As voters, we are being asked to add to the Colorado Constitution a plan to allow casino gambling at a horse track in suburban Denver.
The world is full of bad ideas and ballots are full of bad proposals. Amendment 68 is one.
The proposal would allow slot machines and table games at Arapahoe Park in Aurora. It sets the tax paid by the proposed casino at double the rate for other casinos in the state and earmarks the money – projected at $114 million a year – for K-12 public education in Colorado.
As a result of strong economic growth, state revenues are expected to grow in each of the next three fiscal years. In fact, revenue is projected to exceed the Referendum C revenue cap in fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-2017, resulting in TABOR rebates for the first time since 2001, state economists told the members of the Joint Budget Committee Monday.
The second regular session of the 69th Colorado General Assembly came to a close on Wednesday. From our perspective, it was extremely productive and expanded opportunity for a wide range of Coloradans.
A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of TABOR, the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, moved another step forward yesterday.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 6-4 decision, rejected an appeal by Attorney General John Suthers, potentially clearing the way for the case to proceed to trial. The attorney general still has the option of appealing directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
To understand how Colorado finds itself in its current fiscal condition, it is helpful to look back at some critical decisions made by legislators and voters over the last 32 years, and at some of the economic and political factors that drove those decisions. (An update of "The Road to 2007," part of "Looking Forward, Colorado's fiscal prospects after Ref C.")
Economists from both the legislature and the governor's office predict a sound economy and continued growth in state revenues over the next three years.
Last Friday, economists from the Legislative Council Staff (LCS) and the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budget (OSPB) told the legislature's Joint Budget Committee to expect General Fund revenues to grow between 6.5 and 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2014-15 (which begins next Tuesday) and between 5.65 and 5.8 percent the following year (FY 2015-16).
I interviewed many people for the higher-education project in this week's Denver Business Journal print edition going back over a number of years, and I wasn't able to work all of their thoughts – or in some cases, even all of the sources – into the final package.
So, here's a smattering of other important voices on higher education and their thoughts on the state's college and university system.