Gov. Owens, School Officials Push For Referenda Approval

Denver (AP) Governor Bill Owens and superintendents from
more than a dozen Denver–area districts say schools statewide will suffer without passage of two November ballot proposals.
The governor and school leaders representing some 430,000
children appeared at the state capitol Thursday to push for the
passage of Referenda C and D.

Supporters say the measures are necessary to prevent declines in
the quality of K–through–12 and higher education, but opponents say there's still room for cuts and efficiencies in the state budget, and argue the state doesn't need the extra money.

The initiatives would relax the Taxpayers Bill of Rights for
five years, allowing Colorado to keep about $3.7 billion that would otherwise be refunded to taxpayers.

A voter–approved constitutional amendment requires lawmakers to
increase basic school funding each year, but Owens says without
money from Referendum C, state social services will have to be cut more than during the past several years.

He says that would put additional pressure on schools to care
for children, by offering before and after–school programs,
additional meals and other services.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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