Colorado 2018 State Ballot Information
Room 029 State Capitol
Denver, Colorado 80203 - 1784
303 - 866 - 4799
Information can all be found at: http://leg.colorado.gov/bluebook
Amendments and Propositions
A measure placed on the ballot by the state legislature that amends the state constitution is labeled and “Amendment”, followed by a letter
A measure place on the ballot by the state legislation that amends the state statutes is labeled a “Proposition”, followed by a double letter.
A measure placed on the ballot through a Signature Collection process that amends the state statutes is labeled a “Proposition”, followed by a number between 100 and 199
Constitutional vs. Statutory Changes
13 measures on the ballot
- 8 propose changes to the State Constitution
- 4 propose changes to the State Statutes
- 1 proposes changes to both the State Constitution and State Statutes
Legislation may adopt statutes that clarify or Implement these constitutional measures as long as they do not conflicted with the Constitution. The state legislature, with the approval of the governor, may change any statutory measure in the future without voter approval.
ABC's & 123’s on Voting and what does it mean:
Amendment V: Lower Age Requirement for Members of the State Legislature
- Excluding 21 to 24 year olds from seeking elections in the state legislature is an unnecessary restriction. A 21 year old is considered an adult under the law. Voters can judge whether a candidate possesses the maturity, ability, and competence to hold political office. In addition, allowing younger candidates to run for office encourages the Civic engagement of young people.
- The current age requirement strikes an appropriate balance between youth and experience. Younger candidates my lack of maturity and expertise to be effective legislators. The policy decisions and political pressures the legislator space are best handled by people with more life experience. lack of experience could hinder a young legislators ability to represent his or her constituents effectively.
Amendment W: Election Ballot Format for Judicial Retention Elections
- Amendment W helps make the ballot more concise and reader-friendly. A well-designed and shorter ballot will allow voters to complete it more efficiently, which may encourage voter participation. A more compact ballot may also save County's Printing and mailing costs, particularly in more populous couties that elect multiple justices or judges and counties that are required to print ballots in both English and Spanish.
- Amendment W is unnecessary and risks confusing voters. Under the changes proposed in Amendment W, Butters may be uncertain whether they are casting votes in a multi Canada election or for each individual Justice or judge. This potential confusion may increase the likelihood that voters will skip judicial retention questions.
Amendment X: Industrial Hemp Definition
- Colorado is the leading producer of industrial hemp in the country and the only state with a definition of industrial hemp and its Constitution. Striking this definition will allow Colorado's hemp industry to remain competitive with other states as the regulatory landscape evolves for this crop.
- Colorado voters added the definition of industrial hemp to the Colorado Constitution through the initiative process. The measure May deviate from the voters original intent.
Amendment Y: Congressional Redistricting
- Amendment Y limits the role of partisan politics in the congressional redistricting process by transferring the legislature’s role to an independent commission. The measure creates a system of checks and balances to ensure that no one political party controls the commission. Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters must be appointed to the commission in equal numbers. Lobbyists and politicians are prohibited from serving on the new commission. Additionally, nonpartisan legislative staff draw the district maps, and a map's approval requires a supermajority vote of the commission, including at least two unaffiliated commissioners. These provisions encourage political compromise by keeping political parties and politicians with a vested interest in the outcome from controlling the redistricting process.
- The measure makes the redistricting process more transparent and provides greater opportunity for public participation. Congressional redistricting is conducted by an independent commission in public meetings, with safeguards against undue influence in the preparation and adoption of maps. All Coloradans will have the opportunity to engage in the process because the commission will conduct meetings throughout the state rather than only at the State Capitol. The commission is subject to state open records and open meetings laws, and anyone paid to lobby the commission has 72 hours to disclose their lobbying activities. By requiring that map-related communications occur in public, Coloradans will be able to see exactly how the districts are drawn.
- The measure brings structure to the redistricting process by using clear, ordered, and fair criteria in the drawing of districts. By prioritizing factors such as communities of interest, city and county lines, and political competitiveness, it provides specific direction to the commission about how it should evaluate proposed maps. It also prevents the adoption of a map that protects incumbents, candidates, or political parties, or a map that dilutes the electoral influence of racial or ethnic minorities. Along with these prioritized criteria, the measure prescribes a structured court review process and provides more guidance regarding the court’s role than has existed in prior redistricting cycles.
