This Week in Policy

Transportation Funding Bill Advances

House Bill 1242, which would refer a .62 percent sales and use tax increase for transportation infrastructure and mobility investment to the November ballot, passed its first hurdle in the House Transportation and Energy Committee yesterday on a 8-5 vote.

Our President and CEO Kelly Brough joined nearly 80 others to testify on the bill—which went late into the evening.

“Coloradans are already losing between 10 and 49 hours every year in traffic delays and spending between $1,200 and $2,100 per year in higher vehicle operating costs, traffic accidents and congestion-related delays. Those costs total to $6.8 billion statewide,” Brough said. “Coloradans are literally paying a steep price for our state’s failure to invest in their roads.”

Other stakeholders who voiced their support included metro area mayors and county commissioners from rural areas of the state. Both agreed that creating sustainable funding for transportation—and giving local municipalities the opportunity to use that funding to meet the mobility needs of their residents—is the kind of policy we need.

Budget Forecast Out

A $700 million deficit is projected in the state budget forecast presented to legislators last week. This comes as legislators work on the 2017-18 budget and anticipate taxpayer refunds of nearly $158 million under TABOR requirements.

These challenges, created by locking financial formulas in our constitution through the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and others, put our ability to fund priorities like education at risk. Our economy continues to be strong, but we’re unable to make investments that will sustain that success into the future.

We’ll continue to update you on the state budget.

Read the forecast.

Stay up to speed on all the bills we’re tracking this session.