In budget debate, Everett comes out swinging for transportation

Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, during budget debate, March 6, 2017. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, during budget debate, March 6, 2017. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

House Rep. Justin Everett, a Littleton Republican and one of the caucus’s reliably hardliners, launched debate on budget bills proposing amendments that seek to make the point that there’s plenty of money in the $26.8 billion budget to support overdue transportation upgrades and expansion.

House Republicans strongly oppose a plan backed by legislative leaders this year to raise sales taxes to pay for transportation development.

Everett sought to amend Senate Bill 260, which concerned transferring mineral extraction severance taxes into the state general fund — the state discretionary-spending fund.

“We’re talking about priorities here, people,” said Everett.

When the Democratic majority voted the amendment down, Everett offered another one that would use the severance money strictly for education funding. That amendment failed, too.

It’s set to be a long night. Senate Bill 260 is not the budget “long” bill. It’s one of the satellite budget bills. Members of the House are betting they’ll be debating past midnight.

john@coloradostatesman.com

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