Martinez Humenik Blasts Duran-Winter "Roadkill Bill"

Denver -- Senator Beth Martinez Humenik today blasted House Speaker Crisanta Duran and House Transportation Committee Chair Faith Winter for waiting until just a week before session’s end to produce an alternative to Senate Bill-1 that the Thornton Republican called a “byzantine, unworkable, and inadequate response to a mounting $9 billion road maintenance backlog.”

Martinez Humenik released the following statement as Senate Bill-1 was poised to get a belated House hearing:

“Just when one may have thought partisan politics wouldn’t come into play at the Statehouse, the House Speaker and Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Representative Winter, are playing reckless games that threaten to derail the reasonable, tax-hike free transportation fix that gridlocked Coloradans on our roads and bridges want and need.

I am a strong advocate for increased education spending, as my voting record shows, however, presenting these changes as an either-or, all-or-nothing proposition, by pitting education spending against transportation funding, just isn’t a reasonable or a responsible way to go. Winter and the Speaker have for nearly a month, sat on the reasonable road modernization proposal the Senate sent them, holding it hostage until just one week before the end of session, when they pull out a convoluted and unworkable counter-proposal that seems designed to obstruct the fix our roads and bridges need right now. Their proposal is a byzantine, unworkable, and inadequate response to a mounting $9 billion road maintenance backlog, which took out the bonding authority and the consistent future resource commitment that is required to get the state’s top priority projects done.

There is political courage in just admitting they aren’t interested in fixing roads, but instead a disingenuous, window-dressed alternative is thrown out at the 11th hour, as a way of appearing to care about transportation, while doing absolutely nothing to help Colorado motorists who drive on roads and bridges that are damaged and need repair. Rather than leverage a $1 billion surplus to fix the I-25 disaster in Adams County and North Denver, the Speaker of the House and the House Transportation Chair instead want to give CDOT the authority to toll I-25. This is foolish irresponsibility. Perhaps they have been in a partisan bubble for too long if they think people in Colorado will stand for tolling on I-25 when more than enough surplus exists to fix the highway as well as other roads and bridges in the coming years.

I hope Duran and Winter will rethink their opposition to bonding, which was a key and critical piece of the bill that passed the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support.”   

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