DENVER (AP) – A plan to give parents tax credits for private schools or home-schooling has won initial approval in the Colorado Senate after a spirited partisan debate.

Democrats argued at length against the tax credits, calling them back-door vouchers that would deplete tax rolls of money needed to fund public schools.

Republicans insisted the credits wouldn’t have much effect on public schools because the credits would reduce public school enrollment.

A fiscal analysis estimated Coloradans would claim about $12 million in tax credits next year, and about $318 million a year by 2028.

The measure passed on an unrecorded voice vote and faces one more vote before heading to the House, which is controlled by Democrats and expected to reject the bill.

LINK: Senate Bill 45

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