Balance of Power: Gov. Hickenlooper on transportation

Gov. John Hickenlooper says he hopes to decide in the coming week whether to call a special session of the state legislature. 9NEWS at 8 a.m 5/14/17.

KUSA - Gov. John Hickenlooper says he hopes to decide in the coming week whether to call a special session of the state legislature.

At the top of his priorities for a special session: transportation.

Hickenlooper wants billions more than lawmakers approved—in the form of a sales tax hike that would need voter approval.

He’s floated a more modest sales tax hike than he first backed in the regular session, but Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham has said that any sort of tax hike proposal would be dead on arrival.

“Perhaps the transportation is a long-shot,” Hickenlooper admitted. “But I can’t believe that all the Republicans are going to look at the traffic and the rate of growth in this community and they’re going to deny the voters a chance to vote. No one’s trying to push this down anybody’s throat we’re just saying put it on the ballot and let people vote.”

Hickenlooper flatly answered “no,” when asked if there was any other means to build the infrastructure he envisions without asking voters for a tax increase.

The governor also weighed in on the newsy week gone by in Washington DC. The co-author of the governor’s memoir accused (warning: NSFW language) the White House of engaging in a “coverup” in the wake of the decision to fire James Comey as FBI director.

Hickenlooper was more guarded, saying “I don’t think we have enough facts.”

“It is disconcerting,” Hickenlooper said of the Comey firing, adding that he supports appointing a special prosecutor to handle the investigation into alleged ties between Russia and elements of the Trump 2016 campaign.

Asked about some of the small minority of Democrats on Capitol Hill who are talking about impeachment of the President, Hickenlooper said “let’s get the facts first.”

Hickenlooper did embrace the idea of nominating Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers, a Republican, to the FBI director job.

“I'd hate to lose him, but for the country I think he'd be an excellent FBI director,” Hickenlooper said.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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