Government Relations

Standing With You at the Capitol

CEA’s Government Relations Team fights all year for school funding and common-sense education laws promoting student learning and professional practice.

Legislative Session

CEA advocates for our students and our profession at the Colorado State Capitol.

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Public education policy and politics are clearly connected, every election matters.

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Government Relations FAQ

Amendment to Colorado constitution approved by voters in 1992, which limits the revenue the State of Colorado can retain and spend. Under TABOR, state and local governments cannot raise taxes if revenues grow faster than the rate of inflation and population growth. At its inception, the limit was the lesser of:

  1. Previous year’s revenue limit, grown by inflation and population growth. OR
  2. Current fiscal year’s revenue

Meaning, TABOR states that revenue can only grow from year-to-year by a set formula that takes into account population growth, which means an increased need for additional services and inflation rates, which is the growing cost of those services.

TABOR also prohibits certain types of taxes, whether voters would approve or not. For example, tiered income tax brackets like those at the federal level, meaning you can’t tax the rich at higher rates than the middle class or the lowest poor in Colorado.

Amendment to TABOR approved by voters in 2005, which allows the State of Colorado to retain and spend an amount above the TABOR base amount, which grows by inflation and population growth. Surplus money above the Referendum C cap must be refunded to Colorado taxpayers.

Constitutional change passed in 2000 which requires K-12 funding to increase by inflation plus 1% from 2001-2011 and by inflation after that. Amendment 23 requires  categorical programs that are a part of  the school funding formula, such as special education and transportation,  to increase by the same percent. Allowing for additional K-12 spending – such as textbooks, class size reduction, early childhood education, and teacher performance incentives – to be at the discretion of the legislature.

Constitutional change passed in 1982, reduces the tax assessment rate whenever statewide total residential property values increased faster than business property values, with residential property set at 45% and business property at 55%.

As a result, the Gallagher Amendment has forced continual decline in Colorado’s Residential property tax base, which has reduced local funding for services like K-12 schools and fire districts

Enacted by the Colorado legislature in 2009, the Budget Stabilization factor, or Negative factor, is a numerical percentage used in the calculation of the school finance formula that proportionally reduces the amount state aid provided for total funding for each district. Currently, the BS factor is 7% and it has required a $572.4 million dollar reduction in total program funding in FY 2019-20.

Government Relations Latest News

Government Relations Team