Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The case of the missing education funding

My ballot was sitting on my desk, only one blank remaining. I was confused.

Colorado Proposition 103 is supposed to restore cut state education funding by increasing our taxes for the next five years. But I distinctly remember that we passed a constitutional amendment about ten years ago that promised to increase school funding every year.

Either the Legislature has been violating the state constitution by cutting education spending, or someone isn't being quite honest (or possibly both).

Amendment 23 passed with 52.7 percent of the vote in 2000. It promised, among other things, to "(increase) per pupil funding for public schools and total state funding for special purpose education programs by at least the rate of inflation plus one percentage point for the next ten years and by at least the rate of inflation thereafter." And yet, for the past couple of years, education funding has been on the chopping block along with everything else.

I sympathize with the Legislature. Theirs is an impossible task. They are being micromanaged by us citizens with many conflicting goals.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Boulder Election 2011

Given recent local election coverage, you'd think the only things we're voting on were municipalization and corporate rights. However, Boulder has no fewer than eight ballot issues this year.

Issue 2A allows the city to sell $49,000,000 in bonds for critical infrastructure needs, including maintaining streets, bridges, buildings, and recreation facilities; upgrading software, the main library, and police and fire equipment; and improving transportation connections and streetscapes. It's hard to argue with those priorities. The bonds will be paid back using existing revenue streams. Plus, the work will generate local jobs, helping the local economy.

Issue 2B allows the city to extend and increase the utility occupation tax levied on Xcel's customers to further investigate the feasibility of a municipal power utility. Question 2C authorizes the city council to create a power utility, if it proves it can do so in a cost-effective manner, with rates and reliability comparable to Xcel's and a plan for more renewable energy.

David Miller, in his guest commentary a week ago, rightly pointed out that there are many unanswered questions related to this proposal. We don't know how much it will cost, nor how much additional renewable energy will be feasible. However, we can't know these answers without approving both measures. So, the real question is whether we want to know, or whether we will continue to trust Xcel to work in Boulder's best interest.


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