NEWS RELEASE: 135 groups urge lawmakers to avoid cuts

Groups urge lawmakers to consider three-pronged plan to avoid cuts
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 public health crisis also has created the largest budgetary shortfall in Colorado history, forcing state legislators to make some devastating decisions – including potentially cutting $3.3 billion in state funding for education, health care and other critical public services
Addressing such urgent and growing concerns, a diverse coalition of 135 organizations is encouraging state legislators and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to apply a three-pronged approach to mitigate some of the state’s most pressing public health, economic and budgeting woes. Led by Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) and Colorado Fiscal Institute (CFI), the coalition is urging members of the Joint Budget Committee to consider passing temporary emergency tax reforms under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) and take other measures to reduce the scale of cuts and forge a more equitable path forward for children, Colorado’s rural areas, elder citizens, people with disabilities and communities of color particularly hurt by the ongoing crisis.
The coalition delivered a joint letter to lawmakers advocating for a three-pronged approach that includes:
  1. The appropriate use of state budget reserves
  2. The passage of a temporary state tax that will raise substantial revenue and alleviate the disproportionate tax burden our low-income families are carrying; and 
  3. Federal aid that Colorado can use to fill budget gaps.
To advance the proposal, lawmakers need to declare a health emergency through a legislative joint resolution with a two-thirds vote; re-define the non-cash part of the emergency reserve so that state-owned buildings don’t have to be sold and pass a temporary tax measure in both the House and the Senate with a two-thirds majority. When combined with emergency reserves and federal aid, the approach would likely mitigate the severe budgetary hemorrhaging that would otherwise follow this year and in years to come, while better positioning Colorado for economic recovery. 
Colorado citizens concerned about the ramifications of potential budget cuts who support the coalition’s three-pronged approach can learn more through CCLP and CFI’s websites, contact members of Colorado’s Joint Budget Committee and reach out to their local representatives in the Colorado Legislature.
Read details about the proposal in the complete news release. Also, visit CCLP's #RecoverCO Resources webpage to learn how to take action and ensure this approach gets on the table as legislators consider the budget.
For media inquiries about the campaign, contact Elliot Goldbaum, CFI’s Director of Strategic Communications at [email protected] or Bob Mook, CCLP’s Communications Director at [email protected].
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