State Budget Scrutiny Reveals Ref C Shuffle

Two years ago, lawmakers asked voters for a “timeout” from the spending restrictions of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights in order to allow the state budget to rebound from the recession of 2001 – 2002. Referendum C erased the TABOR spending limits for five years and permanently increased the spending caps thereafter. Voters were assured by Ref C proponents that K-12 education, colleges and universities, and health care would split the lion’s share of the resources if the measure passed. But a funny thing happened after Ref C passed. Spending on programs that rarely were identified with Ref C has grown at more than twice the rate of spending on education and health care.

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