The State Senate, among other things, voted last night to combine three ballot questions into one – a “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” (TABOR) that would go before the voters in the March presidential primary. The three components of the amendment:

*Would cap income tax at 5%
*Tie spending increases to population growth plus inflation
*Emergency savings fund that can be activated by a two-thirds legislative majority

Democrats, including Josh Stein, were upset about the three questions being combined, but Sen. Brent Jackson of Sampson said the three “went together like a glove.” A 3/5ths majority vote in both chambers will be needed to sent the amendment to the voters. The Senate has the votes.

If the House agrees, the measure will appear on the ballot in March. Unless the Democrats have a competitive presidential primary, expect Republican turnout to dwarf Democratic turnout, easily passing the amendment into law, and making it very difficult for future legislative sessions to increase spending. It’s yet another example of how the General Assembly is leaving its ideological mark on the state – a mark that will remain for years and years to come.

Currently, Colorado is the only state which has TABOR. The Centennial State has also decriminalized marijuana. No word on whether the General Assembly plans to follow Colorado’s lead on that issue.