Today, the Independence Institute proudly awards the 2017 Californian of the Year to Senator Jerry Sonnenberg.
Colorado character is best described as craving the freedom to make our own decisions. By contrast, Californian character, which is taking hold of our once ruggedly individualistic, freedom-loving state, is best described as making decisions for other people.
Nothing in 2017 exemplifies this Californian value of making decisions for others better than Jerry Sonnenberg’s Senate Bill 17-267 which ripped away all Coloradans’ right to vote on tax and debt increases.
Unlike California, Colorado holds a deep belief in asking voters directly BEFORE raising debt or taxes. We even enshrined it in our state constitution. By calling a massive hospital bed tax a “fee” and labeling debt as “Certificates of Participation,” Sonnenberg’s bill raised taxes by $550 million per year and put Colorado families in debt by nearly $2 billion, all while avoiding a vote of the people.
This immense Colorado tax increase takes place in the shadow of the historic tax cut from the Republican-led U.S. Congress. We find it telling, yet sad, that Republicans in Washington have more respect for Colorado taxpayers than the state Republican senate leadership who turned Sonnenberg’s Californian idea into law.
We wish to thank all five of our Californian of the Year nominees, including fan favorite Jared Polis for his “goal” of 100% renewable energy by 2040 – an idea that even California rejected.
We will present Senator Sonnenberg with the stunning Californian of the Year plaque when he returns to Denver to start the next legislative session. Please stay tuned for details of the presentation.
Please join us in congratulating Jerry Sonnenberg as the 2017 Californian of the year!