Lawmaker likes bipartisan beginning |

Lawmaker likes bipartisan beginning

State Rep. Gregg Rippy expressed appreciation last week that leaders in the Colorado House of Representatives are calling for collaboration across party lines.

Republicans and Democrats engaged in a heated battle last year over redistricting. In speeches Wednesday, the opening day of this year’s legislative session, Republican House Speaker Lola Spradley and Democratic minority leader Andrew Romanoff called for improving relations between the two parties.

“I think both of them, to their credit, did a very good job of setting the tone, the tone being not that of contention,” said Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs.

“We all have a vision of what’s good for Colorado,” said Rippy. “It’s clean water, plenty of water, health care for everybody. Where you start to diverge as Republicans and Democrats is what’s the best way to get there.”

He said compromise will be needed to move forward on these issues.

A crucial issue could be resolving the budgetary crisis created by the state’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment, the Amendment 23 school funding measure and the Gallagher Amendment, which limits residential property taxes.

Rippy said if lawmakers can’t put a ballot question on this November’s ballot, the state will be in serious financial risk in three years.

TABOR will require that the state refund taxes even as Amendment 23 requires more spending for public schools. Cuts will have to come from everywhere else, he said.

“The numbers are there and they don’t lie,” he said.

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