Jonathan Lockwood
Communications Director

Democrats’ budget treats taxpayer money like Monopoly money
DENVER (March 27, 2014)—Today, the Democrat-controlled House began debate on next year’s budget, House Bill 1336.

“Coloradans deserve a sensible budget that prioritizes what really matters, just like we must do for our own families,” said Kelly Maher. “Democrats in the state legislature should do right by the people they represent by passing a budget that uses the surplus responsibly by investing in basic necessities like education and infrastructure, instead of treating the surplus like Monopoly money.”

For the first time in recent history, the state budget is seeing a surplus, rather than a deficit, and the Democrat-controlled legislature is treating the surplus like a piggy bank for pet projects. Examples of these projects include:

  • The Vocational Rehab Program, which was found to be fraught with “pervasive problems”, would receive $7 million dollars on top of already receiving $46 million from other taxpayer-funded sources. In fact, according to a November 2013 performance audit, problems existed in 98 percent of the program’s cases reviewed, including, for example, a man who received $203,000 over 32 years without moving any closer to employment and $315,000 to pursue college degrees he never finished, in the Caribbean. Millions of dollars have been incorrectly overpaid or misspent while giving no assistance to more than 4,300 people on a waiting list.
  • A $5 million dollar increase in subsidies for the film industry through the governor’s Office of Film. 
  • The Waste Tire Program, a cradle-to-grave management system to track tires from the moment they are removed from a vehicle until they are appropriately disposed of or recycled, would receive $6.8 million.

Upon passage in the House, the long bill will move to the Senate for further consideration before it is sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper for signature.