February 9, 2012

(Denver) – Republicans threw fiscal conservatism out the window Wednesday night when a common-sense bill sponsored by Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Gunbarrel) to require the legislature to identify a specific source of funding for every new expenditure was defeated in the House Finance Committee.

The party-line vote was 7-6.

HB12-1039, dubbed Pay as You Go, would have barred the House and Senate Appropriations Committees from approving any spending measure unless the bill tells us where the money for that expenditure will come from. It would put an end to pie-in-the-sky bills that get passed because they look sweet, but are unaffordable. And it would put the brakes on tax credits and incentives that cumulatively are reducing state revenues by $2 billion every year.

“We see a service that needs to be done or we see a wrong that needs to be righted, and if you can do it with a tax credit or a tax deduction, you can do it pretty easily,” Rep. Hullinghorst told the committee. “Many of the tax credits we have passed go on forever. They don’t have a sunset clause.”

“It’s important that we talk about this again,” Rep. Hullinghorst said. “We need to ensure that our budgeting process is transparent, accountable and responsible.”

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