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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Colorado Senate Republicans promise to modernize, streamline, reduce size of state’s government

Chances are growing that Republicans will take over Colorado's House and Senate. Here's the agenda of the Senate Republicans:

Senate Republicans' Agenda for Economic Recovery
“This economic agenda was crafted through discussions with employers across Colorado who are frustrated with the current level of taxes and regulations.” - Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp. 

“When Governor Ritter and the Democrats implemented new taxes and regulations in a recession it killed jobs. It is time we bring their unpredictable, anti-business agenda to an end.” - Assistant Minority Leader Greg Brophy 

Agenda Video: Listen to Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp's message on joining the discussion for better economic policy in Colorado. 
Submit your ideas: Visit 

Senate Republicans' Economic Agenda
Repeal anti-business tax increases of 2010
Over $100 million in new business taxes enacted by Ritter and the Democrats have put a damper on job creation in Colorado in the middle of the Obama recession. We believe increasing the tax burden on business is the wrong approach to balancing the state budget. Savings can be found through eliminating nonessential programs and streamlining state government. 

Foster business growth by eliminating onerous taxes
• Repeal business personal property tax
The personal property tax is a proven job killer. It is universally hated by businesses large and small. Alternatives can be found to replace this outdated tax system for modern revenues for local governments. 

Streamline burdensome regulations
• Promote leaner, more clear and predictable rules for businesses
Burdensome regulations can be simplified and reduced, especially for small businesses of fewer than 100 employees. 

• Push for 15% reductions on fees and compliance costs
We need a thorough independent review of all user fees while implementing across-the-board reductions in licensing fees. 

Promote energy development and responsible drilling
• Review Colorado Oil & Gas Rules
Costly new regulations imposed by Governor Ritter have our energy industries on life support in Colorado. All regulations should be subject to a serious cost-benefit analysis with the economics losses in jobs and tax revenues given more adequate weight. 

Senate Republicans' Agenda to Reform & Restrain Government
“It is time we thoroughly audited the functions of government. We can no longer afford to jeopardize vital services in order to meet the Democrats’ political agenda.” - Senator Kevin Lundberg 

“All of government spending needs to be scrutinized,” said Scheffel. “We must institute priority-based budgeting if we are to navigate our way through this difficult economy.” - Senator Mark Scheffel 

Agenda Video: Listen to Assistant Senate Minority Leader Greg Brophy's message about Senate GOP reform proposals. 

Senate Republicans' Government Reform Agenda
Blueprint for a Leaner Government
• Identify and budget to core functions of government, phasing out nonessential programs, reducing cost, size and complexity of government 

Control government spending
• Limit year over year government operations spending increases 

Priority-based budgeting
• No more rubber stamping department spending increases
• Require 2/3 vote to extend sunset legislation 

Reduce Colorado’s dependence on Washington
• Restrain unsustainable entitlement spending
• Reverse Ritter’s policy of relying on uncertain sources of federal funding 

Eliminate state employee unionization
• Reduce bureaucracy payroll to private sector levels
• Institute state hiring freeze until budget challenges are met 

Safeguard taxpayers from volatile swings
• Create a meaningful Rainy Day Fund 

Senate Republicans' Pledge to Colorado Taxpayers 
“Overpromising and overspending led Democrat lawmakers to continually circumvent taxpayer protections in our state Constitution. It is time we rein in out-of-control spending and begin to budget to the core functions of government.” - Senate Republican Caucus Chair Bill Cadman 

Senate Republicans' Pledge to Taxpayers
Remove burdensome Ritter Administration “car tax
• Phase out vehicle registration fee increase legislation (FASTER) 
The large increase in vehicle registration fees imposed a real hardship on many Colorado households and should be rolled back. 

Fight for lower home energy bills
• Repeal the Public Utility Commission’s authority to implement a two tiered pricing mechanism 
Two-tiered pricing of electric utility rates is a de facto tax increase for purposes unrelated to the actual cost of producing the energy used by the consumer. 

Institute supermajority vote (3/5) for all fee increases
• Change the law to make a clear and enforceable distinction between fees and taxes 
Because fees are often necessary for doing business, they should not be raised without a broad consensus on the necessity for doing so, and the use of revenue from fees needs to be restricted to their authorized purpose. 

Honor taxpayer protections in state Constitution
• Guarantee that any tax increase proposed is brought to the people for a vote 
All efforts to rewrite TABOR in the name of “budget flexibility” must be resisted, and any tax increase must be referred to the people for approval. 

Senate Republicans' Agenda to Support Colorado Families
“The costs of illegal immigration in terms of taxpayer funded programs and public safety is immense in our state. The Senate Republicans have authored a meaningful plan to stem the tide of illegal immigration in Colorado.” - Senator Ted Harvey 

“One of the greatest challenges we face is how to improve our education system in Colorado. We should be promoting innovative schools & charter expansion throughout the state.” - Senate Minority Whip Nancy Spence 

Senate Republicans' Pledge to Colorado families

Protect communities
• Strengthen public safety by ending Ritter’s early release program for violent criminals 

Freedom in Health Care
• Protect private choices in health care 

Choice in Education
• Enact scholarship plan for special needs children
• Offer mobility & flexibility for children in failing schools through school vouchers
• Education tax credits for private and home schools
• Promote innovative schools & charter expansion 

Crack down on illegal immigration
• Require meaningful audits & enforcement of existing state laws
• Require E-verify for all Colorado licensed companies
• Strengthen Colorado laws prohibiting sanctuary cities 

End state funding to abortion providers
• End all taxpayer funded abortion services 

Senate Republicans' Agenda to Restore Trust in Government
“As families and businesses are trying to navigate their way through this difficult economy, we cannot expect them to search through mountains of information to find out what we are doing in the General Assembly. This new transparency plan will give Colorado taxpayers easy access to our legislative efforts at the Capitol.” Senator Al White 

“This plan will create an unprecedented level of accountability for state lawmakers in Denver. Citizens will now be given the tools and resources to make a direct impact on legislative efforts.” - Senator Kevin Lundberg 

Senate Republicans' Transparency Plan
• Create better web-based spending reports
• Interactive citizen participation & input website
• End the abuse of fast tracking “controversial” legislation
• Require all bills to be posted for 24 hours prior to final vote 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 11/01/2010 at 02:28 PM


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