Columnists, Featured, Gold Dome, Jon Caldara, Politics

Caldara: Legislative suggestions for Colorado Republicans

Assuming the Republican Party doesn’t eliminate its own primary, thus disenfranchising a million Republican and 1.6 million unaffiliated voters, 2020 stands as an amazing opportunity for large Republican gains in Colorado.

To help in that endeavor, Republican state legislators should be crafting a suite of legislation to define how they are different from the progressives who are now turning our once prosperous, fully employed, safe-to-walk-in-after-dark state into a worse version of California.

The one-party state in control of Colorado will likely shoot such legislation down, but that’s kinda the point. Let this legislature and governor crush bills to make Colorado more affordable, safe and fair.

Let me throw out a few suggestions, in no particular order.

Last year Team Polis raised your taxes over $600 million a year without your approval at the ballot box. Tax increases labeled as fees along with edits to the state tax code we’re designed to go around your consent.

The Republicans’ first bill should be a flat-rate income tax cut to give that money back to those from whom it was stolen. A flat income tax rate of 4.4% should do it.

Speaking of taxes, the hospital provider “fee,” a massive tax increase on your stay in the hospital, was also enacted without your consent. So devious is this tax law it bars the hospital from showing this charge (tax) on your hospital bill!

So, when you are at your very weakest and most vulnerable, you’ll blame the hospital, not the Colorado legislature, for the sticker shock. The left hates transparency. Republicans must champion a bill to mandate this ugly “fee” be clearly stated on your bill.

Over the last two years, Team Polis has touted local control as they push their socialism in areas like energy, gun control, hiking the minimum wage and taxes on tobacco and vape products.

In reality they have granted localities only the power to increase regulation and taxes, not to cut them. They created a one-way rachet toward their command-and-control Utopia.

Republicans should double down on the Dems’ newfound love of local control. They should put forward a bill to empower local governments to reduce oil and gas regulations from the state’s over-burdensome regs designed to squeeze the industry out of the state.

They should put forward a bill to empower local governments bill to allow locals to lower the minimum wage below the state mandate.

They should put forward a bill to empower local governments to lower tobacco and vape taxes.

They should put forward a bill to empower local governments to remove useless state gun-control mandates.

I mean IF the left believes in local control, how could they not vote for it. Certainly they don’t support local control only when it advances their agendas. After all, the left is all about fairness.

Speaking of useless gun-control laws, now that local government can pass whatever gun-phobic laws they want, it’s time to end the unenforceable state 15-round magazine limit.

When it was passed in 2013, we gun owners were promised up and down it would not outlaw any guns, just limit the magazine size. Since then, I have personally seen at least 25 different common handguns that can’t be sold in Colorado because they have 16-or-more-round magazines and the manufacturer doesn’t make “Colorado compliant” mags.

I suppose you could buy the gun and use it as a paper weight.

If (when) a bill to repeal the state 15-round limit fails, even though Boulder can now limit mags to two rounds, Republicans should run a bill to expand the limit to 20 rounds. When that fails, then 19 rounds, then 18, until you get to 16. I really want the gun grabbers to explain how they in fact haven’t banned guns in Colorado. (‘Cuz they have)

Please run a bill to refer to the people an amendment to make clear (as it was promised when voters passed it in the first place) that the 120 calendar-day legislative session means consecutive days. Let the Dems prove they are not trying to create a California-like full time session of “professional class” politicians.

In fact, there is nothing the legislature does that can’t be done in 90 days every other year, like it’s done in Texas.

And for God’s sake please run a bill that keeps criminals behind bars.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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