Suthers backs Colo. revenue plan

By Chris Rizo | Apr 30, 2008

John Suthers

DENVER (Legal Newsline)-Colorado Attorney General John Suthers continues to support a controversial proposal that would ease the state's constitution-mandated school funding requirement to help the state make ends meet in lean times, a spokesman said.

The plan, by House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, would repeal voter-approved Amendment 23, which requires an increase in education spending annually regardless of the state's fiscal health.

Instead of a mandated increase in school's funding, Romanoff is calling for the creation of a savings account for public schools that would require a two-thirds vote of both houses to access.

"We have a chance to shape our economic destiny," Romanoff told the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee this week.

Suthers says the plan, among other things, would prevent lawmakers from raiding special funds to help make ends meet when the state experiences an economic downturn.

"This is not a perfect solution by any means, but it's the best solution (the attorney general) has seen so far," Suthers spokesman Nate Strauch told Legal Newsline.

The plan would also jettison portions of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, or TABOR amendment, which limits the state government's revenue growth.

The proposal still gives voters the right to veto a tax increase.

The bill would need two-thirds approval in both the House and the Senate to be placed on the November ballot.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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