* Units within Office of the President coming together next year
* Five Questions for Dan Theodorescu
* ARRA boost helps CU scientists secure $847 million in research funding
* Supplier showcases set up shop in September
* Federal grants totaling $850,000 available to improve educator effectiveness
* CCHE passes resolution opposing ballot measures
* People
* Letters to the editor
  Volunteers to help new students move in next week
  Alum leaves estate to benefit English department
  Lunch and Learn workshops to explore teaching strategies
  College of Nursing awarded grant for leadership in rural, underserved areas
  University receives $140.8 million in private support for 2009-10
   Newsletter Archive
Download Newsleter in PDF
Share your thoughts
Share your opinions

Send your thoughts and suggestions for the Newsletter

CCHE passes resolution opposing ballot measures

Commissioners cite cuts to K-12 education, direct impact on higher ed

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) opposes three November ballot measures that would reduce state funding and require school districts to trim current mill levies.

Members of the CCHE unanimously passed a resolution to oppose amendments 60, 61 and proposition 101 during their regular meeting Aug. 5. The University of Colorado Board of Regents passed a similar resolution July 16.

Proposition 101, one of three anti-government measures on the ballot, would reduce taxes and fees over several years. It would eliminate transportation funding by cutting registration fees for vehicles to $2 for new cars and $1 for older vehicles. It also would reduce state income tax from the current 4.63 percent to 3.5 percent over time; it also would end taxes and fees on telephone, satellite and Internet services except for those fees collected for 911 emergency services. The Bell Policy Center, which analyzed the proposition, estimates the initiative would cost the state more than $2.3 billion.

Amendment 60 would, among other things, repeal any tax increases after 1992 that were not voter approved, would require school districts to cut mill levies by about half by 2020, and would generally overrule case law concerning TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights). Amendment 61 would limit state and local governments' debt without voter approval.

The Colorado Union of Taxpayers, which backs the measures, says the changes would put more money in the hands of taxpayers and small businesses in order to grow the economy. The organization also maintains the measures would force local governments to cut costs and spend more efficiently.

Gov. Bill Ritter said his top priority was defeating the three measures, which he called "dangerous." The measures would "set Colorado back a generation and bring to a halt the pro-business environment we have all worked so hard to build," he has said.

According to a memo prepared by the Colorado Legislative Council, passage of the ballot measures would result in $2.1 billion in lost revenue for the state, from $6.9 billion to $4.8 billion, and the need to increase funding for K-12 education by $1.6 billion. The combined impacts indicate that K-12 education funding would require approximately 99 percent of the General Fund budget, leaving only $38 million for all other departments, including higher ed, corrections, judicial, human services and others.

CCHE Vice Chair Hereford Percy singled out the cuts to the state's funding source for K-12 education as his primary source of concern and opposition to the measures.

"These figures clearly prove that there is a specific impact to K-12 education, and if K-12 continues to be under-funded, there is a continued impact to higher ed," said Percy. "It only makes sense for the commission to oppose these ballot measures."

Besides school boards, chambers of commerce and local governments throughout the state, other colleges and universities in Colorado have publicly opposed the ballot amendments, including the CSU Board of Governors, the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education and Colorado Mountain College.

Bookmark - Print - Share