The following is a quote by Majority Leader Cris Holbert. I believe he did an excellent job of framing the issue so people with questions will understand.
By Majority Leader Chris Holbert
“Day 106 of the annual, 120-day, Colorado general session. 14 days remain. 10 of those are working days.
States Aren’t all the Same
Thursday and Friday of this week, the teacher unions will again protest at our state Capitol building.
The first such protest of this year occurred Monday, April 16. On that day, media coverage constantly pointed to a demand for higher teacher salaries as the primary motivation for the protest. Stories repeatedly pointed to such teacher protests in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Kentucky where teacher unions protested at the Capitol buildings in those states for… higher teacher salaries.
That premise serves as a great example for how states aren’t all the same. Why? Well, do you know whether the state legislature in any of those other states actually sets teacher salaries? Maybe one, two or all three of those state legislatures DO set teacher salaries in their respective state. I don’t know. I’ve not read the state Constitution of any of those other states.
All we know is that the teacher unions used those protests in those other states as the basis to protest here in Colorado and that the media reported that higher teacher salaries was the motivation.
Now, let’s consider Colorado. Does the Colorado General Assembly set teacher salaries here in Colorado? No, it does not. Does that make Colorado different from Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, and other states? Probably. But, I don’t know for sure how it works in any of those other states.
However, I do know how it works here in Colorado where our state Constitution specifies local control. Whether the motivation is to ban a textbook or raise teacher salaries, here in Colorado, the local school board makes those decisions, not the state legislature.
There are 178 school districts here in Colorado. Each of those districts has either a five-member or seven-member school board. Each of those school board directors is elected from within their local community. Each of those school boards sets the budget for their school district, which includes teacher salaries for that district.
Is that how it works in other states? Probably not, but I don’t know. The lesson here is to remember that states aren’t all the same. That’s not just permissible, it’s PREFERABLE.”
POSTED BY SEAN PAIGE 3307PC ON APRIL 18, 2018
DENVER – Part of what may have sold pot legalization to many voters was a promise that a sizable share of any resulting pot tax revenue would go toward capital improvements in Colorado schools. But because the share of pot revenues going toward schools has remained the same, while state pot tax collections have continued to soar, Senator Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) has co-authored a bill lifting the original $40 million cap on school construction funding.
“I think today’s vote could best me summed up as promises made, promises kept,” Scott said Wednesday, after House Bill-1070 won unanimous bipartisan support from the Senate Education Committee.”Voters who supported marijuana legalizations were told that a meaningful chunk of that money would go toward building or rebuilding public schools, but the original pot of money set aside for that work has been shrinking, relative to the pot of revenue we’re collecting, so we thought some upward adjustments were required, in order to comply with the clear intent of voters.”
The formulas dictating distribution of marijuana tax revenues are complex, but Scott and other supporters of HB-1070 say this is the bottom line: the old sums set aside for school construction – the first $40 million of excise taxes collected annually — no longer are adequate, relative to how much the state is collecting. The bill therefore raises the annual cap on Building Excellent Schools Today Act expenditures from $40 million to $100 million, greatly increasing the sums available to schools.
“Maybe we were a little conservative in the sums we originally set aside for school construction grants, because we just weren’t sure what that revenue picture would look like over time,” Scott explained.”But today we have a better understanding of what we’re bringing, so we can feel comfortable lifting the old cap and directing more of those dollars where voters wanted them spent.”
HB-1070 next moves to the Senate floor for debate.
Trust but verify. President Reagan made that phrase famous in reference to arms control agreements, but it applies equally to questions of election integrity, which is why I applaud today’s recount of votes cast at the March 17 Mesa County Assembly.
Even if today’s vote total matches the one taken on March 17, maintaining public trust in the integrity of the process is worth the extra time it takes to actually open the envelopes and physically count the ballots, rather than relying on a less precise and reliable voice vote.
Therefore, I strongly disagree with statements made by Dan Thurlow on KREX-TV dismissing the need for a verified count.
In a democracy, all voters expect a fair and honest count, and no one should fear the results. I also believe this recount will help Mesa County Republicans make improvements to the assembly process moving forward. Dan Thurlow has been blocking the review process for weeks but I believe even he will be better off with all votes verified.