Colorado

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423 Total Items
Colorado
Abolishing the Office of County Superintendent of Schools
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1964Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.4%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article IX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado providing that the Office of County Superintendent of Schools may be abolished by the qualified electors of any county, and eliminating inoperative provisions with respect to certain duties of the County Superintendent.

Abolishing the State Tax Commission and Transferring Duties to the State Board of Equalization
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1916Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.9%)

Topic Areas:
State Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Adding a New Section to the Constitution Providing Membership in Any Labor Union
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1958Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.6%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Allowable Government Paycheck Deductions
Amendment 49
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.2%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance | Labor & Employment | Local Government | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 49 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– prohibit any public employee paycheck deduction, except for:

— deductions required by federal law;

— tax withholdings;

— court-ordered liens and garnishments;

— health benefit and other insurance deductions;

— deductions for savings, investment, and retirement plans; and

— deductions for charitable, religious, educational, and other tax-exempt organizations.

Summary and Analysis

A paycheck deduction is a specific amount of money withheld from an employee’s pay. Paycheck deductions can be mandatory (federal and state taxes); offered as an employee benefit (health care and pension deductions); requested by the employee (gifts to charities); or established through agreements with labor or other organizations (automatic payment of dues or fees).

State law regulates paycheck deductions for state employees, but not for employees of local governments. Instead, each local government sets its own rules and, in fact, some local governments have adopted limits on paycheck deductions similar to those in Amendment 49. For the state and other local governments, however, Amendment 49 prohibits certain paycheck deductions that are currently in place, like dues or fees for labor or other organizations. Amendment 49 applies to all
public employers in Colorado, including the state, counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts.


Amending “Uniformity Clause” of the Constitution Principally By Limiting Rate to Taxation for All Purposes to 20 Mills in Cities and Towns of the First Class and 15 Mills to Other Divisions
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1936Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 17.5%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Amending Eminent Domain Provisions to Facilitate Better City Planning and Zoning
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1928Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 17.0%)

Topic Areas:
Land Use/Property Rights

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Amending Law to Address the Ability of Dentists Licensed in Other States to Practice in Colorado Without Examination
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1926Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 23.6%)

Topic Areas:
Health

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Amending Revenue and Taxation Sections of Constitution, Principally by Eliminating the “Uniformity Clause” and Boards of Equalization
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1934Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.9%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Amending Revenue Section of Constitution Principally by Giving General Assembly Power to Provide for an Income Tax Within Limitations
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1936Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 20.4%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Amending the Constitution Providing for Secret Ballots
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1946Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.2%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Amending Workmen’s Compensation Act to Benefit of Employees
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1936Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.9%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


An Act to Permit a Limited Income Tax for Public Schools and a Classified Personal Property Tax through Amendment to Section 3 of Article X of the State Constitution: Authorizing Classified Taxation of Personal Property, Graduated and Proportional Income
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1932Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.1%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to permit a limited income tax for public schools and a classified personal property tax through amendment to Section 3 of Article X of the State Constitution: Authorizing classified taxation of personal property, graduated and proportional income taxes at a rate not in excess of 6%; providing exemptions requiring distribution of income tax revenue for support of public schools among the counties in proportion to school population and to the end of effecting relief from ad valorem taxation for public schools

[CA]


Annexation and Consolidation Proceedings in Denver
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1974Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.2%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Article XX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the modernization of annexation and consolidation proceedings in the Denver metropolitan area, and creating a boundary control commission with powers related thereto.

Annexation by Municipalities
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1980Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.7%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

[Official ballot title not available]

Shall Article II of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, be amended to provide that an unincorporated area may be annexed to a municipality only if the annexation has been approved by a majority vote of the landowners and the registered electors in such area who vote on the question, or if the annexing municipality has received a petition for annexation signed by persons comprising more than fifty percent of the landowners in such area and owning more than fifty percent of such area, or if such area is entirely surrounded by or is solely owned by the annexing municipality; and providing that this section does not apply to the city and county of Denver entirely surrounded by or is solely owned by the annexing municipality; and providing that this section does not apply to the city and county of Denver to the extent that annexations thereto are governed by other provisions of the state constitution?

[CA]


Annexation of Property by a County
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1974Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 58.4%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to amend Articles XIV and XX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the annexation of property by a County or City and County, and prohibiting the striking off of any territory from a County without first submitting the question to a vote of the qualified electors of the County and without an affirmative vote of the majority of those electors.

[CA]


Anti-Prohibition: Declaring Beer Non-Intoxicating and Providing for Its Manufacture and Sale
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1916Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.2%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Application of the Term Person
Amendment 62
Election:
General

2010Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 29.5%)

Topic Areas:
Abortion | Civil & Constitutional Law | Health

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 62 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to apply the term “person,” as used in the sections of the Colorado bill of rights concerning inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law, to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.

Summary and Analysis

Like the U.S. Constitution, the Colorado Constitution has a bill of rights. The Colorado bill of rights contains the rights of the people of Colorado and outlines the principles of state government. Amendment 62 addresses the application of the term “person” for sections 3, 6, and 25 of the Colorado bill of rights. These sections concern inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law.

Inalienable rights. Section 3 asserts that all persons have natural, essential, and inalienable rights to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire, possess, and protect property, and to seek and obtain safety and happiness. These rights include the right to survive, the right to defend against threats to safety, the freedom to make independent decisions, and the right to work and obtain economic goods. Inalienable rights are fundamental to all persons and are not created by laws and government. The constitution requires that the government protect these rights, although the government is permitted to limit the exercise of rights as necessary for the welfare and general security of the public.

The constitutional provision regarding inalienable rights has been applied by courts, for example, to guarantee the right of an individual to pursue a legitimate trade or business, to acquire property without fear of discrimination, and to travel freely around the state.

Equality of justice. Section 6 requires the courts in Colorado to be open to all persons. If a person’s legal rights are violated, this section guarantees that a judicial remedy is available.

Courts have determined that this section applies to a variety of circumstances. For instance, individuals are denied equal access to justice if juries are chosen in a discriminatory manner. Additionally, all persons have the same right to use the courts regardless of their financial resources.

Due process of law. Section 25 ensures that no person is deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Due process of law requires the government to follow consistent procedures before a person’s fundamental rights are taken away. The courts have determined, for example, that due process requires the government to provide notice and a fair hearing before detaining a person, taking a person’s property, or sentencing a person to death.

Application of the term “person.” Sections 3, 6, and 25 of the Colorado bill of rights do not currently address the application of the term “person.” Amendment 62 applies the term “person” in a manner that extends inalienable rights, equal access to justice, and due process of law from the beginning of biological development. The measure does not define the phrase “the beginning of biological development.”

[CA]


Appropriating $350,000 from the State General Fund for the Establishment of the Psychopathic Hospital and Laboratory
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1920Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 75.5%)

Topic Areas:
Health

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Appropriating $500,000 for the Current Biennium and $1.5 Million Annually Thereafter, or as Much as Necessary, for Old Age Pensions, In Order to Pay the Full Award of the County Departments of Public Welfare to Each Recipient of Such Pension
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1944Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.5%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Authorize State-Supervised Lottery
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1980Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 59.8%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary

[Official ballot title not available]

An amendment to Section 2 of Article XVIII of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, authorizing the establishment of a state-supervised lottery with the net proceeds unless otherwise authorized by statute, allocated to the conservation trust fund of the state for distribution to municipalities and counties for park, recreation and open space purposes.


Authorizing $1.5 Million Bond Issue for Construction of Public Highways
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1922Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 66.4%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Authorizing the conduct of presidential primary elections
Referendum 2
Election:
General

1990Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.2%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
Shall the State of Colorado conduct a presidential primary election which conforms to political party rules at which electors shall cast votes for qualified candidates of the political parties to allocate delegates to national political conventions for the selections of a presidential candidate at such convention?

Authorizing the Governor to Appoint Administrative Officers of Certain Departments
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1960Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 28.4%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Authorizing the Governor, with consent of the Senate, to appoint administrative officers of certain departments, to be excluded from the state civil service

[CA]


Background Checks at Gun Shows
Amendment 22
Election:
General

2000Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 70%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary

Initiative Statute

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Requires background checks if any part of a gun purchase takes place at a gun show with the exception of antique guns, curios and relics; requires a designated licensed gun dealer to obtain background checks, and to keep records of purchases as he or she would when selling, renting, or exchanging at retail; defines a gun show as any event or function where 25 or more guns are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer, or exchange, or at least three gun owners exhibit, sell, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange guns; and creates misdemeanor penalties punishable by jail, fines, or both.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: Federal law requires gun dealers “people who are in the business of selling guns” to be licensed. Licensed gun dealers must request a background check and get approval prior to a gun sale. Private individuals who occasionally sell or exchange guns are not required to be licensed, obtain a background check, or get approval prior to a sale. People who want to buy guns at gun shows may choose to buy from either a licensed gun dealer or a private individual.

This proposal requires at least one designated licensed gun dealer to obtain background checks on behalf of private individuals who sell guns at gun shows. The licensed gun dealer may charge a fee of up to ten dollars for this service. The proposal creates penalties for violations of its provisions, including providing false information for the background check and failing to request a background check and get approval prior to a gun sale. The penalties include six to 24 months in jail, a fine of $500 to $5,000, or both.

Fiscal Impact: The Office of State Planning and Budgeting has determined that implementation of the measure would require a General Fund appropriation of between $357,383 and $494,211 for the first fiscal year of full implementation, which would include:

– 10 to 15 additional temporary employees;

– 2 to 3 additional full-time employees for appeals from denied purchases;

– additional leased space; and

– additional computer and capital expenses for 12 to 18 employees.

There may be an additional cost for a web-based computer interface in the amount of approximately $578,060.

The Office of State Planning and Budgeting has determined that implementation of the measure would require a General Fund appropriation of between $297,416 and $411,227 for the subsequent fiscal year, which would include:

– 10 to 15 temporary employees;

– 2 to 3 full-time employees for appeals from denied purchases; and

– leased space.

There may be an additional cost of $31,500 for continuation of the web-based computer interface. In addition to these costs, it is likely that there would be state and local costs for law enforcement and incarceration, but the amount of such costs is indeterminate.

[S]


Ballot Information Booklet
Referendum B
Election:
General

1994Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.4%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Require that the nonpartisan research staff of the General Assembly prepare and distribute to the public at no charge a ballot information booklet that includes the text, the title, and a fair and impartial analysis of each statewide measure. The booklet is to include the major arguments both for and against the measure and shall be distributed at least 30 days before the general election;

– Require that the nonpartisan research staff publish, at least once in at least one legal publication of general circulation in each county, the text and title of every statewide initiated or referred constitutional amendment or legislation. Such publication shall occur at least 15 days before the final date of voter registration;

– Repeal the present provision that requires publication of proposed constitutional amendments and initiated and referred bills three to five weeks before the election in two issues of two newspapers of opposite political faith in each county in the state; and

– Amend Amendment 1, the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, to provide that the ballot analysis provided under this proposal shall replace themailed election notice requirements of Amendment 1 for state but not local measures.


Black Bear Hunting
Amendment 10
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 69.7%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes would:

– prohibit the taking of black bears from March 1 to September 1 of any year and prohibit the taking of black bears at any time with the use of bait or dogs;

– provide exemptions from the above restrictions for employees of the Division of Wildlife and US Department of Agriculture, when acting in their official capacities, or for anyone who takes a black bear in defense of life and property;

– provide that violation of this statute shall be a class 1 misdemeanor, and, if convicted, there shall be a five-year suspension of wildlife license privileges for a first offense and a permanent suspension of such privileges for a second offense; and

– prohibit the Wildlife Commission from adopting any regulation in conflict with provisions of this new section.


Bone Dry Prohibition Law
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1918Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.7%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Branch Banking
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1980Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 25.6%)

Topic Areas:
Banking & Financial Services

Summary: Click for Summary

[Official ballot title not available]

Shall a bank be permitted to establish one or more branch banking facilities separate from the principal office of the bank anywhere in the state if the Banking Board determines that the proposed branch will serve the public need and convenience in the community or area to be served, all administrative costs of filing and processing an application for a branch to be paid by the applicant bank?

[S]


Branding of Livestock
Amendment 28
Election:
General

1912Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.8%)

Topic Areas:
Agriculture | Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing

Summary: Click for Summary
Concerning the branding and making of livestock

Calling a Constitutional Convention
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1930Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.0%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Campaign and Political Finance
Amendment 15
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.3%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would establish limits on campaign contributions that may be made to a partisan candidate committee, and limit campaign contributions by persons and political committees.

[CA]


Campaign Contributions from Certain Government Contractors
Amendment 54
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.2%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance | Labor & Employment | Local Government | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 54 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– prohibit certain government contractors from contributing to a political party or candidate for the contract’s duration and two years thereafter;

– prohibit contributors to ballot issue campaigns from entering into certain government contracts relating to the ballot issue;

– apply the prohibitions on campaign contributions and ballot issue contracts to any contractor with a government contract or contracts that does not use a public and competitive bidding process soliciting at least three bids and with a total value greater than $100,000 in a single year; and

– apply the prohibitions on campaign contributions and ballot issue contracts to a labor organization holding a collective bargaining agreement with a state or local government.

Summary and Analysis

Government entities purchase goods and services from private-sector vendors for the operation of government. The awarding of state contracts for these goods and services is regulated by state law. Local governments largely determine their own practices.

How are state government contracts awarded? State law requires, with few exceptions, that vendors for state contracts be selected through a competitive bidding process. Separate rules govern small and emergency purchases. In some cases, a state agency may determine that only one good or service can reasonably meet the agency’s need, and only one vendor can provide the particular good or service. Examples of circumstances when competitive bidding is not used include cases:

– where equipment, accessories, or replacement parts must be compatible;

– where a sole supplier’s item is needed for trial use or testing; and

– where public utility services are to be purchased.

How does the measure affect government contractors and labor organizations? Amendment 54 prohibits campaign contributions by certain government contractors. The prohibition applies to contractors with a total contract value of greater than $100,000 in a single year where fewer than three bids are solicited. It also covers labor organizations that represent public employees in a collective bargaining agreement.

Contracts covered by Amendment 54 are referred to in the measure as “sole source contracts” and include those awarded by the state, cities, counties, school districts, and other special districts. The measure requires the state to publish and maintain a database of every covered government contract issued at every level of government.

How are Amendment 54’s prohibitions applied? Under the measure, covered government contractors are prohibited from making a campaign contribution themselves, or on behalf of a family member, to any political party or any state or local candidate for the duration of the contract plus two additional years. A contractor includes:

– the contracting entity’s officers, directors, or trustees;

– any individual who controls at least 10 percent of the shares of or interest in the entity; and

– in the case of a collective bargaining agreement, a labor organization and any political committees it creates to make campaign contributions.

The measure also prohibits a person who contributes to a ballot issue campaign from entering into a covered government contract relating to the ballot issue.

What penalties exist under Amendment 54? Under Amendment 54, individuals who accept contributions from covered government contractors for the benefit of a political party or candidate must pay restitution to the contracting government. Elected or appointed officials may be removed or disqualified from office for knowingly violating Amendment 54. Further, a covered government contractor who intentionally makes a contribution in violation of the measure is barred from holding a covered government contract or public employment for three years. The governor may suspend these penalties during a declared state of emergency.

What is the scope of state contracts affected by Amendment 54? Information is not available on the number of state contracts that meet the criteria in Amendment 54. However, a sample of state contracts indicates that last year about 6 percent of state contracts had a value greater than $100,000 and were not put out for bid. These contracts represented about 5 percent of the total value of state contracts over $100,000.

What is the scope of local government contracts affected by Amendment 54? Information is not available on the number and value of local contracts that meet the criteria in Amendment 54. Some local governments, including the cities of Boulder and Fort Collins, have enacted laws restricting campaign contributions by individuals holding any type of contract with the local government and would integrate Amendment 54’s provisions into existing practice. Local governments also enter into collective bargaining agreements. For example, 45 school districts, representing 80 percent of teachers in the state, and four city police departments, representing 33 percent of the state’s police officers, are covered under collective bargaining agreements.


Campaign Finance
Amendment 27
Election:
General

2002Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65.3%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– reduces the amount of money that individuals and political committees can contribute to candidates and various political organizations;

– limits the amount of money that political parties can contribute to candidates;

– creates small donor committees which may accept up to $50 per individual per year, and limits the amount of money they can contribute to candidates and political parties;

– sets voluntary spending limits for political races and establishes incentives for candidates to accept the spending limit;

– adjusts contribution and spending limits for inflation every four years; and

– requires reporting and disclosure of money spent for certain political advertisements.

Background

Campaign finance is regulated by federal law for candidates in federal races; Colorado law regulates campaign finance for state and local candidates. Courts have also been involved in campaign finance by setting limits on what such laws can regulate and ruling on specific federal and state campaign finance provisions. This proposal changes Colorado campaign finance law and places the changes in the state Constitution.

Contribution to Candidates:

– A contribution from an individual to a candidate for a statewide office would be limited to $500 per election; $200 per election to candidates for the legislature, Board of Education, Board of Regents, and district attorney.

– Contributions from a political party to a candidate for governor would be limited to $500,000 per election cycle; $100,000 to candidates for other statewide offices; $18,000 to a candidate for state senate; and $13,000 to candidates for the state house of representatives, Board of Education, Board of Regents, and district attorney. Presently, contributions from political parties are not limited.

– Contributions from corporate and union sources would be prohibited. However, corporations and labor unions would be permitted to form political action committees and small donor committees which would be permitted to contribute to candidates. Under current law, corporate and union contributions are not limited.

All of the above contribution limits are doubled for a candidate who accepts voluntary spending limits if his/her opponent has not accepted the spending limit and has raised more than 10% of the spending limit.

In addition to limiting contributions to candidates, the proposal limits the amount of money that individuals and various organizations may contribute to political parties, political committees, and small donor committees, as follows.

Contributions to Political Parties

– Under current law, individuals, organizations, and political committees can annually contribute up to $25,000 to each affiliate of a political party, including state, county, district, and local affiliates. The proposal limits contributions to a total of $3,000 for all affiliates of a political party. Of the $3,000, the state-level political party affiliate may receive no more than $2,500.

– The proposal also limits the amount of money that small donor committees can annually contribute to all affiliates within a political party to $15,000 combined. Of the $15,000, the state-level political party affiliate may receive no more than $12,500.

– Corporations and labor unions cannot contribute to political parties.

Contributions to Political Committees

– The proposal reduces the amount of money that individuals and organizations can contribute to political committees from $25,000 per year to $500 every two years.

Contributions to Small Donor Committees

– The proposal caps individual contributions to a small donor committee at $50 per year.

Currently, political committees are not allowed to knowingly accept contributions from non-U.S. citizens, foreign governments, or foreign corporations that do not have authority to do business in Colorado. The proposal extends the prohibition to candidates, small donor committees, and political parties.

Voluntary spending limits.

The proposal establishes voluntary campaign spending limits.
Current law does not contain any such limits. The proposed limits range from $2.5 million for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, to $65,000 for candidates for Board of Education, Board of Regents, and district attorney.

A candidate’s decision to accept the spending limits is binding unless an opponent running for the same office does not accept the limits. Candidates who agree to spending limits may advertise their compliance in political messages. When a candidate agrees to limit spending but an opponent does not, the candidate may receive double the maximum contributions if the opponent has raised more than ten percent of the spending limit. Any personal money the candidate uses for his or her campaign counts as a political party contribution. Candidates who exceed the spending limits after agreeing to voluntarily limit campaign spending can be fined.

Adjustment to contribution and spending limits.

The contribution and voluntary spending limits will be adjusted for inflation beginning in 2007, and every four years thereafter. Current law requires that contribution limits be increased by ten percent beginning January 1, 2003, and every four years thereafter.

Unexpended campaign contributions.

Current law lists the permissible uses for unexpended
campaign contributions for candidates. This proposal further regulates these contributions by requiring that any money carried forward for use in the next election be counted as a contribution from a political party.

Regulation of political advertisements.

This proposal regulates two types of political advertisements. The first are those that are made outside the control of a candidate and that specifically urge the election or defeat of a candidate. The proposal requires reporting of the amount of money spent on the advertisement, the type of advertisement, and the name of the candidate being supported or opposed whenever more than $1,000 is spent. Further, when any money is spent on advertising during the 30 days before an election, the report must be made within 48 hours.

Information about who is paying for the advertisement and a statement that it is not authorized by any candidate must appear in these types of political advertisements. Current law, which requires reporting of all expenditures in excess of $1,000 within 24 hours and requires certain disclosure in political advertisements, was struck down by the federal district court.

The second type of political advertisement is one that clearly refers to a candidate without specifically urging the election or defeat of the candidate. These advertisements are regulated during the 30 days before a primary election and the 60 days before a general election. Any individual or organization who spends over $1,000 must report the name and address of any donor who gives more
than $250 to fund the advertisement. When the donor is an individual, the reports must also contain the individual’s occupation and the name of the individual’s employer.
Current law does not regulate this type of political advertising.

Corporations and labor unions are not allowed to directly fund the two types of political advertisements regulated under this proposal.

Reporting.

The proposal extends current reporting requirements to small donor committees and requires any person who contributes over $100 to a candidate, political committee, issue committee, or political party to disclose his or her occupation and employer.

Penalties.

Under this proposal, violating contribution or voluntary spending limits results in a civil penalty of at least double, and up to five times the amount contributed, received, or spent over the allowable amount. Current law makes violations of campaign finance provisions a class 2
misdemeanor; violations of contribution limits are subject to a civil penalty of double the amount contributed or received.

[CA]


Campaign Finance
Amendment 15
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65.8%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes:

– Reduces the amount of money, goods, and services that individuals can contribute to legislative and statewide candidates for office, and limits the amount they can contribute to political parties and political committees;

– Further limits the amount of money that political committees can contribute to candidates, and sets a total amount that a candidate can accept from all political committees;

– Specifies amounts that political parties can contribute to candidates;

– Sets voluntary spending limits for political races, encourages candidates to voluntarily agree to those limits, and establishes penalties for candidates who exceed the limits;

– Prohibits contributions between candidate committees;

– Specifies how moneys left over from a campaign may be used by a candidate, and limits the amount a candidate may keep for future campaigns; and

– Requires candidates, political committees, and political parties to disclose amounts and sources of contributions monthly during an election year.

[S]


Campaign Finance Contribution Limit Changes Amendment
Amendment 75
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34.0%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance

Summary: Click for Summary
The measure creates the ability for candidates to accept five times as much contributions to their campaigns as is normally allowed only if another candidate submits $1 million or more to his or her own campaign.

Capital Punishment
Referendum 2
Election:
General

1966Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.1%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary
Shall Capital Punishment be abolished?

Casino Gaming in Pueblo County
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1984Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.2%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall the Colorado Constitution be amended to provide for the conduct of casino gaming in Pueblo County as of July 1, 1985; to direct appointment of a commission to regulate and license casino gaming and the sale of alcoholic beverages in conjunction therewith, and to control an adjacent recreation area; to direct payment to the commission of license fees and up to ten percent of gross proceeds from casino gaming and to provide, after deduction of administrative and organizational costs from such payment for appropriation of the balance for public schools and the medically indigent program; and to require the general assembly to enact laws to implement the amendment?

[CA]


Cesar Chavez Legal Holiday
Referendum E
Election:
General

2002Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 18.1%)

Topic Areas:
Arts & Culture | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes designates March 31st as “Cesar Chavez Day” and makes it a holiday for state employees.

Background

Cesar Estrada Chavez was an American civil rights and labor leader. He was born near Yuma, Arizona, on March 31, 1927, and died in 1993. After eighth grade, he left school and worked full time as a migrant farm worker to help support his family. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. During the 1950s, he was an organizer in the Community Service Organization, a civil rights group. Later, he founded the organization now known as the United Farm Workers of America.

Through peaceful strikes and boycotts, his efforts resulted in agricultural labor reforms such as safe and sanitary working conditions, higher wages, and medical coverage. After his death, Cesar Chavez was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the federal government.

State holidays in Colorado.

The proposal increases the number of holidays for state employees from ten to eleven starting in 2003. Currently, the state holidays in Colorado are New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Washington-Lincoln Day (also known as Presidents’ Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Under current Colorado law, March 31st is recognized as an optional holiday in honor of Cesar Chavez. State agencies are required to remain open on that day.

Employees may take the day off with pay if they trade that day and work another weekday holiday in the same budget year, provided the state agency is open.

Recognition of Cesar Chavez.

Three other states recognize Cesar Chavez. It is a state
holiday in California and an optional holiday in Texas. Arizona recognizes March 31st as Cesar Chavez Day but does not make it a holiday. On the November 2002 ballot, New Mexico voters will consider a constitutional amendment designating the last Friday in March as a state holiday honoring Cesar Chavez. In Colorado, the City and County of Denver designates the last Monday in March as a holiday honoring Cesar Chavez.

School year holidays in Colorado.

Local boards of education set the holidays for the annual
school calendar around the minimum hours of state-required school days. If this proposal is adopted, each local board of education will determine if Cesar Chavez Day is a school holiday.


Change Industrial Hemp Definition in Constitution Amendment
Amendment X
Election:
General

2018Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.6%)

Topic Areas:
Agriculture | Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary
Removes the current constitutional definition of “industrial hemp” and replaces it with the definition that is found in federal law.

Citizen-Initiated State Laws
Referendum O
Election:
General

2008Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 47.6%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

Changes to signature requirements for initiative petitions:

1. Changes the basis for the computation of signature requirements from votes cast for secretary of state to votes cast for governor

2. Reduces signature requirement for statutory initiatives from five to four percent.

3. Increases the signature requirement for constitutional initiatives from five to six percent

4. Adds a geographic distribution requirement for constitutional amendment petitions: requires that a minimum of 8% of the total signatures required on the petition come from each congressional district in the state.

5. Increases from six to nine months after the ballot title is set the time for circulating petitions.

6. Restricts the ability of the Legislature to amend, repeal or supersede a law passed by initiative: requires a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house to do so during the first five years after the initiative is passed.

7. Requires that proposed constitutional amendments be submitted to the legislature during the legislative session immediately preceding the election at which the measure would be considered; permits the legislature to hold public hearings on proposed constitutional initiatives.


City and Town Indebtedness
Amendment 14
Election:
General

1914Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.2%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Providing 60 years for redemption of city and town indebtedness.

Civil Service
Amendment 24
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.1%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Relating to civil service and amending the law thereon.

[S]


Civil Service Exemption
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1970Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.2%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to section 22 of article IV of the constitution of the State of Colorado, exempting the heads of principal departments established pursuant thereto from the classified civil service of the state.

Classification and Taxation of Motor Vehicles
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1976Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.8%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, relating to the classification and taxation of motor vehicles and certain other movable equipment and deleting mobile homes from said requirements and providing that the General Assembly shall provide by law for the taxation of mobile homes.

Colorado Commission for Congressional Redistricting Amendment
Amendment Y
Election:
General

2018Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 71.4%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary
Creates a 12-member commission to draw congressional districts for Colorado. Establishes criteria for the district maps. The measure also establishes criteria for membership of the commission. Lobbying of the commission must also be reported within 72 hours. Requires establishment of a process so that 8 of the 12 members approve of the final map. Includes competitiveness as a criteria.

Colorado Commission for Legislative Redistricting Amendment
Amendment Z
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 71.1%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary
Creates a 12-member commission to draw legislative districts for Colorado. Establishes criteria for the district maps. The measure also establishes criteria for membership of the commission. Lobbying of the commission must also be reported within 72 hours. Requires establishment of a process so that 8 of the 12 members approve of the final map. Includes competitiveness as a criteria.

Colorado Congressional Delegation to Support Campaign Finance Limits
Amendment 65
Election:
General

2012Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 73.7% (unofficial))

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance

Summary: Click for Summary

Proposes amending the Colorado Constitution and Colorado statutes to:

– instruct the Colorado congressional delegation to propose and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that allows Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending; and

– instruct the state legislature to ratify any such amendment passed by Congress.

Summary and Analysis

Colorado and federal law currently limit the amount of money that individuals, political action committees, and other organizations may give directly to candidates, campaigns, political parties, and other political groups. Colorado has also established voluntary spending limits that political candidates and campaigns may choose to follow. However, there are no mandatory limits in state or federal law on how much money campaigns may spend overall.

In the past, courts have ruled that limiting contributions to candidates and campaigns is a permissible restriction on money in politics so as to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. However, the courts have also ruled that spending money is a form of protected political speech. Therefore, overall spending limits on campaigns are not allowed, and spending by persons and organizations who are independent of political campaigns cannot be restricted.

