Thanks so much to all of you who joined one or both of our town hall meetings in September and October! We heard some great presentations from those supporting and opposing many of the eleven statewide ballot measures we’ll all be voting on this November.
If you haven’t yet, make sure to read your Blue Book to get the full picture on some incredibly consequential votes you’ll be casting.
I’m also providing very quick summaries with my endorsements below. Enjoy, and VOTE!
This measure simply helps allocate judges in the new 23rd Judicial District, which was created when the legislature opted to split the 18th District in half. There’s no downside. I’m voting yes.
This measure creates a small tax benefit to help people who have lost their spouse in war. I’m voting yes.
This measure tweaks some rules for nonprofits using bingo or raffle for fundraising to make it a little bit less cumbersome. I’m voting yes.
This measure significantly expands healthy food programs in schools, paid for by limiting income tax deductions for households making more than $300,000 per year. I’m voting yes.
This measure will add a new tax impact table to the ballot for future measures that would increase or reduce the state income tax rate. This information will help voters make educated decisions about how a measure will impact their pocketbook compared to the impact on funding for state programs. I’m voting yes.
This measure slashes income tax rates in a way that will create long-term problems for funding of K-12, higher education, and other state priorities. I’m voting no.
This measure creates a structure for medical use of natural psychedelic substances (the most well known of which are psilocybin mushrooms) and decriminalizes simple possession. I think the medical research shows incredible promise for how these substances can help people with PTSD, depression, and other mental health disorders. I’m voting yes.
The measure carves out a portion of the dollars above the TABOR revenue limit to be used for affordable housing programs. In surplus years (like this one), this means we’ll be sending out a smaller amount of TABOR refunds to taxpayers. In non-surplus years, this funding may compete with other state priorities, but because it’s a statutory measure, the legislature will have discretion and will not be forced to cut other programs in order to fund the transfers into the housing fund. This last piece is a bit complicated, and for that reason, I’ve wrestled with this ballot measure. At the end of the day, however, there’s no denying the great need for more affordable housing, and I’m confident the legislature can solve the out-year problem. I’m voting yes.
Proposition 124, 125, & 126
These ballot measures deregulate different parts of Colorado’s alcohol laws and are intended to benefit certain businesses and increase consumer convenience. However, there are potential negative impacts to other businesses. Prop 124 allows liquor retailers to expand how many stores they can open. Prop 125 allows grocery and convenience stores to sell wine (in addition of full-strength beer, which they’ve been able to sell for a couple years now). Prop 126 allows delivery by third party delivery apps and removes an existing legal requirement that delivery be done by a store’s employee, allowing independent contractors to deliver.
You should definitely read the Blue Book on these three to understand all potential benefits and concerns, but here’s how I’d simply express my views. I’d prefer to stand with small retailers over large ones. I’d like Colorado’s small breweries to have a real shot at getting their beers on shelves at local liquor stores. I’d like delivery of alcohol to be held to the highest standards to prevent access by minors. And I want to support businesses who hire full-time employees over businesses who use gig workers to avoid paying benefits. For these reasons, I’m voting no on all three measures.
Jeffco Issue 1A
This measure de-bruces state funds going to the county. What this means is that grants from the state won’t force the county to issue larger refunds and can instead put our tax dollars to the best possible uses. I’m voting yes.
Jeffco Issue 1B & 1C
These measures authorize and tax, respectively, marijuana sales and manufacturing in the unincorporated parts of the county. I’m voting yes.
NW Lakewood Sanitation Issue 6A
This measure de-bruces property tax revenues for this crucial community service. It doesn’t raise tax rates and will invest dollars in important infrastructure for our community. I don’t live in the boundaries of this special district, but I support the measure.