Romanoff to ask voters to repeal TABOR refunds
DENVER – Colorado House Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff will ask voters to approve a measure he said will fix conflicting constitutional mandates to ease state spending limits instead of trying to get lawmakers’ approval for a ballot proposal.Romanoff said there is not enough support for the measure in the Legislature and it would be “an exercise in futility” to get lawmakers to approve a ballot referendum.”Our plan is to bypass the Legislature and just take our plan directly to the voters by initiative,” he said. “We want the people to vote.”The Denver Democrat says his plan will ask voters to let the state keep tax surplus refunds under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, to invest in the State Education Fund. He says his plan would also create a state rainy day fund, particularly for education, while asking voters to eliminate mandatory education spending increases under Amendment 23.Romanoff said the plan would still allow voters to approve or reject tax increases under TABOR, which limits state spending based on inflation and population growth.Romanoff said about 76,000 signatures would be needed to get the initiative on the November ballot.He said supporters include the Colorado Children’s Campaign, AARP in Colorado, the Colorado Association of School Boards, and Republican state Attorney General John Suthers.Romanoff had planned to get the proposal on the ballot as a referendum, which requires approval of two-thirds of the Senate and the House.Romanoff’s plan has met opposition from Republican lawmakers, including Douglas Bruce, who helped write TABOR. He has said the measure “would mean unlimited state funding forever.”
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