ASU Trustees & ABOE endorse resolution to change hospital provider fee

(10-06-2015)

The Board of Trustees for Adams State University and the Alamosa Board of Education (ABOE) both unanimously endorsed resolutions supporting legislation to "Change the Hospital Provider Fee to an Enterprise Fund," at recent meetings. The Adams State Trustees met Oct. 2; the school board, Oct. 5.

In a letter to the Colorado General Assembly, Monte Moses, chair of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE), explained, "Designating the Hospital Provider Fee as an enterprise fund would be consistent with how other similarly structured fees are treated and ensure that this revenue does not count toward the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) cap. Without a change, rebates triggered by increased Hospital Provider Fee revenue would be repaid at the expense of programs and items supported by the General Fund such as postsecondary education." Funding for K-12 public education would also be impacted.

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia (right) attended the Adam State University Board of Trustees meeting Oct. 2. He is shown with Board Chair Arnold Salazar and Dr. Beverlee J. McClure, president of ASU.

Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, who also serves as Executive Director of the state Department of Higher Education, attended the Adams State meeting to advocate for the legislation. In a letter to the higher education governing boards, he wrote, "It is critical that we join together in this effort to inform the public, our students and families, and lawmakers about the impact inaction will have on post-secondary affordability and meeting the workforce needs of our business community."

Garcia and the CCHE are urging all governing boards of Colorado higher education institutions to also adopt the resolution. School superintendents in the Colorado Rural Schools Alliance support the legislation, as well.

Adam State Trustees Chair Arnold Salazar noted, "The passage of this bill during the legislative session is crucial to the continued fiscal viability of higher education institutions, including Adams State University."

Alamosa RE-11J Superintendent Robert A. Alejo said, "Without a long-term solution to Colorado education funding, I am fearful many districts, staff members, students, and parents will continue to be greatly affected by the ever increasing loss of funding."

By Julie Waechter