Lawmakers face surprises, disappointments on eve of adjournment

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DENVER — The day before the General Assembly adjourns, lawmakers faced a number of surprises and disappointments.

Budget officials were scrambling to come up with the money to pay oil and gas companies. A State Supreme Court ruling ordered as much as $100 million to be given to various companies after it was ruled the state improperly calculated their taxes.

“This is a lawsuit that’s been going on for quite a while, but I don’t if anyone was really tracking it or understand the implications of what we might owe,” Rep. Dave Young said.

In regards to disappointments, Republicans who were in support of a transportation package that would have asked voters to approve $3.5 billion in bonds left upset.

“It is very frustrating and the people of Colorado lose,” Sen. Randy Baumgardner said.

Democrats faced frustration over Republican opposition to the hospital provider fee. They wanted to shift that money to pay for infrastructure improvements.

The measure, which was deemed a key priority by the speaker and the governor, failed in a Senate committee.

Both parties seemed frustrated at the defeat of a bill that would have created a presidential primary in the state. This past year’s caucuses were deemed by many a disaster.

In regards to the liquor in grocery store compromise that passed the Senate on Monday, it is still alive and prospects are hopeful as it passed a key House Committee late Tuesday.

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