Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fun with TABOR

From the KNEA's "Under the Dome"

TABOR light gets debated; sent back to committee

The “TABOR-light” bill in HCR 5043 – a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 majority vote to enact any tax increase – was brought to the floor this afternoon where it was amended up before being referred back to committee, an action that essentially dooms the bill for this session (although, like Lord Voldemort, bad ideas rarely die completely).

The bill had been held in committee where it was apparent it did not have the votes to be sent to the floor. House Speaker Doug Mays, a TABOR supporter, used his position to bring the bill out of committee to give it a floor vote. This action is another “more politics than policy issue” since it simply means that anti-government, anti-tax ideologues can have a recorded vote to put in campaign literature.

The first person to take the bill on was Rep. John Edmonds who offered an amendment to make passage of any bill contingent upon a 2/3 majority vote. Edmonds argued that really great ideas would naturally get a 2/3 majority vote and if an idea had more that 1/3 of the body against it maybe wasn’t such a good idea. The Edmonds amendment passed on a voice vote.

Next up was Rep. Jerry Williams who tacked on an exemption for tax increases to pay for Medicaid. It passed on a vote of 96-24.

Then Rep. Tom Holland did the same thing for highway improvements. His amendment passed 84-32.

Rep. Sidney Carlin’s motion exempting tax increases for higher education passed on a vote of 82-33.

Rep. Bonnie Sharp tacked on an amendment requiring a 2/3 majority for tax decreases or giveaways. It passed on a voice vote.

At that point Rep. Bill Feuerborn moved to refer the bill back to committee; a motion that passed on a 63-57 vote.

The amended bill goes back to the Appropriations Committee where it does not have the votes to be passed out for further floor action.

The House then adjourned for the day.

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