Colorado Senate Republicans have killed a measure that would free tens of millions of dollars in future spending on roads and education.

The bill would have taken a Medicaid fund, paid in part by Colorado hospitals to care for the needy, and transferred it outside the tax-and-spend strictures called the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

Bill sponsors and business groups said that would let Colorado invest millions of dollars more in its underfunded schools and roads. Instead, TABOR can require lawmakers to return that money as tax refunds.

Republicans called the fund a tax and said the spending problem is Medicaid growth.

Americans for Prosperity heavily lobbied Republican senators to kill the bill.

The GOP-led Senate Finance Committee voted 3-2 on Tuesday to kill it.