Wednesday, January 28, 2009

State budget initiatives are coming this fall

In today's Rocky Senator Moe Keller says what I have been hearing for a few weeks now,

There is a private group of citizens made up of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, our higher-ed presidents and others who are looking at a potential referred measure.

I don't think another Referendum C would be of great help to us.

What we have to do is get rid of the artificial spending limit that keeps the general- fund budget from growing more than 6 percent and ratchets the growth limit down during recessions.

This is going to be a bloody battle, probably as intense as the labor vs. far right business interests battle that we witnessed in the 2008 elections. I'm not sure how far along the talks are but there will be a broad coalition of business, community and labor interests backing some sort of ballot initiative(s) that will undo the Arveshoug-Bird 6% spending limit and at least parts of TABOR.

Frankly, I'm pretty pessimistic about Colorado's future as a growing, vibrant state if such reforms don't pass. Take a look at what is happening down in Colorado Springs for a glimpse of where Colorado is headed - crumbling roads, no health inspections of restaurants, police unable to respond in emergencies. It's not a state I want to live in.

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