Colorado Senate & House: STRIP the ability of CDOT & the state privatization board, the HPTE, to sign the 50-year US 36 privatization contract without the consent of elected officials
Sign the US 36 Change.org petition
Nine Colorado public highways are being leased to foreign toll road firms over the next 12 months starting with US 36.
I-70 in downtown Denver/mountains, C-470 and I-25 from Denver to Ft. Collins are all being privatized and toll lanes added.
US 36 is having a toll lane added right now. The two general lanes will remain.
Click to view Colorado privatization map.
Elected Colorado Senators and Representatives are:
1) not allowed to read the full 600 page US 36 fifty-year contract and all financials prior to signing.
2) are not allowed to amend or vote on the US 36 contact, nor the I-70 downtown/mountains, C-470 nor I-25 to Ft Collins privatization contracts.
(Note: This contract is legally binding. Once signed, the state of Colorado cannot change it without paying 50 years of toll revenue compensation to the toll road developer.)
A round trip from Denver to Boulder will debut at $9 to $12 during peak rush hour when toll lane opens over the next year with the ability to rise to $28 per rush hour round trip.
Toll cost is indexed to inflation and will rise much higher over the next half century."11.8 The Maximum Toll for the Managed Lanes for Tolled Vehicles from and after the first year after the Full Services Commencement Date will be $13.91 (Indexed). Initially, the transponder tolls will range between $.60 and $4.45, depending on the time of day." Source: CDOT HPTE contract summary document, page 25
The amount of profit Goldman Sachs and Plenary will make from US 36 is a CDOT secret that is being kept from the Colorado taxpayers and elected officials.
The expensive toll lane addition will mean highly congested free lanes. It will become illegal for the state of Colorado to add additional free lanes to US 36 without compensating the toll operator for 50 years of decreased toll revenue.
Colorado elected officials are not being allowed to review the secret 50 year contract terms before the state privatization board, the HPTE, signs the contract.
CDOT is lying to the public and elected officials. CDOT claimed Jan 23 in the Denver Post that the 50 year legally binding US 36 contract can be amended at anytime. This is a lie.
If the US 36 contract is changed or the toll lane removed, Colorado will be legally obligated to pay Goldman Sachs and Australian shareholders 50 years of toll revenue- a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.
If an emergency closes Highway 36 for more than 12 hours in a year, taxpayers will be required to compensate the toll road operator until the highway is reopened. In the southern US, toll roads force the state governments to pay tolls during hurricane evacuations.
(iv) In the case of a closure or suspension of more than three days but less than 15 days, HPTE will pay the Concessionaire the average Toll Revenues actually collected during the same time of day on the same days of the week during the period of three months prior to the closure or suspension and three months after the closure or suspension;
(v) In the case of a closure or suspension of more than 15 days, HPTE will pay to the Concessionaire an amount which will place the Concessionaire in a position which is no better and no worse than it would have been if the closure or suspension had not occurred
(Source: page 28 of CDOT/HPTE contract summary)
Wages of CDOT snow plow drivers and highway workers will be slashed by as much as half, with benefits and pensions likely eliminated to increase Goldman Sachs and shareholder profits.
Like a scene from the Hunger Games, the private toll road operator and the state privatization board can order CDOT to take action against Colorado citizens protesting tolls.
It will be illegal for surrounding communities to upgrade roads or transit systems around US 36 in any way that reduces tolls for Goldman Sachs and the Australian toll road developer, Plenary Group unless Colorado pays 50 years of toll compensation.
To boost toll revenues, HOV cars with a driver plus passenger will soon have to pay tolls to use the US 36 or I-25 express lanes.
Senator Matt Jones and 14 Colorado elected lawmakers including Senate President Morgan Carroll have signed a letter requesting a 60 day hold on the US 36 privatization contract. CDOT has rejected the Senators’ request and is racing to sign the 50 year contract before public outrage can stop the deal.
