Under the Dome: Proposition BB will shoot pot money to schools, substance abuse help | PostIndependent.com

Under the Dome: Proposition BB will shoot pot money to schools, substance abuse help

Rep. Bob Rankin
Staff Photo |

Vote yes on Proposition BB: This November ballot measure asks the voters of Colorado to allow the state to retain all of the marijuana tax revenue collected during the first full year of the Proposition AA marijuana taxes. If the ballot measure were to be voted down, the tax funds collected would all have to be refunded to the marijuana industry and taxpayers. This refund is not the same as the Tabor refund that will be a result of other tax collections but was triggered by the same mechanism. Proposition BB enacts what voters have already decided by allocating $40 million to public school construction and the remainder to fund marijuana education, substance abuse treatment and prevention and related needs. This is a referred measure from a Joint Budget Committee bill, and therefore I’m one of the sponsors.

I visited with the Colorado Mountain College trustees last week in Buena Vista. I continue to be impressed with the contribution that CMC makes to the 11 communities that it serves. CMC is a unique institution because of the geography that it serves and its local tax funding model. The leadership has developed a new method to reach down to K-12 schools and prepare students to enter CMC or other higher education institutions. This is something we need throughout Colorado.

Club 20’s annual meeting and steak fry is next weekend. Club 20 brings together Western Slope counties to discuss economics, education, public lands, tourism and other issues of importance to our area. I always attend to stay in tune with my constituents.

The annual state tourism conference follows the next week in Crested Butte. The tourism industry has had several banner growth years in a row. I track the numbers closely to see what impact tourism is having on the struggling economy of my district, House District 57, which includes Rio Blanco, Moffat and Garfield counties.

Good news for the fine folks in Craig and Meeker: The Office of Surface Mining worked hard to comply with a court order to update its mining plan for the Colowyo Mine within only 120 days. The Colowyo is located between Meeker and Craig and employs 220 people. It is vital to the economy of the area. The plan was approved by the Department of the Interior and is in place. In addition, a new environmental assessment was completed and a finding of “no significant impact” has been issued. The threat of a potential loss of those jobs caused serious concern in my district, and I’m delighted with the outcome. Thanks to all of our elected officials and the local community as well as Tri State, the mine owner, for your support and hard work.

We are pretty busy at home and in Denver these days with Joyce taking her new role as a member of the state Board of Education very seriously and studying the many issues day and night. And on my side, the Joint Budget Committee hearings, starting in early November, are causing a lot of the state departments and lobbyists to ask for meetings as they anticipate a very slim budget for next year.

Your concerns, feedback, and good wishes are important to us. Look up our websites, get on our mailings lists, and “like” my Facebook page. It continues to be an honor to serve you.

“Under the Dome” appears on the second Tuesday of the month. State Rep. Bob Rankin, a Carbondale Republican, is in his second term in the state Legislature representing House District 57, which includes Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.

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