Colorado’s economy is one of the best in the nation. Unemployment is consistently low, GDP has been high, and thanks to our unique tax policy it’s easier for our state to recover in times of recession. But there are forces at work that threaten the state’s economic growth, and want to take freedom away from the citizens and into the hands of state and federal government. This comes in the form of dismantling our Taxpayer’S Bill of Rights, implementing strict regulations on energy development, and increasing programs that grow the government.
There are several efforts to dismantle the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, including continuing efforts to repeal parts or all of the law. In 2020, we were successful in adding restrictions on Legislator’s attempts to use fees to get around sending spending increases to voters through the Vote on Fees initiative (Prop 117). There are ongoing efforts by conservative groups and activists, including Colorado Rising Action, to defend the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to ensure our state’s economy stays strong.
A healthy environment and access to affordable, efficient energy sources are not mutually exclusive. The quality of life that Coloradans enjoy — and that attracts millions of visitors each year — depends on a healthy environment, and it’s the citizens of the state that are its best stewards. In fact, Colorado has some of the strictest oil and natural gas regulations in the nation. Governor Polis and the Democrat-led state legislature ignored the voice of Coloradans who voted down additional oil & gas regulations in 2018, and passed more sweeping regulations during the 2019 legislative session. New oil & gas rules are expected to drastically impact energy development in Colorado and the state’s economy.
Colorado’s already deteriorating roads have been hit with an influx of millions of new residents and visitors in the last several years. In that same time, infrastructure funding has consistently been funneled into non-critical alternative transportation projects, leaving critical transportation arteries across the state in disrepair. The Colorado legislature continues to underfund critical road and bridge projects in the state budget, while activist groups push for tax increases to fill the gap.
Maintaining roads and other infrastructure is a core function of government. The legislature should prioritize long-term funding of critical infrastructure projects by locking dedicated funding into the General Fund.
Every child deserves quality education, and we can do this by improving school choice and educational opportunities for all. When lawmakers make decisions that impact school districts and education, they should prioritize the interests of students and their ability to learn in different environments.
There’s a major issue with education funding in Colorado, and lawmakers need to do a better job of prioritizing education in the state budget. As state spending on education has increased by 20% since the ’90s, teacher pay has actually decreased by the same amount. We should ensure that children see the benefits by putting more money straight into the classroom instead of into the administrative bureaucracy.
The disastrous Obamacare regulations have increased cost and decreased choice over the last decade since it was enacted. Colorado Rising State Action supports free market health care policies that will increase competition, choice and access to quality health care. Politicians like Jared Polis have advocated for a national single-payer system which would have disastrous effects and cost taxpayers $33 Trillion in just the first few years. However, when the 2019 Democrat-run legislature attempted to expand public option health insurance, it proved to be too costly and was abandoned. These politicians must answer to Coloradans and be held accountable for the immense cost and disastrous effects such a policy would have.
Colorado’s General Assembly serves as the legislative branch in the state, with a Democrat majority in control of the House of Representatives, the the Senate, and a Democrat in the Governor’s office. With full control, the Democrats in the legislature have been criticized by conservatives, and even members of their own party, for rushing through extreme legislation without listening to the voice of the people. The Republican minority played a key role in making public some of the tactics being used, and slowing down the process of passing legislation to give Coloradans more time to make themselves heard.
Colorado Rising State Action supports limiting the overreaching of state lawmakers and improving systems that increase transparency — including reforming the state Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) policies to make document and email retention policies consistent and in the best interest of the public.