TABOR's Fate Decided Today in Colorado
Tuesday, November 01, 2005 :::
Today is election day in Colorado, and on the ballot are two measures that would gut the state's TABOR amendment.
Here is a summary of what's at stake:
In an effort to weaken TABOR, the state legislature has placed a pair of referenda on the November ballot. Referendum C would suspend the revenue limit for the next 5 years, allowing the legislature to spend rather than rebate all the excess revenues. Referendum D, which is contingent on the passage of Referendum C, would add $100 million to the TABOR revenue limit and would allow the state to float $2.1 billion in bonds to fund various projects.
Passage of both of these referenda would put Colorado government spending in overdrive and would be the equivalent of giving politicians in Denver a blank check for the next five years. If Referenda C and D pass, Colorado would be allowed to spend all the surplus revenues (currently projected at $3.7 billion) between now and 2010.
To clarify matters, it is the Democratic state legislature, in concert with one-time conservative favorite, Gov. Bill Owens (R), who placed the measures on the ballot. There was no popular outcry to do so -- it sprang from the breasts of the political class.
Polls show this race will be close -- extremely close. If Referendum C passes, the impact will be felt in every other state where a Colorado-style TABOR law is under consideration, or waiting in the wings (as is the case in Virginia).
Virginia's TABOR supporters will be watching the Colorado results closely. Some have already made it clear that if Colorado votes to dilute its law, they may shelve the idea in Virginia. I do know how three people have voted in the election so far. My folks and sister cast their ballots against Ref. C.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 11/01/2005