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State lawmakers at stalemate with transportation funding

Colorado Department of Transportation

Finding ways to fund transportation projects in the state was a top priority for lawmakers this session. But, an effort to send a ballot question to voters this fall is all but dead.

Even with the backing of the Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham and transportation committee chair Randy Baumgartner the bill always faced an uphill hurdle in the GOP controlled Senate. It cleared its first committee, and heads to the finance committee on Tuesday, where three Republicans are expected to defeat it.

"No matter how you slice it this comes down to a sales tax increase," Grantham said. "I’m not sure how many ornaments we can hang on this tree that will make that not as important as it is."

Grantham said infrastructure is a core function of Government and he felt comfortable asking voters to decide on a half- cent sales tax increase. Republican opponents say the state has not done enough to reprioritize existing funding to help pay for the multi- billion dollar shortfall.