Dem fund-raiser Saturday

State leaders will attend event at Olympian Hall

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State Rep. Andrew Rom-anoff, speaker of the House in Colorado, will be in Steamboat Springs on Saturday to discuss his proposal to reform the state's budget.

Romanoff; state Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver; Pat Waak, the state Democratic Party chairwoman; and others will speak at the Routt County Democratic Party's potluck dinner Saturday.

"It's a great honor for the Routt County Democrats to host such a distinguished group of speakers," said Ken Brenner, chairman for the county's Democratic party.

"For one thing, it kind of tells us that we're on the map now, as far as Democrats in the state of Colorado. They're recognizing that we have a county party organization that works hard and is interested in issues throughout the state."

Brenner encouraged anyone interested to attend the Democratic Jefferson/Jackson Fundraiser.

"Take a look at the new state leadership," he said. "This isn't the same Democratic Party that a lot of people are familiar with. These are young, bright, articulate leaders at the state house. I think (people attending) will see there is a new direction that the Democratic Party is going in Colorado."

Brenner personally invited Romanoff, Grossman and Waak to the fund-raiser, and all agreed to attend.

Romanoff will talk about his recent proposal to solve the state's budget crisis caused by reforming the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Romanoff's bill was approved in the House, and last week, he and Republican Gov. Bill Owens announced that they had reached a bipartisan budget reform plan.

The plan, known as the Colorado Economic Recovery Act, would eliminate TABOR's so-called ratchet effect that limits the state's ability to recover after recession years. The proposal also would let the state keep an estimated $3.1 billion in tax revenues that otherwise would be refunded to taxpayers during the next six years. Finally, the state income tax rate would drop slightly in 2011 if the state has a surplus.

Now that legislators have agreed on a plan, voters must approve it in November.

Romanoff also will discuss the Democrats' successful strategy in winning back the state House and Senate last November.

Grossman will talk about security issues, perhaps touching on the USA Patriot Act, Brenner said.

Waak will discuss her vision for the state party, including how to develop a more inclusive party, Brenner said.

The Democratic Jefferson/Jackson Fundraiser is at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Olympian Hall. All attending should bring an appetizer, main dish, side dish, salad, dessert or bread. There is a suggested donation of $20 per adult and $10 per student. The fund-raiser is free for children younger than 18. Anyone interested should RSVP by calling 879-8691 or e-mailing lynn_abbott@springsips.com.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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