Printed on 1/9/21

2016 Session

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SB 150 Rebuttal to Statesman's Article

The Statesman's June 9th "Hot Sheet" completely missed the point of Senate Bill 150. The article leads one to think the bill automatically turned all civil unions in Colorado into marriages. It also makes it sound like the legislature has accepted the Supreme Court's ruling that completely redefined the meaning of marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, in the legislative declaration of Senate Bill 150 it states: "Senate Bill 16-150 is intended to remedy the complicated legal process of dissolving a civil union and a marriage for the same couple. The ultimate constitutional question of the United States supreme court's constitutional jurisdiction and authority to redefine marriage in Colorado's constitution through a ruling on certain individual cases in other states is a matter the general assembly may take up at a different time, but Senate Bill 16-150 does not address, nor settle that concern."

The bill's legislative declaration also points out that the United States Supreme Court has grossly over stepped its bounds, once again. Far too often the Court exceeds the authority it is granted in the Constitution and boldly forces itself into the law making process, thus denying We the People the right to a representative Government. This was the case in the Obergfell opinion, which turned the meaning of marriage on its head.

I have throughout my entire legislative career defended the original meaning of marriage in Colorado's law and our State Constitution clearly defines marriage as only between one man and one woman. My support of Senate Bill 150 was not a change in those policies. It was my effort to remedy the particular dilemma of the complicated legal process facing Colorado citizens who are seeking the dissolution of a civil union and marriage license. I bent over backwards to work with the Senate sponsor to fix this specific problem and no more. Anyone who tries to turn this into a bigger statement on same-sex marriage is either not understanding the bill or intentionally misrepresenting it.

Those of us who do stand for traditional marriage understand the predicament in which some of Colorado's citizens have found themselves. We were able to work with the sponsor of the bill and come to a solution that should be acceptable for everyone, in which neither side of the aisle compromised their principles or political opinions.

It is disappointing to see some press reports twist this bill into a full-scale acceptance of same-sex marriage in Colorado. What was meant as a compassionate effort to find a point of common agreement on a very limited piece of legislation has been turned into a political victory for those who want to abandon Colorado's Constitutional definition of marriage.
I trust the citizens of our state will be able to see past the political posturing and recognize SB-150 for what is really is: a compassionate bill to alleviate an unnecessary redundancy in Colorado's divorce laws. Indeed, the legislature did not capitulate to the incessant cry to redefine marriage, nor surrender our authority to five black-robbed kings. Instead we, the elected law-makers of Colorado, worked together, found some common ground on a difficult issue and fixed a specific problem.

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Caucus or Primary?

There has been some frustration expressed over the caucuses held last week. I responded in a thread on facebook on this important issue. Here is essentially what I said. I am repeating it here, because I do think this deserves more attention and more discussion.

Having attended precinct caucuses since 1972, and having compared notes with legislators in states who have a primary instead of a caucus, I am more convinced we have the most effective grassroots system for selecting candidates for general elections.

I know the caucus can be a complicated process that takes some getting used to, but the opportunities an individual citizen has to affect the final outcome of the election are far greater than a primary allows. This is because you can become one of, or directly vote for, those who are appointed to be a delegate to all of the district assemblies who select the candidates for election for county, state, and national offices in the June primary election. You also meet and interact with all of your neighbors who care enough to come out to the caucus. This creates a network of citizens who can become the backbone of political activity in your community.

You do not vote for president directly, but you do pick the people who become the delegates to your party's national convention. You may even become one of those delegates yourself. Without the caucus, all of these important starting points for elections end up happening among a more elite group of party "insiders" (those who devote a great deal of time and resources to become a part of the party machine).

If we were to have a presidential primary it would either entirely replace the caucus system, or if we kept the caucus while holding a primary it would significantly erode caucus participation and we would be turning over the political party operations to the political insiders.

I want We the People to run the show. I know of no better way than the caucus system we have in place in Colorado.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:
When I first moved to Larimer County in the early 90's I attended my first caucus in Larimer County (I had been living in Denver County). We had about 10 people at the caucus. There were two people who obviously had been running the caucus for years. However, there was a young lady who was voting for the first time. Right before we voted on the delegates she said: "I would like to know a little about who we are voting for, so how about we go around the room and everyone say what is the most important reason you have for being here. I will start. I am pro-life." With that statement we all gave our reasons for attending the caucus. Then we voted and the leadership of the caucus changed dramatically, including my appointment to be a precinct committeeman.

That kind of impact by a brand new, 18 year old voter, is only possible in the caucus system.

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Amendment 69

Amendment 69:

Here is a PDF of the Amendment 69 brochure.

The State Single Payer System (SSPS)

The SSPS starts with a $25 billion tax increase each year.
But it gets worse...

This 10% tax is on all gross income, business income, capital gains, and rental income. It is 10% on ALL income.
But it gets worse

This is Obamacare on steroids.
But it gets worse...

The SSPS creates a new super-subdivision of government in Colorado that is accountable to no one.

And this rogue Oligarchy is certain to get worse

System of Governance

-Their budget is over five times bigger than what would be left of the current state general fund after the SSPS funds are removed from the general fund ($7 billion vs. $37 billion).

-Their budget would be more than twice the entire state budget, including cash funds and federal funds, after the SSPS funds were removed from the total state budget ($17 billion vs. $37 billion).

-The SSPS Board is unaccountable, it is "not subject to administrative direction or control by any state executive, department, commission, board, bureau or agency."

o Board members are not subject to recall, they set their own salaries, create their own election districts, and can vote any board member "off the island."

o They essentially pick their own candidates who will stand for election to the board. The election is nonpartisan and therefore the Board will determine how the candidates are selected, how the election is conducted and how the votes are counted.

o All residents above the age of 18 who have been in the state for at least 12 months may vote (including all legal and illegal aliens).

