Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday he’s still “ambivalent” about his preference among 16 proposed ballot measures that would raise additional state funds for K-12 education.
Asked about it during a meeting with reporters, Hickenlooper kind of sighed and said, “I would have to say I’m ambivalent” because each proposal has pros and cons. “
We’re trying to sort through what is best for Colorado,” he said.
The civic group Colorado Forum, which filed the proposals, also is trying to decide which one it will attempt to get on the ballot through a petition campaign. Various business interests are still debating which of the 16 tax plans to support. Most observers believe Hickenlooper’s active campaign support is necessary to help get a tax increase passed.
Each plan would raise about $1 billion a year through higher income-tax rates. But the proposals vary in how they would change tax rates and whether or not they would modify other parts of the constitution, namely Amendment 23 and the Gallagher amendment.
Some advocates are getting antsy because the choice hasn’t yet been made. As of Wednesday, there are exactly two months remaining until petitions have to be filed.
“I have a lot of time in the next couple of days to go through them,” Hickenlooper said. His schedule is a little clearer because on Wednesday he finished signing the last of the bills passed by the 2013 legislative session. (No bills were vetoed this year.)
Here are the final education-related bills that were signed:
- House Bill 13-1007 – Continuation of legislature’s Early Childhood and School Readiness Commission
- House Bill 13-1320 – Allows colleges to admit more non-resident students in order to raise revenue to fund merit scholarships for Colorado students
- Senate Bill 13-214 – Legislative oversight of BEST construction program
- Senate Bill 13-279 – Energy efficiency requirements for new school buildings
Get links to all final bill texts in our Education Bill Tracker.