Changes under Amendment 65. The measure does not directly affect current state or federal campaign finance laws, or create campaign spending limits. Instead, it amends state law to encourage Congress and the state legislature to take steps to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow greater limits on the role of money in state and federal elections. The measure also expresses the intent of voters that state law should establish mandatory campaign spending limits, rather than encourage voluntary spending limits.

Amending the U.S. Constitution. An amendment to the U.S. Constitution may be proposed with a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress. Then, the amendment must be ratified by the state legislatures in three-fourths of the states, or 38 of the 50 states, in order to take effect.


Colorado Minimum Wage
Amendment 42
Election:
General

2006Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.3%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 42 proposes a change to Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution that:

– raises the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.85 per hour, and adjusts the wage annually for inflation; and

– increases the minimum wage for workers who regularly receive tips from $2.13 per hour to $3.83 per hour and adjusts it annually by the same dollar amount as the minimum wage for non-tipped workers.

Summary and Analysis

What is the minimum wage? The minimum wage is the lowest wage that can be paid to most workers. It was instituted in 1938 by the federal government. Since then, the federal minimum wage has been increased nineteen times, from $0.25 to its current level of $5.15 per hour for most workers and $2.13 per hour for workers that receive tips. It was last increased in 1997.

States can set a higher minimum wage than the federal one. Colorado’s minimum wage is currently set at the federal amount of $5.15 per hour. Although federal law also allows cities to enact a higher minimum wage, state law does not allow cities to enact minimum wage laws separate from that of the state.

Which workers typically get paid the minimum wage? Nationally, nearly three-quarters of those paid $5.15 per hour or less work in service jobs, mostly in food preparation and serving. Some workers can be paid less than $5.15 per hour because they receive tips or other compensation in addition to their hourly wage. Also, there are several jobs that are not covered by the minimum wage. The most common of these include certain farm workers, part-time babysitters, some seasonal and recreational employees, newspaper delivery persons, and salespeople who regularly work away from their employer’s place of business.

The federal government publishes wage data for workers paid by the hour. This data overstates the number of workers affected by Amendment 42 because it includes workers not covered by minimum wage laws. Also, it understates the earnings of some workers because it does not include tips and other compensation. According to 2005 wage data, about 106,000, or just under 5 percent, of Colorado workers were paid less than $6.85 per hour, the wage rate set in Amendment 42. About 72,000 of these workers were paid between $5.15 and $6.85 per hour, 9,000 were paid $5.15 per hour, and 25,000 were paid less than $5.15 per hour. Many of the workers earning below $5.15 per hour likely received other compensation that pushed their total earnings above $5.15 per hour.

How does Amendment 42 change state law? Amendment 42 increases Colorado’s minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.85 per hour beginning January 1, 2007. Furthermore, the proposal adjusts the wage by the rate of inflation each year. For workers who regularly receive tips, the minimum wage increases from $2.13 per hour to $3.83 per hour. This wage will adjust each year so that it will always be no more than $3.02 less than that for workers who do not receive tips. For example, if inflation is 3 percent in 2007, in 2008 the minimum wage would increase to $7.06 for most workers and $4.04 for workers who receive tips.

How many states have higher minimum wages than the federal one? As of August 2006, 23 states and the District of Columbia had adopted a minimum wage greater than the federal minimum wage. Of those, four are adjusted annually by the rate of inflation. Washington State has the highest minimum wage. It is currently set at $7.63 per hour and adjusts for inflation each year.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

State spending and revenue. Students employed in work-study positions at state universities and colleges are often paid less than $6.85 per hour. The difference between current student wages and the wages required by Amendment 42 could cost the state up to $2.8 million annually. The actual state cost will depend on the options used by the legislature or schools to address the higher wages, such as providing more state money to the schools, increasing fees or tuition, or reducing the number of work study hours available to students. All other state employees are currently paid above $6.85 per hour.

Presently, it is unknown whether the amendment will affect state revenue from income or sales tax collections. Any change in tax revenue cannot be quantified at this time.

Local government impact. The fiscal impact of the amendment on local government has not been estimated, though expenditures would increase for those local governments that currently pay workers at or near the minimum wage. Any change in local tax revenue cannot be quantified at this time.

[CA]


Colorado Reapportionment Commission
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1974Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.2%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to amend Article V of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the reapportioning of legislative districts by a body to be known as the Colorado Reapportionment Commission which shall consist of eleven electors, four of whom shall be appointed by the legislative department, three by the executive department, and four by the judicial department of the State, and adding new requirements to be considered in the creation of legislative districts.

[CA]


Commission Merchants
Amendment 10
Election:
General

1914Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.6%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Because this question did not receive a majority “yes” vote, the legislature’s law did not take effect.

Providing for the licensing and regulation of commission merchants.


Commission on Judicial Discipline
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1982Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 77.3%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 23(3) of article VI of the constitution of the state of Colorado concerning the membership and appointment of the commission on judicial discipline authorizing the removal or discipline of a justice or judge for committing specified offenses establishing the procedure for removal or discipline of justice or judge and providing that papers filed with and proceedings before the commission or masters appointed by the supreme court shall be confidential prior to the filing of a recommendation by the commission.

Commissioner of Insurance
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1984Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 58.8%)

Topic Areas:
Insurance | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the appointment of the Commissioner of Insurance by the Governor with the consent of the Senate, and exempting the Commissioner of Insurance from the state personnel system.

Compensation of County Elected Officials
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1976Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.4%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article XIV of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, allowing County Commissioners to set the compensation of county elected officials and prohibiting an increase or decrease in salary during a term of office in accordance with the Constitution of the State of Colorado.

Compensation of County Officers
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1986Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.2%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 15 of Article XIV of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, providing that, the provisions of Section 11 of Article XII of the state constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, the board of county commissioners in each county has sole authority to fix the compensation of county officers; that no county officer’s compensation may be decreased unless there is a decrease in the compensation of all county officers; and that compensation in effect on January 1, 1987, in a county shall remain in effect until changed by the county’s board of county commissioners.

Compensation of County Officers
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1968Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.5%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article XIV of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, relating to the compensation of county officers.

Compensation of State and County Officers
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1972Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 29.0%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article V of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, removing the prohibition against increasing or decreasing compensation of certain state and county officers during the term of office to which they have been elected or appointed.

Compensation to Private Property Owners for Decreased Property Value Possibly Due to State Regulation Amendment
Amendment 74
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.4%)

Topic Areas:
Land Use/Property Rights

Summary: Click for Summary
The measure would require state and local government to reimburse private property for any reduction in the property value for any action that reduced its value at all. The measure adds the following text to Article II, Section 15 of the Colorado Constitution: “. . . or reduced in fair market value by government law or regulation . . .”. The full first two sentences of Section 15 will then read: “Taking property for public use—compensation, how ascertained. Private property shall not be taken or damaged, or reduced in fair market value by government law or regulation for public or private use, without just compensation.”

Concerning Civil Service and Providing for Additional Exemptions of the Governor’s Staff, One Secretary to Elected Officials, and Heads of Departments as Designated by Law
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1950Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.3%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Concerning County Government
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1958Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.6%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available

Concerning Experimental Operations on Human Beings and Dumb Animals
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1922Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 16.6%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing | Civil & Constitutional Law | Health

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Concerning Four-Year Terms for Certain Elected County Officials
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1922Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 26.4%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Concerning Four-Year Terms for Certain Elected State Officials
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1922Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 28.5%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Concerning Salaries of State Officers and Judges
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1908Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 29.9%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary | Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Concerning the Classified Civil Service of the State
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1960Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.6%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Concerning the Competitive Civil Service of the State
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1958Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.5%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
“Right to Work” — providing that no person shall be denied the freedom to obtain or retain employment because of membership or non-membership in any labor union organization

Concerning the Fees and Compensation of County, Precinct, and Other Officers
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1908Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.0%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Concerning the Judicial Department
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1966Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.9%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary

An Amendment to Article VI of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the Judicial Department, and providing for the selection tenure, removal or retirement of Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of Other Courts of the State of Colorado.

[CA]


Concerning the Location and Control of Institutions of Higher Education
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1922Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 59.9%)

Topic Areas:
Education: Higher Ed

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Concerning the State Board of Land Commissioners
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1910Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 66.4%)

Topic Areas:
Natural Resources | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Concerning the Taxation of Petroleum Products and Registration of Motor Vehicles and Providing that All Such Taxes and Fees be Used Exclusively for Roads
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1934Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.7%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Concerning the Taxation of Petroleum Products and Registration of Motor Vehicles, and Providing that All Such Taxes and Fees be Used Exclusively for Roads
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1926Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.0%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Construction Liability
Amendment 34
Election:
General

2004Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 23.5%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– prohibits limits, with some exceptions, on a property owner’s ability to recover damages when improvements to property are not constructed in a “good and workmanlike manner”;

– defines an improvement constructed in a “good and workmanlike manner” as an improvement that is suitable for its intended purposes.

Background

Currently, state law establishes a procedure to recover damages from a construction professional when construction is defective. Under this law, a property owner may sue the responsible construction professional after giving notice and providing an opportunity to fix the defect. Construction professionals include architects, contractors, developers, and others involved in the construction business. If an agreement to fix the defect is not reached within 75 days in the case of residential property, or 90 days in the case of commercial property, the property owner may sue the construction professional responsible for the defect.

A property owner who sues, and wins, may be reimbursed for the lesser of the following three dollar amounts: 1) the value of the property without the defect, 2) the cost to replace the property, or 3) the reasonable cost to repair the defect. Medical expenses resulting from an injury are fully reimbursable, but awards for “pain and suffering” for these injuries are capped at $250,000. In addition, if the owner can show that the construction professional committed fraud, he or she may be awarded up to an additional $250,000. Damage awards may also include the costs associated with moving, interest, or legal fees. Under this law, a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of discovering the defect or six years from the date the construction occurred.

The proposal.

This proposal creates a new section in the state constitution that affects current law. It removes limitations on the amount of money a property owner can collect in damages, except for punitive damages and lawsuits involving governments. It also sets in the state constitution the current time frames for filing a lawsuit. Finally, the proposal could eliminate the current requirement that a property owner and construction professional try to resolve the problem before bringing a lawsuit. In addition to these changes to current law, the proposal affects the types of laws the legislature can pass in the future concerning construction problems.


Construction or Modification of Nuclear Power Plants
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1976Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 29.3%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities

Summary: Click for Summary

An Amendment to Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution requiring approval by two thirds of each House of the General Assembly prior to any construction or modification of a nuclear power plant or related facility; providing that prior to any vote, the General Assembly must conduct extensive hearings throughout the state concerning the safe operation of such plant or facility; and requiring the waiver of federally imposed limits on liability for damage resulting from the operation of any such plant or facility

[CA]


Contempt of Court
Amendment 18
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 43.2%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice | Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary

Defining contempt of court and providing for trial by jury for contempt in certain cases.

[CA]


Coroner Qualifications
Referendum C
Election:
General

2002Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 69.8%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution permits the legislature to establish qualifications for the office of county coroner, including training and certification requirements.

Background

To run for county coroner, a person must be a U.S. citizen, at least eighteen years old, and a resident of the county for one year prior to an election. These qualifications are outlined in the state constitution. Based on a 1994 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, the legislature must have
constitutional authority to impose any additional qualifications on the office of county coroner. This proposal allows the legislature to establish qualifications for county coroners, including training and certification requirements. The proposal does not specify the nature or extent of the requirements.

The earliest that any qualifications established by the legislature could apply is the 2006 election. State law requires coroners to determine the cause and manner of death in specific circumstances, including suspicious deaths, unexplained natural deaths, accidents of all types, and suicides. When such a death occurs, coroners must notify the district attorney, take custody of the body, conduct an independent investigation, cause an autopsy to be performed if necessary, and issue a death certificate. In investigating a death, coroners may have to identify the body, collect and document evidence, obtain medical records, perform tests or examinations of the body, notify the next of kin, or conduct an inquest. Coroners may also initiate the process for organ donation in some situations as long as the donation does not interfere with the coroner’s investigation.

State law encourages, but does not require, candidates for the office of coroner to possess knowledge and experience in the medical-legal investigation of death. Coroners are also encouraged by state law to participate in programs that provide education and training. Training is available
through a variety of local and national resources, including a program to become a certified death investigator through the Colorado Coroners Association.


Cost of Publishing Proposed Amendments and Laws
Amendment 13
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 43.9%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

Reducing costs for publishing the constitutional amendments, initiated and referred laws, and publishing arguments for and against.

[S]


County Commission Vacancies
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1978Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 66.1%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 9 of Article XIV of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, providing that a vacancy in the office of the county commissioner shall be filled within ten days after the occurrence thereof by a vacancy committee or, if said committee fails to act within ten days, shall be filled by the governor within fifteen days after occurrence of the vacancy, and providing that the person appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of county commissioner shall be a member of the same political party, if any, as the vacating commissioner.

County Debt
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1912Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.6%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Raising limitation of county debts based on the assessed valuation of taxable property in the county.

County Sheriffs – Qualifications
Referendum C
Election:
General

1996Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.1%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution allows the General Assembly to establish qualifications for the office of county sheriff, including training and certification requirements.

Creating a Public Utilities Commission and Prescribing its Powers and Duties
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1926Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 17.9%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Creating a Public Utilities Commission, Prescribing its Powers and Duties, and Defining Public Utilities
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1922Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.1%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Creating a Wildlife Management Commission and a Department of Wildlife Conservation
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1960Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.3%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing | Natural Resources | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Creating Bonded Indebtedness of the State to Pay Outstanding Warrants
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1908Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.0%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Creating State Bonded Indebtedness to Fund Outstanding Warrants
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1910Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.4%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Creating the Colorado State Personnel System
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1970Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 66.4%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to article XII of the constitution of the State of Colorado, creating the Colorado state personnel system, providing therein for the application of the merit system of employment and retention of employees of the State of Colorado, and the granting of preference in employment to veterans.

Creating the County of Flagler
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1920Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 19.2%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Creating the County of Limon
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1920Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 19.8%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Creation of the City and County of Broomfield
Referendum C
Election:
General

1998Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.3%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution which, effective November 15, 2001, creates the City and County of Broomfield from portions of the city currently located in Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, and Weld counties; allows the City of Broomfield to continue its current annexation plan; transfers current city services and responsibilities to the new city and county; authorizes the City and County of Broomfield to collect the same sales, use, and property taxes that are currently collected within the portions of the four counties until the registered electors of the City and County of Broomfield vote to change such taxes.

Criteria for Release to Pretrial Services Programs
Proposition 102
Election:
General

2010Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.0%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary

Proposition 102 proposes amending the Colorado statutes to prohibit the release of a defendant on an unsecured bond to supervision by a pretrial services program unless that defendant is arrested for his or her first offense that is also a nonviolent misdemeanor.

Summary and Analysis

In the United States, an individual accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Most defendants have the right to be released on bail that is not excessive rather than remaining in jail pending the outcome of a trial. However, some serious crimes are not bailable offenses under Colorado law, including murder, kidnapping, and treason. In addition, persons arrested for a violent crime who have been previously convicted of a violent crime, or who are out on bail for a violent offense, are also not eligible for bail.

Definition of bail and bond. After an individual is arrested, the court sets the amount of bail, the type of bond, and any other conditions of release. The primary purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant appears for trial. A bond is an agreement between the defendant and the court under which the defendant agrees to comply with all of the conditions of release and to pay the bail amount if he or she does not appear in court.

The court may order one of two types of bonds, unsecured or secured. With an unsecured bond, the defendant is released on his or her promise to appear, but is required to pay the bail amount if he or she does not appear in court. With a secured bond, the defendant either pays, or promises to pay through a commercial bail bondsman, an amount of money or interest in property before he or she may be released from jail pending trial. Although there are judicial district guidelines for setting bail, the court has the discretion to set the amount of bail and type of bond on a case-by-case basis after considering criteria set forth in law.

If the defendant cannot afford to pay the bail amount, he or she can pay a fee to get a bond through a commercial bail bondsman, secure a bond using real estate, or remain in jail. In addition to financial conditions, the court may order any number of other conditions of release, which could include supervision by a pretrial services program.

Pretrial services programs. Under current Colorado law, most defendants qualify for release to supervision by a pretrial services program on either a secured or unsecured bond. There are ten pretrial services programs that are publicly funded and serve over 70 percent of the state’s population. The programs are located primarily along the Front Range, with the exceptions of Weld, Pueblo, and Mesa counties. Pretrial services programs provide two primary functions. First, they assess defendants and provide information and recommendations to the court regarding the defendant’s risk to public safety and the likelihood that he or she will appear in court. The court uses this information in setting the defendant’s amount of bail and type of bond.

Second, pretrial services programs provide community-based supervision to monitor defendants prior to trial through various methods, such as periodic visits with the defendant, drug testing, and substance abuse treatment. Failure to comply with the pretrial services conditions may result in the defendant being returned to jail while awaiting trial.

Proposition 102. Currently, the court may release the defendant to supervision by a pretrial services program on an unsecured or secured bond. Under Proposition 102, the defendant may only be released to a pretrial services program on an unsecured bond if the offense for which he or she has been charged is his or her first offense and is also a nonviolent misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a crime, less serious than a felony, punishable by a fine and a term of imprisonment in a city or county jail as opposed to a state prison. In all other cases where the defendant receives pretrial services, the court must order a secured bond. This measure does not prohibit the court from releasing the defendant on an unsecured bond without pretrial services.

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Custody and Management of Public Funds
Amendment 29
Election:
General

1912Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.1%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets

Summary: Click for Summary
Relating to the custody and management of public funds

Daylight Savings
Referendum 1
Election:
General

1966Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.3%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Providing for daylight saving time in Colorado.

Death Penalty
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1974Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.1%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary
Shall the death penalty be imposed upon persons convicted of class 1 felonies where certain mitigating circumstances are not present and certain aggravating circumstances are present?

Definition of Person
Amendment 48
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 26.7%)

Topic Areas:
Abortion | Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 48 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– define the term “person” to “include any human being from the moment of fertilization”; and

– apply this definition of person to the sections of the Colorado Constitution that protect the natural and essential rights of persons, allow open access to courts for every person, and ensure that no person has his or her life, liberty, or property taken away without due process of law.

Summary and Analysis

Like the U.S. Constitution, the Colorado Constitution has a bill of rights. The Colorado bill of rights contains the rights and duties of the people of Colorado and outlines the principles of state government. Amendment 48 defines the term “person” for sections 3, 6, and 25 of the Colorado bill of rights. These sections concern inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law.

Inalienable rights. Section 3 asserts that all persons have natural, essential, and inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, safety, and happiness. These rights include the right to defend against threats to safety, the freedom to make independent decisions, the right to work and obtain economic goods, and the right to survive.
Inalienable rights are fundamental to all humans and are not created by laws and government. The constitution requires that the government protect these rights, although the government is permitted to limit the exercise of rights as necessary for the public welfare.

The constitutional provision regarding inalienable rights has been applied by courts, for example, to guarantee the right of an individual to pursue a legitimate trade or business, to acquire property without fear of discrimination, and to travel freely around the state.

Equality of justice. Section 6 requires the courts in Colorado to be open to all persons. If a person’s legal rights are violated, this section guarantees that a judicial remedy is available.

Courts have determined that this section applies to a variety of circumstances. For instance, individuals are denied equal access to justice if juries are chosen in a discriminatory manner. Additionally, all persons have the same right to use the courts regardless of their financial resources.

Due process of law. Section 25 ensures that no person is deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Due process of law requires the government to follow consistent procedures before a person’s fundamental rights are taken away. The courts have determined, for example, that due process requires the government to provide notice and a fair hearing before detaining a person, taking a person’s property, or sentencing a person to death.

Definition of the term “person.” The Colorado bill of rights does not currently contain a definition of person. Amendment 48 defines person to include a human being from the moment of fertilization. The term “moment of fertilization” is not defined in Amendment 48. The generally accepted medical definition of fertilization is the union of a male sperm and a female egg.


Definition of Person and Child
Amendment 67
Election:
General

2014Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 35.1% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Abortion | Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary
IN THE INTEREST OF THE PROTECTION OF PREGNANT MOTHERS AND THEIR UNBORN CHILDREN FROM CRIMINAL OFFENSES AND NEGLECT AND WRONGFUL ACTS, THE WORDS “PERSON” AND “CHILD” IN THE COLORADO CRIMINAL CODE AND THE COLORADO WRONGFUL DEATH ACT MUST INCLUDE UNBORN HUMAN BEINGS

Denial of Bail to Persons Accused of Capitol Offense or Convicted of Violent Offense
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1982Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 82.5%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 19 of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, authorizing the denial of bail to persons accused of a capital offense when proof is evident or presumption is great. Persons convicted of a crime of violence who are awaiting sentencing for such conviction or appealing such conviction or in the following cases if a court finds that the proof is evident or presumption is great as to the crime alleged to have been committed and finds that the public would be placed in significant peril. A crime of violence alleged to have been committed while on conditional release from confinement or a crime of violence alleged to have been committed after two previous felony convictions or one such previous felony conviction if such conviction was for a crime of violence.

Discrimination and Preferential Treatment by Governments
Amendment 46
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.2%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Education: Higher Ed | Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 46 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– prohibit Colorado government from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, or public contracting;

– make exceptions for federal programs, existing court orders or other legally binding agreements, and bona fide qualifications based on sex; and

– provide the same remedies that are available for violations of existing Colorado anti-discrimination law.

Summary and Analysis

Discrimination generally means denying access to an individual based on certain characteristics such as race, age, or sex. The term preferential treatment is often used to refer to policies that assist historically disadvantaged groups in order to remedy past and current discrimination or to increase diversity.

The U.S. Constitution protects individuals against unequal treatment by governments based on such characteristics as race and gender. Currently, governments may consider race and gender when choosing among qualified individuals or firms as long as they do so under a narrowly tailored plan to correct discrimination or promote diversity. The use of quotas and point systems, particularly in public college admissions practices, is rarely allowed.

Provisions of Amendment 46. Amendment 46 adds language to the Colorado Constitution that prohibits discrimination or preferential treatment in the areas of public employment, public education, and public contracting on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. The terms “discrimination” and “preferential treatment” are not defined in the measure.

There are various government programs and agencies in Colorado that target assistance to a particular race, gender, or ethnicity that may be affected by Amendment 46. Examples of assistance include programs to help individuals obtain financial aid for college, develop professional skills, or start a business. Private organizations and programs are not affected by the measure.

Exceptions in Amendment 46. Amendment 46 does not affect the following:

– Action required to receive federal funding. For example, public schools must ensure that girls receive the same access to school athletics programs as boys in order to receive federal funding.

– Existing court orders and legally binding agreements that provide a remedy for discrimination. The City and County of Denver, for instance, is under a court order that governs hiring practices for police officers to achieve diversity in the workforce.

– Bona fide qualifications based on sex. In the area of privacy, hiring a female, as opposed to a male, prison guard for the purpose of searching female inmates is an example of a bona fide qualification for public employment based on sex. Amendment 46 expands this exemption to the areas of public education and public contracting.

Remedies for discriminatory practices and preferential treatment. The measure requires that the remedies that exist for Colorado anti-discrimination law be used for violations of Amendment 46. Additionally, the remedies must be the same regardless of the injured party’s race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Most remedies that exist today relate to employment law. Examples include paying lost wages, hiring or reinstating employees, and orders to stop discriminatory practices.


Domestic Partnerships
Referendum I
Election:
General

2006Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 47.7%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Referendum I proposes a change to the Colorado statutes that:

– creates a new legal relationship, called a domestic partnership, providing same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the legal protections and responsibilities granted to married couples by Colorado law;

– defines the criteria and process for entering into a domestic partnership; and

– specifies that domestic partnerships are not marriage and do not change the public policy of the state, which defines marriage as only the union of one man and one woman.

Summary and Analysis

Under Colorado law, there is no process for same-sex couples to establish a legally binding relationship with legal protections, benefits, and responsibilities. Referendum I creates such a process, beginning February 12, 2007, and gives domestic partners the legal rights and responsibilities that spouses have. The legislature is required to pass laws to implement the provisions of Referendum I.

Domestic partnerships under Referendum I. Referendum I provides domestic partners legal rights, responsibilities, and benefits, including:

– jointly holding property with rights of inheritance;

– jointly incurring and being liable for debt;

– covering a partner as a dependent under policies for life insurance and health care;

– family leave benefits;

– committing a partner to a mental health facility;

– protection under the state’s domestic violence laws; and

– disposing of a deceased partner’s last remains.

Under Referendum I, Colorado laws that apply to spouses also apply to domestic partners, including laws that:

– pertain to medical care decisions, hospital visitation, and terminal care documents;

– grant workers’ compensation payments to spouses and dependents;

– allow civil lawsuits based on spousal status, such as lawsuits for wrongful death;

– prohibit discrimination based on spousal status in areas such as housing and employment; and

– govern legal separation, divorce, property division, spousal maintenance, and child custody and support.

Currently, same-sex couples may sign legal documents for some protections and benefits, including the right to make medical decisions and to jointly hold and to inherit property. Other rights, such as filing suit for wrongful death, accessing a partner’s workers’ compensation benefits, or collecting child support, can only be granted by law. Therefore, they are not currently available to same-sex couples.

Referendum I specifically prohibits domestic partners from filing a joint state income tax return. Additionally, it permits a child placement agency to refuse to place a child with domestic partners for adoption if the agency objects on religious grounds.

Creating domestic partnerships. Individuals entering into a domestic partnership must be at least eighteen years of age and of the same sex. Individuals cannot enter into a domestic partnership with an ancestor, descendant, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew, or a person who is married or in another domestic partnership.

Parties to a domestic partnership are required to obtain a license. The license may be certified by an individual such as a judge or member of the clergy, or the parties may certify the partnership themselves. The domestic partnership is then registered with the state.

Recognition of domestic partnerships. Federal law allows each state to determine whether it recognizes a legal relationship between same-sex couples established in another state. Under Referendum I, only domestic partnerships that are registered in Colorado are valid in Colorado. Other states will determine whether to recognize domestic partnerships registered in Colorado.

The federal government uses marital status as the qualification for a number of federally regulated rights and responsibilities. Examples include the ability to jointly file federal taxes, receive Social Security survivor and disability benefits, and obtain work and residency visas for foreign spouses. Referendum I does not extend any of these federal rights and responsibilities to domestic partners in Colorado.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

State revenues and expenditures. The state will charge $17 for domestic partnership certificates resulting in new state revenues of $59,500 per year, based on an estimated 3,500 certificates annually. Annual state expenditures of $136,000 are expected to review and process civil rights complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of employment, housing, and public accommodation. These costs do not include spending associated with legal challenges that may result from Referendum I or from potential changes in the number and complexity of other court cases involving same-sex couples.

County revenues and expenditures. Counties are required to collect a $7 license fee for each domestic partnership to offset their costs. Thus, $24,500 in license fee revenue is expected to be retained by counties each year.

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Education Funding and TABOR Rebates
Amendment 59
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.5%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 59 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– eliminate rebates that taxpayers receive when the state collects more money than it is allowed, and spend the money on preschool through 12th grade (P-12) public education;

– eliminate the required inflationary increase for P-12 education spending; and

– set aside money in a new savings account for P-12 education.

Summary and Analysis

What is the state spending limit and how is it changed? A constitutional provision known as TABOR limits the amount of money the state may spend each year. Any money collected above the limit must be rebated to taxpayers unless voters allow the state to spend it. Current projections do not show any rebates during the next five years. Since the economy grows faster than the limit over time, tax collections will grow beyond the limit and rebates will occur at some point in the future. Beginning in 2011, Amendment 59 permanently eliminates these rebates and instead places that money in the State Education Fund.

What are the required increases for education spending and how are they changed? Another constitutional provision known as Amendment 23 requires the state to increase the amount of money it spends on P-12 education. Spending per student must increase by at least inflation each year after 2011. Amendment 59 eliminates this requirement.

What is the State Education Fund? The State Education Fund is an existing state fund that receives and holds money that can be spent only on P-12 education. Under current law, a portion of state income taxes is deposited in the fund. Amendment 59 deposits the money that the state keeps above the TABOR spending limit into the fund, along with other money the legislature may transfer to the fund.

What is the new savings account for P-12 education? Amendment 59 creates a savings account within the State Education Fund. It places ten percent of income tax revenue that is currently deposited in the fund into the savings account until a certain threshold is reached. This money, about $46 million in the first year, may be spent only if two-thirds of the state legislature votes to do so. In years that statewide personal income grows less than 6 percent, the state legislature may spend it with a simple majority vote. In either case, this money may be spent only on P-12 education.

