Guest Columns

MORGAN SMITH

Long ago memories of the Long Bill

Congratulations and condolences to those legislators who have volunteered to serve on the Joint Budget Committee and are now struggling to put together the Long Bill. These days, it must be an excruciating process of cutting and slashing to reach a balanced budget with declining revenues.

In our day, there were many tough choices and we did have to make significant cuts in the summer of 1975 because of a sudden drop in state revenues. But for the most part, we were blessed with revenue growth and were able, therefore, to build programs to meet the needs of Coloradans.

So, even though the process was hard work, there was time for laughter, fun and camaraderie and I have the fondest memories of my fellow committee members — Republicans Joe Shoemaker, Sandy Arnold, Ruth Stockton, Art Herzberger, Ted Strickland and Betty Neale and Democrats David Gaon, Paul Sandoval and Jim Kadlecek. I hope that these photos will convey that spirit.

Morgan Smith served on the JBC from 1975 to 1978 and was the chairman in 1976. He currently resides in Santa Fe and in Denver.

JBC members, from left, Rep. Sandy Arnold, R-Boulder, Sen. Paul Sandoval, D-Denver, Rep. David Gaon, D-Denver, and Sen. Joe Shoemaker, R-Denver, share a laugh. Shoemaker was always the best-dressed, while the Democrats were the most casual.
Photo by Morgan Smith/The Colorado Statesman
David Gaon collapses on the floor in exhaustion.
Photo by Morgan Smith/The Colorado Statesman
Sandy Arnold wearing, at his colleagues’ insistence, a CU-Boulder hat.
Photo by Morgan Smith/The Colorado Statesman
Paul Sandoval throws JBC write-ups at David Gaon.
Photo by Morgan Smith/The Colorado Statesman
Rep. Jerry Kopel, D-Denver, enjoys a steak dinner from Le Profile during the House Democratic Long Bill caucus. The rest of the committee members had to be satisfied with McDonald’s.
Photo by Morgan Smith/The Colorado Statesman
Senator Dennis Gallagher, D-Denver, lobbies Joe Shoemaker, R-Denver.
Photo by Morgan Smith/The Colorado Statesman
Rep. Sandy Arnold and JBC Staff Director Bob Williams in a snowstorm as the group returns from a budget visit to Pueblo. They didn’t actually travel in the Church of Christ bus — religion hadn’t yet taken over politics.
Photo by Morgan Smith/The Colorado Statesman