The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that the Democrats in the legislature have pulled back $37.5 million for a new five story science building in the Auraria campus. They claim budget woes. They seem to have money for every other pet project they can name, just not this one.
This might not be a problem except that the building has already been started. There is a giant hole in the ground.
Completely coincidentally, the legislature is about to roll out a severance tax ballot referendum that will fund higher education, and probably throw big money toward the environmentalists.
A group of Front Range senators are planning to place a severance tax increase on the 2008 ballot to funnel more money to higher education, according to a letter obtained by The Daily Sentinel.
The letter, sent Thursday to Colorado State University President Larry Penley, lays out a proposal to increase the state’s severance tax rate while simultaneously phasing out a large tax credit for oil and gas producers.
“We must provide the essential financial nourishment that our higher education system needs to thrive,” Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo, said in the letter. “We must ensure that the increased tax burden on the industry is geographically equitable and financially sustainable.”
Prediction: The Denver Post will run multiple articles and editorials in favor of a higher education severance tax. At least five of those will feature photographs of the hole in the ground.
I am tired of this game. If the Denver Post or the Rocky Mountain News even once mentions that hole as justification for a higher severance tax, I'll not only not vote for a higher severance tax, I will write essay after essay against it.
The money is unlikely to be reinstated, said state Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, who chairs the Appropriations and Joint Budget Committees.
When someone runs for and takes office, the public has a right to expect a level of political ethics much higher than that which we see in the current Democrat legislature and in Governor Bill Ritter.