What else does the amendment do? In addition to the TABOR spending limit mentioned above, the state has a yearly limit on spending increases for most state programs. Any money the state has above this limit is currently spent on transportation and to build and maintain the state’s buildings. Amendment 59 allows the legislature to transfer this money to the State Education Fund as long as certain other transfers for transportation have been made.


Education Reform – Sales Tax
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.6%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed statute, known as the “Colorado Children First Act of 1992,” would provide an increase in the state sales and use tax rate, from which revenues would be used to fund the state’s public school system and provide for a number of education reforms.

The changes would increase the state sales and use tax from 3 percent to 4 percent; require that the aggregate state share of school equalization funding include an amount equal to the state General Fund appropriation for school finance act funding for the fiscal year 1992-93, revenues from the sales tax increase, and federal school land and mineral lease moneys; and provide that the 1 percent sales tax increase will be exempt from the current 7 percent limitation on total sales taxes. It would also create the “School Innovation and Incentive Fund” consisting of $50 million or 2 percent of school finance act funding for schools, whichever is greater. The Colorado Commission for Achievement in Education would grant funds to schools and school districts to encourage innovation in the schools and to reward improvements in student performance and progress toward reforms.

The changes would require the following education reforms:

– standards and assements

– curriculum frameworks

– certified diploma

– early childhood education

– strategic plans for reform

– district accountability

-teacher education

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Eight-Hour Work Day
Amendment 25
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.8%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary

Eight-hour law for work in underground mines, smelters, coke ovens, etc.

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Eight-Hour Work Day
Amendment 27
Election:
General

1912Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 69.2%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary
Eight-hour day for work in underground mines, smelters, coke ovens, etc.

Election Day Voter Registration
Amendment 30
Election:
General

2002Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.7%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution allows eligible Colorado citizens to register to vote and to cast a ballot on election day for all elections conducted after January 1, 2004.

Background

Colorado currently allows individuals to register to vote at various locations and by mail at any time up to 29 days before an election. A person is eligible to register to vote if he or she is a U.S. citizen, is eighteen years old at the time of the election, and is a resident of Colorado and the precinct in which he or she will vote for at least 30 days before the election. A person who is already registered to vote in Colorado and who moved but failed to re-register at the new address may re-register at any time, including election day, at a county clerk’s office. Individuals who have registered but whose names do not appear on the list of registered voters at the polling place may go to the county clerk’s office to verify their registration and vote on election day.

This proposal allows citizens to register and vote on election day by presenting valid identification at their precinct polling place or county clerk’s office. Valid identification includes either a Colorado driver license, state identification card, or other documentation approved by state election officials.

The proposal applies to all elections including primary, general, special district, and municipal elections. The legislature is directed to enact necessary laws to protect against voter fraud.

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Election Laws
Amendment 16
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.4%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

Amending the election laws.

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Election Reform
Amendment 12
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 22.5%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Place limitations on elected officials’ compensation;

– Limit campaign contributions;

– Restrict districts’ use of funds to support or oppose a ballot issue;

– Allow for the recall of justices and judges;

– Amend petition provisions;

– Limit governing bodies to six bills each year that can be enacted as emergency measures, require a two-thirds vote to declare a measure an emergency; allow non-emergency state measures to become effective no sooner than 91 days after final adjournment; prohibit elected officials from re-adopting measures rejected by the people in a referendum election; require elected officials to obtain voter approval to amend, supersede, or repeal past or future voter-approved measures; and require a four-fifths majority vote to refer to the voters measures that amend, supersede, or repeal a petitioned constitutional or charter amendment.

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Eliminating Regular Session Bill Limitations and Limiting Length of Legislative Sessions
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1982Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.3%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 7 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of Colorado concerning the elimination of the limitation on enactment of bills at regular sessions of the general assembly convening in even-numbered years and providing that regular sessions of the general assembly convening in even-numbered years shall not exceed one hundred forty calendars days.

Energy Suppliers
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1974Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 82.8%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the supplying of energy and providing that cities and towns may become subscribers or shareholders in an corporations or companies and joint owners with any persons, corporations, or companies in order to effect the development of energy resources after discovery, or production, transportation, or transmission of energy.

Enforcement of Prohibition
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.9%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary

Enforcement of prohibition laws by search and seizure

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English as the Official Language
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1988Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.2%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to declare that the English language is the official language of the State of Colorado?

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English Language Education
Amendment 31
Election:
General

2002Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.6%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– requires that all public school students be taught in English unless they are exempted under the proposal;

– requires students who do not speak English (English learners) to be taught English through English language immersion programs and to be transferred to a regular
classroom, generally after one year;

– allows parents or legal guardians to request a waiver from English immersion requirements under certain circumstances and gives schools the power to approve or
deny the request;

– authorizes a parent or legal guardian to sue for enforcement of the proposal;

– requires all English learners in grades two through twelve to be tested annually in English using a nationally standardized test of academic subject matter.

Background

Current federal and state laws require school districts to identify English learners, to test their English proficiency annually, and to establish programs to teach these students the English skills necessary to participate in a school’s regular education program. Over 70,000 public school students, or approximately nine percent of Colorado’s public school enrollment, qualify as English learners.

Generally, these students receive English language assistance through one of the following types of programs.

– English as a Second Language: In English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, English learners are taught entirely in English or mainly in English with some native language assistance. Typically, ESL classes include students with different native languages. English learners may attend the ESL program for a part of the day to work strictly on English skills, or attend for a full day and focus both on English and other academic subjects.

– Bilingual education programs: In bilingual programs, English learners are taught academic subjects in their native language while learning English. Bilingual classes usually have students who share the same native language. The length and content of bilingual programs vary, with some programs emphasizing the development of native language skills more than others.

– Dual language programs or dual immersion programs: In dual language programs, subjects are taught in two languages in order to develop proficiency in both languages. Students in these programs may be fluent in English or be English learners.

Proposal for English immersion programs.

The proposal requires school districts to teach English learners in English immersion programs. In these immersion programs, students will be taught English and other academic subjects in English at a level appropriate to their language skills. Generally, the length of time for students to participate in the program is one year, after which time students will begin attending regular classes. School districts may place English learners of different
ages, but with similar English skills, in the same classroom. The proposal’s requirements do not apply to foreign language programs or to special education programs.

Parents or legal guardians may request a waiver from the English immersion program for their child. Students who may be eligible for a waiver include: students who already possess adequate English skills, students who are ten years of age or older, and students with special needs. School
officials decide whether to grant or deny the request for the waiver. Schools in which twenty or more students of the same grade level have received a waiver are required to offer a different type of program, such as a bilingual program. In all other cases, students with a waiver may transfer to a school that offers a different type of program of instruction.

Parents or legal guardians of any Colorado public school student may sue for enforcement of the proposal. Additionally, a school district employee or board member may be sued and may be held personally liable for “willfully and repeatedly” failing to implement English immersion programs. A final enforcement provision concerns parents of children with special needs. Parents who receive a waiver for their child with special needs have a ten-year window during which they may sue school officials for issuing the waiver, if the parents conclude that the waiver injured the education of their child.

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Equality of Rights of the Sexes
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1972Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.3%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article II of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, relating to equality of rights of the sexes.

Establishing a Racing Commission and Legalizing Horse and Dog Racing, and Allocating Revenues Therefrom 85% to the Counties and 15% for Information and Publicity
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1940Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.3%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing | Gambling & Lotteries | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Establishing the Office of State Printer and Printing Building Committee
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1924Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 12.5%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Establishment of State Health Care System Amendment
Amendment 69
Election:
General

2016Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 20.6% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
State Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
State taxes shall be increased $25 billion annually in the first full fiscal year, and by such amounts that are raised thereafter, by an amendment to the Colorado constitution establishing a health care payment system to fund health care for all individuals whose primary residence is in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, creating a governmental entity called ColoradoCare to administer the health care payment system; providing for the governance of ColoradoCare by an interim appointed board of trustees until an elected board of trustees takes responsibility; exempting ColoradoCare from the taxpayer’s bill of rights; assessing an initial tax on the total payroll from employers, payroll income from employees, and nonpayroll income at varying rates; increasing these tax rates when ColoradoCare begins making health care payments for beneficiaries; capping the total amount of income subject to taxation; authorizing the board to increase the taxes in specified circumstances upon approval of the members of ColoradoCare; requiring ColoradoCare to contract with health care providers to pay for specific health care benefits; transferring administration of the Medicaid and children’s basic health programs and all other state and federal health care funds for Colorado to ColoradoCare; transferring responsibility to ColoradoCare for medical care that would otherwise be paid for by workers’ compensation insurance; requiring ColoradoCare to apply for a waiver from the affordable care act to establish a Colorado health care payment system; and suspending the operations of the Colorado health benefit exchange and transferring its resources to ColoradoCare.

Ethics in Government
Amendment 41
Election:
General

2006Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 62.6%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 41 proposes to add a new Article XXIX to the Colorado Constitution that:

– prohibits elected state officials and certain elected local officials, appointed state and local officials, and government employees from accepting any amount of money or more than $50 in gifts in any calendar year from anyone except a relative or a personal friend on a special occasion;

– prohibits immediate family members of elected state officials and certain elected local officials, appointed state and local officials, and government employees from accepting more than $50 worth of gifts or other things of value in any calendar year that directly or indirectly benefit the public official or government employee;

– bans lobbyists from giving gifts or meals to any elected state official and certain elected local officials, appointed state and local officials, and government employees or to the immediate family members of these public officials and employees;

– prohibits statewide elected officeholders and state legislators from lobbying certain elected state officials for pay for two years after leaving office; and

– creates a five-member appointed ethics commission, with individual members having subpoena power, to investigate and hear state and local complaints, assess penalties, and advise government officials and employees when asked regarding the scope of the law.

Summary and Analysis

Acceptance of gifts by public officials. Current law prohibits an elected state official from accepting the following gifts in connection with the person’s public service:

– any money; or

– any equipment, supplies, or services worth more than $50, such as a fax machine, an office computer, a newspaper
subscription, or donated office space.

Other gifts are allowed, but some must be reported quarterly to the Secretary of State. The 30 prohibitions and reporting requirements apply to the following elected state officials, as well as candidates for these offices: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, state legislators, district attorneys, members of the State Board of Education, and regents of the University of Colorado.

Amendment 41 expands the current prohibitions to cover other gifts and things of value, such as favors or services, travel, meals, entertainment, and honoraria, as well as promises of future employment. Amendment 41 also extends the ban to apply to heads of departments of state government, salaried members of state boards and commissions, county and municipal officials, and most government employees, including independent contractors.

Gifts from lobbyists and lobbying by former elected state officials. Amendment 41 prohibits professional lobbyists from giving gifts of any kind, including meals, to public officials and government employees or their family members. It also prohibits statewide elected officeholders and state legislators from lobbying professionally for two years after leaving office. This restriction applies only to lobbying a state legislator or a statewide elected officeholder. Professional lobbying is when a person is paid to advocate an interest or position to policymakers.

Ethics commission. Under current law, public officials and government employees are subject to a code of ethics. Ethics complaints against statewide elected officeholders, governor appointees, and employees of state departments are reviewed by a board of ethics upon request of the governor. Complaints filed against legislators are heard by a committee made up of legislators at the discretion of legislative leadership. Many local governments also have procedures in place to handle ethics complaints.

Amendment 41 creates an ethics commission with jurisdiction over all state, county, and municipal officials and employees. The commission’s purpose is to hear complaints, issue findings, assess penalties, and issue advisory opinions. Any person can file a complaint with the commission alleging a violation of the proposal, or any other standard of conduct or reporting requirement specified in law. The commission must investigate the complaint, hold a public hearing, and issue findings, unless the complaint is found to be frivolous. The commission has the power to subpoena documents or witnesses. It can also assess penalties if it finds an ethics violation occurred. In addition to investigating complaints, the commission can issue advisory opinions in response to a written request from a public official or government employee.

The commission consists of five people. The state senate, the state house of representatives, the governor, and the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court each appoint one person to the commission. The fifth person is a local government official or local government employee selected by the other members. No more than two members may be from the same political party, and members must have been continuously registered with the same political party, or continuously unaffiliated, for at least two years before their appointment. Amendment 41 is silent on holding individual commission members accountable for any malfeasance committed while acting in their official capacity as members of the independent ethics commission.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Amendment 41 is expected to increase state government expenditures and state, county, and municipal government revenues. The increase in expenditures will depend upon the number of staff employed by the ethics commission and the cost of office space and supplies. Staff will be needed to investigate complaints, advise the commission, and prepare subpoenas. State revenues will increase to the extent that public officials and employees are fined for ethics violations. Most existing ethics laws and standards are similar to this proposal. As such, any state or local government revenue from fines is anticipated to be minimal.

[CA]


Examinations of Teachers
Amendment 31
Election:
General

1912Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.9%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary
Concerning examinations of teachers

Excess State Revenues for Math and Science Grants
Referendum F
Election:
General

2000Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary

Legislative Statute

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Allows the state to keep and spend the first $50 million in excess of the
state’s constitutional revenue limit for each of the next five years (up to $250 million total); specifies that these moneys be used to distribute grants to school districts for math and science programs; creates a 16-member review committee to administer the program and to award grants to school districts; gives priority to low-income and poorly performing school districts, and to programs with the greatest potential for improving academic performance in math and science; and excludes the money in the proposal from state and school district revenue and spending limits, and reduces taxpayer refunds.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal:

Excess state revenue. The state constitution limits annual growth in state revenue to inflation and the annual percentage change in state population. Revenue above this limit must be refunded to taxpayers unless the voters allow the state to keep and spend the excess state revenue. The proposal asks the voters to allow the state to keep and spend $50 million in excess state revenue for each of the next five years. If excess state revenue is less than $50 million in any year, the state would keep the entire amount. The proposal would reduce the average tax refund by approximately $18 per taxpayer or $36 for a married couple in each of the next five years. The total five-year impact would be $90 per taxpayer or $180 for a married couple.

Establishment of a grant program for school funding. The proposal creates a 16-member committee to oversee a performance grant program to distribute money to school districts for math and science programs. The committee, which is authorized to establish rules for the administration of the program, will consist of the seven members of the State Board of Education, three members appointed by the Governor, three state Senators, and three state Representatives.

The proposal sets forth requirements for grant applications and criteria for the committee to consider in awarding grants. Individual schools, including charter schools, must apply for the program through their local school district. In awarding grants, priority must be given to: school districts with an above average percentage of poor students; school districts with below average academic performance in math and science; and programs that have the greatest potential for improving student academic performance in math and science.


Excluding from Civil Service the Director of the Water Conservation Board
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1954Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.4%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Natural Resources | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Exempt Certain Possessory Interests From Property Taxes Amendment
Amendment U
Election:
General

2016Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 43.4% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Exempts from property taxation for a possessory interest in real property if the actual value of the interest is less than or equal to six thousand dollars or such amount adjusted for inflation

Exempt District Attorneys from Term Limits
Referendum A
Election:
General

2002Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.9%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | Term Limits

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution eliminates term limits for elected district attorneys.

Background

Term limits. Colorado has term limits for elected state and local officials. The Colorado Constitution limits the length of office for the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, and attorney general to two consecutive four-year terms. Members of the Colorado legislature may serve up to four consecutive two-year terms in the House of Representatives and two consecutive four-year terms in the Senate. Members of the State Board of Education and the University of Colorado Board of Regents are limited to two consecutive six-year terms.

The maximum term of office for local elected officials is two consecutive terms. Although not expressly stated in the Constitution, the Colorado Attorney General interprets the limits on terms of local elected officials to also apply to elected district attorneys. The Colorado Constitution allows the voters of a political subdivision to eliminate or change the term limits for a local official. However, the Colorado Secretary of State determined that only the state legislature can put a proposal before the voters of a
judicial district to alter term limits for that district. District attorney term limits can also be altered through
a constitutional amendment. This proposal amends the Constitution to repeal term limits for district attorneys.

District attorneys. Colorado is divided into 22 judicial districts. The voters in each judicial district elect one district attorney who is responsible for the prosecution of criminal cases in that district. The district attorney determines which crimes to prosecute and recommends a penalty to the court. The district attorney also provides legal advice to police officers, assists in preparing search warrants, advises grand jury investigations, and may defend the counties of the district in court. In addition, the district attorney oversees an office of deputy district attorneys and support staff and prepares and administers a
budget for the office. The Colorado Constitution requires a district attorney to be a licensed attorney for at least five years prior to being elected and to be a resident of the district throughout his or her term in office. A district attorney’s term of office is four years.


Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property
Amendment R
Election:
General

2010Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.4%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | State Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment R proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to eliminate property taxes for individuals or businesses that use government-owned property for a private benefit worth $6,000 or less in market value.

Summary and Analysis

Property taxes and possessory interests. Property taxes are based on the value of land, homes, buildings, and business equipment. Individuals and businesses pay property taxes to various local governments, such as cities, counties, school districts, and special districts. Property taxes pay for a variety of local government services, including public education, police and fire services, the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, parks and recreation facilities, hospitals, and libraries.

When an individual or business uses government-owned land or equipment for private purposes, a possessory interest is created. Although government-owned property is exempt from taxes, the benefit that a business or individual obtains from using that land or equipment is not. For example, some ranchers lease land from the federal government for cattle grazing. Other businesses lease land to provide a recreational activity, such as skiing or river rafting. Under current law, the value of a private benefit is considered a possessory interest and is subject to property taxes.

The market value of all possessory interests in Colorado is about $300 million, which is less than 0.1 percent of the total market value of all property in the state. At this value, total property tax payments for possessory interests are approximately $6 million annually. There are about 7,000 possessory interests in the state, which pay an average of $850 in property taxes annually.

How does Amendment R change the taxation of possessory interests? Starting in 2012, Amendment R exempts a possessory interest from property taxation if the market value of the interest is $6,000 or less, which equates to a maximum tax payment of $120 annually, depending on local tax rates. For example, most cattle grazing leases with the federal government have a market value below $6,000, and therefore this private benefit would not be taxed. In contrast, the value of private benefits obtained by ski areas exceed the $6,000 threshold and will continue to be taxed at the full value. In budget year 2012-13, the measure is expected to reduce property taxes statewide by $160,000. Every two years, the $6,000 threshold is increased to account for inflation.


Exempting Real and Personal Property of Churches, Schools, and Cemeteries, in Certain Cases, from Taxation, Unless Otherwise Provided for by Law
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1936Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 67.2%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Exemption from State Personnel System
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1976Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 23.6%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Section 13 of Article XII of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, to allow exemption by law from the state personnel system of the heads of divisions of principal departments in the Executive Department of the state, the heads of state correctional, mental, and mental retardation institutions, and the personal secretary to the executive director of each principal department.

Exempts Food from State Sales and Use Taxes
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1976Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.9%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to exempt food and food products, with certain exceptions, from state sales and use taxes and repeal the food sales tax credit, to require the General Assembly to enact severance taxes and corporate income taxes to offset any revenue lost therefrom, and to provide penalties for Legislators if such severance and corporate income taxes are not enacted in 1977.

[S]


Financial Disclosure, Lobbyist Regulation, and Open Meetings
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1972Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.1%)

Topic Areas:
Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance | Legislatures | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to Amend Chapters 3 and 63, C.R.S. 1963, as amended, by adding three new Articles which require, first that public officials disclose their private interest; second that all lobbyists register and file periodic informational statements; and third, that all official State meetings be open to the public.

[S]


Fixing Hours of Employment for City Fire Departments
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1920Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.8%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Funding for Public Schools
Amendment 66
Election:
General

2013Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 35 %)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 66 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution and the Colorado Statutes to change how the state funds public preschool through twelfth grade (P-12) education by raising taxes to increase the amount of money available, changing how the state distributes funding to school districts, and requiring that a fixed percentage of revenue from certain state taxes be annually set aside for schools. Specifically, the measure:

1. ? raises the state individual income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 5.0 percent on the first $75,000 of taxable income and to 5.9 percent on any taxable income over $75,000 and deposits the additional tax revenue in a separate fund to pay for public education;

2. ? implements legislation passed by the state legislature creating a new formula for allocating state and local funding to school districts;

3. ? repeals the constitutional requirement that base per pupil funding for public education increase by at least the rate of inflation annually; and

4. ? requires that at least 43 percent of state income, sales, and excise tax revenue, collected at existing tax rates, be set aside annually to pay for public education.


Funding for Public Schools
Amendment 23
Election:
General

2000Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary

Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Increases per pupil funding for public schools and total state funding for
special purpose education programs by at least the rate of inflation plus one percentage point for the next ten years and by at least the rate of inflation thereafter; sets aside a portion of the state’s income tax revenue to establish the State Education Fund and exempts this money from state and school district revenue and spending limits, thereby decreasing tax refunds when excess revenue exists; allows moneys from the State Education Fund to be used to meet the funding requirements of the proposal; and requires state aid under the school finance act to increase by at least five percent annually.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal:

Financing public school education. Colorado public schools receive funding from a variety of sources. Last year, public schools received an estimated $5.0 billion, for an average of $7,323 per pupil. This proposal changes funding
received by schools under the state school finance act and for special purpose programs. As indicated in Graph 1, about 70 percent of the total money received by schools was allocated through these two funding mechanisms. Under current law, the legislature determines any increase or decrease in funding provided through these two mechanisms. Under this proposal, the state constitution sets a minimum increase in funding.

School finance act. Under the school finance act, every school district starts with the same per pupil funding amount called the “base.” The base is then adjusted in each school district for special district characteristics such as the number of students and the local community’s cost of living. This proposal requires a minimum increase in the base equal to the rate of inflation plus one percentage point for the next ten years, and inflation thereafter. This year, the base in the school finance act is $4,00o, which results in an average per pupil funding of $5,175. Under the proposal, if inflation is 3.7 percent in each of the next ten years, the base will increase by at least 58 percent to $6,335, for an average per pupil funding level of $8,192. Per pupil funding under the school finance act is paid for from state and local taxes. On average, 57 percent comes from the state and 43 percent from local taxes. The proposal requires the amount provided by the state to increase by at least five percent annually for the next ten years, unless Colorado personal income grows less than four and one-half percent between the two previous calendar years. The state aid that would be affected by this proposal is $1.98 billion. With five percent annual growth rate, the state aid in ten years must be at least $3.22 billion.

Special purpose programs. The state currently spends $140.5 million on special purpose programs which provide funding for transportation; English education for non-English-speaking students; expelled, suspended, and at-risk
students; special education, including gifted and talented students; vocational education; small attendance centers; and comprehensive health education. This proposal requires a minimum increase in total funding for these and any other special purpose programs designated by the state legislature. The increase must be equal to the rate of inflation plus one percentage point for the next ten years, and inflation thereafter. If inflation is 3.7 percent in each of the next ten years, the $140.5 million will increase by at least 58 percent to $222 million.

State Education Fund. The proposal creates the State Education Fund and requires that the revenue from a tax of one-third of one percent of Colorado’s taxable income be deposited in the fund every year. Given the current income tax rate of 4.63 percent, one-third of one percent is 7.2 percent of the total state income tax collected. State officials estimate revenue to the fund will total $313 million in 2001, growing to $638 million in 2010, and increasing each year thereafter. The total for the first ten years is estimated to be $4.58 billion. The state legislature can use money in the fund to pay for the increase in this proposal in the base under the school finance act, as long as it is in addition to the five percent increase in state aid. The fund may also be used for the required increase in special purpose programs and for educational reforms, class size reduction, technology education, student safety programs, performance incentives for teachers, and public school building capital construction.

Excess state revenues. The state constitution limits most annual growth in state revenue to inflation and the annual percentage change in state population. Revenue above this limit must be refunded to taxpayers unless the voters allow the state to keep and spend it. Under current economic projections, moneys deposited in the State Education Fund under this proposal will reduce excess state revenues by $313 million in the first year and $4.58 billion over the first ten years. This money would otherwise be refunded to taxpayers. The proposal would reduce the average tax refund by approximately $113 per taxpayer or $226 for a married couple in the first year. The total ten-year impact would be approximately $1,500 per taxpayer or $3,000 for a married couple.

Fiscal Impact: The Office of State Planning and Budgeting foresees that the measure will have a state fiscal impact based on the increases in funding for preschool through twelfth grade public education and categorical funding and the increases in total program funding required by the measure. In addition, the measure excludes approximately $320 million in revenue from the constitutional limitation on fiscal year revenue. In good economic times, such as the State is currently experiencing, this means that the amount of excess revenues that must be refunded to citizens will be reduced by approximately $320 million. The $320 million not refunded would then be available to offset the cost of the increased funding for education that is required by the measure. However, when economic conditions are poor, excess revenues may decline over time. Under these circumstances, this measure may require decreases in funding for other State programs.

[CA]


Giving General Assembly or People Power to Exempt Certain Intangibles from ad Valorem Taxation and to Impose an Income Tax in Lieu Thereof
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1922Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 26.1%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Giving General Assembly Power to Enact Laws for Motor Vehicle Registration Taxes and Fees in Lieu of ad Valorem Taxes
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1926Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.8%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving General Assembly Power to Fix Salaries of County and Precinct Officers, Such Salaries Not Necessarily to Be Paid Only from Fees Collected
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1926Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.7%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Legislatures | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving General Assembly Power to Fix Salaries of State Officers
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1924Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34.2%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving General Assembly Power to Fix Salaries of the Governor, Secretary to the Governor, Justices of the Supreme Court, and District Court Judges
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1926Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 47.7%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary | Labor & Employment | Legislatures | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving General Assembly Power to Fix Salaries of the Governor, Secretary to the Governor, Justices of the Supreme Court, and District Court Judges
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1928Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.1%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary | Labor & Employment | Legislatures | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving General Assembly Power to Provide for a Graduated Income Tax
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1936Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.2%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving General Assembly Power to Provide for a Graduated Income Tax for State Purposes, Abolishing Property Taxes for State Purposes, and Giving Any Excess Revenue to Public Schools
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1932Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 27.5%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to to amend Sec 3 of Art X of the State Constitution concerning taxation: authorizing the General Assembly to provide for graduated and/or proportional income taxes and exemptions: providing a limitation of direct property tax for state purposes: and providing the excess revenue be apportioned to the public schools.

[CA]


Giving General Assembly Power to Provide for Manufacture and Sale of Intoxicating Liquors for Intrastate Use, Subject to U.S. Constitution
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1926Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.1%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving General Assembly Power to Provide for Property Rights of Aliens Ineligible for Citizenship
Amendment 10
Election:
General

1922Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.1%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Land Use/Property Rights

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Giving People the Sole Power to Impose or Approve the Imposition of Excise Taxes through the Initiative and Referendum
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1934Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.9%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


GOCO Bonds for Open Space
Referendum A
Election:
General

2001Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.6%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures | Environmental Protection | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

The ballot question allows the board of directors of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to borrow money to assist local governments, state agencies, and nonprofit land conservation organizations with the preservation of land for open space, parks, and wildlife habitat by issuing bonds that would be repaid from lottery proceeds; and limits the amount of money that GOCO may borrow to $115 million and the total repayment cost, including interest, to $180 million with no increase in taxes.

Background

What is GOCO?

The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) program was created in 1992 to distribute a portion of the proceeds from the Colorado Lottery in substantially equal shares to four categories: wildlife, outdoor recreation, open space, and related local government projects. GOCO awards grants to cities and towns, park and recreation districts, nonprofit land conservation organizations, the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Some GOCO grants are used to buy land, although GOCO cannot acquire land in its own name. GOCO is governed by a 15-member board appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

Under the Colorado Constitution, GOCO receives 50 percent of the state’s net lottery proceeds, up to a cap that is adjusted for inflation each year. Last year, GOCO’s share of the lottery proceeds was $39.5 million. Through June 2001, GOCO awarded $265.9 million in grants for 1,678 projects across the state.

What does this ballot proposal allow?

The proposal allows GOCO to borrow up to $115 million to help acquire land. The total repayment cost on the borrowed money (both principal and interest) cannot exceed $180 million. Any borrowed money must be repaid within 20 years from GOCO’s future lottery revenues.

GOCO may borrow money only for permanent land acquisitions that the board determines are urgent. The borrowed money may be used to finance the purchase of both land and perpetual conservation easements, which permanently restrict how a parcel of land is used. GOCO decides whether and when to borrow money, the interest rate and length of borrowing, and which parcels of land to buy with borrowed money.

How does borrowing affect the amount of land that can be purchased?