- Amendment Y takes accountability out of the redistricting process. Unlike state legislators who are subject to election and campaign finance requirements, unelected commissioners are not accountable to the voters of Colorado. The selection process relies on unelected retired judges to screen applicants and select half of the commissioners. Further, the commission is staffed by government employees who are not accountable to the voters, and they may end up drawing the final map if the commission cannot reach an agreement.
- The commissioner selection process outlined in the measure is complex, and half of the members are determined by random chance. This complicated and random selection process may prevent individuals with important experience and knowledge from becoming commissioners. While the goal of the random selection may be to remove politics from redistricting, unaffiliated commissioners with partisan views could still be selected, and the selection process may not result in a commission that can be impartial and promote consensus.
- The measure outlines criteria that may be difficult to apply in an objective manner. For example, the broad definition of communities of interest is vague and open to interpretation. The measure also leaves the commission to determine what a competitive district is without specifying what factors to consider. Additionally, the four unaffiliated commissioners will have political leanings that may be difficult to discern, but that could sway how they apply the criteria and influence the final map, since many critical votes require their support. The resulting map may serve to protect certain segments of the population at the expense of others and could result in districts that make no sense to voters
Amendment Z: Legislative Redistricting
- Amendment Z limits the role of partisan politics in the legislative redistricting process. Through the commissioner selection process, checks and balances are in place to ensure no one political party controls the commission. Applicants must be qualified to serve on the commission and, unlike the current reapportionment commission, lobbyists and politicians are prohibited from serving. The selection process limits the appointment power of party leaders by relying on retired judges and random selection. Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters must be appointed to the commission in equal numbers. Additionally, nonpartisan legislative staff draw the district maps, and each map's approval requires a supermajority vote of the commission, including at least two unaffiliated commissioners. These provisions encourage political compromise by keeping political parties and politicians with a vested interest in the outcome from controlling the redistricting process.
- The measure makes the redistricting process more transparent and provides greater opportunity for public participation. Legislative redistricting is conducted by a more independent commission than currently exists, with safeguards against undue influence in the preparation and adoption of maps. The commission is subject to state open records and open meetings laws, and anyone paid to lobby the commission has 72 hours to disclose their lobbying activities. By requiring that map-related communications occur in public, Coloradans will be able to see exactly how the districts are drawn.
- The measure brings structure to the redistricting process by using clear, ordered, and fair criteria in the drawing of districts. By prioritizing factors such as communities of interest, city and county
Amendment A: Prohibit Slavery and Involuntary Servitude in All Circumstances
- this misery eliminate slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances.
- the major can be viewed as making a change the Colorado Constitution that is redundant.
Amendment 73: Funding for Public Schools
- The state needs a sustainable source of revenue to adequately and equitably fund public education. Colorado cut P-12 public education funding as a result of the Great Recession, and funding levels have not recovered relative to what the formula would otherwise require, even though Colorado has one of the healthiest economies in the nation. Since the 2010-11 budget year, the budget stabilization factor has cut education funding by a total of $7.2 billion. As a result, school districts have had to make difficult choices, such as limiting teacher salaries, increasing class sizes, limiting mental health and counseling services for students, and narrowing course offerings. Further, approximately half of Colorado school districts are currently operating on four-day weeks. The measure alleviates the impact of these historical cuts by providing a dedicated income tax increase to fund public education.
- The measure provides property tax relief for business property owners, farmers, and ranchers who have paid an increasingly higher proportion of property taxes compared to residential property owners. Since 1983, the nonresidential assessment rate has been set at 29 percent, while the residential assessment rate has fallen from 21 percent to the current 7.2 percent. The measure lessens these inequities between residential and nonresidential property owners by both stabilizing the residential assessment rate and lowering the nonresidential assessment rate for school district property taxes.
- One of the government’s most important functions is to provide children with a high-quality public education. Local school districts will prioritize how to spend the new revenue in ways that best fit their community, such as recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers, improving access to early childhood education programs, strengthening science and math, vocational, and literacy programs, and providing a safe learning environment for all students. These are key investments in a successful public education system, which could help ensure a strong Colorado economy that is capable of competing in today’s global market.
- Constitutional constraints have suppressed local property tax revenue in many areas and led to greater pressure on the state general operating budget to meet required education funding levels. Stabilizing the local share of required school formula funding and creating a dedicated source of state revenue for education provide additional flexibility for the state to use more of its general operating budget on other core programs, such as transportation, public safety, and health care.
