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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonAugust 9, 20187min467

Since Colorado voters pasted the TABOR amendment that steers spending and revenues into our state constitution in 1992, the myth of its sacrosanct power has been embroidered each year.  It is frequently viewed as the "third rail" of politics – attempt to tamper with it and you will surely die. However, only a slim majority approved Doug Bruce’s fourth attempt to handcuff government on an otherwise crowded ballot. While Bill Clinton won the presidential poll that year, Ross Perot’s message of budget rectitude scored its largest voter endorsement in Colorado.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonAugust 2, 20186min374

A recent study published in the Journal of Psychological Science attempted to estimate the collective sense of narcissism shared in each state. The primary measure of perceived self-importance asked residents what percentage of American history was primarily shaped by their own state? Collectively, these estimates totaled a whopping 907%. One of the researchers, Henry Roediger of Washington University in St. Louis observed, “The question we asked is crazy in one sense, because there is no correct answer, but it told us a lot about people and what they believe about themselves. We thought the numbers would be high, but not this high.”


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonJuly 13, 20186min484

Most of us experience confusion with the muddle of terminology surrounding affordable versus public housing. For the most part, public housing is a distinct subset within the affordable housing rubric. Nonetheless, a blurry line separates those whose economic circumstance requires public housing assistance from the fully employed who simply can’t locate housing they can afford. For nearly a century Colorado communities have acknowledged the necessity of providing a limited stock of publicly funded housing units for those with disabilities or poverty incomes. More recently school boards in our resort communities have found themselves financing housing units for teachers whose middle-class incomes fail to match market rentals. This is clearly a public housing demand of a different order.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonJuly 2, 20186min600

Close to a thousand transit managers, manufacturers, engineering firms, financiers and attorneys arrived in Denver recently for the American Public Transit Association’s (APTA) 2018 Rail Conference. As one industry veteran commented, “There’s a whole lot of whistling past the graveyard going on here!” While our president bemoans the fact that the U. S. has failed to construct the High Speed Rail (HSR) systems scattered across the remainder of the globe, neither Congress nor his administration appears ready to appropriate the infrastructure funding required to jump-start such projects. Nonetheless, a lot of expensive planning is moving forward just as the spigot of available federal money runs dry under fiscal pressure from growing budget deficits precipitated by the 2017 tax cuts.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonJune 21, 20185min446

You know your life has arrived at some considerable misfortune when you spend a lovely Saturday evening watching Colorado’s Republican and Democratic gubernatorial debates back to back.  Surely there must be better things to do with one’s time: mow the grass, clean out the garage, or smoke some of Colorado’s finest? The first thing I noticed, however, was that Channel 9’s dynamic duo of Brandon Rittiman and Kyle Clark offered two young men convinced their mothers’ sons had turned out quite well. Smug hardly begins to capture their preening self-confidence.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonJune 6, 20186min509

Now that the governor and legislature have guaranteed regular checks will be forwarded to stave off any imminent collapse of Colorado’s Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), perhaps it is time to examine another unfunded liability that lurks in the state budget. As ominous as the term sounds, an unfunded liability is merely a debt – a promise to pay. In our personal lives we live with many such obligations in the form of mortgage payments, car loans and credit card balances. Banks trust (some of us more than others) that we will hold on to our jobs and punctually manage these debts.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonMay 30, 20185min1028

There were several flashes of bipartisan compromise at the close of the legislative session that provide a glimmer of hope for the emergence of a Colorado First political majority. It’s not a sure thing by a long shot, but it feels like our major political parties are starting to respond to pressure from voters who are enlisting in the “Lets get something done, even if we have to pay for it…” caucus. The legislature’s eleventh-hour approval last year for a reclassification of the hospital provider fee, exempting these revenues from TABOR spending restrictions, proved a harbinger for what transpired this year. During the closing hours of the 2018 session transportation funding, phase 2 of a PERA bailout, redistricting reform and more were pushed across the finish line.


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Miller HudsonMiller HudsonMay 23, 20187min591

Last week the desultory path of the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s TABOR amendment found its way into Courtroom 2 at the old federal building in downtown Denver. Just one day short of seven years since their case was originally filed, arguments and a resolution regarding the merits of plaintiffs’ claims appeared no closer than they did in May of 2011. If ever there were justification needed for Shakespeare’s appeal by Dick, the Butcher, in Henry VI, Part 2, this hearing provided it. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers!” felt more than appropriate.