The relationship between the rate of change in land prices and the cost of borrowing determines how much land can be purchased under this proposal. If land prices increase at a faster rate than the interest rate on the borrowed money, borrowing allows GOCO to finance the purchase of more land. If the value of land that is acquired under this proposal declines or increases at a slower rate than the interest rate paid on the bonds, borrowing reduces the amount of land that can be purchased.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

The proposal authorizes GOCO to issue up to $115 million in debt, with a maximum repayment cost, including interest, of $180 million. The term of any debt is limited to 20 years. The proposal does not increase state or local taxes, nor does it affect the amount of taxpayer refunds from either the state or local governments.


Headless Ballot
Amendment 20
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.3%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

Amending election laws and providing for a “headless ballot.”

[S]


Health Care Choice
Amendment 63
Election:
General

2010Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.9%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Federal Government | Health | Insurance

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 63 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– add health care choice as a constitutional right;

– prohibit the state from requiring or enforcing any requirement that a person participate in a public or private health coverage plan; and

– restrict the state from limiting a person’s ability to make or receive direct 6 payments for lawful health care services.

Summary and Analysis

Amendment 63 adds health care choice as a right listed in the bill of rights in the Colorado Constitution. The measure specifies that the right to health care choice limits the ability of state government to either require health insurance or any other type of health care coverage, or to restrict direct payments for health care services.

Health care coverage requirements. Colorado law does not require a person to have any type of health care coverage. A person may purchase coverage from a private insurer; participate in an employer-provided health plan; choose to enroll in a public program such as Medicaid and Medicare, if eligible; or have no coverage. If a person does not have health care coverage, or if his or her plan does not cover a specific service, services may be paid for out-of-pocket.

In March 2010, a package of federal health care laws was adopted by the United States Congress and signed by the President. Beginning in 2014, most people are required to provide proof of acceptable health care coverage to the Internal Revenue Service. Persons without coverage are subject to a federal tax penalty.

Payments for health care services. Currently, health care services can be paid for by health insurance companies, the government, patients, or some combination of these sources. When an individual has coverage, a third party, such as an insurance company or the government, negotiates with the provider to establish a price for health care services. Direct payments refer to when a person pays a provider directly, without seeking approval or reimbursement from a third party. No state or federal law prohibits a person from seeking services outside of a health care plan and paying a provider directly.

Effects of Amendment 63. Amendment 63 does not change current health care coverage requirements, but it places restrictions on what the state may require in the future. For example, the state may offer new health coverage plans but, under Amendment 62, could not require a person to join a plan. The measure prohibits the state from: requiring a person to obtain health care coverage, regulating direct payments, or penalizing a person for either participating or not participating in any particular plan. The measure does not apply to workers’ compensation insurance or mandatory emergency medical care.

Amendment 63 also prohibits the state from enforcing health care coverage requirements at the direction of the federal government. However, the measure does not impact the federal government’s ability to enforce the coverage requirements created by federal health care laws. Coloradans are still required to have acceptable coverage under federal law beginning in 2014.

[CA]


Highway Construction
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 68.5%)

Topic Areas:
Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Increasing the state road fund by 1/2 mill for highway construction.

[S]


Highway Users Tax Fund
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1974Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.1%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, removing the proceeds of the motor fuel tax on aviation fuel from the highway users tax fund.

Holding a Constitutional Convention to Revise, Alter, and Amend the State Constitution
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1922Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.3%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Holding of a State Constitutional Convention
Question
Election:
General

1916Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 43.5%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Home Rule
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1970Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65.6%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to articles XI, XIV, and XX of the constitution of the State of Colorado, relating to local government, and providing for home rule and service authorities.

Home Rule
Amendment 14
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.6%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Granting home rule for cities and towns

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Horse Racetrack Limited Gaming Proceeds for K-12 Education
Amendment 68
Election:
General

2014Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 29.6% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary
SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED $114,500,000 ANNUALLY IN THE FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR, AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS THAT ARE RAISED THEREAFTER, BY IMPOSING A NEW TAX ON AUTHORIZED HORSE RACETRACKS’ ADJUSTED GROSS PROCEEDS FROM LIMITED GAMING TO INCREASE STATEWIDE FUNDING FOR K-12 EDUCATION, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, AMENDING THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION TO PERMIT LIMITED GAMING IN ADDITION TO PRE-EXISTING PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING AT ONE QUALIFIED HORSE RACETRACK IN EACH OF THE COUNTIES OF ARAPAHOE, MESA, AND PUEBLO; AUTHORIZING HOST COMMUNITIES TO IMPOSE IMPACT FEES ON HORSE RACETRACKS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT LIMITED GAMING; ALLOWING ALL RESULTING REVENUE TO BE COLLECTED AND SPENT NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LIMITATIONS PROVIDED BY LAW; AND ALLOCATING THE RESULTING TAX REVENUES TO A FUND TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND THE CHARTER SCHOOL INSTITUTE FOR K-12 EDUCATION?

Immigration Lawsuit Against Federal Government
Referendum K
Election:
General

2006Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 55.7%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Federal Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Referendum K proposes a change to the Colorado statutes that:

– requires the state of Colorado to sue the federal government to demand enforcement of existing federal immigration laws.

Summary and Analysis

Federal immigration law determines which foreign-born individuals may enter the country, establishes procedures to become a U.S. citizen, and specifies how these laws are enforced. States cannot impose penalties for violations of federal immigration laws. States can adopt some laws related to immigration, for instance, some states, including Colorado, have laws prohibiting the expenditure of tax dollars to provide certain government services to illegal immigrants.

Referendum K directs the Colorado attorney general to initiate, or join other states in, a lawsuit against the U.S. attorney general to demand that the federal government enforce existing federal immigration laws. These attorneys general are the main legal advisors and law enforcement officers of the state of Colorado and the United States, respectively.

Several states have unsuccessfully sued the federal government to demand enforcement of immigration laws and to recover costs related to the education, incarceration, and health care of illegal immigrants, arguing that the costs result from the federal government’s failure to enforce its laws. The Colorado legislature recently passed two laws that direct the state attorney general to take all available steps to make the federal government pay state costs related to illegal immigration. These steps could include suing the federal government.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Referendum K is expected to cost the state $190,000 annually until the lawsuit is resolved. The state attorney general’s office will require two new attorneys plus support staff for time and work associated with the lawsuit.

[S]


Imposing License Fees on Chain Stores
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1934Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 55.8%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Income Tax Credit for Education
Amendment 17
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.7%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning the establishment of an income tax credit for parents or legal guardians of children enrolled in public, non-public schools and non-public home-based educational programs, and in connection therewith, requiring the General Assembly to establish an income tax credit for income tax years beginning in 1999.

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Income, Motor Vehicle and Telecommunications Taxes and Fees
Proposition 101
Election:
General

2010Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.3%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Telecom & Info Technology | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Proposition 101 proposes amending the Colorado statutes to:

– reduce the state income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent in 2011, and to 3.5 percent gradually over time;

– reduce or eliminate taxes and fees on vehicle purchases, registrations, leases, and rentals over the next four years;

– eliminate all state and local taxes and fees on telecommunication services, except 911 fees; and

– require voter approval to create or increase fees on vehicles and telecommunication services.

Summary and Analysis

Proposition 101 reduces or eliminates various taxes and fees on income, vehicles, and telecommunication services. Some of the reductions in Proposition 101 are phased in over time. The impact will be smaller in the first year and will grow in size over the next 15 to 20 years. Estimates of the impact in the first year, as well as the impact once the reductions are fully implemented, are based on today’s dollars. The fully implemented impacts provide the best estimates of the measure’s final effects. Although the actual dollar amounts will differ in the future as inflation and growth increase the size of the economy, the comparable budget impacts on taxpayers and governments are expected to remain consistent over time.

In the first year, the tax and fee reductions are expected to be $1.4 billion — $744 million in state reductions and $629 million in local government reductions. Once fully implemented, the impact is expected to be $2.9 billion in today’s dollars — $1.9 billion in state reductions and $1.0 billion in local government reductions.

Impact on households and businesses. Households and businesses will be impacted differently depending on annual income, vehicles owned, vehicles purchased, and the amount paid for phone and cable service. Households and businesses will experience additional reductions during years in which vehicles are rented, leased, or purchased.

Impact on government budgets. As a result of the decrease in tax and fee collections, state and local governments will have to decrease spending and services, increase fees to pay for services, or some combination of both.

Impact on local government budgets. Local governments will collect less money from vehicle specific ownership taxes and sales taxes. Local governments affected by the measure include school districts, cities, counties, and special districts. Some examples of special districts include recreation, fire, water, sewer, and public transportation districts. The money collected in taxes and fees pays for different services depending on the local government. Most of the money is used for education, public safety, roads, trash service, and parks and recreation. State law requires that school districts be reimbursed by the state for most of their loss in tax collections.

Impact on the state government operating budget. The state government will collect less money from sales taxes, income taxes, and telecommunication fees. The state spends 96 percent of its general operating budget on: preschool through higher education; health care; prisons; the courts; and programs that help low-income, elderly, and disabled people. Proposition 101 will reduce the amount of money available to pay for the state’s general operating budget by an estimated 6 percent in the first year and by an estimated 23 percent once fully implemented. Current law requires the state to reimburse school districts for most of their loss of vehicle specific ownership taxes. This obligation increases the total impact on the state general operating budget during the first year from $450 million to $497 million, and when fully implemented, from $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion.

Impact on state and local government transportation budgets. Proposition 101 reduces funding dedicated to transportation budgets. The state constitution requires that vehicle-related fees collected by the state be spent on road safety, construction, and maintenance. This money is shared between the state, cities, and counties. The state’s transportation budget will decrease by an estimated 28 percent from these fee reductions. The impact on city and county government transportation budgets will vary by government. Because cuts affecting transportation budgets are immediate.

State Income Tax

Households and businesses pay taxes on their income to both the state and federal governments. The state’s income tax rate is a flat 4.63 percent and is the same for all income levels and for both households and businesses. The state income tax is the largest source of money the state receives to pay for its main programs.

Proposition 101 gradually lowers the state income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 3.5 percent over time. The rate is first lowered to 4.5 percent starting in 2011. This will reduce income tax collections to the state by an estimated $145 million, or 3 percent. The tax bill for a household with an annual income of $55,000 will be reduced by $40 in 2011. In the future, the rate is reduced by 0.1 percentage point each year in which state income tax collections grow by more than 6 percent. For example, if tax collections increase fast enough, the income tax rate will decrease from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent in 2012. This will occur until the income tax rate decreases to 3.5 percent.

When the tax rate is fully reduced, income tax collections to the state will be an estimated 26 percent less, or $1.3 billion in today’s dollars lower than what they would have been without Proposition 101. The tax bill for a household with an annual income of $55,000 will be reduced by $320 when the cut is fully phased in. Because income tax collections historically have not grown by more than 6 percent every year, it will likely take 15 to 20 years for the tax rate to decline to 3.5 percent.

Vehicle Fees and Taxes

Proposition 101 reduces several types of vehicle fees and taxes. Sales tax reductions on vehicle purchases and specific ownership tax reductions are phased in over a four-year period, while all other vehicle fee and tax changes occur in 2011. The total amount of the reduction in vehicle fees and taxes, when fully implemented, is estimated at $1.3 billion in today’s dollars.

Vehicle owners. Upon purchase, vehicle buyers are required to pay sales tax. In addition, each year vehicle owners must register their vehicle(s) with the state and pay registration fees and a specific ownership tax. Proposition 101 reduces all three taxes and fees.

Vehicle sales tax. Sales taxes are paid on the purchase of a new or used vehicle. The tax is applied to the price of the vehicle, including any manufacturer’s rebate. The total tax rate is a 2.9 percent state rate plus any applicable local government sales tax rates. Because different local governments have different tax rates, the sales tax a buyer pays differs depending on where the buyer lives. The average combined sales tax rate is close to 7 percent.

Proposition 101 reduces the sales taxes due on vehicle purchases by exempting the first $10,000 of the vehicle’s price and any manufacturer’s rebate from the sales tax. The $10,000 exemption is phased in over a four-year period beginning in 2011. When fully implemented, vehicles worth $10,000 or less will not have a sales tax bill. Vehicles with greater values will receive a $10,000 exemption. For example, a vehicle purchased for $18,000 will be taxed only on $8,000 of the value. This sales tax cut will reduce local government tax collections by an estimated $195 million, or 6 percent, and state government tax collections by an estimated $140 million, or 7 percent.

Vehicle registration and licensing fees. Vehicle owners pay registration fees each year. Most fees vary according to vehicle weight, age, and value. While most of the money pays for roads and bridges, some pays for services like emergency medical services, vehicle emissions reduction programs, the Colorado State Patrol, and snow plowing.

Beginning in 2011, Proposition 101 combines all registration, licensing, and titling fees into a single $10 annual fee, with the exception of vehicle inspection and new license plate fees. The average registration and licensing fee for vehicle owners would fall from $81 to $10 and the amount collected by state and local governments would decrease by about $300 million, or 88 percent.

Vehicle specific ownership tax. Vehicle owners also pay a specific ownership tax each year when registering a vehicle. The specific ownership tax is a property tax on a vehicle. The tax ranges from 0.45 percent to 2.10 percent of the vehicle’s taxable value, based on the vehicle’s original recommended retail price. As a vehicle ages, the tax rate is reduced. The minimum specific ownership tax is either $3 or $5 per vehicle, depending on the type of vehicle. Counties collect specific ownership taxes and distribute them to schools, cities, counties, and special districts within their boundaries.

Proposition 101 phases in a cut to specific ownership taxes over four years, beginning in 2011. It also requires permission from voters to create or increase future registration and licensing fees. Table 3 shows the change in vehicle owners’ bills and state and local government collections.

Vehicle lessees. Like vehicle owners, persons who lease vehicles must pay sales taxes, registration fees, and specific ownership taxes each year. Proposition 101 reduces or ends all three taxes and fees for vehicle leases.

Vehicle sales tax and specific ownership tax. Proposition 101 eliminates sales taxes and annual specific ownership taxes on leased vehicles beginning in 2011. This will reduce state and local sales tax collections by an estimated $65 million per year,or 1 percent. It will also eliminate all specific ownership taxes collected by local governments on leased vehicles.

Vehicle registration and licensing fees. Leased vehicles are also required to be registered with the state and lessees must pay annual registration fees. Beginning in 2011, Proposition 101 eliminates all registration fees and imposes a single $10 fee per vehicle, resulting in a reduction of $71 for vehicle lessees. The measure reduces state and local collections by approximately $75 million per year.

Vehicle renters.

The state charges a fee of $2 per day for car rentals. The money is shared by the state, cities, and counties to build, repair, and maintain roads and bridges. Sales tax is also applied, with revenue going to the state and local governments. Proposition 101 eliminates the fee and all sales taxes beginning in 2011. As a result, state and local transportation budgets will have an estimated $19 million less per year in fee collections and $80 million less in sales tax collections.

Other vehicle fees. The state also charges use and permitting fees for large and overweight vehicles that use Colorado roads. A passenger mile tax is also charged for passenger bus or shuttle businesses. Proposition 101 eliminates these fees beginning in 2011, resulting in $56 million less in state funds, reducing charges to trucking and carrier companies by a like amount.

Telecommunication Fees and Taxes

21 Proposition 101 eliminates state and local sales tax and other fees on customer bills for any kind of telecommunications service, except for existing 911 fees. The measure lists the following as telecommunication services, even though some of them are not currently taxed: phone, pager, cable, television, radio, Internet, computer, and satellite services. Currently, the state and some local governments charge sales tax on a portion of the cost of phone and pager services, and some local governments charge sales tax on cable services. State fees that are eliminated include fees that help telephone companies provide access to phone service in rural areas of the state, to the blind, deaf, or speech impaired, and to low-income people. How the elimination of these telephone fees will affect these services is unclear and would likely be determined by the state legislature. However, telephone services for the deaf or speech impaired are required by federal law. Thus, its likely that another funding source will have to be found to continue to provide these services. Local governments may have other fees, such as television franchise fees, that may be eliminated.

Proposition 101 freezes 911 fees at their 2009 level. These fees differ from county to county and ranged from 43 cents to $1.25 per month in 2009. The 911 fees are charged by local governments to help pay for 911 emergency services.

The reduction in a household or business’s telecommunications bill depends on how much it spends on taxable phone and cable. Tax and fee collections by local governments would be reduced by at least $194 million each year. Tax and fee collections to the state government would be reduced by an estimated $183 million each year.

New voter approval requirements. Proposition 101 redefines all telecommunication fees and most vehicle fees as taxes. Because the state constitution requires a vote to increase taxes but not to increase fees, governments will need to ask voters for permission to create new or increase existing vehicle or telecommunication charges in the future. Proposition 101 excludes vehicle-related fines, parking fees, tolls, vehicle impound fees, vehicle identification and emission inspection fees, and new license plate fees from this requirement.

How does Proposition 101 interact with two other measures on the ballot?
Proposition 101 along with Amendment 60 and Amendment 61 contain provisions that affect state and local government finances by decreasing taxes paid by households and businesses and restricting government borrowing. How these measures work together may require clarification from the state legislature or the courts.

Proposition 101 reduces state and local government taxes and fees. Amendment 60 reduces local property taxes, while requiring state expenditures for K-12 education to increase by an amount that offsets the property tax loss for school districts. Amendment 61 requires state and local governments to decrease tax rates when debt is repaid, which is assumed in this analysis to apply to the existing debt of state and local governments, and it prohibits any borrowing by state government.

Since portions of these measures are phased in over time, the actual impacts to taxpayers and governments will be less in the initial years of implementation and grow over time. Assuming that all three measures are approved by voters, the first-year impact will be to reduce state taxes and fees by $744 million and increase state spending for K-12 education by $385 million. Once fully implemented, the measures are estimated to reduce state taxes and fees by $2.1 billion and increase state spending for K-12 education by $1.6 billion in today’s dollars. This would commit almost all of the state’s general operating budget to paying for the constitutional and statutory requirements of K-12 education, leaving little for other government services. In addition, the prohibition on borrowing will increase budget pressures for the state if it chooses to pay for capital projects from its general operating budget. This would further reduce the amount of money available for other government services.

Tax and fee collections for local governments are expected to fall by at least $966 million in the first year of implementation and by $4.7 billion when the measures are fully implemented. However, the net impact on local government budgets would be at least $581 million in the first year and $3.1 billion when fully implemented after the state reimburses school districts.

Total taxes and fees paid by households and businesses are estimated to decrease by $1.7 billion in the first year and $6.8 billion per year in today’s dollars when the measures are fully implemented. The measures reduce the taxes and fees owed by an average household making $55,000 per year that owns a $295,000 house by an estimated $400 in the first year and $1,660 per year when fully implemented.

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Increase and Creation of Graduated Taxes on Incomes Above $150,000 and Increase in Corporate Taxes to Fund Public Schools Initiative
Amendment 73
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.4%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
The measure creates a graduated income tax and increases income taxes on incomes above $150,000. It also increases the corporate income tax by 1.37 percent. The funds will create the Quality Education Fund, which will be exempt from the TABOR revenue limit, supplement the general fund, and adjusted each year for inflation (to maximum of 5 percent). The fund will be used to increase the funding for the per-pupil basis, special education, preschool, English language, and gifted students and increase kindergarten funding to provide full-day school.

Increasing the Tax on Oleomargarine from 10 to 15 Cents per Pound
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1932Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.2%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing | Business & Commerce | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Initiative and Referendum Process
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1980Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.1%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

[Official ballot title not available]

An amendment to Articles V and XIX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the initiative and referendum process, and providing that an elector must be registered in order to sign a petition for an initiated or referred measure and that the proposed initiative measures shall be submitted to the legislative research and drafting offices of the General Assembly for review and comment at a meeting open to the public before a ballot title is fixed.


Initiatives
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.1%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing that initiated measures rejected by the people cannot be again initiated for six years, and that, if two conflicting measures are adopted at the same election, the one receiving the largest affirmative vote shall prevail.

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James Peak Tunnel
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1912Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.0%)

Topic Areas:
Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
Construction of a tunnel through James Peak

Joint Election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1968Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 67.8%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, providing for the election of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor jointly by the casting by each voter of a single vote applicable to both offices.

Judge Retention Single Ballot Question Amendment
Amendment W
Election:
General

2018Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 53.8%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary
Allows county clerks to use a single question concerning the retention of judges, instead of requiring clerks to repeat the same retention question for each judge on a ballot.

Juries
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.4%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for a three-fourths jury verdict in civil cases and permitting women to serve on juries if they desire.

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Juvenile Courts
Amendment 22
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.5%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice | Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for juvenile courts in cities and counties of 100,000 population

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Labeling Genetically Modified Food
Proposition 105
Election:
General

2014Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34.5% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Agriculture | Business & Commerce

Summary: Click for Summary
Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning labeling of genetically modified food; and, in connection therewith, requiring food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled, “Produced With Genetic Engineering” starting on July 1, 2016; exempting some foods including but not limited to food from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs, certain food that is not packaged for retail sale and is intended for immediate human consumption, alcoholic beverages, food for animals, and medically prescribed food; requiring the Colorado department of public health and environment to regulate the labeling of genetically modified food; and specifying that no private right of action is created for failure to conform to the labeling requirements?

Laws Relating to Women and Children
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.6%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for codification of laws relating to women and children.

[S]


Legalizing limited gaming in Black Haw, Central City and Cripple Creek
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1990Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.3%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution legalizing limited gaming in the cities of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek?

[CA]


Legalizing the Conduct of Games of Chance (Lotto, Bingo, and Raffles) by Certain Organizations which Operate without Profit to Dues Paying Members and Only Under Certain Conditions
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1958Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.0%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries | Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Legislative Procedures
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1988Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 72.0%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to require that every measure referred to a committee of reference of the General Assembly be considered by the committee upon its merits, to provide that each measure reported by a committee of reference to the Senate or House shall appear on the calendar of that chamber in the order in which it was reported, and to prohibit members of the General Assembly from committing themselves or other members in a party caucus to vote in favor of or against any matter pending or to be introduced in the General Assembly?

Note: Commonly referred to as the GAVEL Amendment — Give a Vote to Every Legislator

[CA]


Legislative Reapportionment Timetable
Referendum B
Election:
General

2000Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary

Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: revises the timetable for redrawing and approving state Senate and
House of Representative districts.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: Every ten years, the boundaries of state Senate and House of Representatives districts are redrawn after receiving final population figures from the federal census. The state constitution requires that an 11-member Reapportionment Commission redraw the district lines to comply with the “one person, one vote” principle and other constitutional criteria. Currently, the entire legislative reapportionment process runs from July 1st to the following March 15th. This proposal permanently changes this timetable by moving up the start of the legislative reapportionment process to April 15th, allowing additional time for certain steps in the process, and completing the process by mid-February of the next year. Within this timetable are specific deadlines for appointment of commission members, preparation of a preliminary plan, completion of public hearings, adoption and submittal of a final plan and related legal materials to the Colorado Supreme Court, and filing the plan with the Secretary of State. Once the final plan is filed with the Secretary of State, county clerks redraw precinct boundaries before precinct caucuses are held the second Tuesday in April.


Limit on Length of Regular Sessions
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1988Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.3%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 7 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, providing that regular sessions of the General Assembly shall not exceed one hundred twenty calendar days.

Limit State Spending
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1978Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.3%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall the Constitution of the State of Colorado be amended by adding a new article XA limiting annual increases in per capita expenditures by the state and its political subdivisions to the percentage increase in the united states consumer price index, except when a larger increase is approved by the voters in the affected jurisdiction in a special election; providing a procedure for emergency expenditures; prohibiting the state from imposing any part of the cost of new or expanded state programs on political subdivisions; requiring adequate funding of new and existing benefit programs; and establishing a maximum limit on the surplus fund for the state and providing that excess revenues collected by the state be returned to the taxpayers?

[CA]


Limited Gaming – Parachute
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 27.6%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado constitution would:

– legalize limited gambling in the commercial districts of the town of Parachute, in Garfield County, as of June 1, 1993;

– prohibit, until January 1, 2000, any expansion of limited gambling to new areas of the state other than Central City, Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Parachute, and require the Limited Gaming Control Commission to study the effects of gambling and report to the General Assembly by October 31, 1999;

– comply with existing regulations of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission, subject to special provisions which allow the town of Parachute to enact ordinances setting forth the conditions for the conduct of limited gambling activities in Parachute, regarding the hours of operation, floor area, and types of buildings in which gambling may be conducted;

– conform to current constitutional restrictions regarding the types of games permitted and the maximum allowable bet;

– allow gambling in Parachute at all hours, including between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 8:00a.m., if the gambling is conducted in establishments which do not sell alcoholic beverages;

– limit, until January 1, 2000, the license fees which the Limited Gaming Control Commission may assess on all limited gambling establishments to those fees in effect as of January 1, 1992;

– reduce the maximum allowable state tax on the adjusted gross proceeds of all limited gambling in the state from up to 40 percent to up to 15 percent until January 1, 2000, after which the maximum allowable state tax will return to up to 40 percent; and

– provide for the following annual distribution of state tax revenues derived from gambling activities in Parachute, less administrative costs:

60% – State Public School Fund

20% – Parachute tourism promition and public improvements

10% – Parachute General Fund

10% – Garfield County General Fund

[CA]


Limited Gaming – Selected Area in Lower Downtown Denver
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 19.6%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– legalize limited gambling in areas of lower downtown Denver located in the Central Platte Valley in the City and County of Denver;

– conform to current constitutional restrictions and comply with existing regulations of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission;

– apply the current constitutional provision for the maximum allowable state tax of up to 40 percent of adjusted gross gambling proceeds to gambling activities in the Central Platte Valley;

– provide for the following annual distribution of state tax revenues derived from ganbling activities in the Central Platte Valley, less administrative costs:

50% – State General Fund (moneys to be used exclusively for education)

25% – Six County General funds (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson)

25% – Cities and Towns General Funds

– impose a 5 percent local surtax on the adjusted gross proceeds of the newly authorized gambling activites to be paid to the general fund of the City and County of Denver;

– require the collection of a 2 percent real estate transfer tax on the transfer of real property within the area in which limited gambling is authorized by this proposal; and

– prohibit future expansion of limited gambling in the City and County of Denver and in the counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, and Jefferson.

[CA]


Limited Gaming – Selected Eastern and Southern Cities and Counties
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 27.6%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– legalize, no later than October 1, 1993, limited gambling in the cities and towns of Burlington, Evans, Lamar, Las Animas, Sterling, Antonito, Garden City, Granada, Holly, Julesburg, Ovid, Milliken, Peetz, and Sedgwick, and in the counties of Logan, Prowers, and Sedgwick, subject to an affirmative local vote;

– require that each city, town or county call a special election by March 1, 1993 to determine whether limited gambling will be permitted within the boundaries of such city, town, or county;

– add big 6 wheels to existing limited gambling activities which may be conducted in the communities where limited gambling is permitted;

– provide that each game would have a maximum single bet of $5, unless the maximum is increased by the General Assembly;

– conform to current constitutional restrictions regarding the hours of operation and the sale of alcohol at gambling establishments;

– allow the cities, towns, and counties to determine the location, types of structures, and permissible square footage in which gambling may be conducted;

– apply the current constitutional provision for the maximum allowable state tax of up to 40 percent of the adjusted gross gambling proceeds to gambling activities in the cities, towns, and counties listed in this proposal;

– provide for the following monthly distribution of state tax revenues derived from gambling activites in the cities, towns, and counties named in this proposal, less administrative costs:

75% – Public School Fund

25% – Cities, towns and counties with gambling

– amend the existing formula for the distribution of tax revenues generated from limited gambling in Central City, Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and any future gambling communities to provide that the 50 percent which currently goes to the state General Fund would go to the Public School Fund for elementary and secondary education; and

– provide that the distribution of revenues to the Public School Fund shall be in addition to, not a substitute for, present legislative appropriations to education.

