No agreement as Colorado special session opens on marijuana tax mistake


DENVER  | Colorado lawmakers have begun a special session intended to fix a mistake in an intricate spending law but there’s little sign of agreement.

Democratic leaders in the House say they expect the chamber to pass a fix on Monday, but its fate in the GOP-led Senate is uncertain.

Democrats in the Senate had a similar proposal but Republicans voted it down in a committee. Senate Republican leaders say a special session is wasteful and also question whether a fix will violate provisions of Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

“What was so inspiring about our work to pass (the original bill) was the extraordinary level of bipartisanship shown during the drafting, revising, and eventual passing of the bill into law,” said state Sen. Lucia Guzman, Democratic state senate minority leader. “For that bipartisanship and camaraderie to be lost during this process to ‘fix’ the mistake has been disappointing.”

Leaders for a handful of agencies, including Denver’s Regional Transportation District, say the spending law removed their ability to collect millions in sales taxes on recreational marijuana.

Republicans argue that lawmakers can fix the problem during the regular session in January.