In addition to the incredibly importance races for federal, statewide, state legislative, and county offices this year, Colorado voters will get to weigh in on 13 statewide ballot questions and numerous local issues. While I’m not weighing in on all of them in this blog, you can read about the rest in the Blue Book. Feel free to email me any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Understanding the naming of statewide measures:
- Amendment – Changes the state constitution
- Proposition – Changes state statute (and can later be modified by the legislature)
- Letters – Referred to the ballot by the legislature
- Numbers – Initiated by citizens who collected petition signatures
Statewide Ballot Measures
- Amendment A: Vote yes if you want to remove the last references to slavery from our State Constitution. It’s that simple.
- Amendment W: I support this measure to simplify the appearance of judicial retention elections on future ballots.
- Amendment X: This sounds complicated, but all it’s really doing is moving the definition of hemp out of the constitution and into state statute. This will allow us to respond more rapidly if the federal government changes the rules on hemp farming, which could be a huge benefit to Colorado farmers.
- Amendments Y & Z: I strongly support these measures to reform our redistricting/reapportionment system and put a stop to political gerrymandering. To be fair, Colorado’s system for drawing state legislative districts already involved an independent commission, but Amdt Z improves that process significantly and Amdt Y will make the system for drawing congressional districts use that same process. The measures establish fair criteria for drawing maps and remove politics from the process as much as possible.
- Amendment 73: I support it and hope you do, too. Colorado’s school funding situation is dire; we’re about $2500 per kid per year below the national average. This measure asks corporations and the wealthiest 8% of Coloradans to pay their fair share to support our schools. Coupled with local funding efforts (see 5A & 5B below), Amdt 73 will help us take a major step forward to providing a 21st century school system that provides great opportunities to every Colorado kid.
- Amendment 74: I oppose it. Sponsored by the oil and gas industry, this measure is designed to prevent local governments from trying to regulate industry to protect the health and safety of their communities.
- Propositions 109 & 110: While we need to do more to repair and expand our roads and bridges, we must also recognize that increasing transit options and bike paths are important parts of the whole. I strongly support Proposition 110, which increased our sales tax by 0.62% to fund infrastructure investments. I strongly oppose Proposition 109, which effectively forces the legislature to make deep cuts in education and health care in order to fund transportation.
- Proposition 111: I support this measure to crack down on the exorbitant interest rates being charged by payday lenders. This kind of predatory lending hurts the people who are struggling most to get by.
As for the rest, I’m still weighing pros and cons. Let me know what you think at email@example.com.
Local Ballot Measures in Jeffco/Lakewood
- Jeffco School District Issues 5A&B: I support both Our schools are in need of more funds to attract and retain great teachers and maintain our facilities. While we’ve worked hard to increase school funding at the state level, we’re still well below the national average. Learn more at WeAreJeffco.com.
- Lakewood Issue 2D: I support it. Without raising taxes, Lakewood voters can choose to allow the city to retain dollars above the TABOR limit to increase our investment in parks, police, and potholes. I think these are smart and needed investments. Learn more at OurLakewood.org.
- West Metro Fire Protection District Issue 7C: I support it. Because of the Gallagher amendment (long story), our fire district’s revenues are very uncertain in the years ahead. Without raising taxes, district voters can stabilize future budgets and make sure we don’t have to cut our fire protection. Learn more at LifeSavingAlliance.com.
- Urban Drainage and Flood Control District Issue 7G: I support it. Colorado’s bizarre constitutional requirements have ratcheted down this special district’s mill levy by 44%, putting real strain on our infrastructure. By allowing this special district to restore it’s original 1.0 mill levy, we can do a better job investing in storm water systems and other infrastructure across the Denver Metro area. Learn more at UDFCD.org.