[CA]


Limited Gaming – Selected Western and Southern Cities and Counties
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 29.4%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– legalize, on and after August 1, 1993, limited gambling in the cities and towns of Trinidad, Walsenburg, Leadville, Naturita, Silver Cliff, Lake City, Silverton, Oak Creek, Grand Lake, Walden, and Dinosaur, and in the counties of Las Animas, Huerfano, and Hinsdale, subject to an affirmative local vote;

– authorize the Limited Gaming Control Commission to add roulette, craps, baccarat, and the big wheel to existing limited gambling activities which may be conducted in the communities where limited gambling is permitted; Each game would have a maximum single bet of $5;

– restrict limited gambling to the commercial districts of those cities, towns, and counties in which limited gambling is approved by the electorate, and to structures, or reproductions, which conform to the original architectural styles of each city, town, or county, and to all applicable ordinances and land-use regulations;

– conform to current constitutional restrictions regarding the size of the gambling area in relation to the size of the establishment, the hours of operation, and the sale of alcohol at gambling establishments;

– lower the maximum allowable state tax which may be imposed on the adjusted gross proceeds of all limited gambling from up to 40 percent to up to 15 percent;

– create the Colorado Rural Economic Development Board to administer the Colorado Economic Development Fund to assist in the economic development of Colorado counties with a population of 30,000 or less; and

– provide for the following annual distribution of the state tax revenues derived from gambling activities in the historic rural communities, less administrative costs:

25% – Primary and Secondary Education Fund

20% – Rural Health Care Fund

15% – Rural Economic Development Fund

15% – Cities and Towns with Gambling

10% – Counties with Gambling Cities or Towns

10% – Highway Users Tax Fund

5% – State Historical Fund B

[CA]


Limited Gaming in Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek
Amendment 50
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 58.6%)

Topic Areas:
Education: Higher Ed | Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 50 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– allow residents of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to vote to extend casino hours, approve additional games, and increase the maximum single bet limit;

– give most of the gaming tax revenue that results from new gaming limits to Colorado community colleges and to the gaming cities and counties;

– require statewide voter approval for any gaming tax increase if new gaming limits are adopted by any gaming town; and

– exempt the revenue raised from new gaming limits from state and local revenue and spending limits.

Summary and Analysis

Gaming limits in Colorado today and under Amendment 50. Since 1991 Colorado has permitted limited stakes gaming in Central City and Black Hawk in Gilpin County, and Cripple Creek in Teller County. The state constitution places the following limits on gaming:

– single bets cannot exceed $5;

– only slot machines, blackjack, and poker games are allowed; and

– casinos must close between 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Amendment 50 allows Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to vote to change the existing gaming limits. Each town may vote to extend the hours of operation of casinos, to add the games of roulette and/or craps, and to increase the amount that can be wagered on any single bet from $5 up to a maximum of $100. The towns may vote on changing any or all of these limits.

Distribution of state gaming money today and under Amendment 50. Casinos pay taxes on income from gaming and also pay various fees and fines. Last year, the state collected $112 million from gaming. After paying to enforce gaming laws, approximately one-quarter of the gaming money goes back to the gaming cities and counties, about one-quarter goes to historic preservation and restoration projects across the state, and half of the revenue is allocated to the state legislature to spend on programs. These programs currently include assistance to local governments for gaming impacts, tourism promotion, economic development programs, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and highway projects.

Amendment 50 distributes new money from increased gaming activity differently than existing law. First, the money is used to pay to enforce gaming laws related to any changes in the limits. Second, some of the new money provides annual increases to the programs and local governments that currently get gaming money. The rest is distributed as follows:

– 78 percent for financial aid and classroom instruction at Colorado community, junior, and district colleges based on each school’s number of students;

– 12 percent to Gilpin and Teller Counties, based on the proportion of the new money raised within each county, to help address the impacts of gaming; and

– 10 percent to Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek, based on the proportion of the new money raised within each town, to help address the impacts of gaming.

[Table 1, available on the website of the Colorado General Assembly, but not reproducible here, shows how new state gaming money is distributed under Amendment 50 assuming that all three gaming towns approve the maximum limits.]

Statewide voter approval for gaming tax increases. The state Gaming Commission sets the tax rates on casino income within the parameters in the state constitution. Currently, the constitution sets the highest allowable tax rate at 40 percent. On July 1, 2008, the highest tax rate actually imposed was 20 percent. If voters in any of the gaming towns approve new gaming limits, a gaming tax increase above the July 1, 2008, level must be approved through a statewide vote.


Limited Gaming in Manitou Springs and Public Airports
Amendment 13
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 8.3%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would permit certain forms of limited gaming at public airports, in the City of Manitou Springs, by certain charitable organizations, and by amending some of the existing constitutional provisions pertaining to gaming in Colorado, legalize the operation of slot machines in public airports.

[CA]


Limited Gaming in Trinidad
Amendment 18
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.5%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Legalizes limited gaming in Trinidad, as it exists in Black Haw, Central City, and Cripple Creek, if approved in a local vote conducted within 150 days of the statewide election;

– Restricts gaming to commercial buildings or replicas of commercial buildings that had existed prior to 1914 in the Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District;

– Includes Trinidad’s limited gaming revenue in the distribution formula in the Colorado Constitution for proceeds from the present gaming communities;

– Directs the Limited Gaming Control Commission to administer limited gaming in Trinidad; and

– Requires that the General Assembly act to implement provisions of this amendment within 30 days after voter approval at the local election.

[CA]


Limiting a State Business Tax Income Deduction
Referendum H
Election:
General

2006Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.7%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Referendum H proposes a change to the Colorado statutes that:

– increases state income taxes owed for some businesses that deduct wages or other compensation paid to unauthorized aliens; and

– defines an unauthorized alien as a person who is not eligible under federal immigration law to work in the United States.

Summary and Analysis

How do business income taxes work? Like individuals, businesses pay taxes based on the amount of income they earn. In determining the amount of income on which federal taxes are owed, federal law allows businesses to deduct all expenses that are considered ordinary and necessary in conducting business, including wages. These deductions lower the amount of federal taxes owed. Federal law does not specifically exclude wages paid to unauthorized aliens from a business’ income tax deductions. State income taxes are based on federal taxable income. Therefore, any deductions claimed on the federal form also lower the amount of state income taxes owed.

How does Referendum H affect state income taxes? Beginning January 1, 2008, Referendum H requires a business to disclose the amount of wages or other compensation paid to unauthorized aliens that it deducted as an expense on its federal income tax return. Referendum H increases the business’ state taxable income by this amount, which results in a higher state income tax bill. This requirement applies only to annual wages or other compensation paid of $600 or more per worker. Furthermore, the requirement applies only in cases where the business knew at the time of hiring that it was hiring an unauthorized alien.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Referendum H may increase state income tax collections. Increased tax collections are expected to be minimal because Referendum H does not apply in a variety of circumstances, such as wages paid in cash or employment gained using fraudulent documents, and compliance is expected to be inconsistent. If the state collects more than $150,000 in any budget year as a result of Referendum H, the state is required to refund the excess amount back to taxpayers. A small expenditure for the Department of Revenue will be necessary for computer programming in order to add a line on the state income tax form.

[S]


Limiting Executive Branch to Twenty Departments
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1966Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 69.5%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, by the addition of a new section 22, providing that executive and administrative offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the executive department of the state government shall be allocated to not to exceed twenty departments, with certain exceptions.

Limiting Tax on Motor Fuel to 3 Cents Per Gallon
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1934Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.7%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Limiting Taxation of Motor Fuels and ad Valorem Taxation for County Roads
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1932Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.4%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to amend Article X of the state constitution concerning taxation: providing for a limitation of 3 cent tax per gallon on motor fuel and for the distribution thereof; and providing for a limitation of one mill on the dollar ad valorem tax by counties for road purposes.

[CA]


Limits on State and Local Government Borrowing
Amendment 61
Election:
General

2010Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 27.0%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Elections | Local Government | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 61 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– prohibit all new state government borrowing after 2010;

– prohibit new local government borrowing after 2010, unless approved by voters;

– limit the amount and length of time of local government borrowing; and

– require that tax rates be reduced after borrowing is fully repaid.

Summary and Analysis

Amendment 61 places new restrictions on government borrowing. Currently, the state and local governments borrow money to build or improve public facilities like roads, buildings, and airports and repay the money over multiple years. Borrowing is also used for other purposes, such as financing loans for small businesses.

Beginning in 2011, Amendment 61 prohibits all future borrowing by state government and limits future borrowing by local governments, including cities, counties, school districts, special districts, and enterprises. The measure also requires that governments lower tax rates after borrowed money is fully repaid, even if the borrowing was repaid from a source other than taxes. In certain cases, governments borrow money on behalf of private entities. Because the private entities are solely responsible for repayment, it is unclear if this borrowing is covered by the provisions of Amendment 61.

Impact of Amendment 61 on state government. Amendment 61 affects Colorado’s state government by prohibiting any future borrowing and requiring a tax cut when certain borrowing is fully repaid. Current borrowing will be unaffected, but future projects, programs, and services that would have otherwise been financed through borrowing will have to be eliminated or paid for by increasing fees or using money currently budgeted for other purposes.

The state and all of its enterprises issue an average of $2.9 billion in new borrowing annually and spend about $2 billion annually to repay borrowing. State agencies, excluding enterprises, make annual payments of about $200 million on borrowing. At the end of 2010, the state and all of its enterprises will owe about $17 billion for assets financed through borrowing.

Under current law, the state borrows money in the following ways, which will no longer be permitted by Amendment 61:

Long-term borrowing — Long-term borrowing is money borrowed for a period of more than one year that is repaid from a specific source of money like dedicated taxes or fees over a fixed period of time. Voters must approve non-enterprise borrowing. For example, in 1999 voters approved borrowing for state highway projects. The money that was borrowed for the projects is repaid with state and federal highway funds.

Short-term borrowing — In Colorado, the state sometimes borrows money early in the year to cover costs for its day-to-day operations and repays the money later in the year, as revenues are collected.

Lease-to-own agreements — Lease-to-own agreements allow the state to make annual payments for new buildings or equipment over a number of years until the cost is repaid. The state legislature authorizes lease-to-own agreements and approves payments every year during its annual budget process. Once the cost is paid, ownership is typically transferred to the state. The state is currently using lease-to-own agreements to build a prison, a museum, a court building, and several academic buildings at state colleges and universities. The state is also using these types of agreements for K-12 school construction and renovation.

Enterprise borrowing — Publicly owned enterprises are currently permitted to borrow for projects and programs without voter approval. Generally, enterprises generate their own revenue through fees charged for the services they offer. Enterprises usually borrow with long-term borrowing repaid from grants or fees for services. Enterprises do not have a defined voter base, and do not hold public elections.

Most public colleges and universities are enterprises and have recently borrowed money to build classroom buildings and other facilities. This borrowing is repaid from sources such as tuition money, student fees, donations, and federal grants. Other state-level enterprises, such as the Colorado Housing and Finance authority, act as financing authorities to borrow money that is lent to local governments, private businesses, and individuals.

Impact of Amendment 61 on local governments. Amendment 61 applies new borrowing limits to all local governments and requires that all future borrowing be submitted for voter approval. Similar to the impact on state government, Amendment 61 will require local governments to either increase fees, reduce construction, or reduce programs or services.

Local governments and their enterprises issue an average of $4.9 billion in new borrowing annually, and spend about $4.3 billion annually to repay borrowing. Local governments, excluding enterprises, make annual payments of about $2.2 billion on borrowing. Currently, local governments and their enterprises owe about $36 billion for assets financed through borrowing. Some local government borrowing is repaid from voter approved tax increases. After this borrowing is fully repaid, tax rates will be reduced, regardless of the outcome of Amendment 61.

Amendment 61 limits allowable local government borrowing in the following ways:

Borrowing is limited to bonded debt. Bonded debt is money that is borrowed through the sale of government bonds for a period of more than one year. Under current law, local governments may borrow money through bonded debt as well as other forms of borrowing, such as short-term borrowing or lease-to-own agreements. Amendment 61 prohibits all forms of local government borrowing except bonded debt.

Voter approval is required for all borrowing. Under current law, not all borrowing requires voter approval, and elections for bonded debt occur at various times throughout the year depending on the type of local government. Amendment 61 requires that all future borrowing first be submitted for approval by voters at a November election. In addition, enterprises, which were not previously required to seek voter approval for borrowing, will be required to hold elections.

For all local governments, except enterprises, borrowing is limited to 10 percent of the assessed real property value within its borders. Generally speaking, this cap is less than what is allowed under current law. A local government that has already borrowed an amount more than the 10 percent cap would be prohibited from additional borrowing until it repays enough of its borrowing or real property values increase enough to drop its total borrowing below the 10 percent cap.

Borrowing must be repaid within 10 years and may be repaid early without penalty. The typical term of current borrowing is 20 to 30 years. Borrowing for a shorter length of time requires higher annual payments because the loan is spread over fewer years; however, total interest costs over the term of the loan are lower.

Impact of Amendment 61 on taxpayers. Amendment 61 requires that after borrowed money is fully repaid by a government, taxes must be reduced in the amount of the average annual payment. Assuming this requirement applies to current borrowing, and once the measure is fully implemented, state taxes will be reduced by about $200 million. Local government taxes are estimated to be reduced by $2.2 billion. This amount includes some bonded debt for which the tax rate will decline regardless of the outcome of Amendment 61. Some tax reductions will occur in the first few years after the measure takes effect, but the full reduction will not occur until all borrowed money is repaid, which could take up to 40 years.

If the entire state tax reduction is applied to the state income tax, an average household earning $55,000 annually will pay about $49 less per year in today’s dollars once the measure is fully implemented. If the entire local tax reduction is applied to property taxes, the owners of a home valued at $295,000 will pay about $529 less per year in today’s dollars. The impact of the local tax reduction will vary based on the location of a taxpayer’s residence.

How does Amendment 61 interact with two other measures on the ballot? Amendment 61 along with Amendment 60 and Proposition 101 contain provisions that affect state and local government finances by decreasing taxes paid by households and businesses and restricting government borrowing. How these measures work together may require clarification from the state legislature or the courts.

Amendment 61 requires state and local governments to decrease tax rates when debt is repaid, which is assumed in this analysis to apply to the existing debt of state and local governments, and it prohibits any borrowing by state government. Amendment 60 reduces local property taxes, while requiring state expenditures for K-12 education to increase by an amount that offsets the property tax loss for school districts. Proposition 101 reduces state and local government taxes and fees.

Since portions of these measures are phased in over time, the actual impacts to taxpayers and governments will be less in the initial years of implementation and grow over time. Assuming that all three measures are approved by voters, the first-year impact will be to reduce state taxes and fees by $744 million and increase state spending for K-12 education by $385 million. Once fully implemented, the measures are estimated to reduce state taxes and fees by $2.1 billion and increase state spending for K-12 education by $1.6 billion in today’s dollars. This would commit almost all of the state’s general operating budget to paying for the constitutional and statutory requirements of K-12 education, leaving little for other government services. In addition, the prohibition on borrowing will increase budget pressures for the state if it chooses to pay for capital projects from its general operating budget. This would further reduce the amount of money available for other government services.

Tax and fee collections for local governments are expected to fall by at least $966 million in the first year of implementation and by $4.7 billion when the measures are fully implemented. However, the net impact on local government budgets would be at least $581 million in the first year and $3.1 billion when fully implemented after the state reimburses school districts.

Total taxes and fees paid by households and businesses are estimated to decrease by $1.7 billion in the first year and $6.8 billion per year in today’s dollars when the measures are fully implemented. The measures reduce the taxes and fees owed by an average household making $55,000 per year that owns a $295,000 house by an estimated $400 in the first year and $1,660 per year when fully implemented.

[CA]


Local Vote on Gaming After Statewide Vote
Referendum C
Election:
General

1992Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 76.0%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Gambling & Lotteries | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– require the approval of the voters of a city, town, or unincorporated portion of a county before limited gambling, as approved by a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment, shall be lawful in that locality;

– provide that, if voters do not approve limited gambling in a local election, a period of four years shall elapse before the question may be submitted again; and

– provide that the effective date for this proposal shall be on or after the November 3, 1992 general election, thus including gambling proposals on the 1992 ballot.


Lottery Revenues for Parks, Recreation, Wildlife
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 58.2%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing | Budgets | Gambling & Lotteries | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– permanently dedicate a portion of the net proceeds of every state-supervised lottery game to the “Great Outdoors Colorado” program, beginning July 1, 1993. The transfer of lottery funds would be phased in over a five-year period in order to fulfill most of the state’s current outstanding obligations for capital construction;

– create the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund as a new fund within the state treasury and make the fund not subject to budgetary oversight or to legislative approriation or restrictions;

– provide funds for the preservation, protection, enhancement, and management of the state’s wildlife, park, river, trail, and open space heritage. Funds would be available for distribution to the state Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, the state Division of Wildlife, and to local units of government for specified purposes related to open space, parks, environmental education, and preservation of natural areas;

– continue existing lottery distributions to local governments through the Conservation Trust Fund as well as current allocations to the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Existing distributions to capital construction would decrease beginning in 1993 by $7 million to $11 million annually and would be reduced by up to $35 million per year in 1998. Funds remaining would be transferred to the state general fund;

– establish a new board, the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, to be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The board is not subject to any order or resolution of the General Assembly regarding its organization, powers, revenues, and expenses;

– state that lottery funds are to be used in addition to any other funds that would ordinarily be appropriated to the Department of Natural Resources or its divisions, and direct the General Assembly not to substitute lottery funds for other funds that owuld otherwise be appropriated for park, wildlife, or outdoor recreation purposes; and

– prohibit any interference with Colorado water law; prohibit the acquisition of land by eminent domain by state agencies for purposes of the program; and require payments in lieu of taxes to local governments for properties acquired by state agencies under the program.

[CA]


Mail Ballot Elections
Amendment 28
Election:
General

2002Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.5%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes:

– requires most elections held after January 1, 2005, to be conducted by mail ballot;

– allows local election officials to determine the method of voting in elections that do not require mail ballots;

– requires all mail ballots to be returned in a signed envelope either by mail, at drop-off sites, or at designated polling places on election day;

– adds new security and other requirements for conducting elections by mail and for checking ballots before votes are counted; and

– increases the penalties for mail-ballot election fraud and other offenses.

Background

Current law allows mail ballots to be used in some elections but not others. Mail ballots cannot be used in any election involving political party candidates, such as a primary, general, or congressional vacancy elections, or any election held on the same day as these elections. Mail ballots are allowed for any other election, such as school district, municipal, or ballot issue elections. Current law also allows voters in any election to vote by mail using an absentee ballot. This proposal expands the use of mail ballots to require that all elections, except certain local elections, be held by mail ballot.

Mail ballot elections under current law.

Currently, when an election is conducted by mail, each active registered voter is sent a packet of election materials 15 to 25 days before election day. This packet contains a ballot, instructions for completing the ballot, an envelope to maintain secrecy, and a return envelope. A voter must complete the ballot, place it in the secrecy envelope, sign the return envelope, and send the packet back to the election official in the return envelope. A ballot must be received by an election official before 7 p.m. on election day to be counted. Before opening the packet, an election official checks that the signature on the envelope matches the printed name on the envelope. If the names match and the ballot is otherwise qualified, it is ready to be counted.

The Secretary of State is responsible for overseeing mail ballot elections, which are conducted by local election officials. Proposed changes for mail ballot elections. This proposal requires local election officials to develop new procedures for conducting mail ballot elections including updating voter registration rolls and ensuring ballot confidentiality and security. Beginning in 2005, the proposal requires election judges to compare the signature on the ballot envelope against the voter’s signature on file with the election official. Signatures that do not match must be reviewed by two other election judges from different political parties. If an election law appears to have been violated, the judges are required to submit questionable signatures to the district attorney. The proposal increases the maximum fine for falsely submitting a ballot or unduly influencing a voter from $5,000 to $10,000.

Current law and polling booth voting.

Current law requires that elections involving political
party candidates be held at polling places in each precinct. The location of each polling place is designated by the election official. Polling places generally include schools, community centers, churches, and other public buildings. At the polling place, an individual’s name must appear in the precinct polling book before he or she is escorted to a private voting booth to cast a secret ballot.

Proposed changes for polling booth voting.

For elections involving political party candidates, the proposal requires election officials to maintain polling booth locations on election day at public high schools prior to 2010. Beginning in 2010, election officials must maintain at least one polling location on election day. Voters may use private voting booths at these locations to cast the ballot received in the mail or a replacement ballot. The proposal requires election judges to be
present at each location. Ballots cast at polling places are enclosed in a secrecy envelope and a signed return envelope, just like ballots returned by mail or at a drop-off site.

[S]


Mailing of Ballot Information
Referendum B
Election:
General

1996Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.9%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Specifies that local governments may coordinate the mailing of their ballot information with the mailing of the ballot information booklet prepared by the state, in order to save mailing costs; and

– To accomplish the coordinated mailing, changes the time frames for submitting arguments for and against local ballot proposals and for mailing local ballot information books to voters.


Making it Unlawful for Any Municipality to Employ Firemen for More than 60 Hours Per Week, With Certain Exceptions
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1952Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.8%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Marijuana Possession
Amendment 44
Election:
General

2006Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.1%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 44 proposes a change to the Colorado statutes that:

– legalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older.

Summary and Analysis

Individuals who grow, transfer, possess, sell, or consume marijuana violate federal, state and, in some cases, local laws. Amendment 44 addresses state law for possession only; enforcement of other marijuana laws would not change.

State possession law. Under state law, any person who possesses one ounce or less of marijuana commits a Class 2 petty offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $100. State courts convicted 3,700 adults for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in the 2005 state budget year, the most recent data available. This number does not include convictions in municipal courts, which also hear some marijuana possession cases.

Amendment 44 allows adults 21 years of age or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Possession would include consumption or use, as long as it does not occur in public. It also would include transferring up to one ounce of marijuana to another individual 15 years of age or older as long as there is no compensation, although possession for those under 21 years of age would remain illegal.

Other marijuana offenses. The following marijuana offenses will continue to be illegal under state law if Amendment 44 passes:

– for individuals under 21 years of age, possessing any amount of marijuana;

– possessing more than one ounce of marijuana;

– for individuals 18 years of age and older, transferring any amount of marijuana to a person under 15 years of age;

– growing or selling marijuana;

– open and public display, use, or consumption of marijuana; and

– driving under the influence of marijuana.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Amendment 44 may reduce state and local government revenues because fines would no longer be assessed for adult marijuana possession of one ounce or less. The amount of the revenue reduction cannot be quantified because the total number of individuals convicted annually for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana is not known. The state collects data for convictions in state courts but not municipal courts. In addition, judges have discretion when assessing fines, and the maximum fine is not levied against all offenders. Also, some fines cannot be collected from the person convicted.

[CA]


Marriage
Amendment 43
Election:
General

2006Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 55.0%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 43 proposes a change to Article II of the Colorado Constitution that:

– defines marriage in Colorado as only a union between one man and one woman.

Summary and Analysis

Definitions of marriage affecting Coloradans. Federal statutes define marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws relating to marital status. Colorado statutes define marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of the state’s laws relating to marital status.

For a marriage to be valid under Colorado statutes, it must be: (1) between a man and a woman; and (2) licensed, solemnized, and registered according to established procedures. In addition, Colorado recognizes common law marriage between a man and a woman who live together and hold themselves out publicly as husband and wife. Common law marriages are treated exactly the same as licensed marriages.

Legal effects of marriage in Colorado. The marriage relationship in Colorado provides spouses with a number of legal rights, responsibilities, and benefits, including:

– collecting benefits such as pensions, life insurance, and workers’ compensation without being designated as a beneficiary;

– jointly incurring and being held liable for debts;

– making medical treatment decisions for each other;

– protection from discrimination based on marital status in areas such as employment and housing;

– filing income taxes jointly; and

– ending a marriage and distributing property through a legal process.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Amendment 43 is not expected to affect state and local revenues or spending. Costs that may result from potential legal challenges to the amendment cannot be estimated.

[CA]


Medical Use of Marijuana
Amendment 20
Election:
General

2000Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Health

Summary: Click for Summary

Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Allows patients diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness and their care-givers to legally possess marijuana for medical purposes. For a patient unable to administer marijuana to himself or herself, or for minors under 18, care-givers determine the amount and frequency of use; allows a doctor to legally provide a seriously or chronically ill patient with a written statement that the patient might benefit from medical use of marijuana; and establishes a confidential state registry of patients and their care-givers who are permitted to possess marijuana for medical purposes.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: Current Colorado and federal criminal law prohibits the possession, distribution, and use of marijuana. The proposal does not affect federal criminal laws, but amends the Colorado Constitution to legalize the medical use of marijuana for patients who have registered with the state. Qualifying medical conditions include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS/HIV, some neurological and movement disorders such as multiple sclerosis, and any other medical condition approved by the state. A doctor’s signed statement or a copy of the patient’s pertinent medical records indicating that the patient might benefit from marijuana is necessary for a patient to register Individuals on the registry may possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana and six marijuana plants. Because the proposal does not change current law, distribution of marijuana will still be illegal in Colorado.

Patients on the registry are allowed to legally acquire, possess, use, grow, and transport marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia. Employers are not required to allow the medical use of marijuana in the workplace. Marijuana may not be used in any place open to the public, and insurance companies are not required to reimburse a patient’s claim for costs incurred through the medical use of marijuana. Finally, for a patient who is under the age of 18, the proposal requires statements from two doctors and written consent from any parent living in Colorado to register the patient.

Fiscal Impact: The Office of State Planning and Budgeting estimates that the measure would have a fiscal impact of $402,299 in fiscal year 1998-99 and $342,157 in fiscal year 1999-2000, attributable to the establishment and administration of a registry in the department of public health and environment. The state health agency is authorized to levy fees to pay direct or indirect administrative costs associated with its role in this program, and the Office of State Planning and Budgeting projects that the registry would be funded solely through such fees on potential registry clients. However, because the criminal penalties are not defined in the measure, the Office of State Planning and Budgeting has stated that the fiscal impact of the measure on the department of public safety, the judicial department, and the department of corrections is indeterminate; accordingly, the overall fiscal impact of the measure on state government for fiscal year 1998-99 is indeterminate.

[CA]


Medical-Aid in Dying
Proposition 106
Election:
General

2016Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.6% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Health

Summary: Click for Summary
A change to the Colorado revised statutes to permit any mentally capable adult Colorado resident who has a medical prognosis of death by terminal illness within six months to receive a prescription from a willing licensed physician for medication that can be self-administered to bring about death; and in connection therewith, requiring two licensed physicians to confirm the medical prognosis, that the terminally-ill patient has received information about other care and treatment options, and that the patient is making a voluntary and informed decision in requesting the medication; requiring evaluation by a licensed mental health professional if either physician believes the patient may not be mentally capable; granting immunity from civil and criminal liability and professional discipline to any person who in good faith assists in providing access to or is present when a patient self-administers the medication; and establishing criminal penalties for persons who knowingly violate statutes relating to the request for the medication.

Mining and Smelting
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1912Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.7%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary
Designating mining and smelting business as affected with the public interest.

Mothers’ Compensation Act
Amendment 23
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 68.5%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Mothers’ Compensation Act and aid to dependent and neglected children

[S]


Motor Voter
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1984Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.2%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall an act be adopted to provide for additional voter registration of qualified electors applying for a driver’s license; to allow voter registration up to 25 days before an election; to provide that registered electors not voting in one General Election will retain their registration, but may be placed on an “inactive” status if it appears they have moved from their address of registration; and to provide for the purging or making current of “inactive” voter registrations?

[S]


Multi-State Lotteries
Referendum E
Election:
General

2000Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

Legislative Statute

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Makes multi-state lotteries legal in Colorado; authorizes the state to enter into agreements for multi-state lotteries; distributes most new lottery revenues in the same way that current lottery revenues are distributed, but reallocates a portion from general government purposes to alleviate public school health and safety hazards; and exempts revenue from multi-state lotteries from state revenue and
spending limits.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: Colorado currently operates a state lottery that includes both scratch games and on-line games such as Lotto. This proposal allows the state’s existing lottery to include games played with other state lotteries. Under this proposal, the state could either negotiate to join an existing multi-state lottery game or work with other states to develop a new multi-state game. Multi-state games involve a larger population of players than Colorado’s existing lottery games, thus they offer potentially larger prizes but fewer chances of winning the jackpot for each wager. Currently, there are eight multi-state games, the largest of which are Powerball (20 states), Cash 4 Life (10 states), and the Big Game (seven states).

Proceeds from Colorado lottery games, after prizes and administrative expenses, are distributed to local governments, the state, and the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board to purchase and maintain state and local
parks and recreation facilities, wildlife habitats, and open space. The amount of money dedicated to GOCO is capped, however, and any “spillover” money in excess of the cap is deposited in the state’s general operating fund. Proceeds from multi-state games would be distributed the same as under current law, with two exceptions. First, any spillover would be used for health and safety projects at public school buildings instead of general state government purposes and, second, the spillover would be exempt from the state’s constitutional revenue limit. While the actual amount of additional proceeds raised by a multi-state lottery game is unknown, each five percent increase in lottery proceeds raises about four million dollars for parks, wildlife habitats, and open space. Lottery proceeds would have to increase by at least 17 percent, or $13.5 million, to make moneys available in the current budget year for school health and safety projects.

