Governor won't call off special session

In an interview Thursday for Balance of Power, Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham asked the governor to call off the special session, arguing that Republicans weren't brought on board.

DENVER - Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) is unwilling to call off the special session of the state legislature he scheduled to begin on October 2, his office tells 9NEWS.

In an interview Thursday for Balance of Power, Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham asked the governor to call off the special session, arguing that Republicans weren't brought on board.

The special session is aimed at fixing a mistake lawmakers made in a tax bill earlier this year, which accidentally blocked so-called "special districts" like RTD from collecting sales tax on recreational marijuana.

"The governor has circled back with stakeholders who have reiterated the need for a special session," the governor's press secretary Jacque Montgomery wrote in a statement. "He certainly appreciates that a special session may be inconvenient for some legislators, but special districts and their residents trying to get to work on a bus or visit a beloved cultural institution should not have to pay for an inadvertent mistake. The right thing to do is come together, fix it quickly, and be done with it."

Waiting to pass a law that addresses the issue would result in a loss of about $2 million in revenue to RTD and tens of thousands of dollars to several smaller special districts like the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, which funds museums, the arts, and other attractions in the Denver area.

Republicans point out that the money in question represents only a small fraction of the annual budgets of the special districts.

They also argue that the fix may require voter approval under the taxpayers bill of rights, though Democrats say they have legal opinions from the legislature's nonpartisan staff disputing that idea.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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