Colorado's Republican attorney general says the Democratic governor's proposal to reclassify a Medicaid-related fee to balance the state budget would be legal.

Republicans who control the state Senate oppose Gov. John Hickenlooper's proposal to remove about $750 million in state hospital patient fees from state spending limits known as the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

At stake, Hickenlooper says, is long-term investment in roads and schools in the fast-growing state.

Republicans insist that Coloradans are entitled to tax refunds triggered by those spending limits. They say the state can meet its obligations with what it has and that the real problem is Medicaid expansion.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman issued her opinion Monday.