Whereas US 36 privatization will cause a financial loss of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for the Colorado taxpayer;
Whereas the 50-year contract damages the ability of Colorado electected officials to set public highway policy and will require compensation be paid to Goldman Sachs and Plenary group if changes to the profit driven HOV 3+ policy are made ;
Whereas the 50-year contract damages the ability of Colorado electected officials to set public highway policy and will require compensation be paid to Goldman Sachs and Plenary group if the US 36 HOV + Electric policy is adopted by voters;
We MUST stop the US 36 privatization. Colorado has 1 to 7 days or less to take action. Rejecting a request for a 60 day hold, Don Hunt, director of CDOT has announced that the 50 year contract will be signed no later than the end of February
Whereas tolls are a regressive form of taxation that lower taxes on the rich and disproportanately hurt middle and lower income Coloradans;
I (insert name) hereby choose to sign the US 36 Freedom petition (click sign now)
Now that you have signed the petition, what else can YOU do?
The Colorado Senate and House MUST STRIP the ability of the state privatization board (HPTE) to sign this contract without the consent of elected officials.
An emergency legislative session in the next 3 days must remove HPTE signing authority.
Once the HPTE signs the 50 year contract, it becomes illegal for the state of Colorado to modify the contract or US 36 without paying toll revenue for the remainder of the 50-year contract;
The time for action is NOW! Elected lawmakers will only act if the public demands ACTION. Remember- the next election is this fall. There are viable public US 36 finance options.
Please, take 5 minutes to call or email your elected Colorado Senator and Representative.
No action means that you will pay tolls and lose control of YOUR public highways for the next 50 years. Please, take action for yourself and your children.
Click here to email or call your state lawmaker - click Friends of Colorado website
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CDOT makes the false claim that privatization is the only source of money for upgrading Colorado Highways. Privatization is like a high interest credit card loan. The state of Colorado gets quick upfront cash, then has to pay high interest and profits to foreign toll road firms and Wall Street bankers for the next 50 years. Public Finance options for US 36 include:
1) Use the more than $70 million in new marijuana tax revenue to finance education and Colorado public highways
2) Add a 2% flat tax on all income, including capital gains over $500,000 in Colorado. Wall Street Bankers want all people in Colorado to pay road tolls.
Instead, let's have the Wall Street Bankers pay a little more tax to support Colorado public highways.
3) Let's do a small increase on the fuel tax to fund public highways. This will also encourage people driving gas guzzling vehicles like Hummers to move to more fuel efficient or electric vehicles like VIA Motors pickup trucks and cargo vans.
4) Let's do a small increase on the oil and natural gas production tax in Colorado. The vast profits of the oil and gas sector can help fund Colorado public highways.
Together- the 4 pain-free measures above will keep Colorado public highways free of tolls. Colorado is a rich state and we do not have to sell our public highways to Wall Street Bankers and Foreign Toll Road shareholders.
The Boulder based Drive SunShine Institute (DSI) is considering a 2014 ballot initiative to make it illegal to privatize state assets without getting approval from Colorado voters.
If you support this ballot initiative please email us at: info@DriveSunShine.org
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Because we care about the future of Colorado, the non-profit 501(c)(3) Drive SunShine Institute (DSI) of Boulder, Colorado is helping to educate our friends about the risks of privatization and the consequences of adding toll lanes to US 36, I-70 in downtown Denver and the mountains, C-470 and I-25 from Denver to Ft Collins. Together we can provide law makers the public support they need to strip the powerful HPTE of its contract signing ability.
Please Support the Fight! Keep Colorado higways free to travel! Click here to make a secure $2 donation or amount that feels good to you.
(via the PayPal secure donation system.)
Thank you defending freedom.
Together we can win this important battle for the future of Colorado.
Thank you for supporting democracy and Colorado public highways.
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On February 12, 2014, Governor John Hickenlooper confirmed his support of selling Colorado public highway US 36 to a foreign toll road consortium. The bidding on I-70 will begin over the next couple of months. Next is the privatization and addition of toll lanes to C-470 from Golden to I-25 and I-25 from Denver to Ft Collins.
There are many public finance options available that could be used instead of privatization.
Attend the "US 36 Freedom Rally!" at CDOT Headquarters
12 noon Weds February 19, 2014
***All attendees will receive a Colorado flag
4201 E. Arkansas Avenue Denver, CO 80222
Note: While powerful, this rally will be peaceful and non-violent
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So, in addition to signing this petition, if you would like to remove a key backer of public highway privatization from office, feel free to sign the Change.org petition to "Replace Gov John Hickenlooper - Hire Governor Michael Bowman"