Feb 11, 2010 8:56 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Colorado Senate passes more tax hikes; Pueblo layoffs warned

The Senate narrowly passed bills taxing candy and soda and energy used in manufacturing despite fears that the taxes could cause layoffs.

Rocky Mountain Steel in Pueblo, the state's largest energy user aside from utilities, says it may have to cut 30 to 120 jobs because of the energy tax.

That hike passed by a vote of 18-16 Wednesday.

Among those voting yes was Sen. Abel Tapia of Pueblo. He sits on the committee that develops the state budget and was laid off from the mill himself over 20 years ago. He says he's concerned about layoffs there but he's also worried about budget cuts that might lead to the closure of a private prison.

Republicans wanted the governor to cut more from the budget instead - $17.8 million from the rest of this budget year and $306.5 million from next year.


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