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Speaker Stumps Across State for 59's “Education Fund”

October 24, 2008

Frisco, CO – The speaker of Colorado's house is criss-crossing the state this week to build support for one of the many constitutional amendments on this year's ballot. Rep. Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, hopes to convince voters to approve Amendment 59, which he says would create a rainy-day fund for education - at a time when, by most accounts, it's already raining.

While no major deposits into the fund would be expected until the economy turns around, Romanoff believes it's important to have the fund already in place to protect against future downturns.

"Then, we wouldn't have to make such deep cuts to public schools and other important priorities when times are bad again."

Amendment 59 would allow for funds to be transferred from the state education fund, often called the education checking account, into a new education savings account, says Romanoff.

"Under Amendment 59, we begin to transfer a small amount of money from checking to savings. We'll start to build our rainy-day fund."

Romanoff says Amendment 59 would allow Colorado eventually to triple the amount the state is currently saving for its children and its future.

"That would take Colorado from its current rank, a state with one of the leanest reserve funds, to a state with one of the strongest. We'll be better buffered against recession."

Opponents of the measure call it a back-door assault on the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, called TABOR, but proponents argue the Amendment would not create any new taxes. They say it would allow Coloradans to vote on how state money should be spent, or saved, as TABOR intended.

Eric Mack/Elizabeth Grattan, Public News Service - CO