Laws are pesky things. At a legislative breakfast, liberal Sen. Leroy Garcia offered a sniveling view of the controversial hospital provider fee, as reported in the Pueblo Chieftain. He accused Republican Senate President Bill Cadman of blocking Democrats’ attempts to create a hospital provider fee enterprise fund in order to unwind TABOR. The gist of this end-run around TABOR is that the hospital provider fee would fall under an entity similar to the Colorado State Lottery, which is not subject to TABOR.
Here’s Garcia’s complaining:
“Colorado Senate President Bill Cadman is using Washington, D.C.-style politics to block action on the constitutionality of the hospital provider fee question, state Sen. Leroy Garcia said at the monthly Legislative Breakfast on Saturday.
“‘This is not Colorado-style,’ said Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat. ‘One big challenge is Bill Cadman. We’re not used to this type of politics in Colorado.'”
If Garcia’s accusation was true, we’d say bravo, but it’s not. What’s blocking the hospital provider fee? Laws. It’s simply unlawful to create new entities to circumvent constitutional budget requirements that prevent legislators from setting taxpayer dollars on fire. The Colorado State Senate is not the U.S. Senate. The Colorado State Senate is not blocking anything – even if this ill-conceived scheme is certainly worthy of blocking.
Dare we enumerate the important pieces of legislation that Democrats have, according to Garcia’s definition, “blocked”? Garcia should just stick to being a pretty face for the Democrats – his strategery is too much pin the tail on the donkey, too little horsepower.