Republicans Want Roads, Bridges Fixed And Expanded With No Other Detours

By Sam Brasch

COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO

A familiar fight over transportation and infrastructure funding has driven its way back into the Colorado Capitol, where Senate Republicans are now at the wheel.

Their plan, Senate Bill 18-001, would ask voters this November to let the state issue $3.5 billion in bonds to fix and expand roads and bridges. Those bonds would be paid back over 20 years with 10 percent of the state sales tax, now worth about $300 million a year.

The approach has spurred a debate over which programs deserve state resources over the coming decades. Republicans say roads should be the priority since better infrastructure can help grow the economy. Democrats want to invest in roads as well, but they worry the Republican approach would come at the expense of other state programs.

“I don’t want to have to cut education in order to fix our roads,” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, a Democrat from Arvada. “This was kind of a half-baked partisan plan that doesn’t quite get us there.”

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