- The measure imposes a tax increase without any guarantee of increased academic achievement. A focus on educational reform and opportunity rather than new revenue is more likely to improve student outcomes. Policymakers should find efficiencies within the current system and reprioritize existing revenue in order to meet current education funding requirements. Since the 2012-13 budget year, total formula funding has increased by between 1.3 percent and 7.4 percent annually, and just this year, the state share of school formula funding increased by $425.6 million without a tax increase.
- Increasing the state income tax rate could negatively impact the state’s economy. Individuals will have less money to spend, save, and invest, and businesses will have less money to invest in their workers. Many businesses report their earnings through individual income tax returns and would pay the higher income tax rates under the measure. Colorado may also have a harder time attracting or retaining workers and businesses, as the top income tax rate under the measure would be 8.25 percent, the ninth highest state income tax rate in the country. This puts Colorado at a competitive disadvantage compared to other states.
- The measure increases the property tax burden on homeowners, providing a tax cut for businesses at the expense of homeowners. In addition, it complicates an already complicated property tax system. By creating one assessed value for school districts and another assessed value for all other local taxing entities, the measure will lead to confusion among taxpayers and further complicate tax administration for state and local governments.
- The measure does not require the state legislature to adjust the income tax thresholds to account for inflation. As a result, over time, more taxpayers could end up in the higher tax brackets as their incomes are adjusted for inflation, resulting in additional revenue that must be spent only on education. To the extent that more revenue is raised than is needed to sufficiently fund education, the state will not be able to use this money to address other critical needs such as transportation and health care. Finally, the additional revenue generated by the measure is exempt from the state’s constitutional spending limit, thereby removing an important protection for taxpayers.
Amendment 74: Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation
- Amendment 74 ensures that when a property’s value is harmed by government action, the owner of that property is fairly compensated for the loss. For many Coloradans, property is the most significant asset they own. If a law or regulation causes any loss of value, the property owner should be fairly compensated by the state or a local government. However, current law does not require a government to compensate an owner unless the loss in value to the property is near total.
- Amendment 74 has potentially far-reaching and costly consequences for taxpayers and governments. Under the measure, taxpayers will be responsible for payments to property owners for any loss in property value resulting from a change in law or regulation, regardless of whether the property retains a profitable use. The potential liability for large payouts to private property owners may discourage governments from making decisions that benefit communities and protect vital public resources, such as water, air, and infrastructure.
Amendment 75: Campaign Contributions
- Wealthy candidates have an unfair advantage in elections because current campaign finance laws allow them to contribute vast sums of their personal resources to their own campaigns. Colorado’s current limits on individual contributions are among the lowest in the country, and candidates who rely on individual contributions are at a significant disadvantage in communicating their message to voters. Amendment 75 offers an effective way to encourage competitive elections.
- Colorado’s campaign finance system is broken, and this measure further complicates the system without truly addressing financial disparities among candidates. This increase in campaign contribution limits will allow all candidates, including wealthy candidates, to collect more money, further inflating election spending. Opening the door to more money is not the way to fix Colorado’s campaign finance system.
Link explanation for both Propositions 109 & 110: https://www.9news.com/mobile/video/news/politics/voter-guide/voter-guide-2018-proposition-109-and-110-breakdown/73-8284713
Proposition 109: Authorized Bonds for Highway Projects
- Proposition 109 accelerates the construction of essential highway projects without raising taxes or fees. Building and maintaining a highway system are core functions of government. The state has failed to invest sufficient funds to maintain and expand the highway system. The measure corrects this by directing the state to prioritize highway projects ahead of other programs.
- The lack of highway capacity is the most significant contributor to traffic congestion in the state and causes delays, increases business costs, and reduces driver and passenger safety. The measure requires the state to invest more money in transportation, improving the state's economy and quality of life.
- Proposition 109 commits up to $5.2 billion to repay borrowing without creating a new source of revenue. This commitment diverts money from other programs, which may include education, health care, and routine transportation maintenance. Furthermore, the measure would pay for only a portion of the projects and fails to address the cost of ongoing maintenance of these projects.
- In 2018, the state demonstrated its commitment to transportation funding by pledging $1.0 billion from existing revenue sources. If Proposition 109 passes, it replaces this commitment with borrowed money. Borrowing is expensive. Under this measure, approximately $1.7 billion in taxpayer money will be spent on interest payments.