Under the proposal, the Colorado Lottery Commission negotiates agreements with other state lottery commissions. The agreements govern which multi-state games are available in Colorado, the rules of play for each game, and the portion of ticket sales that go for prizes. The Colorado Lottery Commission controls advertising, promotion, and security of the game. The commission remains subject to the state constitutional requirement that all lottery games be supervised by the state.


New Cigarette and Tobacco Taxes
Amendment 72
Election:
General

2016Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.5% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Health | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
State taxes shall be increased $315.7 million annually by an amendment to the Colorado Constitution increasing tobacco taxes, and, in connection therewith, beginning January 1, 2017, increasing taxes on cigarettes by 8.75 cents per cigarette ($1.75 per pack of 20 cigarettes) and on other tobacco products by 22 percent of the manufacturer’s list price; and allocating specified percentages of the new tobacco tax revenue to health-related programs and tobacco education, prevention, and cessation programs currently funded by existing constitutional tobacco taxes; and also allocating new revenue for tobacco-related health research, veterans’ programs, child and adolescent behavioral health, construction and technology improvements for qualified health providers, educational loan repayment for health professionals in rural and underserved areas, and health professional training tracks.

Newspapers
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 28.1%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Designating newspapers as public utilities.

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No Exception to Involuntary Servitude Prohibition Amendment
Amendment T
Election:
General

2016Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.3% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary
Currently, the Colorado constitution prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime of which a person has been duly convicted. The concurrent resolution removes this exception to the prohibition, and clarifies in a nonconstitutional legislative declaration that the intent of that amendment is not to disallow opportunities for persons convicted of crimes to work.

No Protected Status
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.4%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– prohibit the state, its branches or departments, or any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities, and school districts from adopting or enforcing any law or policy that entitles any person to claim discrimination, protected status, minority status, or quota preferences based on homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices, or relationships; and

– make all existing anti-discrimination ordinances, laws, regulations, and policies prohibiting discrimination based on an individual’s homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation unenforceable and unconstitutional.

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No-Fault Automobile Insurance
Amendment 11
Election:
General

1972Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 25.9%)

Topic Areas:
Insurance

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to Amend Chapter 13, C.R.S. 1963, as Amended, by adding a new Article 25 establishing a system of compulsory insurance and compensation irrespective of fault for victims of motor vehicle accidents, setting forth the basis for recovery and the elements thereof, and establishing and assigned claims plan to protect injured victims against uninsured losses.

[S]


Nuclear Explosives
Amendment 10
Election:
General

1974Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.9%)

Topic Areas:
Environmental Protection | Federal Government

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to amend the Constitution of the State of Colorado, to establish procedural steps to be complied with prior to the detonation of nuclear explosive devices, requiring prior approval of the detonation by the voters through the enactment of an initiated or referred measure.

[CA]


Obscenity – First Amendment
Amendment 16
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.7%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would amend Article II, Section 10, of the Colorado Constitution to allow the control of the promotion of obscenity by the state and any city, town, city and county, or county within the unincorporated area of a county to the full extent permitted by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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Obsolete Constitutional Provision Relating to Land Value Increases
Referendum M
Election:
General

2008Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 62.4%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Repeals a section of the constitution which reads “The general assembly may provide that the increase in the value of private lands caused by the planting of hedges, orchards and forests thereon, shall not, for a limited time to be fixed by law, be taken into account in assessing such lands for taxation.”

Obsolete Constitutional Provisions
Referendum G
Election:
General

2006Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 76.1%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Referendum G proposes a change to Articles XVII, XX, and XXIV of the Colorado Constitution that:

– removes provisions, dates, and references to laws that are obsolete from three sections of the constitution; and

– eliminates specific gender references in one section of the constitution.

Summary and Analysis

Referendum G addresses three sections of the constitution: militia duty, the consolidation of the City and County of Denver’s school districts, and the Old Age Pension Fund.

Militia duty. Referendum G removes a requirement that an individual with a moral objection to militia duty pay a fee to be exempt from duty. Requiring payment for an exemption from military service dates back to the colonial era and generally ended around the Civil War. Colorado’s early draft constitutions were written during the Civil War era when exemption fees were still in practice. The provision was left in the constitution that was adopted in 1876, even though the practice was generally no longer in use.

Denver school districts. A 1901 state constitutional amendment consolidated the multiple school districts in the City and County of Denver into one district and created a temporary school board for the district before a permanent one was elected. To accomplish the consolidation, one section of the 1901 amendment eliminated the existing school districts in Denver, and another outlined the composition of the temporary school board. Referendum G removes these sections because the events have already occurred.

Old Age Pension Fund. The Old Age Pension Fund provides public assistance to eligible elderly residents. Referendum G eliminates references to specific genders and dates that have passed. Referendum G also removes references to laws that no longer exist, and where appropriate, updates the constitution to reflect the current legal reference of existing laws.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Referendum G does not affect state or local revenues or expenditures.

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Obsolete Constitutional Provisions
Referendum B
Election:
General

2004Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 69.0%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– removes provisions that are obsolete;

– strikes references to one-time events that have already occurred; and

– removes a voting requirement found unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1972.

Background

Obsolete provisions.

A requirement that the Superintendent of Public Instruction serve as the state librarian is deleted because the superintendent position no longer exists. The Commissioner of Education replaced the Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1948. A provision concerning the eligibility of a person living in a poorhouse to vote or run for office is also deleted. Poorhouses, or publicly supported homes for the poor, no longer exist in Colorado.

References to one-time events.

The constitution required all agencies of state government to be divided among no more than 20 state departments by June 30, 1968. This requirement stemmed from a major reorganization of state government in the 1960s. The proposal removes the reference to June 30, 1968, but does not change the limit on the number of departments. The proposal also removes language regarding the expiration of terms for former State Board of Land Commissioners since they are no longer in office.

Unconstitutional provision.

The proposal strikes a requirement in one section of the constitution that citizens live in the state for three months before being eligible to vote and a requirement in another section that citizens live in the state for at least one year before being eligible to vote. The Colorado Supreme Court held in 1972 that voting is a fundamental right that cannot be limited by imposing a three-month residency requirement. The court based its ruling on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that a similar residency requirement violated the U.S. Constitution. State law currently establishes a 30-day residency requirement for voters for all elections.


Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Relating to Alcohol Beverages
Referendum N
Election:
General

2008Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 68.9%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary
Official ballot number, title and summary not yet available.

Obsolete Provisions
Referendum B
Election:
General

1992Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 78.0%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– delete the requirement that general elections be held at specific times during the eyars of 1876, 1877, and 1878;

– delete the requirement that the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction be known as the office of Commissioner of Education;

– delete provisions pertaining to the expiration of terms for the state board of land commissioners during 1913, 1915, and 1917;

– delete provisions pertaining to the retired public debt; and

– amend a reference in the veterans’ preference provisions by striking the term “unremarried widow” and substituting “surviving spouse.”


Outdated Constitutional Provisions
Referendum D
Election:
General

2000Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 72%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary

Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Strikes references to one-time events that have already occurred and to public offices that no longer exist, and removes provisions that have expired or are outdated.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: References to one-time events. The proposal strikes from the constitution several provisions relating to events that occurred in the past. These include provisions regarding who was eligible to run for a seat in the first state legislature, one-year extensions of the terms of certain county officers elected in 1904, 1906 and 1954, and a one-time exception in 1968 to the prohibition on increasing the pay of county officers while they are in office. Also, it eliminates a provision that nullified Colorado liquor laws existing before July 1, 1933. This provision was adopted as a result of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, which repealed liquor prohibition in 1933.

Public offices that no longer exist. The proposal strikes references to “justices of the peace” and “constables.” These offices were eliminated in 1961 when Colorado’s judicial system was modernized and reorganized. It also eliminates the requirement that counties elect a county superintendent of schools since a separate provision of the constitution gives counties the option of abolishing this office. Beginning in the 1960s, the role of the county superintendent of schools was gradually assumed by school districts, and all Colorado counties subsequently eliminated these offices.

Expired provisions. Two expired provisions relate to the implementation of the state constitution in 1876. The first provision prohibits railroads and transportation companies existing at that time from benefiting from future state
legislation unless they filed an acceptance of the constitution with the Secretary of State. The second provision invalidates corporate charters that were granted to corporations prior to 1876, but which were not used as of the adoption of the constitution.

The proposal also deletes the procedures by which the first charter of the City and County of Denver was adopted in 1881. The ability of Denver residents to make and amend their charter is not changed. The last expired constitutional provision relates to governing bodies of “service authorities.” In 1970, the constitution was amended to allow for the creation of these authorities to provide services such as water treatment, transportation and fire protection. For the first five years after their creation, the governing bodies of service authorities could only include members of city or town councils, mayors, or county commissioners. This restriction expired in 1980.

Outdated provisions. A reference to election of legislators from the county in which they live is deleted since all Colorado legislators are now elected from districts. Finally, language that requires officers of the City and County of Denver to be paid monthly is deleted.


Parental Notification for Abortion
Amendment 12
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.9%)

Topic Areas:
Abortion

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning parental notification when an unemancipated minor seeks an abortion, and, in connection therewith, specifying that no abortion shall be performed upon an unemancipated minor until at least 48 hours after written notice of the pending abortion has been delivered to the parent of the minor.

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Parental Rights
Amendment 17
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.3%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Education: PreK-12 | Health | Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution declares that parents have the natural, essential and inalienable right to direct and control the upbringing, education, values and discipline of their children.

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Partial-Birth Abortion
Amendment 11
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.5%)

Topic Areas:
Abortion

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning a prohibition against partial-birth abortions, and, in connection therewith, specifying that no one shall knowingly or intentionally perform a partial-birth abortion; allowing a medical procedure to prevent the death of the pregnant woman; defining partial-birth abortion as an abortion during which the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally causes to be delivered into the vagina a living human fetus for the purpose of performing any procedure the person knows will kill the fetus; and stating that the amendment cannot be amended except by a vote of the people.

[S]


Payments for Water by the Rio Grande Water Conservation District
Amendment 16
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 24.1%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to the Colorado Constitution requiring the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, which is located in whole or in part in Conejos, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Mineral, and Saguache counties, to pay fees for all water that has been, is being, or will in the future be pumped from aquifers underlying state trust lands for purposes of the “Closed Basin Project,” and, in connection therewith, setting such fees at thirty dollars per acre-foot, payable to the state’s public school fund, and ten dollars per acre-foot, payable to the school districts in Water Division 3.

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Peace Officers
Amendment 12
Election:
General

1914Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.6%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Because this question did not receive a majority “yes” vote, the legislature’s law did not take effect.

Concerning the appointment of peace officers.


Permit the General Assembly to Exempt from Taxation Household Furnishings and Personal Effects Not Used at Any Time for the Production of Income
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1956Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 62.0%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Petitions
Amendment 13
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.1%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Extends initiative and referendum petition powers to citizens of local governments that do not have these processes – school districts, counties, special districts, enterprises and authorities;

– Establishes petition procedures for state and local governments, some of which are new and some of which replace existing procedures:

– Ballot titles – limits length of ballot titles to 100 words, requires they be set within 7 days of a request, allows any district court to set titles, prohibits preparation of a summary or fiscal impact statement, limits the time to challenge titles or single-subject compliance, directs the Supreme Court to decide these questions within 21 days, gives the Supreme Court sole jurisdiction on single-subject challenges, and sets the form of referendum titles for the ballot;

– Signature gathering – establishes the percentage of signatures required for local petitions, requires that affected governmental units provide petition forms, allows a fee for providing such forms, prohibits the government from restricting the collection of signatures on government-owned property that is open, limits the regulation of petition circulators, and expands the time frame for collecting signatures;

– Signature review – establishes the legal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” for invalidating signatures, requires the challenger to prove that the signatures are invalid, reduces the itme permitted for protesting signatures and for filing additional signatures, and sets a standard for evaluation errors in petitions;

– Elections – permits any statewide citizen-referred or initiated ballot question to be voted on at odd-year November elections, as well as the general election in even-numbered years, and specifies that any such local ballot question may appear on the ballot only at November elections or at the local biennial election; and

– Voter information materials – before each election, requires distribution to voters of comments prepared by propoents and of summaries of opponents’ comments, limits the length of such comments, and sets time frames for the submission of comments;

– Not counting appropriations for government operations, restricts to not more than nine the number of measures exempted from possible referral to voters that a governing body may enact in any year, and requires a vote fo three-fourths of the body to approve such measures;

– Requires voter approval within the following eight years for the reenactment of any legislative provision that has been referred by petition and rejected by the voters;

– Permits future voter-approved initiatives to be changed only by approval of the voters;

– After March 1, 1997, requires voter approval of future state or local laws or regulations relating to citizen-referred orinitiated petitions;

– Provides that a simple majority of those voting on the issue is required for approval of citizen-referred or initiated ballot questions; and

– Specifies how Colorado courts are to interpret the amendment if litigation arises, sets time frames for filing suits charging violations of the amendment, and addresses cost and attorney fees for plaintiffs and defendants.

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Petitions
Amendment 38
Election:
General

2006Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 30.8%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 38 proposes a change to Article VII of the Colorado Constitution that:

– expands the ability of citizens to propose changes to state and local laws;

– modifies current procedures for proposing changes to laws;

– limits governing bodies’ ability to change, enact, or repeal measures proposed by citizens and decided by voters; and

– limits the number of measures governing bodies may exempt from voter challenge.

Summary and Analysis

The Colorado Constitution currently provides two ways for citizens to propose changes to state, city, or town laws. In both processes, citizens collect a certain number of signatures on a petition to place a law change on the ballot. For one process, citizens propose a change that becomes law if voters approve it. For the second process, citizens challenge a law approved by elected officials. A challenged law takes effect only if voters approve it.

Amendment 38 expands the ability of citizens to propose and challenge laws at all levels of state and local government, including school districts, counties, special districts, authorities, and other special purpose government entities. Amendment 38 also changes existing procedures for placing a measure on the ballot by petition and applies them to all levels of government. Amendment 38 does not affect measures that governing bodies refer to voters. Tables 1 through 3 summarize differences between current procedures and the proposal. While the tables reflect local procedures in state law, procedures may vary under city or town charters or by local ordinance. [NOTE: To view the tables summarized here, please visit the ballot measures page of the Colorado General Assembly’s web site.]

Table 1 – procedures related to ballot titles and petition signatures. Before proponents may begin collecting petition signatures, a ballot title for the measure must be set. A ballot title tells voters how the law will change if the measure passes. It appears on petition forms and on the ballot. A certain number of signatures of registered Colorado voters must be collected to place a measure on the ballot. The signatures are counted and verified, and any protests are resolved, before the measure appears on the ballot.

Table 2 – challenges to laws. Registered electors may, by petition, challenge a law passed by elected officials unless the measure contains a “safety clause” stating that the law is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.

Table 3 – elections and voter information materials for measures placed on the ballot by petition. Specific voter information materials are required at the state and municipal level.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

State spending and revenue. Amendment 38 is expected to increase the number of statewide ballot petitions by two in each even-numbered year and eight in each odd-numbered year. Currently, the state budgets for eight petitions in an even year and two in an odd year. Costs will increase due to a greater number of petitions, and because state courts must review ballot disputes within newly established deadlines. Costs will decrease to approve each petition because signatures will only be counted and not verified. Overall, state spending will increase by $119,000 annually in even-numbered years and $269,000 in odd-numbered years. Amendment 38 also imposes a $3,000 fine for certain offenses related to government officials discussing pending ballot issues, which may increase fine revenue to the state. Total fine revenue has not been quantified.

Local government spending. Local governments without a petition process will be required to establish such a process, incurring administrative and computer programming costs. Local governments may experience an increase in the number of petitions received. Costs will depend upon the number of petitions filed.

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Placing State Civil Service in the Constitution
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1918Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.6%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Placing the State Civil Service Under the Constitution
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1916Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.3%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Post-Conviction Bail
Referendum C
Election:
General

1994Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 76.9%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Allow the court to grant post-conviction bail “only as provided by statute as enacted by the General Assembly,” except for the offenses listed below;

– Specify the following offenses for which a state court would be required to deny bail to a convicted felon while the offender is awaiting sentencing or an appeal of the conviction:

— murder;

— any felony sexual assault involving the use of a deadly weapon;

— any felony sexual assault committed against a child who is under fifteen years of age;

— a crime of violence as defined by statute enacted by the General Assembly; and

— any felony involving the use of a firearm;

– Require the court to make specific findings in setting bail for an eligible convicted person, as to whether the person is likely to flee, whether the person will pose a danger to the safety of any person or the community, and whether the appeal is frivolous or pursued for the purpose of delay.


Presidential Primary Elections
Proposition 107
Election:
General

2016Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.8% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
Makes a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes recreating a presidential primary election to be held before the end of March in each presidential election year in which unaffiliated electors may vote without declaring an affiliation with a political party.

Primary Elections
Proposition 108
Election:
General

2016Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.7% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
Makes a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the process of selecting candidates representing political parties on a general election ballot, and, in connection therewith, allowing an unaffiliated elector to vote in the primary election of a political party without declaring an affiliation with that party and permitting a political party in specific circumstances to select all of its candidates by assembly or convention instead of by primary election.

Private/Public Ownership of Local Health Care Services
Referendum A
Election:
General

1998Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.3%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Health | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution to allow local governments to jointly own and provide health care services or facilities with private companies or individuals; provide that the share of ownership in joint partnerships be based on the investment by the participants; prevents local governments from going into debt or pledging credit to create and operate health care partnerships; and prevents a partnership created to provide a health care service from being considered a local government or public body.

Probation
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.4%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice | Juvenile Justice

Summary: Click for Summary

Permitting probation in criminal cases for minors and first offenders.

[S]


Prohibit Taxes and Appropriating or Loaning Funds for 1976 Winter Olympic Games
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1972Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 59.4%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to Amend Articles X and XI of the State Constitution to prohibit the State from levying taxes and appropriating or loaning funds for the purpose of aiding or furthering the 1976 Winter Olympic Games.

[CA]


Prohibited Methods of Taking Wildlife
Amendment 14
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.1%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Prohibits the use of leghold and instant-kill, body-gripping design traps, snares, or poisons to take wildlife on public and private land;

– Permits the use of traps, snares, or poison by:

– private landowners, lessees, or their employees – for one 30-day period per year – when there has been ongoing crop or livestock damage on private property which cannot be stopped by other means;

– governmental departments of health to protect human health and safety;

– individuals to control birds or rodents, except beaver and muskrat, as permitted by other federal or state laws, and;

– employees of the Colorado Division of Wildlife to take or manage fish or other aquatic wildlife;

– Provides that nonlethal traps, snares, and nets may be used to take wildlife for scientific research, falconry, relocation, or medical treatment under rules of the Colorado Wildlife Commission; and

– Specifies that the amendment does not apply to the taking of wildlife using firearms, fishing equipment, archery equipment, or other hand-held devices authorized by law.

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Prohibiting the Use of Public Funds for Abortion
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1984Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.4%)

Topic Areas:
Abortion

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to Article V of the Colorado Constitution prohibiting use of public funds by the State of Colorado or any of its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or reimburse, directly or indirectly, any person, agency, or facility for any induced abortion, but permitting the General Assembly, by specific bill, to authorize and appropriate funds for medical services necessary to prevent the death of a pregnant woman or her unborn child if every reasonable effort is made to preserve the life of each?

[CA]


Prohibition
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.3%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for statewide prohibition.

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Prohibition
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.4%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for statewide prohibition.

[CA]


Prohibition on Mandatory Labor Union Membership and Dues
Amendment 47
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.4%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 47 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– prohibit requiring an employee to join and pay any dues or fees to a labor union as a condition of employment; and

– create a misdemeanor penalty for violation of this law.

Summary and Analysis

Requirements for union membership today. All employees have the right to join a workplace union as a means for negotiating with their employer over issues such as pay, benefits, and working conditions.

The procedure to form a union in the private sector is outlined in federal and Colorado law. The decision to be represented by a union must be approved by a majority vote of the employees. At this point, membership and payment of dues is voluntary. Once a union is in place, private-sector employees in Colorado may vote to include, as part of the collective bargaining process, a requirement that all employees, including those who choose not to join the union, pay their share of the cost of collective bargaining as a condition of employment.

Neither federal nor Colorado law regulates the formation of unions for most state and local public employees, such as teachers or government workers. In the public sector, the employer decides how to recognize and interact with any prospective union. The collective bargaining agreement sets forth requirements for membership and payment of dues. It can require public employees who choose not to join the union to pay their share of the cost of collective bargaining.

Requirements for union membership under Amendment 47. Amendment 47 applies to all employees, whether working in the public or private sector. It eliminates the possibility that any employee can be required to pay for the cost of collective bargaining or join a union as a condition of employment. Violation of this law carries the highest-level misdemeanor fine, which is currently a fine of between $500 and $5,000.

Amendment 47 defines a labor union to include organizations that deal with employers over employee issues such as wages, rates of pay, hours of work, grievances, and other conditions of employment, and organizations that provide mutual aid or protection in connection with employment.


Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans
Referendum E
Election:
General

2006Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 79.2%)

Topic Areas:
Military & Veterans Affairs | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Referendum E proposes a change to Section 3.5 of Article X of the Colorado Constitution that:

– reduces property taxes for qualified disabled veterans by exempting a portion of the value of their home from property taxation; and

– defines a qualified disabled veteran as a veteran who has a service-connected disability with a 100-percent permanent disability rating.

Summary and Analysis

How does the program work? Homeowners pay property taxes based on the value of their home and the tax rate set by the local governments where they live. Referendum E reduces the taxable value of a qualified veteran’s home by one-half of the first $200,000 of the home’s value, thereby lowering property taxes owed on the home. The state legislature can adjust the $200,000 amount to either increase or decrease the benefit from Referendum E in future years. Currently, the state offers the same property tax reduction to homeowners age 65 and over who have lived in their homes for at least ten years. A qualifying veteran who is also eligible for a reduction in property taxes as a senior cannot claim both reductions.

The dollar amount of the tax reduction will vary among homeowners depending upon the local property tax rate, the home’s value, and the amount of the exemption. Table 1 provides examples of how Referendum E reduces property taxes based on the average statewide property tax rate and the current exemption level. [NOTE: To view the tables summarized here, please visit the ballot measures page of the Colorado General Assembly’s web site.]

Who qualifies for the tax reduction? Homeowners who have served on active duty in the U. S. Armed Forces and are rated 100-percent permanently disabled by the federal government due to a service-connected disability qualify for the tax reduction in Referendum E. Colorado National Guard members injured while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces also qualify. Veterans are rated 100-percent
permanently disabled when a mental or physical injury makes it impossible for the average person to hold a job and the disability is lifelong. Nationally, less than one percent of veterans have a 100-percent permanent disability rating. About 2,200 veterans are expected to qualify for the property tax reduction in Colorado.

What are the fiscal implications? Referendum E affects property taxes paid beginning in 2008. The average property tax savings for those who qualify will be about $466. The total reduction in property taxes is estimated to be about $1 million in the first year. The state is required to reimburse local governments for the reduction in property tax revenue resulting from Referendum E.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Referendum E increases state expenditures because it requires the state to reimburse local governments for reduced property tax collections. The state estimates that roughly 2,200 disabled veterans will qualify for the exemption and the average property tax reduction per veteran will be $466. Thus, the impact to the state will be slightly more than $1 million, beginning with the 2008 budget year.

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Property Tax Exemption for Non-Producing Unpatented Mining Claims
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1988Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.9%)

Topic Areas:
Natural Resources | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 3 of Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, creating an exemption from property taxation for non-producing unpatented mining claims.

Property Tax Exemptions
Amendment 11
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 16.7%)

Topic Areas:
Criminal Justice | Education: PreK-12 | Human Services | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Eliminates the existing tax exemption for real property (land and improvements) used for religious purposes, but continues the exemption for personal property (movable items) used for religious worship;

– Eliminates the existing tax exemption for real property used for nonprofit charitable purposes except as specified in the amendment, but continues the exemption for personal property used for nonprofit charitable purposes;

– Continues the exemption for real and personal property used for community corrections facilities, orphanages, or housing for low-income elderly, disabled, homeless, or abused persons, when the property is not used for profit;

– Continues the exemption for property used for nonprofit schools, including colleges and universities;

– Eliminates the property tax exemption for nonprofit cemeteries;

– Requires that the property tax rate decrease proportionately to prevent a net revenue gain to any taxing entity; and

– Continues to allow the exemptions to be completely or partially repealed by state statute.

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Property Tax Limitation
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1966Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.6%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An Amendment to Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado concerning the General Property Tax, establishing a maximum limitation on annual taxation of property and gradually exempting from taxation over a ten-year period certain personal property.

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Property Tax Limitation
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1972Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 23.5%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to Section II of Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the general property tax, establishing a maximum limitation of one and one half percent of the actual value on the annual taxation of property except as permitted by a vote of the qualified electors, designating the maximum amount that may be levied by governmental units and defining actual value.

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Property Tax Provisions
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1982Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65.5%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall sections 3 and 15 of article X of the Colorado Constitution be amended in the following manner:

(a) regarding actual value and valuation for assessment: to reduce the valuation for assessment of residential real property, consisting of all residential dwelling units and underlying land and mobile home parks. But excluding hotels and motels from thirty to twenty-one percent of actual value: to require the general assembly to adjust such percent for years in which a new level of value is used in determining actual value as such adjustment is needed to maintain the previous year’s percentage of statewide valuation for assessment attributable to residential real property. To reduce the valuation for assessment of all other taxable property from thirty to twenty-nine percent to provide that actual value be determined by appropriate consideration of cost approach, market approach, and income approach to appraisal except actual value of residential real property shall be determined by consideration of cost and market approaches only and actual value of agricultural lands shall be determined by consideration of earning or productive capacity capitalized at a rate prescribed by law: to provide that valuation for assessment for producing mines and oil and gas leaseholds and lands be a portion of actual annual or actual average annual production and be based upon the value of the unprocessed material;

(b) regarding exemptions from property tax to exempt the following classes of personal property: household furnishings, personal effects, inventory of merchandise and material and supplies held for business consumption or for sale. Livestock, agricultural, and livestock products and agricultural equipment used on the farm or ranch in producing agricultural products;

(c) regarding enforcement of property tax laws to provide enforcement provisions against counties that fail to determine actual value or valuation for assessment in accordance with the state constitution or with applicable statues;

(d) regarding the state board of equalization and the property tax administrator to provide that the board be composed of the governor or his designee the speaker of The house of representative or his designee, the president of the senate or his designee and two members appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate each of whom shall be an appraiser or a former county assessor or a person knowledgeable and experienced in property taxation. To provide for the appointment of the administrator by the board and to remove the administrator from the state personnel system?


Property Tax Reduction for Senior Citizens
Referendum A
Election:
General

2000Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 55%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: reduces property taxes for qualified senior citizens by exempting up to
one-half, but not to exceed $100,000, of the value of a home from property taxation; makes the property tax reduction available to persons 65 years of age or older who have owned and lived in their homes for the preceding ten years; requires the state to reimburse local governments for any property tax revenue reduction resulting from this proposal; and excludes the state reimbursement to local governments from state and local revenue and spending limits.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: In Colorado, property taxes fund local government services, such as schools, police, fire protection, and recreation facilities. This proposal lowers property taxes for qualified senior citizens by subtracting a portion of a home’s value to determine the amount of property taxes owed. The portion of a home’s value that is subtracted or exempted to reduce property taxes is referred to as a homestead exemption.

Property tax reduction. Homeowners pay property taxes based on the value of their home and the tax rate set by the local governments where they live. This proposal reduces the taxable value of a home by one-half of the first $200,000 of a home’s value, thereby lowering property taxes for those who qualify. Homeowners with homes valued at $200,000 and under receive the largest percentage tax reduction. The percentage reduction in property taxes decreases as the home value increases above $200,000. The dollar amount of the tax reduction will vary depending upon the local property tax rate. The state legislature can adjust the $200,000 cap on the home value to either increase or decrease the benefit from the homestead exemption in future years.

Impact of the proposal. This proposal affects property taxes paid beginning in 2003. About 107,700 homes are expected to qualify for the property tax reduction, and the average property tax savings for those who qualify will be
about $410. The total reduction in property taxes is estimated to be about $44 million in the first year, which amounts to about 1.4 percent of all property taxes collected. The state is required to reimburse all local governments for the reduction in property tax revenue resulting from the proposal.