-Amendment 69 exempts the SSPS from all revenue and spending limitations in the Tax Payer's Bill of Rights (TABOR).

Medical System

-The Board will dictate what care will be approved and what care will be denied for all covered medical services

-All residents within the state are required to be a part of the SSPS, with no exceptions such as medical cost sharing (an exception even allowed in ObamaCare).

-SSPS is a secondary payer to any health insurance. If you already have coverage, that insurance will have to pay first, even though you were already taxed by SSPS.

-All providers will have to conform to the approval, pricing and billing system established by the Board.

-Cost containment will inevitably result in rationing of care and raising co-pays.

-Payment for all alternative medicine will be subject to the rulings from the Board.

-Is it possible that SSPS can be any more efficient and less bureaucratic than the DMV or the VA hospital system?

Tax System

-$25 billion is just the estimated starting point

-10% tax is on:

o All gross income

o Wages, salaries and tips

o Business income

o Farm income

o Capital gains

o Pensions, annuities and Social Security benefits, to the extent taxed by the state under current law.

-The tax is regressive, fully taxing lower incomes, providing some tax relief for higher incomes.

-Non-beneficiaries (non-residents) are still taxed on all Colorado income.

-Tax rate increases require a vote from the "members" (all residents over 18 who have been in the state 12 months), but backdoor increases (increasing co-payments) can be raised by the Board without any vote.

-Since the SSPS is exempt from TABOR, the board determines the ballot language for all tax rates increase questions. (no longer will such questions begin with the phrase: "shall taxes be raised")

Some Other Negative Consequences

-Since all residents will be beneficiaries, Colorado will become a haven for the desperately ill from all over the country and possibly all over the world, driving the estimated costs far higher than the original estimates.

-The excessive tax system on corporations, capital gains and rent incomes will drive many businesses out of the state.

-Because the Board dictates all of their election systems, is not subject to the normal checks and balances from other jurisdictional authorities and the rights of citizens to elect their representatives is significantly compromised by giving aliens equal voting status, Amendment 69 would create a system of government in Colorado that would more resemble a Soviet style Politburo than the representative, limited system of government guaranteed in our Constitution.

-This monopoly of medical care will force everyone's private medical records into a central database which Amendment 69 states will be used "for management and research purposes."

-Amendment 69 assumes medical professionals will accept the SSPS and continue to work in Colorado.

Tax Examples:

A family of five (two parents and three children) with a self-employment income of $50,000 and a $15,000 income from a rental property, (using the IRS standard deductions) would have a Colorado income tax of $1,505. Adding the 10% SSPS tax their Colorado tax bill would be $8,005, 532% more than the tax without SSPS.

If that same family sold their rental property and received a $150,000 capital gain, including SSPS they could owe an additional $21,945 in Colorado taxes.

The proponents of the SSPS claim that this 10% tax is assessed like Social Security taxes, but the SSPS will tax all income sources, not just earned income, and it is applied before any individual and itemized deductions are figured.

The SSPS tax scheme is magnitudes bigger than any other tax set before Colorado voters.

-This analysis of Amendment 69 was prepared by Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg.-
For more information on the SSPS go to:


Here is a PDF of the Amendment 69 brochure.

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HB 1164

There is a bill in the House which should be of concern to all parents who have chosen to exercise their statutory authority to determine what vaccinations are appropriate for their children.

HB-1164 will require the parents of children attending school to directly register with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment when seeking any immunization exemptions. Currently completed immunization exemption forms are stored at individual schools, or for some homeschool situations, stored by the parents themselves. The centralized data collection required in HB-1164 is deeply troubling for many parents who have exercised their statutory authority to determine what immunizations are appropriate for their children. This is sensitive information that many believe should not be held by the state in a centralized database which is available to all interested government and health agencies.

The bill does not change reporting requirements for other immunization records, so the parents would still be responsible to provide their school with all other immunization information.

The term "school" includes essentially all public and private schools in the state (some daycare facilities and colleges are exempt). Part-time students are not exempted from the reporting mandate, so all students in part-time public and private school enrichment programs would presumably be included in this registration mandate. Parents teaching their children at home under the authority of a private school would also be subject to the reporting requirements in HB-1164. The only educational format that might not be included in this direct reporting to the state health department would be those who teach under the home-based education format (CRS 22-33-104.5), but that is only inferred because that educational category is not included in the referenced definition of a "school."

The proponents of the bill say that this system will eliminate some record keeping for the schools, but that is hard to imagine since the schools still have to verify the immunization records and/or exemptions for all students when they enroll in the school. To require schools to go through the health department for this information is to insert one more step into the process. It is also not a very functional information source, for if a child has been opted out of the state immunization tracking system (which parents have the authority to do), the school will still have to go back to the parents for immunization information and then keep track of that data outside of the immunization tracking system.

Another argument for the bill is that it will streamline a new regulation the health department is already implementing. Starting on December 1, and annually thereafter, all schools must give the department the aggregated immunization and exemption rates for their school population. However, because of the opt-out provision in the immunization tracking system, this new reporting mandate will still fall on the shoulders of individual schools to compile the data. It should be noted that if the school has students who are not taught on their campus (either at home or on another school campus, such as a community college) then the published immunization rates for that school will not be an accurate metric of the immunization rates for the student population at that school's campus.

If this bill is to move forward at all it should specifically exempt all students who receive their education in a home setting and allow all classroom style schools (private, charter and traditional public) to opt out if that particular school determines this centralized data system does not fit their situation and therefore will be for that school one more meaningless, unfunded mandate.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee on February 25 at 1:30 PM in room 0107. Public testimony will be accepted. All interested citizens are welcome to attend.

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