The campaign for Yes on Proposition CC officially kicked off this morning at Metropolitan State University, in Denver.
The event featured five speakers: Gov. Jared Polis, University of Denver Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie, State Rep. Kevin Priola (R-Henderson), MSU Denver President Dr. Janine A. Davidson, and Great Education Colorado Executive Director Lisa Wiel.
The event also featured notable attendees including State Treasurer Dave Young, University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy, and State Sen. Tammy Story (D-Conifer).
Proposition CC is a bipartisan 2019 Colorado ballot measure that would eliminate individual TABOR state taxpayer refunds in favor of keeping additional state revenue to be equally distributed among public schools, higher education, and infrastructure projects.
Because TABOR applies to all governments and taxing districts in Colorado, no matter how big or small, the question of eliminating the revenue cap, known as “De-Brucing” after TABOR author Douglas Bruce, has come to the voters many times. Voters in the vast majority of Colorado have already passed a similar measure at the local level. 230 out of the 274 municipalities in Colorado have de-Bruced since TABOR became law in 1992.
According to Yes on Prop CC, the measure would allow Colorado to “attract and keep quality teachers,” “make community colleges and trade schools more affordable,” and “repair unsafe bridges and crumbling roads.”
Dr. Davidson opened the event, referring to Prop CC as “a turning point in Colorado history.”
Dan Ritchie, who is also the chair of leading state business alliance Colorado Concern, made his support vocal as well.”The question is simple: are we willing to give up our small, temporary refunds to fund some things that really need it in the state?” Asked Ritchie at the event.
Lisa Wiel advocated for her stance on public school teachers in America, who are not funded well by the state currently. “Teachers take an average of $600 out of their own pockets to get their classrooms ready, and then they go to their second or even third jobs.”
For Wiel, the vote for Prop CC is a no-brainer. “Colorado is funding its public schools at $2,700 below the national average… The funds from Prop CC will be used for one-time expenses that will improve our classrooms by funding things like bonuses to attract and retain great teachers, for books and technology, and we’ll do all of this without new taxes.”
Wiel also brought up Building a Better Colorado, a bipartisan coalition that has meeting with various leaders around the state. According to their voting statistics, 83% of those leaders they met with voted in favor of Prop CC. And of the Republicans who voted, two-thirds were in favor of the proposition.
Sen. Priola, who admitted that he has been a long-time TABOR supporter, has also backed the ballot measure. “I’ve defended TABOR all my adult life. In fact, one of my first votes was in the early ’90s, and I voted for TABOR.”
“I want to make the rational economic decision to get out of traffic, to have better education for my kids, and I think this is the opportunity for voters in November,” Priola said.
Closing out the event was Gov. Polis, who reiterated many of the positives of the propositions. He also pointed out that many areas in Colorado have already passed Prop CC-like measures. “Sixteen of the most conservative counties in Eastern Colorado have passed essentially the same initiative that’s before the voters today, allowing them to retain revenue.”
Polis additionally pointed out that Prop CC would have “strict accountability provisions every year, including an audit.”
Proposition CC will appear alongside Proposition DD, which would legalize sports betting, this year on Colorado’s ballot. Voting takes place November 5.