Republican lawmakers are crying foul over a bill Governor Ritter will sign Wednesday that changes how the state can spend money.
Tuesday afternoon, Senator Josh Penry, House Minority Leader Mike May, and Representatives Laura Bradford and Steve King blasted Senate Bill 228, which they steamrolls government spending limits that have been in place for decades.
The new law would repeal a cap on the state's general fund, which can only grow at a rate of six percent each year. Under current law, any money taken in over that six percent automatically goes into a highway and transportation fund.
The Republican leaders say the bill is an effort the by the Democratic majority to spend more money and make the biggest cut funding to transportation in state history. They also say rolling back spending limits could put Colorado into fiscal straits of states like California.
"It's just too easy to spend money and these limits have served the state of Colorado extremely well and made the tough times less difficult than in other states," said Penry.
Supporters of the bill say Republicans' cliams are bogus because it only changes how the state can spend money, not how much money the state can spend. They argue there are many areas besides transportation that need attention during these tough economic times, and the new law will give them the freedom to address them.
Both sides say it's possible a lawsuit could come out the new law, because the six percent cap was established by a TABOR amendment and this was not a measure voted on by the people of Colorado. Supporters of the bill feel that the General Assembly does have the right to change it because it is not spending limit as contemplated in TABOR.