Colorado Rising State Action mailer

Mailer from Colorado Rising State Action.

Colorado Rising State Action, a conservative advocacy group, announced on Thursday that it will begin a direct mail and digital campaign in opposition to proposed changes to the school financing system and a “public option” for health insurance.

“Raise your taxes or I’ll cut your funding,” reads the mailer targeting a proposed uniform mill levy from Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada, for school districts. The statement is in quotation marks, but there is no indication that Zenzinger or anyone else said it.

The mill levy, which dedicates a portion of local property taxes to pay for school districts, would rise under a forthcoming proposal from Zenzinger and Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, The Colorado Sun reports. The change is intended to preclude wealthier districts that could fully fund themselves from receiving state money at the expense of districts where raising taxes would be a hardship.

“The state is saying to school districts, ‘if you don’t raise your taxes, we’ll take away state funding for education.’ That’s not the way to improve our education system in Colorado,” said Michael Fields, executive director of Colorado Rising State Action.

Democratic lawmakers debuted legislation on Thursday to create a “public option,” which would be a privately-insured health plan whose prices the state regulates. All hospitals would be required to accept the plan.

The mailer from Fields’s group suggests that the proposal will “break the bank” for Coloradans and increase costs for three million private policyholders, citing the Colorado Hospital Association’s analysis of a draft of the plan in 2019. The association wrote that the public option “may” increase costs.

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