In the weeks since the Colorado legislative session ended, calls for Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto House Bill 1036 have come from the political left, right and center, from government watchdog organizations, citizen rights and tax reform activists and from representatives of the sovereign Ute Mountain Ute tribe in southwest Colorado. Whatever happens by next Friday, when the deadline to sign the bill arrives, wrangling over its contents and legitimacy will continue indefinitely.
Posts Tagged Rollie Heath
The bill was never really debated in the Senate where it was introduced, then it was tacked on to a House bill amid the blizzard of activity that marked the last days of the Colorado legislative session. Government watchdog and elections groups on the right and left are now asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto it, arguing the bill would deny citizens the right to inspect voter ballots and “gut” the state’s Open Records Act.
DENVER– In a highly anticipated Senate debate here Friday, Republicans launched early-round attacks against a bill that aims to create a mid-level state-university tuition rate for undocumented students who have graduated from Colorado high schools. Although the bill easily weathered the GOP barbs in the Democrat-controlled chamber, passing on a 20-13 voice vote, the two-hour back-and-forth showcased the lines of argument opponents of the bill will seek to sharpen before it arrives a few weeks from now in the Republican-controlled House.
It was the most significant tax measure to appear before any U.S. voters this year and early returns suggest voters wanted nothing to do with it. Colorado’s Proposition 103, which would have marginally raised state income and sales taxes to fund education, was drawing roughly 35 percent support in the hours after polls closed.
State Senator Rollie Heath’s Proposition 103, which asks Coloradans to approve a tax increase to bolster the state’s cash-strapped schools, will be the most significant tax measure to appear before any U.S. voters this year. The Pew Center on the States calls the vote a test of public attitudes toward tough recession-year fiscal choices and for that reason will draw scrutiny in capitals coast to coast.
Wednesday Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler said that enough valid signatures had been collected to place Initiative 25 on the ballot November 1. The initiative would raise Colorado income and sales taxes for the next five years, raising approximately $536 million in the first year.
The absence of a progressive income tax structure in Initiative 25 has stopped some progressive organizations from getting on board with State Sen. Rollie Heath’s attempt to stem what has become a yearly bleeding of dollars from public education. While Heath and others agree a graduated tax structure would have been the preferred path, they said the initiative remains education’s best tourniquet while long-term solutions are worked on.
Attorney Regulation Counsel exonerates McInnis in plagiarism case, indirectly castigates Denver Post
Last year government watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch asked the state’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel to investigate charges that Colorado-licensed attorney and former Congressman Scott McInnis violated professional ethics when he reportedly plagiarized articles he was contracted to write for the Hasan Family Foundation. The plagiarism charges tanked McInnis’s 2010 campaign for governor, but the Regulation Counsel found McInnis not guilty of either plagiarizing or misrepresenting his work to the foundation. The Counsel’s report on the investigation released Friday fingers the Denver Post, which broke the plagiarism story, as the guilty party in the scandal, saying the paper’s reporting was riddled with errors.
The Colorado Senate just voted to pass its own version of the annual rules bill and reject the House version sent over this morning with the “payday payback” amendment attached. The vote was cast on party lines except for Durango Republican Senator Ellen Roberts, who voted with the Democrats against the measure, reportedly because she agreed with lawmakers who have said the rules bill is no place to rehash controversial payday loan industry regulations.