AFP-CO 2017 Legislative Agenda

Jan 9, 2017 by AFP

AFP-Colorado has over 127,000 activists, five field offices, 20-plus staff members, all who call Colorado home. Last year alone AFP-Colorado reached out to over 1 million voters at their doors and on the phones.

Take a look below at seven priorities we’re looking to accomplish in our 2017 Legislative Agenda.

1. Uphold the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR)

The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) has become the gold standard for protecting taxpayers. TABOR effectively controls government spending, allowing individuals and the private sector to thrive.  If advocates of bigger government are not able to eliminate it entirely, they will try to undermine it step by step. Colorado should do whatever it takes to protect and preserve the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in order to control taxes and government spending.

2. Stop Special Favors in ‘Workforce and Economic Development’

A 2012 report by the New York Times revealed Colorado doles out at least $995-million-worth of favors through an array incentive programs each year. Policies that lead to the government picking winners and losers should be ended. We believe there should be a level playing field for businesses functioning in the marketplace in Colorado.

3. Reform ‘Construction Defects’ Litigation

The housing market is being impacted by the threat of lawsuits in the development of new condominiums. This makes renting more expensive and artificially inflates housing prices. Reforms need to be made so that the market is not hindered by the threat of unnecessary litigation.

4.  Promote School Choice

On average charter schools receive about $2,000 less per student, per year. This disparity disincentives school choice, penalizing kids that go to charter schools. Families sending their kids to public schools should have the confidence that their kids’ educational needs will be adequately funded. Besides per pupil funding for charters, this also means prioritizing the state budget so kids do not suffer in the classroom due to the misallocation of state funds.

5. Reprioritize Budget Spending

 With only 5% of the state budget set aside for transportation, while 34% is soaked up by healthcare, elected officials need to take a hard look at reprioritizing. For example, unnecessary Medicaid expansion to include able-bodied, childless adults must be reevaluated, while maintaining a safety need for those truly in need.

6.  Protect the Energy Sector & Ratepayers

Despite the anticipation that the unreasonable EPA mandates on carbon emissions through the so-called Clean Power Plan will be rolled back by the new administration, Governor Hickenlooper has vowed to implement them in Colorado. In a state known for clean air and clean water, Colorado should not spend our tax dollars on an onerous, overreaching plan that will hurt ratepayers.

7. Reduce Regulations that Hinder Business Development

Regulations have a big impact on businesses, especially small businesses. The REINS Act would slow down the process of regulation and allow for public input. Additionally, we need to assess current regulations and get rid of any that are unnecessary or overly burdensome.