Excess state revenues. The state constitution limits most of the money that the state can collect each year to inflation plus the percentage change in state population. Money above this limit must be refunded to taxpayers unless the voters allow the state to keep and spend the excess state revenue. For the purpose of reimbursing local governments, this proposal asks the voters to allow the state to refund $44 million less in the first year. This amount would increase by about $2.3 million each year thereafter. Under current law, if there is excess revenue, the proposal would reduce the average first year tax refund by approximately $15 per taxpayer or $30 for a married couple. The reduction in the tax refund would increase slightly each year thereafter.


Property Taxes
Amendment 60
Election:
General

2010Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 24.5%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Local Government | State Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 60 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– repeal the current voter-approved authority of local governments to keep property taxes above their constitutional limits;

– establish expiration dates for future voter-approved property tax increases;

– cut local property tax rates for public schools’ operating expenses in half over ten years and replace this money with state funding each year;

– require publicly owned enterprises to pay property taxes and reduce local property tax rates to offset the new revenue; and

– provide new voting rights to certain property owners in Colorado and permit citizens to petition all local governments to reduce property taxes.

Summary and Analysis

Amendment 60 changes several aspects of Colorado’s property tax system to reduce the amount of property taxes paid by individuals and businesses to school districts, counties, special districts, cities, and towns. The measure phases in a reduction in school district property taxes over ten years and requires that the reduced property taxes be replaced with state funding.

In the first year, property taxes for school districts are expected to fall by $337 million, which the measure requires the state to replace. This represents a property tax reduction of the same amount for individuals and businesses. An average homeowner’s property tax bill is projected to fall by $87 and the property taxes for an average commercial business are estimated to fall by $1,181.

When the measure is fully implemented, the property tax reduction for school districts is estimated to increase the state’s obligation for kindergarten through twelfth grade education (K-12) by $1.5 billion, which represents a property tax decrease of the same amount for individuals and businesses. An average homeowner will pay $376 less and an average commercial business will pay $5,106 less in property taxes annually. In future years, the actual amounts will differ as inflation and growth increase the size of the economy, but the comparable budget impacts on taxpayers and governments are expected to remain consistent over time. Cities, towns, counties, and special districts will also lose property taxes, but the amount will vary by locality.

Background and current law. Property taxes are based primarily on the value of land, houses, other buildings, and business equipment. Individuals and businesses pay property taxes to various local governments, such as cities, counties, school districts, and special districts, each of which imposes its own tax rate on property. School districts and counties receive approximately 77 percent of all property taxes collected. Publicly owned enterprises, such as city water and sewer systems, municipal airports, and most state universities, are exempt from paying property tax.

Property taxes are spent on a variety of local government services, including public education, police and fire services, roads and bridges, public water and sewer systems, parks and recreation facilities, hospitals, and libraries. The degree to which local governments rely on property taxes to pay for services varies. Some special districts, such as fire protection districts, get almost all of their revenue from property taxes, while many city governments get less than percent of their funding from property taxes.

Constitutional limits on property taxes. The state constitution currently restricts both the amount of total revenue and property tax revenue that a local government can collect each year. Annual increases for each are capped at the rate of inflation plus a measure of local growth, such as student enrollment in the case of a school district. The constitution also requires voter approval for a local government to increase property tax rates or to keep and spend total revenue or property tax revenue above the government’s constitutional limit.

How does Amendment 60 change how public schools are funded? Public schools in Colorado are funded from a combination of federal, state, and local sources. Voters in some school districts have approved additional property taxes to repay loans used to build schools or other buildings. In these districts, there is a property tax for operating schools and a separate property tax to repay loans. Amendment 60 requires all districts to cut their 2011 property tax rates for operating schools in half by 2020. Property tax rates for repaying loans are unchanged. The required reduction in tax rates must be done in equal yearly amounts over ten years. Amendment 60 requires the local school district funding eliminated by this rate reduction to be replaced each year with state funding.

How does Amendment 60 affect the state budget? Currently, the state spends most of its general operating budget on: preschool through higher education; health care; prisons; the courts; and programs that help low-income, elderly, and disabled people. K-12 education funding accounts for 46 percent of this budget, which is primarily funded by sales and income taxes. Because Amendment 60 requires that the reduction in local property tax revenue be replaced with state funding, the obligation for public schools will increase to an estimated 67 percent of the state’s general operating budget, once the measure is fully implemented. To meet this increased obligation to schools, the state will have to decrease spending and services in other areas, increase fees for services, or some combination of both.

How does Amendment 60 affect property taxes for all local governments? Like school districts, cities, counties, and special districts are also funded from a combination of federal, state, and local sources. Under current law, taxpayers in many communities have voted to broadly exempt their local governments from the constitutional limit related to total revenue and spending. Currently, voters in 76 percent of municipalities, 81 percent of counties, and 98 percent of school districts have voted to allow government to keep and spend revenue above the constitutional limit, either temporarily or permanently. This measure would reimpose a property tax limit for those governments, leaving the broader revenue exemption unchanged.

Beginning in 2011, Amendment 60 repeals the current voter-approved authority of local governments to permanently keep property taxes above their constitutional limits. Local governments are not required to refund the property taxes that were retained in the past. However, local governments that collect property taxes above their property tax limit in the future will have to refund money. A new election must be held to allow a local government to keep future property taxes above its constitutional limit for up to four years at a time. The measure will also reduce the property tax collections of most local governments by reducing property tax rates, and limiting the duration of future property tax increases.

How does Amendment 60 affect publicly owned enterprises? Amendment 60 requires publicly owned enterprises to pay property taxes. Under current law, state enterprises, such as most public universities, do not pay property taxes on campus buildings or equipment. Similarly, local enterprises, such as Denver International Airport, pay no property taxes. The new property taxes collected from these publicly owned enterprises must be offset by lower property tax rates for homeowners, businesses, and other property taxpayers. For example, if the University of Colorado had to pay property taxes in Boulder County, its property tax bill is estimated to range from $11 million to $20 million per year, depending on how the property is valued. This new revenue would be offset by lower tax rates in Boulder County, providing property owners in the county with tax reductions in the same amount. The amendment prohibits publicly owned enterprises from charging either a mandatory fee or a tax on property.

How does Amendment 60 change property tax elections? Amendment 60 proposes changing several aspects of the way property tax issues are addressed in local elections. Under current law, a property owner who is a registered Colorado voter may vote on ballot questions in his or her primary place of residence and in special district elections wherever he or she owns property in Colorado. Amendment 60 allows Colorado property owners to vote on city, county, and school district property tax issues in any Colorado location where they own property, regardless of their primary place of residence in the state.

Under current law, citizens may petition cities to increase or decrease property taxes, but may not petition counties, schools, or special districts. Under this measure, all local governments must permit petitions to lower property taxes.

Typically, when a local community has voted to permanently exempt its local government from the constitutional limit on property tax collections, that voter-approved decision is not automatically repealed at a future date. Under Amendment 60, any future vote to allow a local government to retain revenue above its constitutional limit is repealed within four years after passage. Any future vote to increase property tax rates is repealed within ten years. Any extension of an expiring property tax is considered to be a tax increase under the measure, and as such, must be presented as a tax increase on the ballot.

Currently, a single ballot question may ask voters if a local government may borrow money, and if property tax rates may be increased to repay that loan. Under this measure, ballot questions that allow a government to borrow money must be separate from ballot questions that raise property taxes.

How is Amendment 60 enforced? The amendment requires the state to annually audit all cities, counties, school districts, and other types of local governments to ensure compliance with all requirements of the amendment. Citizens are also allowed to file lawsuits to enforce compliance.

How does Amendment 60 interact with two other measures on the ballot? Amendment 60 along with Amendment 61 and Proposition 101 contain provisions that affect state and local government finances by decreasing taxes paid by households and businesses and restricting government borrowing. How these measures work together may require clarification from the state legislature or the courts.

Amendment 60 reduces local property taxes, while requiring state expenditures for K-12 education to increase by an amount that offsets the property tax loss for school districts. Amendment 61 requires state and local governments to decrease tax rates when debt is repaid, which is assumed in this analysis to apply to the existing debt of state and local governments, and it prohibits any borrowing by state government. Proposition 101 reduces state and local government taxes and fees.

Since portions of these measures are phased in over time, the actual impacts to taxpayers and governments will be less in the initial years of implementation and grow over time. Assuming that all three measures are approved by voters, the first-year impact will be to reduce state taxes and fees by $744 million and increase state spending for K-12 education by $385 million. Once fully implemented, the measures are estimated to reduce state taxes and fees by $2.1 billion and increase state spending for K-12 education by $1.6 billion in today’s dollars. This would commit almost all of the state’s general operating budget to paying for the constitutional and statutory requirements of K-12 education, leaving little for other government services. In addition, the prohibition on borrowing will increase budget pressures for the state if it chooses to pay for capital projects from its general operating budget. This would further reduce the amount of money available for other government services.

Tax and fee collections for local governments are expected to fall by at least $966 million in the first year of implementation and by $4.7 billion when the measures are fully implemented. However, the net impact on local government budgets would be at least $581 million in the first year and $3.1 billion when fully implemented after the state reimburses school districts.

Total taxes and fees paid by households and businesses are estimated to decrease by $1.7 billion in the first year and $6.8 billion per year in today’s dollars when the measures are fully implemented. The measures reduce the taxes and fees owed by an average household making $55,000 per year that owns a $295,000 house by an estimated $400 in the first year and $1,660 per year when fully implemented.

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Provides for Privately Operated Lottery
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1972Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 19.9%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to Amend the Constitution of the State of Colorado, to provide for a privately operated lottery, supervised and regulated by the Department of State of the state of Colorado and granting an exclusive original ten year license to the United States Sweepstakes Corporation, forty percent of the proceeds of a lottery or lotteries to be allotted to prizes; thirty percent to the United States Sweepstakes Corporation for operating, selling expenses, and profit; thirty percent to the General Fund of the State of Colorado. An annual lottery shall be held for the benefit of Colorado charities.

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Providing an Additional One-Mill Levy for State Education Institutions
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1920Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 75.4%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing Any Franchise Granted by a Home Rule Municipality is Subject to Initiative and Referendum
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1986Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.4%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to section 4 of article XX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, making any franchise granted by a home rule municipality subject to the initiative and referendum.

Providing for a $45.00 Per Month for Old Age Pensions and Designating Certain Taxes for the Payment Thereof
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1936Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.0%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for a $60 Million Bond Issue for the Construction of Highways
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1928Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.2%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for a Guaranteed Minimum $55 per Month Old Age Pension and for the Allocation and Earmarking of Certain Moneys and Excise Taxes to Pay the Same, and Providing Qualification for Recipients
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1948Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.0%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for a Guaranteed Old Age Pension of $30 per Month to Residents of the State Over 65 Years of Age Who Qualify, and Providing that Such Pensions, Together with the Ordinary Expenses of the State Government, Shall Be the First Charge
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1940Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 27.8%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for a Severance Tax on Certain Petroleum Products and Natural Gas
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1952Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.0%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | Natural Resources | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for a State Auditor under the Legislative Department
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1964Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.7%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Articles IV and V of the Constitution of the State of Colorado providing for a State Auditor under the Legislative Department to replace the Auditor of State under the Executive Department.

Providing for an ad Valorem Tax on All Intangible Property in the State, and Allocating the Funds Derived Therefrom
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1940Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 10.3%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for an Income Tax, Requiring General Assembly to Levy Such Income Tax at Not Lower than Certain Specified Rates, and Requiring that Revenue Derived from the Income Tax Shall Replace Property Taxes
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1940Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 18.3%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available

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Providing for Civil Service Reform
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1934Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 24.0%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for Daylight Savings Time
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1960Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.5%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for Four Year Terms for Certain County Officials
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1932Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.6%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for Four Year Terms of Office, Beginning in January, 1959, for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, State Treasurer, and Attorney General
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1956Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 62.2%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for Four-Year Terms of Office for Certain County Officers
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1954Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Undecided

Topic Areas:
Elections | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for Four-Year Terms of Office for Elected State Officials
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1954Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.2%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for Ownership Tax on Motor Vehicles in Lieu of ad Valorem Taxation Thereon, and for Distribution of Such Tax
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1936Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 66.9%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for Preference to Honorably Discharged Veterans and their Widows in the Civil Service of the State and its Political Subdivisions by the Adding of Stated Points to the Passing Grades Attained by Such Persons in Civil Service Exams
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1944Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 70.5%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Military & Veterans Affairs | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for the Apportionment of Members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the General Assembly
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1956Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.2%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for the Apportionment of the General Assembly and Providing for Senatorial and Representative Districts
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1962Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.9%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for the Authorization, Regulation, and Licensing of the Racing of Horses and Other Animals with Parimutuel Wagering
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1948Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.5%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing | Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for the Care and Treatment of Insane Persons
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1916Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 80.6%)

Topic Areas:
Health

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for the Conservation of the State’s Wildlife Resources, Limiting the Use of Game and Fish Revenues for Such Purposes, and Establishing a Game and Fish Commission
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1940Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.9%)

Topic Areas:
Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing | Natural Resources | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for the Construction of the Moffat, Monarch, and San Juan Tunnels, and a Bond Issue Therefor
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1920Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.7%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for the Creation of a Bond Issue to Pay Bonus to Soldiers and Sailors
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1924Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 43.3%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures | Military & Veterans Affairs

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for the Election of a State Board of Education and for the Appointment by the Board of a Commissioner of Education to Replace State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1930Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.1%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

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Providing for the Election of a State Board of Education and for the Appointment by the Board of a Commissioner of Education to Replace State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1928Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34.8%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Providing for the Employment and Tenure in the State Classified Civil Service on the Basis of Merit and for the Administration of the State Civil Service by a Civil Service Commission
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1956Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.8%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for the Investment of Public School Funds in Certain Securities
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1916Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.9%)

Topic Areas:
Banking & Financial Services | Budgets | Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Providing for the Issuance of Anticipation Warrants for Highway Purposes
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1954Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.3%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for the Reorganization of the Judicial Department
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1962Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.2%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing for the Sale or Transfer of Real Estate
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1980Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.9%)

Topic Areas:
Banking & Financial Services | Business & Commerce

Summary: Click for Summary

[Official ballot title not available]

Shall Article XVIII of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, be amended to provide that in order that all persons shall have the right to sell or transfer their real estate or any interest therein subject to existing financing, no person or lending institution with a security interest in the real estate shall accelerate or mature the indebtedness secured by such real estate or alter the terms and conditions of the indebtedness or security interest because of such sale or transfer, so long as the original debtor remains directly responsible for the indebtedness and the security for the indebtedness is not substantially impaired by the sale or transfer?

[CA]


Providing Jury Service by Women
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1944Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.6%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available

Providing Public Assistance to Indigent Tubercular Residents
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1936Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.0%)

Topic Areas:
Health | Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Providing that Aliens Eligible to Citizenship May Acquire and Dispose of Real and Personal Property, and That Provision Shall be Made by Law Concerning the Rights of Aliens Ineligible to Citizenship to Acquire and Dispose of Such Property
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1944Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 47.0%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Land Use/Property Rights

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Providing that Any Balance in the Old Age Pension Fund at the End of Any Calendar Year Shall be Used to Pay Future Pensions and Administrative Costs of Fund
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1946Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.4%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Providing that Ownership, Exhibition and Operation of Slot Machines Shall Be Lawful Except Where Not Permitted by Municipal Ordinance or Charter Provision Adopted by the Voters
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1952Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.0%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Providing that Political Subdivisions May Adopt and Thereafter Modify or Repeal Local Option Proposals Prohibiting the Sale of Alcoholic and Fermented Malt Beverages
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1948Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 26.5%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Providing that Women Shall Serve on Juries
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1936Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.4%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Public Highway Bonds
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1912Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 40.7%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
Authorizing a bonded indebtedness for public highways

Public Ownership of Health Facilities
Referendum B
Election:
General

2002Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.8%)

Topic Areas:
Health | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– allows local governments, such as special districts, counties, and cities, to jointly own health care services or facilities with private companies or individuals;

– provides that a local government’s and private company’s share of ownership in such services or facilities be based on the amount invested;

– prohibits local governments from going into debt or pledging credit to create and operate health care partnerships; and

– prevents a partnership created to provide a health care service from being considered a local government or public body.

Background

Local government health care services are provided primarily through county and special district hospitals and local health departments. Hospitals operated by local governments provide a range of health care services that are determined by a hospital board and applicable laws. The
hospital board is either appointed by county commissioners or elected by the voters. Health departments carry out health programs and control disease. The proposal applies to these services and any other health care services provided by a local government.

In providing health care services, local governments can contract with each other or with private companies or individuals. Local governments can also jointly own health care services or facilities with other government bodies. However, local government health care services and facilities currently cannot be provided through joint ownership or partnership with private companies or individuals. If adopted, this proposal would be the second exemption to the constitutional prohibition on partnerships between local governments and private companies. The constitution currently allows partnerships to provide municipal utility services.


Public Utilities
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1914Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.2%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Because this question did not receive a majority “yes” vote, the legislature’s law did not take effect.

Relating to the financing and capitalization of public utilities.


Public Utilities
Amendment 13
Election:
General

1914Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.9%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Because this question did not receive a majority “yes” vote, the legislature’s law did not take effect.

Relating to the financing and capitalization of public utilities.


Public Utilities
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1976Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 30.0%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to protect and represent consumers of public utilities services by creating a Department of Public Counselor, and concerning financial disclosures by Public Utilities Commissioners and the Public Counselor, approval of the issuance of telephone and telegraph company securities, the burden of proof for utility companies seeking rate increases, criminal and civil remedies for violations of this act, judicial review of Public Utilities Commission decisions, and purposes and procedures of the Public Utilities Commission.

[S]


Public Utilities Court
Amendment 19
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34.7%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Creating a public utilities court with exclusive power to fix rates, and for appeal directly to the Supreme Court from its decisions

[CA]


Public Utility Services
Amendment 10
Election:
General

1972Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.8%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Energy & Electric Utilities | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to protect the consumer of public utility services by defining just and reasonable rates, by creating an Office of Public Consumer Counsel and by requiring the disclosure of certain financial information regarding public utilities.

[S]


Publication of Constitutional Amendments and Initiated and Referred Laws
Amendment 16
Election:
General

1914Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.2%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary
Concerning the publication of constitutional amendments and initiated and referred laws.

Qualifications for Serving in the State Legislature
Referendum L
Election:
General

2008Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.3%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary
Reduces from twenty-five to twenty-one years the age of qualification to serve in the General Assembly.

Qualifications of Electors
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1984Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 72.7%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Articles IV, XIV, XX, and XXI of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, providing that a person must be a registered elector in order to vote for state elected executive officers, to vote for removal of a county seat, to vote on the striking off of county territory, to sign a petition for or to vote on county home rule, to vote on the formation, merger, election of members of governing bodies, and the functions of service authorities, to vote on a franchise relating to any street, alley or public place of a home rule city, to sign a petition for or to vote on municipal home rule, to sign a petition for or to vote on recall of state and local elective public officers, and applying to registered electors the percentage for determining the number of signatures on home rule petitions.

Reapportionment of General Assembly
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1932Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.1%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary

An act fixing ratios for and establishing the apportionment of senators and representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Colorado.

[S]


Recall
Amendment 15
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.5%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for recall from office

[CA]


Recall Deadlines
Referendum F
Election:
General

2006Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.7%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

Referendum F proposes a change to Section 2 of Article XXI of the Colorado Constitution that:

– removes deadlines for protesting petitions to recall elected state officials;

– allows the state legislature to set deadlines for protesting petitions to recall elected state officials; and

– changes the requirements for when a recall election is held.

Summary and Analysis

What is a recall election? A recall election lets voters remove and replace an elected official prior to the end of the official’s term. Every state and local elected official in Colorado may be recalled. Recall elections occur mostly at the local level. At a recall election, voters are asked if they want to recall the elected official and to choose a candidate to replace the official if the recall election is successful.

Current state recall election process. Recall elections are triggered when the required number of registered voters sign a recall petition. For elected state officials, the required number of signatures is 25 percent of the votes cast for all candidates for that office in the preceding election. Elected state officials include statewide officeholders, such as the governor and the attorney general, and state officials elected from specific districts, such as legislators and district attorneys. Proponents have up to 60 days to gather signatures after a petition form is approved by state election officials. Signatures on petitions can be protested, which results in a hearing by the election official. The date of the recall election depends on when the petition is submitted, taking into account whether a November election in an even-numbered year will occur in the near future.

Proposed recall petition and election deadlines for elected state officials. Referendum F removes most deadlines for recall petitions and protest hearings from the state constitution and allows the state legislature to set these deadlines in statute. During the 2006 legislative session, House Bill 06-1051 was passed concerning recall elections.
It will take effect July 1, 2007, if Referendum F is approved. As it relates to Referendum F, this law extends deadlines for election officials to hear protests of recall petitions and to hold recall elections. Table 1 compares the current recall deadlines with those in Referendum F and the new statute.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Referendum F is not expected to affect state or local government revenues or expenditures.

[CA]


Recycling of Beverage Containers
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1976Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.0%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Environmental Protection

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to require a minimum deposit refund value for beverage containers for malt liquor, including beer, and carbonated soft drinks manufactured, distributed, or sold for use in this state; to require recycling or reuse of returned beverage containers; and to provide civil penalties for violations.

[S]


Reduce Age Qualification for General Assembly Members Amendment
Amendment V
Election:
General

2018Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.2%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary
Reduces age qualification for legislative members from 25 to 21.

Reforming the Executive Branch of State Government and Vesting Centralized Authority in the Governor
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1934Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 19.1%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Regional Transportation District
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1980Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.2%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall the Colorado Revised Statutes be amended to provide for the election of one director from each director district for a fifteen member board of directors of the Regional Transportation District?

[S]


Regulating the Practice of Medicine
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1916Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.1%)

Topic Areas:
Health

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Regulating the Running of Livestock at Large
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1916Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 35.5%)

Topic Areas:
Agriculture

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Regulation of Commercial Hog Facilities
Amendment 14
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.2%)

Topic Areas:
Agriculture | Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing

Summary: Click for Summary

A proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes to further regulate the construction and operation of large, commercial hog facilities and the disposal of manure and wastewater from these facilities to minimize odor and water pollution; further restrict how manure and wastewater are applied to crops or land; require commercial hog facilities to obtain state permits for discharge of wastewater and provide funding for enforcement of permit conditions; require the state to regulate odor from hog facilities; prevent new waste application sites and waste storage tanks from being less than one mile from neighboring towns, homes, and schools, unless consent is given by nearby property owners and local governments; and allow local governments to impose regulations for hog facilities that are tougher than those contained in this proposal.

[S]


Regulation of Games of Chance
Amendment P
Election:
General

2010Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.7%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment P proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– transfer the licensing of games of chance, such as bingo and raffles, from the Department of State to the Department of Revenue; and

– allow the state legislature to change the department of oversight and the requirement that an organization exist for five years with a dues-paying membership.

Summary and Analysis

Colorado law allows certain nonprofit organizations to use bingo and raffles to raise money for charity. Bingo and raffles are games in which prizes are won based on randomly picked numbers. Since 1958, the Department of State has regulated these games by issuing licenses, collecting fees, conducting inspections, addressing complaints, and imposing penalties. Currently, organizations must have been in existence for five years with a dues-paying membership to qualify for a license.

Amendment P allows the state legislature to choose a state agency to regulate bingo and raffles. The legislature may also change the licensing requirement that an organization must have operated for five years. During the 2010 session, the state legislature passed a bill selecting the Department of Revenue to regulate bingo and raffles if Amendment P is adopted.

The Department of Revenue currently regulates casino gambling, licenses casinos and casino employees, conducts compliance audits, and approves casino gambling devices. The department also operates the Colorado Lottery.


Regulation of Public Service Corporations
Amendment 10
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.1%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Energy & Electric Utilities | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for regulation of public service corporations

[S]


Reimbursement of Recall Expenses for State Elective Officers
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1988Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.9%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Section 4 of Article XXI of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, making the provision on reimbursement of recall expenses from the state treasury applicable only to state elective officers, providing that the general assembly establish procedures for said reimbursement, and authorizing the general assembly to establish procedures for the reimbursement of recall expenses of local elective officers by local governmental entities.

Relating to County and Local Officers, Including Terms of Office
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1962Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.8%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to County Officers and Changes by Vote of the People
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1960Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.3%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to Income Deductible from Old Age Pension
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1954Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.7%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to Income Tax Payments and to Allow the Definition of Income as Used in the Laws of the U.S.
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1962Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.5%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to Numerous Provisions Concerning the General Assembly
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1950Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 58.1%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to Officers in the City and County of Denver
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1962Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.2%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to Reapportionment, Including a Commission on Legislative Apportionment
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1962Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.5%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Relating to Taxable Property: Assessment and County Boards of Equalization
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1962Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.3%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to Taxation of Personal Property
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1954Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.1%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Relating to the Apportionment of Members of the General Assembly, Including Representation Based on Population in the House of Representatives
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1954Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.3%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to the City and County of Denver and Home Rule Cities
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1950Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.4%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to the Compensation of County and Precinct Officers
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1958Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.7%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to the Exemption of Certain Property from Ad Valorem Taxation
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1952Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 25.7%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to the Exemption of Publicly Owned Real Property from Taxation
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1968Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 47.9%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | State Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, relating to the exemption of publicly owned real property from taxation.

Relating to the Judicial Department and the Compensation and Retirement of Judges
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1952Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 58.3%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to the Legislative Department, Providing Limitations on the Sessions of the General Assembly, Including Session Length, and the Manner of Introduction of Bills
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1942Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.5%)

Topic Areas:
Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to the Practice of Chiropractic and Providing for the Regulation and Licensing Thereof
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1920Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 43.5%)

Topic Areas:
Health | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Relating to the Practice of Healing Arts, and Giving Practitioners licensed by the state certain rights in tax supported institutions and Power to Regulate their Own Professions
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1938Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 23.1%)

Topic Areas:
Health

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Relating to the Qualification of Voters, Including the Right to Vote for President by Non-Residents
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1962Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 68.9%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relating to the Regulation of Public Utilities
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1952Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46.0%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Relief of Adult Blind
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1918Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 93.3%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Relieving Employees from Assuming the Risk of Injury or Death
Amendment 11
Election:
General

1914Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.4%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Because this question received a majority “yes” vote, the legislature’s law took effect.

Relieving employees from assuming risk of injury or death.


Removal from Constitution of Forced Unpaid Labor for Criminals Amendments
Amendment A
Election:
General

2018Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 66.2%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Criminal Justice | Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary
Removes the current provision in the constitution that allows the state to force convicted criminal who are in prison to labor without pay or restitution. It changes the provision that currently reads, “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” This measure removes the criminal qualifier from the slavery provision.

Renewable Energy Requirement
Amendment 37
Election:
General

2004Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.6%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | Environmental Protection | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes:

– requires certain Colorado utilities to generate or purchase a portion of their electric power from renewable energy resources beginning in 2007;

– defines the renewable energy resources that may be used to meet the requirement;

– limits the amount that an average residential electric bill can increase as a result of the requirement to 50 cents per month;

– provides financial incentives to certain customers and utilities to invest in renewable energy; and

– allows a utility to hold an election to either exempt or include itself in the renewable energy requirement.

Background

Colorado is served by 60 utilities that generate electricity using primarily coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric power. Colorado utilities are not required to use renewable energy sources to generate electricity; however, roughly 2 percent of electricity currently generated in Colorado comes from the renewable energy sources defined in this proposal. To date, 16 other states have adopted renewable energy requirements. The maximum amount and source of the renewable energy vary by state,
ranging from 1.1 percent of the total electricity generated in Arizona (mostly solar) to 30 percent in Maine (mostly hydroelectric).

The proposal requires Colorado utilities with 40,000 or more customers to generate or purchase a percentage of their electricity from renewable sources according to the following schedule:

– 3 percent from 2007 through 2010;

– 6 percent from 2011 through 2014; and

– 10 percent by 2015 and thereafter.

Of the electricity generated each year from renewable sources, at least 4 percent must come from solar technologies. Initially, seven Colorado utilities serving about 80 percent of the state’s electric customers will be required to comply with this proposal.

Eligible sources of renewable energy.

Utilities may use a variety of renewable energy sources to satisfy the new requirement. These are: wind; solar; geothermal heat, such as underground reservoirs of steam or hot water; biomass facilities that burn nontoxic plants, methane from landfills, or animal waste; small hydroelectric power stations; and hydrogen fuel cells.

Financial incentives.

Under the proposal, utility customers may earn a rebate for installing solar electric generation equipment on their property. Any electricity generated from the solar equipment in excess of the customer’s annual use may be sold to the utility. In addition, for-profit utilities may earn extra profit and bonuses if their investment in renewable energy technologies reduces the retail cost of electricity to their customers. Tradeable renewable energy credit system. A system of tradeable renewable energy credits will allow utilities that do not generate the required amount of electricity from renewable energy sources to purchase “credits” from those utilities that exceed the requirement.

