Steve Ivancie: Initiatives would cut funds for services

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Steve Ivancie

Colorado voters are about to be exposed to a ballot box virus masquerading as Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. Within each of these initiatives is a virus that will permanently cripple local and state governments’ ability to finance and invest in critical services such as road maintenance, education and municipal infrastructure.

The language of these measures is seductive and cleverly designed to appear reasonable, implying that we can cut revenue without suffering consequences. In truth, these initiatives — if passed — will adversely affect the ability of every city, county, school district, utility district, and our state to provide the basic services upon which each of us relies.

These initiatives would dramatically reduce the funding required to provide necessary services and infrastructure maintenance. The Big Bad Three, as these measures have been coined, will immediately cut Routt County annual revenues by $5.7 million, reduce the city of Steamboat Springs’ annual revenues by $954,000 and will cost Steamboat schools $1.5 million, resulting in layoffs and larger class sizes (Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association study). This reduction of revenue will mean loss of local control of budget decisions. It will rob our ability to invest in our infrastructure and finance large-scale public projects. Furthermore, it will cause the repeal of voter-approved decisions to keep property tax revenue above constitutional limits. Overall, the loss of this revenue would be disastrous for our community and for our state.

These measures would destroy our ability to attract businesses and tourism. If Proposition 101 passes in November, it will severely reduce the amount of money available for maintenance of Colorado’s transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, affecting everything from tourism and commerce to energy production.

Colorado businesses need solid infrastructure to thrive and remain competitive in attracting capital and new customers and to retain and hire additional employees.

They need predictability. Will they survive in this climate of uncertainty? With passage of these measures, they are likely to move their operations outside Colorado; we would find it difficult to attract new business or tourism. These initiatives could put Colorado on the road to a permanent recession.

Respected Republican legislators and the Colorado Municipal League oppose these measures. The Denver Post reported a vast majority of Colorado’s Republican legislators took the unusual step of signing a letter urging their constituents to reject these initiatives. “I don’t see them as good policy,” stated state Sen. Greg Brophy, a conservative from the Eastern Plains who worries that the proposals would make it virtually impossible to balance the budget. “It’s like losing your job and getting sick at the same time. I’m for limited government, but not no government.” (New York Times, Sep. 20, 2010)

State Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, respected member of the Joint Budget Committee, speaks plainly, saying, “It will bankrupt the state.” (Steamboat Pilot & Today, Sep. 19, 2010)

Sen. White noted that a study by the Legislative Council concluded that if all the measures were implemented in 2011, the majority of state’s general fund would go to K-12 education, leaving inadequate funding for higher education, health care, public safety and prisons.

The Colorado Municipal League stated, “Passage of these measures would seriously erode the reliability of basic services, the attraction of new business to the state, and our ability to enjoy the quality of life we have created for our families.”

Democratic lawmakers are united in their opposition to these measures.

With unanimous objection from leaders in both parties, including our state senator, where does our incumbent Representative Baumgardner stand? Although he offers no evidence to the contrary, he does not believe the impacts will be as dire as feared. He thinks Colorado will be “fine either way.” (Steamboat Pilot & Today, Sep. 19, 2010) As a constituent of HD 57, I am disappointed in our representative’s lack of concern as to the severity of this issue, indicating a profound misunderstanding of his duty to the citizens of HD 57.

I am opposed to Amend­ments 60, 61, and Proposition 101. They are irresponsible and destructive to our ability to invest in our future, our children’s schools, local infrastructure and Colorado businesses’ ability to thrive and create jobs. As your state representative, I will fight to invest in our future, our children’s schools, our local infrastructure, and Colorado businesses’ ability to thrive and create jobs for all of HD 57.

I have always considered government as all of us, not some far-off collection of “them.” We are government. Every day is an opportunity — and a duty — to exercise our right to self-determination. Please take the time to study the effects of “The Big Bad Three” before you vote.

Steve Ivancie is a Democrat from Steamboat Springs running for House District 57.

Comments

seeuski 3 years, 6 months ago

Hey Steve can you read? Check out Randy Baumgardners letter that pretty much puts these three initiatives into layman's terms. Without attacking anyone he gave voters a clear explanation of why he is opposed to all three. Again Randy shows that he is diligent in his duty to his constituents.

