By Don Knox, STATE BILL COLORADO
Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, is being groomed by the state’s Democratic leadership for a spot on the General Assembly’s powerful Joint Budget Committee.
Romer, an investment banker from Denver, relinquished a seat on the Senate Education Committee to spend a year shadowing the JBC and to serve a term as vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senate Majority Leader John Morse asked him to make the switch, Romer told State Bill on Monday. In 2010, the JBC will consider both budget and tax policy — the latter a result of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision last year in Mesa County Bd. of County Comm’rs v. State of Colorado.
Because of the opinion, which redefined the phrase “tax policy change,” state lawmakers are now free to increase state revenue by more than $2 billion by repealing tax credits and exemptions most had considered untouchable under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR. It’s expected that the JBC will play a leading role in which corporate- and sales-tax exemptions to keep and which to kill. (Related reading: A Chink In TABOR’s Armor: Mill-Levy Ruling Reverberates Widely.)
Romer, a son of the former three-term governor of Colorado, would assume a seat being vacated, because of term limits, in January 2011 by either Sens. Moe Keller or Abel Tapia.
In related news, the Joint Budget Committee continues all this week to review agency budgets in advance of the 2010 General Assembly. The agenda for the meetings is posted below.