01 February 2011

House GOP Priorities

They say that budgets are values documents where you disclose your priorities.

The non-partisan Legislative Council, upon whom the Colorado General Assembly has relied for budget estimates for as long as anyone can remember, says that the legislature needs to close a $1.1 billion shortfall to balance the state's roughly $7 billion general fund budget (much of which it is constitutionally required to devote to K-12 education). Republicans, who control the state house, have decided contrary to the economists, that the state will be $195 million worse off than state economists have estimated.

What did House Republicans then do to address this $1.3 billion revenue shortfall?

They voted to give a $3.7 million sales tax break to farmers for goods including bull semen. Agriculture, by the way, is having one of its most profitable years in recent memory, while the rest of the state economy is in the doldrums.

Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler, whose predecessor Bernie Buescher had decided to turn over $3.5 million of excess revenues to the general fund, meanwhile, decided last week that he'll keep the funds for new projects. (Although Gessler has backed down from a controversial plan to moonlight for his old election law firm after receiving advice from Republican Attorney General Suthers on the issue.)

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Update: a deal was reached for Gessler to turn over $2 million.