This legislative session’s most important bill is arguably the state transportation bill, which seeks to raise funds to expand I25 before we adopt all the things, including traffic, from California. The bill passed in the Senate unanimously (more on that in a second), but has utterly languished in the Colorado House since March 28.
Today, Republican State Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik blasted Speaker Crisanta Duran and Transportation Committee chair Faith Winter for playing politics with Colorado families’ time and resources. From her statement:
“Just when one may have thought partisan politics wouldn’t come into play at the Statehouse, the House Speaker and Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Representative Winter, are playing reckless games that threaten to derail the reasonable, tax-hike free transportation fix that gridlocked Coloradans on our roads and bridges want and need.”
What is Winter’s problem? The problem is that teachers unions and other special interests are appalled that the state legislature would prioritize transportation spending. You know the one thing that families across Colorado are desperate for – traffic relief.
Colorado has a $9 billion road maintenance backlog. The bill that the Senate passed would have bonded to raise $5.2 billion. Winter eviscerated the funding that would have gone to relieving traffic nightmares we all face. Winter’s version of the bill allotted just $2.9 billion over 20 years in favor of dumping more money into special interests’ coffers. At least that’s what we take from Democrats’ press conference yesterday during which they basically said that we can’t fund roads because of teachers unions and Medicaid.
To add insult to injury, House Democrats dropped this legislation with just a week left of session, meaning there would be little time to get this important bill right.
Shame on Democrats – especially you, Rep. Winter – for playing politics with this important issue.