Kudos to Colorado Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) and Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) for having the political courage, and the good common sense, to craft a bipartisan bill - House Bill 1242 - that calls on state voters to raise the state sales tax by 0.62 percent to help fund our transportation infrastructure needs.
And shame on our own state representative, Cole Wist, (R-Centennial), for leading the opposition to that sensible, necessary, funding proposal. According to Rep. Wist, who is Assistant House Republican Leader, the Legislature "needs to be spending time evaluating how it spends existing revenue" before it asks voters for a tax increase. Rep. Wist couldn't be more wrong. We already know that we have a $9 billion dollar backlog of much-needed infrastructure repair work to do here in Colorado. Instead of more "evaluations," what the Legislature needs is more politicians like Rep. Duran and Sen. Grantham who are brave enough, and civic-minded enough, to put the interests of Colorado residents ahead of strict adherence to party dogma.
This is a matter of public safety, Rep. Wist. Is it going to take a catastrophic bridge collapse before you, and other reflexively anti-tax Republicans in the state Legislature, stop playing politics and start doing your jobs?
Stephen A. Justino