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BoatNative 3 years, 6 months ago

Hey seeuski,

Can you say flip flop? Or maybe its "Oh, I actually have an opponent, I better take a position on this."

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seeuski 3 years, 6 months ago

Please explain your flip flop accusation Boat, I don't see it. He was saying several weeks ago that either way we will have budget problems and revenue problems but we will overcome. And he also said, "He said he doesn’t particularly support the measures but is convinced Colorado will be fine either way."

I agree, but I also agree with his letter this morning and will vote against all 3 measures. Reading and understanding those measures was something that most voters would have difficulty with, so I can see that over the last couple of weeks Randy has strengthened his position to where it is now. Thanks and glad you see that Ivancie's attacks at the end fit in your box, not mine. If we had more fiscal Conservatives running things during the good times we wouldn't be in as big a hole during these bad times. Vote accordingly.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 6 months ago

Sees, Both letters appear in the same newspaper on the same day and you accuse the Democrat of copying from the Republican when it is the Republican that is changing his view on the issues?

Randy looks like he is chasing polling data and is randomly taking position on issues looking for votes. Why in the heck is a state representative from northern Colorado doing in Arizona grandstanding about US government border policy? Some pollster tell him is it popular to demonize illegal immigration?

He initially says these initiatives are no big deal and now they would be bad. Looks like he didn't know much about them when the polling was unclear and now that they appear to be losing is when he decides they would be bad.

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seeuski 3 years, 6 months ago

Your take on these issues Scott is expected, for one, are you blind? Where did I say that "the Democrat" was copying? I said can he read! Because Ivancie took the opportunity to attack Randy when he knew that both candidates were going to be featured on these tax measures. It shows me that Ivancie is a bit dim to have done so. Secondly, if you don't think that the open border issue effects Coloradans then you are following the rest of the sheep off the cliff. Just take a look at the police blotter, or better yet, take a gander at the $100,000 drug case that ACET broke that involved illegals connected to the Mexican drug cartels. That was here in Routt County, so bury your head all you want, we have a problem Houston and Randy Baumgardner is paying attention. Thank goodness he is. Politicize if you will, Randy is doing his job for the people.

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sledneck 3 years, 6 months ago

What has "permanently crippled [Colorados] ability to finance critical services..." is not laws restricting government spending.

What has crippled Colorado is the same thing that has crippled the County and the Fed... overspending and the resulting debt.

What happened to the housing market? More and more people who were less and less qualified were allowed to borrow more and more money till it all imploded.

If thats not an apt description of our federal, state and local GOVERNMENT I don't know what is!

"Unanimous objection from both parties" Really? thats your argument? The James gang was UNANIMOUSLY opposed to the law against bank robbing too!

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John Fielding 3 years, 6 months ago

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The lowering of borrower qualification is a convenient excuse used to cover the bankers and brokers using disingenuous sales techniques to push their product then manipulating the market by giving false security ratings to spin huge additional profits by reselling the notes. Maintaining the expectation of continued boom growth was another tool to that end. If the bankers and the buyers had been satisfied with moderate profits and growth we would still be enjoying it now. It is widespread avarice that is the root of the problem, and few among us are free of the stain, but those in a position to gain the most did so and contributed disproportionally to the problem.

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seeuski 3 years, 6 months ago

The Government sanctioned lending practices that were largely to blame for the housing bubble that bursted is still being practiced through Fannie/Freddie at OUR expense. Those institutions still have their filthy hands out to the Taxpayers as the losses mount month to month. Blaming the loan originators for selling the products that Fannie/Freddie brought and still bring to market with the guarantee of a continuing bailout by US Taxpayers is wrong. Until the policies set forth by Congress that create these wealth spreading techniques are ended we will continue to add to the debt and deficit. As a former loan officer I experienced the representatives from Fannie Mae bringing these products to our attention at weekly sales meetings. A large part of sales over the last decade were targeting the growing illegal immigrant populations in the Cities and Suburbs and programs that required no doc, no employment and no Citizen status were backed by Fannie. One look at the Meg Whitman housekeeper issue in the news and we can see how many probably use false documentation to receive the best mortgage rates and deals. This is why November 2 is so important if we want to stop this craziness.

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seeuski 3 years, 6 months ago

Nice people at the Communist One Nation rally Saturday. Those dang Tea Partiers are so mean. Oh that's right, no such video exists of any Tea Partier assaulting anyone.

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