April 1, 2016

Denver Post: Budget fix still crucial for Colorado Lawmakers should reclassify hospital provider fee

In other words, lawmakers still have urgent reason this session to reclassify the hospital provider fee into a separate "enterprise fund" to allow the state to remain below TABOR revenue limits without refunding money.

Shouldn't putting the budget on a sustainable path remain a high priority even without the pressure of impending refunds? ...

In a hearing this week in the House appropriations committee, the director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Henry Sobanet, explained that the state has been consistent in how it moves fee-based services into enterprise funds. If a fee existed before a revenue cap was in place, then the cap is lowered. But if the revenue limit predates the fee, then the cap has remained the same.

Why should the hospital provider fee be treated any differently? The answer is that it shouldn't — not unless lawmakers are simply looking for an excuse to oppose a plan they would want to vote against anyway.