Roads bill clears Senate by 19-16 vote

Entreaties from Democratic state senators Thursday, highlighting the policies they and their Republican peers agree upon, did little to cool conservatives’ road rage over a proposed transportation-funding bill.

“I just want to continue to say that … we really agree more than we disagree in so many ways,” said Sen. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne.

“We all agree that we must do something about our transportation needs. We all agree that we must create jobs.”

That common ground showed very little as the Senate voted along party lines, 19–16, to pass the bill along to the state House.

Only Sens. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, and Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, crossed party lines to oppose the bill.

“The only thing we agree on is that our roads are failing,” said Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley.

Senate Bill 108 raised more than $200 million for Colorado’s highway network through a menu of fee increases, expected to raise the average Coloradan’s fees more than $30 next year.

“It is not prudent. It is not thoughtful. It is not responsible public policy,” said Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.

Returning to a theme of Wednesday’s debate, Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield, said fee hikes are the wrong way to raise money during a recession.

“It is economic malpractice,” he said.


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