Colorado Education Funds Exemption Amendment (2011)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
The proposal came weeks after the Colorado House of Representatives approved a "School Finance Act." The act proposes cutting $260 million from the state education fund for the FY 2010 fiscal year. According to reports, another education budget cut of $260 million is expected for FY 2011 in which the state is estimated to face a $1.3 billion budget shortfall.
- Supporters of the proposed amendment argued that class sizes have increased, school funding and programs have been cut. The proposal, they argue, would help bring more funds to education throughout the state. Rep. Michael Merrifield said,"We're asking voters to make the decision to remove from legislators the restraints imposed by TABOR on spending for education. They can say yes or no."
- Marty Nielson, president of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers and opponent of the proposed measure, said, "If this is passed, it would be an open-ended blank check for the Legislature to raise taxes." Nielson argued that should the measure be approved, there would be no way to stop lawmakers from using state funds for other programs.
- Rep. Tom Massey said, "Colorado voters approved TABOR in 1992 and now during a recession is not the time to push for a tax increase." Additionally, Massey argued that the proposal violates the spirit behind TABOR and voters should be given the opportunity to vote on tax increases.
Path to the ballot
Two-thirds of each chamber of the Colorado General Assembly must vote affirmatively for a proposed amendment in order for it to go on the statewide ballot for potential voter ratification. On April 19, 2010 the House Education Committee approved the proposed measure after an 8-4 vote along party lines. The proposed legislation then moved to the full House. The measure was also introduced in the Senate, as SCR 002, and was heard by the Senate Education Committee on April 29 where it was approved. SCR 002 was also approved by the Senate Finance Committee after a 4-3 vote. The measure was not sent to the ballot, however.
- The Colorado Statesman,"Revamped ballot issue being planned for 2011," July 23, 2010
- The Denver Daily News,"Education ballot initiative pushed," July 16, 2010
- Examiner,"DECIDE: education for the future," May 12, 2010
- The Denver Post,"Group wants to free education from limits of TABOR," March 25, 2010
- Associated Press,"Proposal would raise taxes for Colorado schools," March 25, 2010
- INDenverTimes,"TABOR-busting resolution passes House Ed," April 19, 2010
- The Pueblo Chieftain,"Ballot proposal would raise money for schools," March 25, 2010
- Associated Press,"Education tax hike passes first hearing in Colo.," April 20, 2010
- The Denver Post,"House committee passes resolution in support of higher taxes for education," April 20, 2010
- State Bill Colorado,"HCR10-1002: DECIDE Initiative Passes House Education Committee," April 24, 2010
- The Colorado Statesman,"DECIDE initiative passes House education committee but its fate may be sealed," April 23, 2010
- In Denver Times,"Senate version of DECIDE creeps ahead," May 5, 2010