Proposition 110: Authorized Sales Tax and Bonds for Transportation Projects
- Colorado's highways are deteriorating, and the cost of improvements continues to increase. The state needs to invest immediately in its infrastructure and cannot afford to expand and modernize its transportation system without a new revenue source. Colorado needs a modern transportation system that includes road, bus, bike, pedestrian, and rail options to address its growing population. This measure creates a flexible statewide transportation solution, and it lets local communities identify their own transportation projects and prioritize their most urgent needs.
- Proposition 110 creates a sustainable source of funding for Colorado’s transportation needs. Colorado’s highway costs outpace collections from the gas tax. This measure offers a way for the state to increase transportation funding and repay bonds. This new, dedicated revenue for transportation will allow the state to continue to meet its obligations to fund education, health programs, and public safety while also investing heavily in Colorado’s roads.
- Proposition 110 raises taxes for a fundamental government service that should be fully funded through the state budget. Any shortfall in transportation funding is a result of prioritizing state spending in other areas of government. The state can fund roads with the money it collects in taxes, rather than resorting to expensive borrowing. Additionally, this measure dedicates too much revenue to multimodal transportation, money that should be used exclusively for road repair and improvement. The majority of the workforce use their personal vehicles to commute daily and depend on quality road and highway maintenance.
- Sales taxes, which are already high, provide a poor method of funding transportation. The total sales tax rate exceeds 10 percent in some areas of Colorado. Raising the state sales tax disproportionately affects low-income individuals because they must spend a larger share of their budget buying taxable necessities.
Proposition 111: Limitations on Payday Loans
- Coloradans are paying too much to borrow small amounts of money from payday lenders. The APR for these loans can exceed 180 percent. Some consumers borrow money to pay off other payday loans, which leads to a cycle of debt. Because the measure reduces the high cost of payday loans, consumers may be better able to repay their loans and avoid further financial stress.
- This measure may eliminate the payday lending business in Colorado. Payday loans provide options for consumers who may not qualify for other types of credit. With limited or no access to these loans, consumers may pay higher costs to other creditors for late payment, bounced check, overdraft, or utility disconnect fees, or turn to unregulated lenders for higher-cost loans. This measure is unnecessary because the state legislature passed reforms in 2010 that led to reduced loan costs and fewer defaults, while ensuring that consumers have access to a well-regulated source of short-term credit.
Proposition 112: Increase Setback Requirement for Oil and Natural Gas Development
- Oil and natural gas operations may adversely impact public health, safety, and the environment. Some people living near these operations have reported negative health effects to the CDPHE, including sinus and respiratory conditions, as well as other symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Such development increases noise, traffic, dust, light, and odors. Proposition 112 requires that new oil and natural gas development be located farther away from homes, schools, businesses, and other occupied buildings, thereby reducing nuisance impacts and potential exposure to air pollutants. Proposition 112 also establishes a required setback from water sources and recreation areas to help protect those resources.
- Over the past several years, Colorado's northern Front Range has seen both substantial urban development and increased oil and natural gas activity. Proposition 112 provides property owners with greater certainty about the location of new oil and natural gas development in their communities. Keeping oil and natural gas development farther away from occupied structures reduces resident exposure to industrial activity and the potential hazards related to such activity. It may also improve the quality of life for nearby residents. Some people are reluctant to purchase or rent a home or visit a business or recreation area located near oil or natural gas development.
- Proposition 112 eliminates new oil and natural gas activity on most non-federal land in Colorado. According to the COGCC, about 85 percent of Colorado's non-federal land would be excluded from development with the required 2,500-foot setback. Oil and natural gas development is important to Colorado’s economy, generating an estimated $10.9 billion in production value in 2017 and supporting many other industries and jobs. Proposition 112 will reduce the economic benefits the oil and natural gas industry provides for the state and may result in the loss of jobs, lower payments to mineral owners, and reduced tax revenue that is used for local schools and other governmental services and programs.
- Proposition 112 is unnecessary because the existing COGCC setback requirements provide a balanced approach to protecting public health, safety, and the environment. The state’s existing setback requirements were developed through a collaborative rule-making process and guided by technical expertise. When adopting its setback rules, the COGCC considered the concerns of mineral owners, residents, schools, businesses, and others. Under current law, the COGCC has the authority to modify setback requirements in the future, if necessary.