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Colorado Legislature special session ends abruptly

Not counting the salaries of legislative staff and lawmakers, the state spends about $25,000 extra each day the Legislature is in session, most of which is paid in the form of per diem to legislators. “I think the special session has gone beyond the issue (of the legislative error)”, said Sen. Our opposition to this special session was well known to the governor.

Jon Caldara at the right-leaning Independence Institute called on Senate President Kevin Grantham to “man up and finally keep to his campaign promises”.

For their part, Democrats tried to argue that TABOR never intended such a “ridiculous” outcome, saying the courts have repeatedly agreed with that assessment. The measure also lowered business personal property taxes for small businesses, required Medicaid recipients to pay larger copays on prescription drugs and outpatient visits, and lowered the state’s revenue limit under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by $200 million. “The arguments were made that this was a mistake the Legislature had in its power to fix”. But the measure also reconfigured rules related to weed, replacing a 2.9 percent tax on recreational marijuana with a special pot tax boost from 10 to 15 percent. The taxes help fund the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Science and Cultural Facilities District, which distributes money to the Denver Zoo, museums and performing arts centers. Years ago, I felt the same way. “This special session will be exclusively to address this one narrow correction”.

Democrats pointed to a case filed by Mesa County commissioners in 2009 against then Gov. Bill Ritter when he and the Legislature approved a change in how property tax mill levies could be assessed by school districts.

Democrats seeking an immigration deal with Republicans and President Donald Trump are facing resistance from immigrant activists who are rejecting any compromise that would tighten border security and demanding more extensive legislation to protect illegal immigrants from deportation. “To say this isn’t a tax policy change is totally disingenuous”. While the bill cleared the House, women’s health organizations have pointed out that this bill isn’t meant to save lives or protect victims of sexual assault, but to limit women’s reproductive care, threaten autonomy, and push the GOP’s abortion agenda.

Republicans in Democratic states are anxious about eliminating the state and local deduction.

Republican Sen. Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs even drafted a bill that several members of his party were backing. Passage by the Senate – faced with a 60-vote requirement to prevent a filibuster – is highly unlikely, however, according to the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

The governor also doubled-down on his special session order and fired back at Republicans for creating a “political circus”, which only made Republicans more entrenched against him.

“Positions are pretty entrenched now”, he said.

The final nail in the special session’s coffin may have come from the special districts themselves.

At particular issue has beenthe proposed expansion of the child tax credit and whether Republicans should save the widely used deduction for state and local taxes.

Even before the legislative session started Hickenlooper said he was surprised the whole thing seemed to be going sideways. “It’s clear that the Colorado Republican Party has been infected with the same partisan obstructionism that we see from Republicans in D.C”. “Is that the new normal?” Under TABOR, any increase in taxes must be voter-approved, he noted. He knew it would be an uphill battle before it began. We aren’t unhappy Graham-Cassidy didn’t pass because we believe Congress can and should do better.

Q: How is it possible that we wouldn’t get a simple majority in the Senate?

Finding a resolution, a constitutional resolution, will be the focus of this caucus in the months before the regular session in January. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

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