Colorado's four month legislative session is halfway over. As is normally the case, the only things lawmakers are required to do is pass a budget. Now that we're at the midpoint, attention can turn to the state's impending budget crunch and another hot topic: reclassifying the hospital provider fee under TABOR.
Capitol Conversation Highlights
On Upcoming Budget Negotiations
Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press: "Democrats really want to see Republicans reclassify this fee that hospitals pay, to juice up some more money for them to spend. They keep saying the door is open, the door is open, come talk to us. Well, we're getting close to the time where they need to close that door and open a window because Republicans are not walking through that door."
Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: "The way the politics are going now though, it's not likely to happen. Republicans are digging in their heals in over the provider fee and it's most likely that they're going to end up having to find some cuts."
On Bills This Session
Wyatt: "Lawmakers from both parties said one of their big-ticket items was going to be talking about affordable housing. That's a big issue on the minds of Coloradans. Democrats wanted to see tax breaks for first time homebuyers. Republicans of course wanted to see some reforms to ease liability for developers. Both parties were talking about this like that was going to be top on their priority list. Half way through, session it's still in limbo."
Ashby: "Talking about things that we expected to see and have seen, there are going to be a lot of that. It being an election year, it's natural you're going to see a lot of bills that are designed to get them votes, or they can go back to their constituents and say, you know, this is what I did."