Hospital Provider Fee bill advances in legislature, transportation bill dead for now

DENVER -- Colorado lawmakers have agreed to a bill that will save hospitals from severe budget cuts by changing how the state handles the Hospital Provider Fee.

“The governor refers to it as a Christmas tree,” capitol beat reporter Marianne Goodland told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged. “They came to a sweeping agreement on Thursday that covers everything from business personal property tax to Medicaid co-pays to saving rural hospitals.”

There are even provisions in the bill to help rural schools and a little bit for transportation. A bigger transportation bill won’t be passed before the end of the session Wednesday.

“There is nothing going to come out of the legislature this year on that issue,” Goodland said. “Now we have a half dozen or so ballot measures that are being pushed by groups like the Independence Institute and the Colorado Contractors Association and at some point they will make their final selection about which one they want to go with.

Goodland says contractors want to go with something similar to what the bipartisan transportation bill in the legislature would have done which is ask taxpayers to approve a sales tax increase to pay for improvements. She says that proposal could still get on the ballot in November.

Goodland says the Independence Institute's approach would look at existing state revenues as funding for transportation projects.

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Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays. 


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