“The people of Colorado deserve to have a Legislature work to try to address this problem” said DelGrosso, the House sponsor of SB 210. “We can get mad about the hospital provider fee. We can get mad about all the other bills out there. But the reality is you have SB 210 in front of you.”

House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso (foreground) presents his $3.5 billion road-bonding… more ED SEALOVER | DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL

House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso (foreground) presents his $3.5 billion road-bonding… 
ED SEALOVER | DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL

Republicans and Democrats in the Colorado Legislature agreed on very little during the 2016 session.And on Tuesday, a pair of committees made decisions on two bills heard just hours apart that, together, ensured that the state’s congested highways would get no significant infusion of funding from the General Assembly.

Democrats on the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee first killed Senate Bill 210, an effort to attack the most significant roadway needs by asking voters to sell $3.5 billion in bonds, saying that the evolving bill had too many provisions that didn’t seem to work quite right.

Then, about three hours later, Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee killed House Bill 1420, which would move revenues from the hospital provider fee into an enterprise fund. That would have freed up $700 million under the state’s budget cap that could go to roads, education and other needs. Though that may have provided more than $200 million a year for extra funding for highways, detractors said the move was fiscally irresponsible at best and unconstitutional at worst. Read on…