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Announcements

Board says ballot issues will harm CSU, higher ed

September 15, 2010

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System passed a resolution in June opposing three upcoming ballot initiatives because of their potential to severely harm higher education in Colorado. During its meeting on June 23, the Board approved the resolution strongly urging a "no" vote on Amendments 60, 61, and Proposition 101.

A legislative analysis of the measures—which aim to limit state and local taxes and prevent state agencies from taking on debt—indicates that they would result in elimination of nearly all state funding to Colorado colleges and universities. The Colorado Legislative Council in July released its fiscal analysis [PDF] on the potential impact of the three bills, estimating the state would lose $2.1 billion in revenue and would be required by law to backfill K-12 funding by an additional $1.6 billion. “The combined impacts mean that K-12 education would require about 99 percent of the General Fund budget,” the report states, with 1% left to fund all other state services including roads, prisons, and higher education.

The Board resolution reads:

“The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System (Board) hereby declares its strong opposition to, and urges a NO vote on proposed Amendments 60 and 61 to the Colorado Constitution in the statewide ballot scheduled for November, 2010, because the Board feels the proposed amendments are not in the best interests of higher education in the state of Colorado. Further the board hereby declares its strong opposition to, and urges a NO vote on Proposition 101 as a proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes in the statewide ballot scheduled for November, 2010 because the Board feels the proposed amendment is not in the best interest of higher education in the state of Colorado.”

Responding to the Board’s action, CSU President Tony Frank said: “If these three measures pass, they will have an impact on Colorado State University. CSU will be a far different university, with far fewer employees and dramatically higher tuition. Although they are designed to limit taxes and debt, if passed, it’s not clear to me how we could continue to fund programs that are fully funded by the state and local governments—specifically Extension, 4-H, and the Colorado State Forest Service. I encourage all citizens to read up on these measures—both pro and con—to fully understand what they’re voting on in November.”

The Board forwarded copies of the resolution to the Governor, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate of the State of Colorado.

Full text of the Board’s resolution can be viewed via PDF, beginning on page 12, at: http://csusystem.edu/pages/documents/CombinedResolutions7-9-10.pdf.