* Allows state government to keep and spend all revenues collected from existing state taxes for the next five years.
* Sets a new revenue cap at the highest level of state tax revenue reached between now and 2011
* . . . adjusts the limit upward for population growth and inflation from that year on
* Requires extra revenues kept under the new cap to b e spent for the following: health care; public schools and state colleges and universities; and transportation projects
Referrendum D . . . It would do the following:
* Authorize the state to spend up to $2.07 billion in new multi-year bonds to speed up funding statewide for:
1) roads, bridges, and other stategic transportation projects: up to $1.7 billion;
2) pension funds for firefighters and police officers: up to $175 million;
3) crucial repairs and maintenance in public school buidlings, meeting the state's obligation in the settlement of a lawsuit: up to $147 million; and
4) repairs at state university, college and community college buildings: up to $50 million
* . . . cover the bond payments by adding an extra $100 million a year to the new state revenue limit
* Take effect only if Colorado voters also approve Referrendum C
Referrendum C is a no brainer for Democrats (and while it purports to limit what the increased revenue can be spent on, the list includes every big ticket line item in the state budget but the corrections budget). This state does not need a repeat of the Republican's budgets that threw elderly people with no other means of support and frail physical conditions out of nursing homes and eroded that economic driver that is the states high education system.
But, I hadn't realized until now that Referrendum C can pass even if Referrendum D does not. This is good, because Referrendum D is a much closer call. While school repairs and pension funds for law enforcement are a good idea, plowing 85% of the additional money into roads and bridges is too much in my opinion, even if it is understandable as this was the political price that Democrats had to pay to make the plan work. But, this is good politics in November, as Pro-road Republicans have to choose between voting against both and supporting both, improving Referrendum C's chances at the polls greatly.