Representative KC Becker, Senator Rollie Heath, and Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst all outlined upcoming bills and the ongoing challenges that they face with passing bills in a Republican-led senate.
Hullinghorst emphasized the work to level the playing field in the economy for all including realigning tax structures so that taxes are fair to all. One of those bills, the corporate Tax Haven Elimination Bill, would facilitate the transfer of taxes from Colorado corporations to education rather than to tax havens abroad such as the Bahamas. The bill is expected to die in the Senate later this month but as in other bills that have died so far this session, simply having the discussion was seen as the victory.
One of other workforce bills that could benefit a broad range of Coloradans is a bill that could help develop skills that would satisfy some of the needs of the unfilled technical jobs that are abundant yet unfilled in the state.
And a bill that would help parents attend their children’s school functions.
KC Becker talked about the importance of maintaining public lands and also about the possible restructuring of elections after the March 1, 2015 caucuses where an unexpected abundance of voters showed up to vote.
Rollie Heath summarized measures that will probably appear on the 2016 ballot including oil and gas setbacks, bills that would change the signature total requirements on petitions for constitutional amendments, beer and wine in grocery stores, and local control of oil and gas.
At the end of the meeting, Heath took a straw poll about another initiative that could appear on the ballot that would allow the state to retain and spend all revenues above that Taxpayer Bill of Rights cap.
The winning vote?
Most participants at the town hall wanted an indefinite time period for the legislature to spend 35% of the funds on education, transportation, mental health, and senior services.