“Political Issues” Costing CO Taxpayers $165k Daily

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POLS UPDATE: Full release from Colorado House Democrats after the jump:

“The House Republicans are always talking about respecting taxpayers,” Rep. Pabon said. “I’ve asked the Republican leadership more than once to move this bill. It’s simply absurd to let it just sit there, when everyone knows it’s costing our local governments tens of thousands of dollars every day.”

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Good reporting by The Paper That Shall Not Be Named, which reports today that “Political Issues” are causing a hold-up in the state House that is costing taxpayers nearly $165,000 daily.

The held up bill is House Bill 1005, a bill to loosen the investment terms for local and county governments.  Colorado it seems is the only state in the nation that requires its municipal governments to invest in nothing with fewer than 2 triple-A ratings.  But since Republicans staged their brinksmanship last year, U.S. government-backed securities no longer hold that rating, and so money that could be invested for a period of time is now essentially sitting under the county mattress.

As you might guess, this critical adjustment has bipartisan support, including that of Treasurer Walker Stapleton.  The bill passed out of the House Finance Committee on a unanimous vote back on Groundhog Day, but it has been stuck ever since.

House sponsor Rep. Pabon (D-Denver) asked the Republican leadership what was holding up the bill, he was told “there were political issues that had to do with supporters of the bill”, with no further explanation.  What exactly those issues are, no-one is willing to say, but House Speaker Frank McNulty is apparently among the obstructors; his spokesman is quoted as saying simply: “Different bills move at different paces.”

(h/t to RSB’s ghost)

The Clock Is Ticking

Pabon’s Bill Saves Colorado Taxpayers $164,383 a Day, But GOP Isn’t Acting on It

Feb 29, 2012

(Denver) – Despite broad bipartisan support and the fact that it saves taxpayers more than $164,000 a day, a bill changing how Colorado counties and cities can invest their savings languishes on the House calendar because the Republican leadership refuses to bring it to a floor vote. HB12-1005, sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) and Sen. Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch), would allow counties to invest public funds in securities that have less than two triple-A ratings.  Without that flexibility, counties and local governments are forced to put their public funds in accounts with a lower interest rate. Their hands are tied, and Colorado taxpayers are footing the bill.

GOP dithering is costing Colorado taxpayers $164,383 a day, according to an estimate by the nonpartisan Colorado County Treasurers Association cited today in an article by Tim Hoover in The Denver Post.  

“The House Republicans are always talking about respecting taxpayers,” Rep. Pabon said. “I’ve asked the Republican leadership more than once to move this bill. It’s simply absurd to let it just sit there, when everyone knows it’s costing our local governments tens of thousands of dollars every day.”  

The bill was approved unanimously by the House Finance Committee on Feb. 2. It has sat on the calendar for four weeks. The Republicans’ 33-32 majority in the House means they alone control which bills are scheduled for committee or floor debate.  

“It’s unbelievable how the political games that are being played around here are hurting the people of Colorado and costing taxpayers money,” said Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver), the House Democratic leader. “I hate to sound like a broken record, but the GOP leadership needs to put Coloradans first.”

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. … if Speaker McNulty has somehow suffered an attack that’s exposed a vindictive streak.

    • droll says:

      Must be horrible to watch your party eating itself. And not like gnawing a leg off and leaving it largely untouched on the floor; the leg is gone.

      A better, more sensible man, might decide to fuck it and stop screwing over the local folks, but McNulty prevails!

      As a side note; I approve of the word “dither” and find it underused in this country. Cheers, Post.

  2. Konola says:

    Full disclosure, I haven’t read the actual bill, so I’m only reacting to the content of the story in the Newspaper That Shall Not Be Named, but it is shocking that our state legislature is so dysfunctional that it would hamper a bill tht could save jobs in communities across the state.  

  3. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    When you find out the whole story, it will probably disappoint you.

    • That would be easy, and we could get off of bashing the inanely obstructionist Republican House leadership.

      • RedGreenRedGreen says:

        then you wouldn’t care about what was really going on. How can I be any more clear about this?!!

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        The state is not actually “losing” this money. This is an estimate of what might be earned if the bill passed and these riskier investments were legal.

        I don’t know the precise reason for the holdup, but I suspect there is a better reason than McNulty wants the state to “lose” hundreds of thousands of dollars. It will all come out, be patient in the meantime and don’t be distracted by misleading headlines.

        • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

          All they need is enough time that everyone forgets that they are pissing away additional income for the government.

        • This is money the local governments could and did have last year before the national Republicans screwed our country with the faux deficit ceiling crisis, leading two of the three ratings agencies to downgrade the U.S. debt from AAA.

          So yes, this is money lost on “risky” investments that are still the most secure investment in the world.

          And thank you for admitting that you know jack-all about the issue or what’s really going on with this unacceptable delay.

    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

      Glad to know they’re not like the rest!

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        What do these signs from all over have to do with Arapahoe County? You obviously pasted these all together.

        • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

          CSI must be banging down your door with job offers.

          I’m glad to see the clarification that the Arapahoe County Tea Party speaks English, considering the habits of their ideological brethren. Please pass on my thanks to them for making clear that, unlike most of the Tea Party, they speak English!

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