Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On "boosting" rural Colorado, apparently as a compromise

This from the Denver Post came across my Twitter feed about five minutes ago:

But when I clicked on the story, it took me several minutes to find the first mention of "rural" Colorado.  I found it when I got to this paragraph, the 14th paragraph of the story (OK, the paragraphs in newspapers tend to be brief ones):
The House passed the bill with wide bipartisan support on a 49-16 vote that sent the measure to Gov. John Hickenlooper, despite objections of a split Republican caucus torn between ideological objections and a desire to help members’ predominantly rural districts.
That paragraph was preceded by this one, which provides helpful context:
Earlier in the day, much of the debate in the House focused on Senate Bill 267, the far-reaching spending measure to boost payments to hospitals and schools; mortgage state buildings to generate $1.9 billion for transportation; increase pot taxes to the maximum 15 percent; give business owners a tax break; and increase Medicaid co-pays for the poor.
And it was followed by these:
The Republican opponents railed against the growth of Medicaid spending made possible through the hospital provider fee program and blasted the sheer reach of a bill, which they said violated a state requirement that legislation be tailored narrowly to a single subject. 
“I think we’re setting a pretty bad precedent, that we’re going to use words like ‘concerning Colorado’ in bills so that we can put everything and the kitchen sink in,” said Rep. Tim Leonard, R-Evergreen, a reference to the bill’s broad title, “Concerning the Sustainability of Rural Colorado.”
But the bill’s something-for-everyone scope was precisely what allowed it to pass the divided legislature, uniting rural Republicans with urban Democrats who said the benefits outweighed any misgivings they had about the measure.
Sounds like some purple state horse trading going on there at the close of the session.

In any event, labels and framing matter--or sometimes do.  So will "Concerning the Sustainability of Rural Colorado" appease rural voters.  And precisely what are the benefits to rural Colorado vis a vis urban Colorado?  Are rural folks merely getting a pro rata share or what?

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