logo

Fix It Action Alert

  • Share:
March 14, 2017

BIG News! Lawmakers Introduce A Fix

Late yesterday, Senate President Kevin Grantham and Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran introduced HB 1242, a long-term funding solution to answer our transportation needs.

“Every county and city in Colorado will share in the benefits from this transportation package,” Speaker Duran said. “And we will insist on transparency and accountability, so that voters will know where their dollars are going and how they will be used. This package, if approved by the legislature and the voters, would be a major step forward for this state and firmly position us for growth and prosperity for the next 20 years."

“Introduction of this transportation bill doesn’t mean we’ve arrived, just that we’ve hit another important mile marker on the long and winding road to a long-term transportation fix for Colorado,” President Kevin Grantham said. “This bill probably isn’t what the final product will look like, because what’s being introduced is a work in progress and there’s still a lot of debate, compromise and hard work ahead before we’ll have a proposal good enough to pass muster with voters. But I’m optimistic that we’ll get there in the end.” 
Currently, the primary source of funding for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), is the state gas tax. Unfortunately, the gas tax - $.22 per gallon -  does not increase annually with inflation and has not been increased since 1991. At the same time, cars have become more fuel efficient which has created a declining collection of revenues and a $9 billion list of needs for our transportation infrastructure. HB1242 is a huge step toward addressing those needs.
The details:
Read the full bill here. In a nutshell, HB 1242
  • Refers a measure to the ballot increasing sales tax to generate resources for state and local governments;
  • Cuts the FASTER Road Safety surcharge, saving Coloradans money on their vehicle registration fees;
  • Directs roughly $680 million in new and existing resources toward the state and local transportation needs – from safer and less congested highways to safer routes for our kids when they head off to school;
  • Leverages state investment for up to $3.5 billion in bonding for projects across the state;
  • Enhances transparency and accountability, including citizen oversight of projects and simple-to-navigate website so Coloradans can track the progress cost and timeline of projects, and ensuring the state is spending taxpayer dollars wisely; and,
  • Ensures every county, every city and every Coloradan shares in the benefits from this transportation package.
Here’s what the media is reporting:

Denver Post, Colorado lawmakers reach agreement for tax hike, $3.5 billion bond in transportation deal

 

Colorado Springs Gazette, Bipartisan transportation funding plan would ask voters to raise Colorado sales tax

 

Fox 31, Lawmakers reach compromise on tax hike proposal for Colorado roads

 

Denverite, The Deal

 

Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Voters May Vote On Tax Bump for Transportation

 

Colorado Senate Republicans and Colorado House Democrats also issued statements entitled, A Fix for Colorado Transportation

 

Here’s what FixItCO Coalition Members Are Saying:

 

“Transportation is a top issue for the business community this year, and for good reason,” “Without significant investment in our infrastructure, our economy will suffer, job growth will suffer, and Coloradans will continue to be hit in the pocket book,” said Kelly Brough, President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “It is encouraging to see legislators work together and lead this important discussion.”
“Everyone agrees, Colorado’s transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of maintenance and repair. This is an issue that impacts every single Coloradan and doing nothing is simply not an option,” said Loren Furman, Senior VP of State & Federal Government Relations, Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI). “The announcement today is a very promising first step to address the needs of our transportation infrastructure and we applaud legislators on both sides of the aisle for their efforts.”
"Our businesses depend on the reliability and safety of our state's infrastructure system as a means for their viability and success. We applaud our elected leaders in the statehouse for recognizing the need to focus on this issue with the introduction of this measure and encourage them to keep the momentum going on the discussion," said Bob Golden, President and CEO, South Metro Denver Chamber.
 
"A long term and reliable source of transportation funding is absolutely necessary to support our state's infrastructure and, in turn, our opportunities to retain and recruit businesses to Colorado. This bill is an important vehicle to encourage focus on this issue by our legislators and we are pleased with its introduction," said Jeff Wasden, President, Colorado Business Roundtable.
 
“The announcement today is good news for Coloradans. Without a significant investment in our infrastructure, our economy is at risk, our safety is at risk, and the cost to Colorado families in both time and money is increasing,” said a Arvada Mayor Marc Williams, Chair, Metro Mayors Caucus Transportation Task Force.  “Our citizens and businesses need and deserve a transportation infrastructure that is efficient, safe, and includes mobility choices for traveling around their community.”
“This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue and it’s not a rural issue or an urban issue, it’s a Colorado issue and a top priority for Progressive 15,” said Cathy Shull, Executive Director, Progressive 15. “Improving our transportation infrastructure is absolutely critical to growing our economy, moving goods to market, and keeping our citizens safe. Hats off to our legislators for taking this important step to solve the problem.”
 
"We have long identified transportation funding as a priority for our organization - with a specific eye toward the maintenance of our rural infrastructure that supports critical commerce and farm to market movement. We very much appreciate the introduction of this bill and look forward to engaging in the discussion," Chad Vorthmann, Executive Vice President, Colorado Farm Bureau.
 
"We applaud the commitment and leadership shown by our legislators to prioritize and identify transportation funding this session. We remain hopeful that we can identify a path forward to a long term and sustainable source of transportation funding and are pleased to see the introduction of this measure," said Tony Milo, Executive Director, Colorado Contractors Association.
 
"We commend our legislative leadership for their steadfast focus on this important issue. We must all work together to advance a transportation funding mechanism to our voters and we are committed to engaging constructively in that discussion."  Jeffery Kullman, President, Move Colorado.
 
“First and foremost, we thank lawmakers for their commitment to seeking a solution to this very critical and complex issue. A truly successful transportation solution provides choices for transit, pedestrians, and bikes,” said Will Toor, Director of the transportation program at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “We look forward to working with legislators to ensure that an investment in our transportation infrastructure provides mobility choices for Coloradans.”
"The introduction of this measure to identify additional funds for our entire transportation system, including pedestrian, bicycle, and transit improvements statewide, is encouraging to our organization.  This issue is too great a priority for delay," said Julie George, Policy Director, Live Well Colorado.
 
“As fierce advocates for solving our infrastructure needs, we commend legislative leadership for making transportation a priority. The announcement today is good news for CLUB 20 members. Our roads and highways are crumbling and we simply can’t wait any longer for a solution.” said Christian Reece, Executive Director, CLUB 20.
“On the issue of transportation, we must all work together to identify a sustainable funding solution that will create safe and efficient mobility throughout the state. The proposed legislation is a promising step toward safe and efficient mobility throughout southern Colorado and across the entire state,” said Ivor Hill, Chairman of the Board for Action 22.

"A functioning transportation system is a critical draw for people who want to live in our state. We appreciate our legislative leadership's focus on this issue and look forward to the debate on this bill," said Ted Leighty, Vice President of Government Affairs, Colorado Association of Realtors.

 
Here’s what you can do…
Call your legislator. Thank them for their work and encourage them to make transportation funding a priority. Find your legislator HERE.
A simple call asking your legislator to find a long-term funding solution for transportation THIS YEAR will make a significant difference. It only takes a minute…Here’s a sample script:
“Hi this is_______________. I’m contacting you to urge you to make transportation a priority. We must have a long term, sustainable funding source for our transportation infrastructure. Colorado can’t wait another year.”
 
FixItCO is a coalition of stakeholders from all four corners of Colorado and includes everyone from chambers of commerce to environmentalists. Learn more by following the conversation on Twitter #FixItCO and follow us @TeamFixItCO.