State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-CO) again accused Democrats of secretly not wanting to pass any law to address Colorado’s transportation needs, including improving roads.
Democrats are “hoping” lawmakers “do nothing on roads” this year, so that next year they can win control of state government and “run roughshod” and “spend all of this extra revenue on their pet projects,” Neville said on air Thursday.
Patrick Neville’s father, State Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton, also a Republican, made a similar comment on KNUS Friday, telling hosts Chuck Bonniwell and July Hayden (at 17 min 30 sec here):
“I believe the Democrat Party looks at this and say, ‘This is a pain point. We have an opportunity to increase taxes. If we hold out long enough, we can make Coloradans feel so much pain, even though we have another billion dollars coming in, that they might vote for a tax increase, so we have more of their money to waste away on a number of other project that probably should not be prioritized higher than transportation,'” said Tim Neville on air.
“The [Democrats] have never prioritized roads and bridges and don’t really care about them,” said Tim Neville (here at 11:15), joking that they want people to ride “bicycles, pogo sticks, I don’t know, whatever it is.”
Rush asked Patrick Neville if it was true that Democrats really want to fund “bike paths and more pedestrian bridges, and they will do more choo choo trains and buses and all this other crap that we really don’t need, and in the end, we don’t get any more roads.”
“Am I pretty much on on everything I just said?” Rush said to Patrick Neville.
“You’re dead on,” replied Patrick Neville, who accused Democrats of creating “all these different side shows” so that “they can’t be blamed for not being willing to solve Colorado’s voters’ problems.”
Neville favors passage of legislation, introduced in the state senate, that originally authorized spending $300 million on transportation bonds, to leverage billions in spending-a proposal Democrats call irresponsible given budget constraints, lack of adequate tax reserves for a recession, and competing priorities.
The bill was amended Wednesday to cut annual additional transportation spending to $250 million with a ballot initiative for voter approval in 2019 instead of this November. The amendment passed with the support of at least one Democrat. A recorded vote is scheduled for today.
The one-year delay appears to clear the way for a ballot initiative being pushed by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, which would ask voters to increase sales taxes to pay for transportation.
Patrick Neville also wants to cut the state income tax rate, explaining that Colorado can pay for the tax cut with increased state revenue this year, but he’s also proposed spending hundreds of millions of the extra money on roads.
Last week, Neville saw a tough road ahead for passage for the GOP transportation bill in the state Senate, where Republicans hold a one-seat majority.
“I just encourage your listeners to pray for the Senate leadership, because they are really in a tough spot, being one seat up. Sometimes it’s easy to lose one Republican. I just hope the Republican Party in the senate can just hold together and actually send [Senate bill one] to us in the house, and then we can actually move on from there. They are in a really tough spot.”
But the GOP Senate majority is now poised to pass the bill with some Democratic support.
Listen to Neville on KLZ 560-AM Thursday, March 15: