We Came Here to Slash Taxes and Chew Bubblegum

And we’re all out of bubblegum.

DENVER – This morning, Senate Republicans moved forward with two of their biggest tax-slashing proposals of 2018, in an effort to put more money back in the hands of Coloradans.

Senate Bill 77, sponsored by Senator Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa), removes the sales tax for purchases of used vehicles in Colorado.

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They Deserve a Choice: SB-228 Passes the Senate

DENVER – Senator Owen Hill’s (R-Colorado Springs) education bill to expand school choice in Colorado passed the Senate in third reading today on a 19 to 16 vote.

Under current law, if a parent transfers their child out of their home school district, they must obtain permission from that home district to allow the new district’s buses (or other transportation) to pick up the child. Senate Bill 228 removes this requirement.

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Republicans Fight to Bolster Besieged Checks and Balances

DENVER – Senate Republicans on Wednesday sent a clear signal that Democrats can’t get away with trashing Constitutional principles in their increasingly extreme efforts to “save the planet,” introducing a bill that bars Colorado from participating in a multi-state “climate alliance,” inspired by the Paris Climate Accords, that Gov. John Hickenlooper agreed to participate in.

 

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Scott Bill Will Direct More Pot Tax Revenue Toward Schools

DENVER – Part of what may have sold pot legalization to many voters was a promise that a sizable share of any resulting pot tax revenue would go toward capital improvements in Colorado schools. But because the share of pot revenues going toward schools has remained the same, while state pot tax collections have continued to soar, Senator Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) has co-authored a bill lifting the original $40 million cap on school construction funding.

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Lundberg’s School Choice Tax Credits Bill Passes Senate

DENVER – In an effort to expand educational choices for Colorado’s students, Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) has introduced Senate Bill 83, which provides a state income tax credit for parents who choose to enroll their students in private school or homeschooling.

“Parents who send their kids to a private school are paying twice for their child’s education as of today,” said Senator Lundberg. “They pay for their child’s public education through their taxes, and then they pay them again out of pocket. The least we can do is provide a tax credit so that we can put the option of private schooling or homeschooling within reach of more Colorado families.”

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Hill’s Military Enrollment Recognition Bill Moves Forward

DENVER – Senate Bill 12 passed the Senate this morning on second reading. The bill amends Colorado’s educational performance indicators to recognize military service as equal to enrollment in postsecondary education.

Previously, SB-12 passed the Senate Education Committee with bipartisan support.

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Senator Hill’s Open Enrollment Bill Passes Committee

DENVER – Colorado parents may have more choices in their children’s education thanks to new open enrollment legislation (Senate Bill 228), sponsored by Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), the Chair of the Senate Education Committee.

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Priola Bill May Be a Prayer Answered for Churches

DENVER – Churches in Colorado that provide less than 3 hours of child care for parishioners daily aren’t currently required to jump through the licensing hoops that full-time daycare services are, but that reasonable regulatory exemption doesn’t take the circumstances of all churches into account, according to Colorado State Senator Kevin Priola (R-Henderson), leaving a number of churches in a state in daycare limbo.

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No Sanctuary for Criminals: Neville’s SB-220 Passes Committee

DENVER – Colorado cities that refuse to respect the role of the federal government in regards to federal immigration law will now face pressure from the State of Colorado if Senate Bill 220 passes. Sponsored by Senator Tim Neville (R-Littleton), the bill would discourage localities from enacting policies that encourage the harboring of illegal immigrants, alongside prohibiting Colorado cities from banning it’s law enforcement officers from enforcing federal immigration policies.

The bill is clearly targeted towards those individuals that have committed crimes in addition to entering the United States illegally. Standard procedure dictates that if a criminal is picked up by local law enforcement, they will be held until Immigration and Customs Enforcement can pick them up.

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The Long Road to Compromise: Senate Bill 1 Passes

DENVER – On Wednesday, the Colorado State Senate passed Senate Bill 1, a priority transportation bill for the Republican caucus that will ensure long-term funding for Colorado’s roads.

After over a week of heated discussion, debate, and amendments, Senate Bill 1 garnered bipartisan support, ending with a unanimous, 35 to 0 vote this morning. Amendments include an increase in the immediate investment into roads ($250 million to $500 million), changes to the continual funding source for bonding (from a portion of existing sales tax revenue to the general fund), and a change in date for the potential election question (2019 from 2018), to name a few.

“We got something done,” said Senator John Cooke (R-Greeley), a prime sponsor of SB-1 and the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, “and that’s what matters. If the House listens to Coloradan’s needs, and the Governor signs this bill, we will see more money flowing to Colorado’s roads than we have seen in decades, and it won’t raise taxes on a single individual, family, or business. That means something.”

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