utilize the other 94 members’ time, education and experience in the budget process.

Colorado does need to direct more money to transportation statewide, and many school districts are struggling with their current funding level. Yet, until more of the legislature is involved in the budget process, the evidence for more tax revenue is unconvincing. Colorado needs to fundamentally change its budget process, allow committees of reference in the legislature to have more control of appropriations, and put more responsibility on members outside of the JBC to scrutinize state departments and optimize Coloradans’ tax dollars.

House Republicans are committed to finding a budget process that works for Colorado. We are evaluating how other states budget, and developing an alternative to the current process that will categorically conclude if new revenue is needed, or if more legislative input can improve government efficiency and satisfy Colorado’s needs with existing tax revenue.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and you can keep up with all of our caucus updates by following us on Twitter and Instagram, liking us on Facebook, subscribing to our YouTube channel  or visiting COHouseGOP.com.

Sincerely,

Representative Cole Wist
House GOP Weekly Update

In The News

  • Colorado lawmakers are set to begin work this week on a tight $26.8 billion budget proposal that will have taxpayers wondering why programs are seeing reductions during a booming economy. Republicans have been hesitant to call nearly $700 million in budget-balancing maneuvers “cuts” to critical programs, pointing out that the proposed budget reflects a nearly 7 percent increase in discretionary spending over the current fiscal year. Budget writers carved out $10.6 billion for the General Fund. ("Colorado lawmakers set to debate a state budget that will leave plenty unhappy," Colorado Politics, 03/27/17)


  • House Democrats on Thursday backed off their efforts to name a controversial bill in honor of former Colorado Gov. Ralph Carr after Republicans — and the governor’s grandson — said it would politicize the late governor’s legacy. The measure, which would bar state and local government cooperation with the federal government on any efforts deemed “discriminatory and unconstitutional,” ("Ralph Carr’s name taken off controversial bill after GOP, family push back," Denver Post, 03/30/17)


  • Colorado's restaurant operators -- already facing a severe shortage of labor for a host of reasons -- increasingly find their workers are going to pot, a news report says. "No one is talking about it, but Colorado’s restaurant labor market is in Defcon 5 right now, because of weed facilities," Bobby Stuckey, co-owner of Boulder's renowned Frasca Food and Wine, tells Bloomberg. He says his Pizzeria Locale chain loses a worker to the marijuana industry every few weeks. ("Colorado restaurants are losing workers to the pot industry," Denver Business Journal, 03/30/17)


  • Colorado will push ahead to develop more affordable renewable energy despite President Donald Trump’s order eliminating many restrictions on fossil fuels production, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday. Hickenlooper said Colorado has already met carbon pollution goals under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which is under challenge in the courts and could be weakened or rescinded under the executive order that Trump signed Tuesday. ("Hickenlooper: Colorado will push forward with clean energy," Associated Press, 03/29/17)

GOP Member Tweets



Thanks for joining us on @RushToReason Asst Minority Leader @colewist to explain that we CAN fix our roads without raising taxes. #coleg

Rep. Dave Williams @RepDaveWilliams

Tax hike 1242 is wrong for Coloradans.  I will continue to fight this and defend every taxpayer #coleg #copolitics


Lori @lorisaine

HB1279 is the bill to cut through the construction defects mess and create a solution:
timescall.com/columnists/opi... @AlecGarnett @colewist

Capitol Pictures

Representative Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) sitting on the House floor with his son.
Representative Kim Ransom (R-Douglas County) with Abby Cook, a student shadow from Chaparral.
Representative Kimmi Lewis(R-Las Animas County) along with Senator Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins) at the bill signing ceremony with Governor Hickenlooper for their bill HB1065.
 
 
 
 

You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on YouTubeTwitter and Instagram, liking us on Facebook, or visiting COHouseGOP.com.

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