Two reactions to governor’s spending plan: less government or more revenue needed

DENVER — The governor’s proposed spending plan for the next fiscal year was met with mixed reactions from state lawmakers Tuesday.

While some herald the massive cuts to public education as sad but needed, others said it should be a rallying cry to persuade voters to raise taxes.

While Democrats talked about doing just that, Republicans said there’s no will among voters to raise them.

“You’ve got two choices in a situation like this,” said Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction. “You either raise taxes, or you cut the size of government. The second thing is what we’re going to talk about.”

Democrats such as Rep. Mark Ferrandino of Denver and Sen. Rollie Heath of Boulder said they hope the reality of such huge cuts will spark a statewide debate for raising revenue for public education.

But Republicans such as Rep. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs and Don Coram of Montrose said the problem with raising taxes for education is voters won’t believe that money won’t one day end up funding something else.

“This definitely will open up a dialogue that will be very interesting in the next few months,” Coram said. “I don’t see that anybody’s ox isn’t going to get gored in this budget cycle.”


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