Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Time to call a Constitutional Convention

Gov. Bill Ritter let his old prosecutor's guard down by calling for the early release of some convicts and shortened paroles for others to help balance the state's budget.

I didn't think he had it in him, but it seems that governing for all the people finally took precedence in a politician's set of values rather than old, staid biases.

Gov. Bill Ritter, like President Barack Obama, has proven himself an agent of change.

Now, he should call the General Assembly into special session to approve the fee hikes he has proposed to improve gun control in Colorado, and have the legislature call a Constitutional Convention so the state can offer voters a permanent fix to its budget mess while the cost cuts are still fresh and stinging, and more than Band-aids are top of peoples' minds.

At a convention, conservatives will finally have to face the issue that state government costs big money, and that taxpayers who are privileged enough to live and grow old in this state, ought to be responsible for the costs of running a top-notch government operation.

The governor's criminal cutbacks will save the state just $19 million this fiscal year, but they had to be one of the more bitter pills Ritter was forced to swallow, given his background as former Denver district attorney. He said during his press conference that he didn't like having to make some of the cuts, but that he had no choice.

Neither do Colorado voters.

They must soon vote to approve a modern method of financing state government at a level everyone in the state can afford. And yet at a level that will ensure Colorado's national leadership toward energy independence, superior health and prosperity for all its citizens, and a style of living to match the natural beauty that surrounds us.

It's time.

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