Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do the 2012 Election Results Make “To Be Decided” Possible?

Colorado Cooperation Conference Debate the Issue

Governor John Hickenlooper has received the “To Be Decided” report and now must do something about it.  The Denver Post has already opined that action is required, not more discussion.  But, Hickenlooper recognizes the challenge statewide tax increases and constitutional changes desired by the business and political establishment face.

The Colorado Cooperation Conference will take up the topic of tax and constitutional changes at their winter meeting in Pueblo, November 30 and December 1.

Colorado Cooperation Conference
Partial List of Agenda Topics

Friday, November 30 - 2:00-5:00 p.m. 
  • “Observations” - Floyd Ciruli will provide his always-popular analysis of the political environment in the state and nation. 
  • “Colorado’s Constitution: What’s Good, What’s Not So Good, What Needs to be Changed?” - Jim Griesemer, Dean Emeritus of the Daniels College of Business, and Director of the Strategic Issues Program at the University of Denver, directed a recent in-depth analysis of our constitution he will share with our group, including a possible model for changes to the constitution which is generating interest in Colorado. 
  • “TBD Colorado: Final Report and Recommendations” - One year ago, our group heard a report of this new initiative associated with the Governor's Office to engage opinion leaders from around the state. That project has now concluded, with the release of the final report in recent weeks. The Governor's Chief of Staff, Roxane White, will join us to review the report's findings and have a discussion with our group about follow-on efforts to TBD Colorado. 
Saturday, December 1 - 7:30 -11:30 a.m. 
  • Panel Discussion: How to Organize a Broad Coalition Effort - We are fortunate to have a panel of noted Colorado personalities who will lead a dialogue with our group about how to bring together civic and business leaders from around the state to organize a broad-based coalition effort to address the issues we discussed on Friday, including others. The panelists - all of whom have first-hand experience in building successful coalitions - include Joe Blake, Chancellor Emeritus of the Colorado State University System; Former U. S. Senator Hank Brown; and Daniel Ritchie, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Denver and Chairman & CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. 
Governors Roy Romer and Bill Ritter were both defeated attempting revenue increases.  They join the political and business communities’ recent attempts to change the constitution related to the TABOR and Gallagher amendments.
However, Referendum C in 2005 and Amendment 23 in 2000 offer hope that, under the right circumstances, statewide majorities can be assembled.
And, the 2012 apparent rising liberal trend that accompanied Barack Obama’s re-election appears to have helped measures from recreational marijuana and gay marriage to California’s Proposition 30 tax measure and Colorado’s myriad of local tax and bond proposals.
Should some elements of TBD be on a 2013 or 2014 ballot?

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