16 Calendar Days left until May 6 – 634 bills introduced – 365 House – 269 Senate – 348 Bipartisan – 184 bills postponed indefinitely – 136 signed by the Governor
Governor Hickenlooper Sends Five Point Letter to Legislative Leadership Regarding TABOR Issues – the Governor outlined a five point plan to address the budget spending limits under TABOR and the impact on other funding priorities. The Governor suggests moving the existing Hospital Provider Fee program into a state enterprise that would not count under the TABOR cap. The fees in the program are for a specific purpose and are not used as general fund revenues. As the fee revenue grows, it could free up approximately $688 million dollars in the next fiscal year that could be used to fund other priorities like the Earned Income Tax Credit, transportation, reducing the K-12 negative factor and paying back the severance tax fund that has been used to balance the budget.
Ballot and Election Bills on the Calendar this Week –
SCR 002 Requires Two Votes on Citizen Initiated Constitutional Amendments – this bill was profiled in last week’s update and is scheduled for hearing on Wednesday afternoon. It needs two-thirds or 24 votes to pass the full Senate.
- HB 1057 Fiscal Transparency Statement for Ballot Initiatives – this bill was profiled in an earlier update and was heard in the House State Affairs Committee but the final vote was delayed to work on amendments. The bill has been re-scheduled for a vote on Monday and has a chance to pass with amendments. It still has two other committees to pass before it can go to a vote of the full House for consideration.
- HB 1354 – is a new bill by Rep. Dominick Moreno (D) Adams County which proposes to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in either the Republican or Democratic Primary election. Voters already have the right to vote in primaries but it requires the voter to actually change their registration for the primary and then change it back. This bill allows voters to declare to the election judge their desire to vote in one of the primaries without changing registration. With approximately 30% of registered voters designated as unaffiliated, the belief is that they should have the right to participate in primaries. It may also moderate the candidate’s position on some issues because they have to appeal to a broader electorate even in the primary. The bill also contains other changes to the primary election process. Historically, the major political parties have resisted changes to the current process.
Oil and Gas Impact Study on Downtown Denver Released – it has been a long held belief that the energy industry plays a significant role in the economic well-being of downtown Denver. The Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) released a study this week to confirm that. It suggests that the industry counts for 10,466 high paying jobs and generates $10 million in convention business annually. It also accounts for a large portion of the leased office space and retail spending. This will guide the DDP and other stakeholders when developing a position on energy policy issues that may come forward.
HB 1348 Urban Redevelopment Fairness Act – this bill is moving quickly through the House with final approval expected on Monday.
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