State of State: Governor to talk taxes, spending

Posted at 4:42 AM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 12:30:32-05

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is reaching out to Republicans to find a way to invest in roads and schools by avoiding issuing taxpayer refunds.

Hickenlooper delivers his 2016 State of the State address on Thursday to the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-led House.

At the top of the Democrat's agenda is a plan to reclassify about $750 million in fees on hospital patients so that sum doesn't count against state constitutional spending limits and can be spent without asking voters.

Republicans insist the state can meet its obligations without tampering with those limits, which are contained in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Hickenlooper says he's willing to work with the GOP to contain the growth of Medicaid spending, which the GOP argues is to blame for Colorado's budget woes.