Procedure for exemption and inclusion.

Utilities subject to the proposal may hold elections to exempt themselves from the renewable energy requirement. Similarly, utilities not subject to the requirement may hold elections to be included. At least 25 percent of the utility’s customers must vote on the issue of exemption or inclusion, with a majority vote required for passage. In addition, a municipally-owned utility or a rural electric cooperative may develop a similar renewable energy requirement and be exempted from this proposal.

Role of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

For purposes of implementing the new renewable energy requirements, the Public Utilities Commission will regulate some utilities it currently does not. The Commission must adopt rules to implement this proposal.


Reorganization of the State Department of Education
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1948Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65.0%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Repeal Equal Rights on Account of Sex
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1976Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.0%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to repeal Section 29 of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, which section provides for equality of rights under the law on account of sex.

[CA]


Repeal of $45.00 per Month Old Age Pension Amendment and Giving the General Assembly Power to Provide for Pensions
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1938Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.5%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services | Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[CA]


Repeal of certain obsolete provisions from the Colorado Constitution
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1990Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 77.8%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Articles IV, VII, XI, XII, XIII and XVIII of the constitution, concerning the repeal of obsolete constitutional provisions.

Repeal of Chain Store Tax Act
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1938Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.7%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Repeal of Obsolete Constitutional Provisions
Referendum D
Election:
General

2002Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 70.7%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– removes expired provisions for events that have already occurred;

– strikes an obsolete reference to legislative authority relating to courts; and

– removes a provision found unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Background

Expired provisions. The proposal removes four provisions related to the establishment of a statewide court system and judicial reform:

– a requirement that judges for the then newly created Denver juvenile and probate courts be elected at the 1964 General Election;

– a provision transferring cases from county courts to district courts, when district courts became courts of general jurisdiction effective January 1965;

– a provision that allows sitting judges in January 1967 to serve the remainder of their terms during the transition from elected to appointed judges; and

– language terminating the terms of office for sitting members of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications on July 1, 1983, when it was replaced by the Commission on
Judicial Discipline.

The proposal removes two provisions relating to debt that has since been repaid:

– a reference to a 1991 state loan to the Limited Gaming Fund for the initial organizational and administrative expenses to establish gaming in Colorado; and

– a provision regarding the use of lottery proceeds collected from April 1, 1993, to June 30, 1998, for various capital construction projects that have been completed.

The proposal removes additional miscellaneous provisions:

– a 1902 provision regarding temporary officers for the newly established City and County of Denver; and

– provisions regarding annexation by Denver, Lakewood, or Aurora permitted between April 1, 1974, and December 20, 1974.

Obsolete reference to legislative authority. The proposal removes language from 1962 granting the state legislature the authority to provide simplified procedures in county courts for claims not exceeding $500. In 1964 and 1976, the state legislature passed laws directing the Judicial Branch to adopt procedures for these courts. The Supreme Court currently provides procedures for all claims filed in
county courts and small claims courts.

Unconstitutional provision. The proposal removes a term-limits provision ruled unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1998. The provision directs state and congressional legislators to follow specific steps to amend the federal constitution to implement congressional term limits, and directs the state to note on the ballot which legislators failed to comply. The court found the provision violates the U.S. Constitution because it takes away the ability of state and congressional legislators to use their own judgment and, in effect, forces them to vote in a particular way.


Repeal of Obsolete Provisions of the Constitution
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1988Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 67.2%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Articles V, VII, VIII, and X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado concerning the maximum eight-hour workday applicable to persons who are employed in certain occupations, conforming the age qualification for electors to that required by the constitution of the United States, and concerning the deletion of obsolete provisions relating to suffrage for women, selection of the seat of government of the state, appropriations for the capitol building, and state support for the 1976 winter olympics.

Repeal the Prohibition of Public Funding for Abortion
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1988Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.8%)

Topic Areas:
Abortion

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to repeal Article V, Section 50 of the Colorado Constitution and to provide instead that the state and its agencies, institutions, and political subdivisions shall not prohibit the use of public funds for medical services for a woman solely because of her choice of whether or not to continue her pregnancy?

[CA]


Repealing Statewide Prohibition Subject to National Repeal
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1932Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.1%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Federal Government

Summary: Click for Summary

An act to amend Article XXII of the State Constitution by providing that after July 1, 1933, the manufacture, sale and distribution of intoxicating liquors within Colorado shall, subject to the United States Constitution and laws be under such agencies and regulations as may be provided by statutory laws, but that no saloons shall be permitted

[CA]


Require Minimum Distance from Occupied Buildings and Other Areas for New Oil and Gas Mining Projects Initiative
Proposition 112
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.9%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | Environmental Protection | Land Use/Property Rights

Summary: Click for Summary
The measure requires new oil and gas drilling to be at least 2500 feet away from occupied buildings and any vulnerable area such as parks and water.

Requirements for Consent to Abortion
Amendment 25
Election:
General

2000Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39%)

Topic Areas:
Abortion

Summary: Click for Summary

Initiative Statute

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: requires a doctor and licensed health care or mental health care
professional working with a doctor to present specific information to a woman before an abortion; requires a 24-hour waiting period between the time the information is provided and an abortion is performed, except in cases of medical emergency; requires the woman to certify, in writing, that she was provided the information; requires the state to publish and annually update an informational packet and videotape; and creates criminal penalties and civil remedies for violating the provisions of the proposal.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal

As a matter of practice, doctors explain the risks, benefits, and alternatives of any medical procedure to patients and require them to sign written consent forms before performing any procedure. This proposal places requirements in state law for obtaining consent before performing an abortion. Under these requirements, a doctor must meet privately with any woman seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure and discuss the following information with her:

– the abortion procedure, including the name of the doctor who will perform the abortion, a medically accurate and complete description of the abortion method, the need for anti-Rh immune globulin therapy, and follow-up care provided by the clinic;

– alternatives to an abortion;

– the medical risks of an abortion and of carrying a child to term, including, for abortions, the risks of infection or hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies, breast cancer, and the possible adverse psychological effects; and

– details about the fetus, including the probable gestational age and physical characteristics of the fetus at the time of the abortion, the ability of the fetus to survive outside of the womb, and whether the procedure would be likely to inflict pain on the fetus.

A doctor or a licensed professional working with the doctor must also discuss medical assistance benefits that may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care; the financial obligations of the father; and the woman’s ability to withhold or withdraw her consent to the abortion at any time before or during the abortion.

Exceptions for medical emergencies. The proposal contains an exception to the consent requirement and the 24-hour waiting period in the case of a medical emergency. A medical emergency is a condition that, in the doctor’s judgment, would cause a woman’s death or substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.

Materials provided by the state. Each year, the state must publish materials and a videotape which include information about agencies offering alternatives to abortion, and agencies and services available to assist pregnant women. In addition, the state must establish a toll-free 24-hour telephone hotline to provide a list and description of these agencies and services. The materials and videotape include information about the support obligations of the father, and descriptions and photographs of a fetus at two-week increments. The videotape shows an ultrasound image of a fetal heartbeat at various gestational increments beginning at four weeks. The materials and videotape will be available from the state at no cost. Doctors must offer these materials to a woman at least 24 hours before an abortion.

Reporting requirements. Doctors are required to annually submit reports to the state indicating how many women were provided abortion information, how many received a copy of printed materials, how many refused the printed materials, and how many had an abortion. The doctor must also indicate the number of abortions performed under emergency circumstances. The state must annually publish a report of this information.

Penalties. A doctor who fails to provide the required information prior to an abortion, who fails to obtain the woman’s written consent, or who fraudulently certifies that the information was provided or consent obtained is guilty of a Class 5 felony, punishable by up to three years imprisonment, fines of up to $100,000, or both. Any person who fails to report the required information to the state is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 18 months in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Failure to comply with these requirements may also be the
basis for disciplinary action against the doctor’s license and civil malpractice lawsuits.

Fiscal Impact. The Office of State Planning and Budgeting has determined that implementation of the measure would result in a negative fiscal impact on the department of public health and environment in the amount of $327,125 in FY 2000-01 and $175,569 in FY 2001-02. These amounts include:

1. Development, production, and distribution of video and audio materials;

2. Design and maintenance of a 24-hour hotline;

3. Personal services costs equal to 2.75 FTE in the first year and 1.25 FTE in the second year; and

4. Legal expenses for enforcement of the measure.

[S]


Requirements for Initiated Constitutional Amendments
Amendment 71
Election:
General

2016Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.4% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to the Colorado constitution making it more difficult to amend the Colorado constitution by requiring that any petition for a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment be signed by at least two percent of the registered electors who reside in each state senate district for the amendment to be placed on the ballot and increasing the percentage of votes needed to pass any proposed constitutional amendment from a majority to at least fifty-five percent of the votes cast, unless the proposed constitutional amendment only repeals, in whole or in part, any provision of the constitution.

Requiring Minimum Refund Value on Beverage Containers
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1982Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 25.5%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall an act be adopted requiring a minimum refund value on beverage containers for beer or other malted beverages, mineral water, soda water or other carbonated soft drinks manufactured, distributed or sold for use in this state, with the refund value clearly shown upon each beverage container, providing for payment of such refund, prohibiting the sale of beverages in metal containers which open by means of detachable parts, prohibiting the sale of beverages in non-degradable beverage container carriers, and providing misdemeanor penalties for violation of the act?

[S]


Requiring Payment of ad Valorem Tax on Real Property a Qualification for Voting on School Bonded Indebtedness
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1928Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 30.8%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Requiring voter approval of certain state and local governmental revenue increases, limiting the rate of increase of state spending, and other provisions
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1990Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.9%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Elections | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to Article X of the Colorado Constitution to require voter approval for certain state and local government revenue increases; to restrict property, income and other taxes; to limit the rate of increase in state spending; to change property valuation and assessment laws; and to provide for additional initiative and referendum elections and for the mailing of information to registered voters?

[CA]


Requiring Voter Approval of Tax Increases, Restricting Taxes and Limiting Increases in State Spending
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1988Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.2%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to Article X of the Colorado Constitution to require voter approval for certain increases in state and local government tax revenues, to restrict property, income, sales, and other taxes, and to limit the rate of increase in state spending?

[CA]


Restrict Payday Loan Interest Rate to 36 Percent and Eliminate Other Fees Initiative
Proposition 111
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 77.3%)

Topic Areas:
Banking & Financial Services

Summary: Click for Summary
The measure restricts payday loan yearly interest rate to 36 percent and eliminates all other charges and fees associate with payday lending. The measure takes effect on February 2019.

Retail Marijuana Taxes
Proposition AA
Election:
General

2013Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65 % )

Topic Areas:
Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Proposition AA, if approved, would:

– ? impose a 15 percent state excise tax on the average wholesale price of retail marijuana when the product is first sold or transferred by a retail marijuana cultivation facility, with public school construction receiving the first $40 million of any annual tax revenues collected;

– ? impose a 10 percent state sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products, in addition to the existing 2.9 percent state sales tax, to increase funding for the regulation and enforcement of the retail marijuana industry and to fund related health, education, and public safety costs;

– ? direct 15 percent of the revenue collected from the 10 percent state sales tax to cities and counties where retail marijuana sales occur; and

– ? allow the state legislature to increase or decrease the excise and sales taxes on retail marijuana so long as the rate of either tax does not exceed 15 percent.

(2013 HB 1318)


Retail Sales and Use Tax
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1960Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.2%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Concerning a retail sales and use tax and authorizing the vesting in counties, cities and towns the power to impose a retail sales and use tax for local purposes, except for drugs and food for off-premise purposes

[CA]


Retain Revenue in Excess of Blue Book Estimate of Taxes on Marijuana Sales
Proposition BB
Election:
General

2015Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 67 %)

Topic Areas:
Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
May the state retain and spend state revenues that otherwise would be refunded for exceeding an estimate included in the ballot information booklet for proposition aa and use these revenues to provide forty million dollars for public school building construction and for other needs, such as law enforcement, youth programs, and marijuana education and prevention programs, instead of refunding these revenues to retail marijuana cultivation facilities, retail marijuana purchasers, and other taxpayers?

Revenue Bonds for Water Projects
Referendum A
Election:
General

2003Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 40.3%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary
The ballot question:
– allows the Colorado Water Conservation Board to borrow up to $2 billion for public and private water projects by issuing bonds;
– requires the bonds to be repaid from the water projects’ revenue and limits the total repayment cost, including interest, to $4 billion; and
– exempts the bonds, interest, and project revenue from state revenue and spending limits.

Revising Apportionment of Members of the General Assembly
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1922Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.7%)

Topic Areas:
Redistricting

Summary: Click for Summary

Summary not available.

[S]


Revising the Old Age Pension in the Constitution
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1956Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65.7%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services

Summary: Click for Summary

Revising the old age pension in the Constitution, establishing a monthly award of $100 to be adjusted to increased living costs, providing for a stabilization fund of $5 million and a medical fund of not to exceed $10 million annually

[CA]


Rights of Crime Victims
Referendum A
Election:
General

1992Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 80.2%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– provide that a person who is the victim of a crime — or the person’s designee, legal guardian, or surviving immediate family members, if the victim is deceased — shall have the right to be heard when relevant and to be informed of and present at all critical stages in the criminal justice process; and

– direct the General Assembly to define all terms used in the proposal, including the term “critical stages.”


Salaries of County Officers
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1912Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.0%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Providing that salaries of county, precinct and other officers need not be paid entirely from fees collected by said officers

School Board Open Meetings
Proposition 104
Election:
General

2014Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 70.1% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12 | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary
This measure would make a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes requiring any meeting of a board of education, or any meeting between any representative of a school district and any representative of employees, at which a collective bargaining agreement is discussed to be open to the public.

School District Expenditures for Education
Amendment 39
Election:
General

2006Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.6%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Education: PreK-12 | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Two ballot proposals establish requirements for school district spending. Amendment 39 proposes a change to Section 17 of Article IX of the Colorado Constitution. Referendum J, a legislative proposal, proposes a change to state statute. Voters may choose to vote for one, both, or neither of the proposals. Neither proposal is dependent upon passage of the other. If both proposals pass and any provision of Referendum J is found to conflict with a provision of Amendment 39, then that provision of Referendum J will not be enforced. Both proposals:

– require each school district to spend at least 65 percent of its operating budget on specific items beginning in the 2007-08 school year, although the items are different in each proposal;

– require any school district that spends less than the 65-percent threshold to increase its spending on the specified items by two percentage points each year until the threshold is met;

– allow a school district to request a one-year waiver from the spending requirement; and

– allow the legislature to sanction any school district that fails to comply with the spending requirement.

Additionally, Referendum J (the legislature’s alternative to this measure, Amendment 39):

– allows voters to exempt a school district from the 65-percent requirement; and

– requires each school district to submit an annual budget in a standardized format to the state.

Summary and Analysis

Decisions on how to spend money to operate public schools are made by locally elected school boards in each school district, with certain exceptions. Under current law, districts have to set aside money for school supplies and books, buildings and insurance, and services for at-risk students. On average, these earmarked purposes accounted for roughly $600 per pupil in school year 2004-05, or nearly 8 percent of school district operating budgets. Both Amendment 39 and Referendum J propose to add a new requirement: that each school district spend at least 65 percent of its operating budget on the items listed in Table 1. [NOTE: To view the tables summarized here, please visit the ballot measures page of the Colorado General Assembly’s web site.]

In addition to applying the 65-percent requirement to different items, the two proposals define an operating budget differently. As a result, the proposals will affect districts differently. Table 2 compares spending on the items required by each proposal using average school district spending per pupil from the 2004-05 school year, the most recent year for which data are available.

Data on individual school district spending indicate that under both proposals some school districts would not have met the 65-percent requirement in the 2004-05 school year. If the requirements were in place in 2004-05, 166 school districts would have fallen short by a total of $278 million under Amendment 39. Three districts would have fallen short by a total of $1 million under Referendum J.

A district that spends less than the 65-percent threshold must increase spending on the specified items by two percentage points per year until the requirement is met. Alternatively, a district may seek a waiver from the requirements.

Each year, school district spending records are audited and reported to state and federal education agencies. The data are organized by category to show the amount spent on such items as classroom instruction, support staff, administration, and buildings. These reports will be used to determine compliance with the 65-percent requirement, although some modification to the categories may be required. The State Board of Education is responsible for approving the types of data that are reported in each category.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Determining school district compliance with Amendment 39’s expenditure requirements is expected to increase state costs by about $50,000 per year and may also increase school district costs by requiring more detailed tracking of expenditures and additional budget planning to conform with the amendment. Additionally, while the amendment does not increase funding for public education, an estimated 166 of 178 districts will have to increase spending on the specified items by a total of $278 million to meet its requirements. This estimate is based on 2004-05 spending.

[CA]


School District Spending Requirements
Referendum J
Election:
General

2006Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 41.5%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Education: PreK-12 | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Two ballot proposals establish requirements for school district spending. Referendum J, discussed below, proposes a change to state statute. Amendment 39, an initiative, proposes a change to Section 17 of Article IX of the Colorado Constitution. Voters may choose to vote for one, both, or neither of the proposals. Neither proposal is dependent upon passage of the other. If both proposals pass and any provision of Referendum J is found to conflict with a provision of Amendment 39, then that provision of Referendum J will not be enforced. Both proposals:

– require each school district to spend at least 65 percent of its operating budget on specific items beginning in the 2007-08 school year, although the items are different in each proposal;

– require any school district that spends less than the 65-percent threshold to increase its spending on the specified items by two percentage points each year until the threshold is met;

– allow a school district to request a one-year waiver from the spending requirement; and

– allow the legislature to sanction any school district that fails to comply with the spending requirement.

Additionally, Referendum J:

– allows voters to exempt a school district from the 65-percent requirement; and

– requires each school district to submit an annual budget in a standardized format to the state.

Summary and Analysis

Decisions on how to spend money to operate public schools are made by locally elected school boards in each school district, with certain exceptions. Under current law, districts have to set aside money for school supplies and books, buildings and insurance, and services for at-risk students. On average, these earmarked purposes accounted for roughly $600 per pupil in school year 2004-05, or nearly 8 percent of school district operating budgets. Both Amendment 39 and Referendum J propose to add a new requirement: that each school district spend at least 65 percent of its operating budget on the items listed in Table 1. [NOTE: To view the tables mentioned in this summary, please visit the ballot measures page of the Colorado General Assembly’s web site.]

In addition to applying the 65-percent requirement to different items, the two proposals define an operating budget differently. As a result, the proposals will affect districts differently. Table 2 compares spending on the items required by each proposal using average school district spending per pupil from the 2004-05 school year, the most recent year for which data are available.

Data on individual school district spending indicate that under both proposals some school districts would not have met the 65-percent requirement in the 2004-05 school year. If the requirements were in place in 2004-05, 166 school districts would have fallen short by a total of $278 million under Amendment 39. Three districts would have fallen short by a total of $1 million under Referendum J.

A district that spends less than the 65-percent threshold must increase spending on the specified items by two percentage points per year until the requirement is met. Alternatively, a district may seek a waiver from the requirements.

Each year, school district spending records are audited and reported to state and federal education agencies. The data are organized by category to show the amount spent on such items as classroom instruction, support staff, administration, and buildings. These reports will be used to determine compliance with the 65-percent requirement, although some modification to the categories may be required. The State Board of Education is responsible for approving the types of data that are reported in each category.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact of Referendum J

The Colorado Department of Education will determine school district compliance with Referendum J’s expenditure requirements. This effort is expected to increase state costs by about $62,000 per year. Referendum J may also increase school district costs by requiring more detailed tracking of expenditures, additional budget planning to conform with the amendment, and a new standardized budget submission. Additionally, while the amendment does not increase funding for public education, an estimated 3 of 178 districts will have to increase spending on the specified items by a total of $1 million to meet its requirements. This estimate is based on 2004-05 spending.

[S]


Schools
Amendment 21
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 40.8%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing wider control of schools by people.

[CA]


Selecting Candidates for Primary Elections
Amendment 29
Election:
General

2002Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.6%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes:

– eliminates the role of caucus and assembly meetings in selecting candidates for the primary ballot;

– requires all major political party candidates to obtain a minimum number of petition signatures to appear on the primary ballot;

– changes the number of petition signatures required to qualify for the ballot for all but two political offices and expands the time allowed for collecting signatures;

– allows a candidate to include a 100-word personal statement on his or her petition; and

– modifies the procedure for challenging and resolving conflicts about petition signatures.

Background

State law sets forth the process for major political parties (currently the Democratic and Republican parties) to select candidates for the primary ballot. At a primary election, registered Democrats and Republicans vote for candidates to represent their party at the general election in November. To get on the ballot, candidates must either obtain votes cast at assembly meetings or collect petition signatures from voters affiliated with their party. This proposal eliminates the option of obtaining votes at assemblies and requires all candidates to collect petition signatures to get on the primary ballot.

The caucus and assembly process.

Under current law, caucus meetings are organized within each local election precinct to discuss political candidates and issues. To participate in a precinct caucus, a person must be registered to vote and must be affiliated with a major political party. At each neighborhood caucus, delegates are elected to attend an assembly. At an assembly, delegates vote to select the party’s candidates for county, legislative, congressional, or statewide races.
Candidates who receive at least 30 percent of the delegate votes cast at their assembly appear on the primary ballot. Most candidates are placed on the primary ballot through the caucus and assembly process.

Petitioning.

Currently, a candidate may choose to bypass the caucus and assembly process and collect petition signatures in order to appear on the primary ballot. The option to collect
signatures also presently exists for any candidate who receives between 10 and 30 percent of the votes cast at the assembly. Any candidate who receives less than 10 percent of the vote at an assembly cannot be on the primary ballot.

Signature requirements.

The proposal changes the number of signatures required to get on the primary ballot for most political offices, in most cases reducing the number from current law.

The proposal extends the time allowed for collecting signatures from roughly two months to roughly six months. Under current law, candidates may begin collecting signatures on the first Monday in April. This proposal allows candidates to begin collecting signatures as early as November 15 of the year before the election. The proposal also requires that signatures be submitted earlier in the year. Current law requires signatures to be submitted 70 days before the August primary election; this proposal requires signatures to be submitted 95 days before the primary. An election official has seven days to review the petitions and notify the candidate whether the petition appears to be sufficient. A person protesting the election official’s decision must identify specific names being challenged and the basis for challenging those names. A protester may also be charged a fee that is reasonably related to the election official’s cost of validating the signatures.

[S]


Selection of County Surveyors
Referendum C
Election:
General

2000Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 46%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Local Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Adds the option of appointing a county surveyor to the existing requirement that surveyors be elected; and allows the state legislature to determine when and how the county surveyor position is to be elected or appointed.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal:

What is a county surveyor? County surveyors are elected at the county level and may serve up to two four-year terms. Once in office, county surveyors are required by law to represent the county in boundary disputes with other counties, notify the county attorney of boundary disputes, or establish landmarks in the surveying process. County surveyors are also responsible for filing all survey records authorized and financed by the board of county commissioners. If authorized by the board of county commissioners, a county surveyor may also conduct surveys to establish the boundaries of county property, keep records of all known survey points in the county, and examine survey maps and plats before they are recorded by the county clerk and recorder. To qualify for the position of county surveyor, an individual must be licensed as a professional land surveyor in Colorado. Elected surveyors must be residents of the county in which they serve.

How many counties have a surveyor? A total of 27 of the 60 counties to which the amendment applies have an elected surveyor. (The proposal does not affect the three counties with home rule authority: Denver, Pitkin, and Weld.) Two of these 27 counties have a full-time surveyor, and the other 25 surveyors serve on a part-time or as-needed basis. The remaining 33 counties do not have an elected surveyor. When there are no candidates for the office and the office is vacant after an election, the board of county commissioners is allowed to appoint a licensed land surveyor to fill the position. Seven of the counties without an elected surveyor have filled the office by appointment. A county has the option to contract with a private firm for survey work when needed rather than fill the office with an appointed official. When appointed, the surveyor need not be a resident of the county. The county commissioners may also have other county employees assume some of the responsibilities of the county surveyor, although only a licensed professional land surveyor can do land surveying.


Selection of Presidential Electors
Amendment 36
Election:
General

2004Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34.8%)

Topic Areas:
Elections

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– eliminates the current system in which the presidential candidate receiving the most votes gets all of the state’s electoral votes;

– allocates Colorado’s electoral votes based on the percentage of votes for each presidential candidate; and

– makes the changes effective for the November 2004 presidential election.

Background

In the United States, the president and vice president are elected using a system called the electoral college. Under this system, each state is allotted electoral votes equal to the number of the state’s representatives and senators in the U.S. Congress. The electoral college currently consists of 538 electors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Colorado has nine of these electors. In all but two states, the candidate who gets the most votes receives all of the state’s electoral votes. A candidate must receive at least 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. If no candidate obtains a majority of electoral votes, the presidency is decided by the U.S. House of Representatives, with each state allotted one vote.

In Colorado, each political party designates nine electors. Electors pledge to support that party’s candidate for president and vice president. After each presidential election, electors from the winning party meet at the State capitol to cast their vote for president and for vice president. All 50 states have a similar process for choosing electors.

Under this proposal, beginning with the November 2004 election, Colorado would allocate its electoral votes according to the percentage of ballots cast for each presidential ticket. Electoral votes would be divided, in whole numbers, among the competing candidates according to the number of votes each candidate receives. For example, if Candidate Smith gets 55 percent of the votes and candidate Jones gets 45 percent, then Smith would receive five electoral votes and Jones would receive four.

The proposal also adds procedures and timelines to the state constitution for certifying election results and recounts related to the vote on this proposal.


Severance Taxes on the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
Amendment 58
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.1%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Energy & Electric Utilities | Natural Resources | Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 58 proposes changing the Colorado statutes to:

– increase the amount of state severance taxes paid by oil and natural gas companies, primarily by eliminating an existing state tax credit;

– allocate the increased severance tax revenue to college scholarships for state residents, wildlife habitat, renewable energy projects, transportation projects in energy-impacted areas, and water treatment grants; and

– exempt all oil and gas severance tax revenue from state and local spending limits.

Summary and Analysis

What is the severance tax? The severance tax is paid by companies that extract nonrenewable natural resources from the earth, including oil and gas, gold, coal, and molybdenum. Over the last five years, 92 percent of state severance tax collections have come from oil and gas, and nearly all of that is from gas. Last year, the state collected $140 million in oil and gas severance taxes. Collections fluctuate annually with changing energy prices.

How does Amendment 58 change Colorado’s current severance taxes on oil and gas? Amendment 58 eliminates a state tax credit, increases the number of oil and gas wells subject to the tax, and changes the tax rate on oil and gas companies. These changes are estimated to increase state severance tax collections by $321 million in budget year 2010.

Eliminating the state tax credit. The state currently allows companies to reduce their severance tax payment by 87.5 percent of local property taxes paid on oil and gas production. Amendment 58 removes this tax credit, increasing state severance taxes by an estimated $258 million in budget year 2010.

Increasing the number of wells subject to the tax. Companies currently do not have to pay the severance tax on small wells. Amendment 58 increases the number of smaller wells subject to the tax. With this change, the production on which the tax is paid increases from 40 percent to 56 percent for oil and from 80 percent to 90 percent for gas. This change is expected to increase state severance tax revenue by $62 million in budget year 2010.

Changing the tax rate on oil and gas companies. Colorado currently taxes oil and gas companies at rates between 2 and 5 percent, depending on income. Amendment 58 changes the tax to a flat, 5 percent rate for companies earning $300,000 or more, eliminating taxes for small companies and increasing taxes on large companies. As a result, a company earning more than $300,000 will pay 5 percent on all of its income, while a company earning less than $300,000 will pay no severance tax. The loss in revenue from small companies is expected to be minimal, while the tax increase on large companies is estimated to raise state severance tax collections by about $1 million annually.

How do Colorado’s oil and gas taxes compare to other states? Colorado’s actual severance tax rate is the lowest of the eight large-producing western states when each state’s exemptions, deductions, and credits are taken into account. In budget year 2007, Colorado’s actual severance tax rate was 1.3 percent; Montana’s rate was the highest at 6.8 percent. Assuming the taxes in other states remain the same, Amendment 58 raises Colorado’s severance tax ranking to the third lowest. These rankings do not take into account other taxes that oil and gas companies pay, such as income, sales, and property taxes, which vary among the states.

How is severance tax revenue distributed under current law? Under current law, Colorado severance tax revenue is evenly divided between state programs and local governments. The state portion pays for water projects and programs related to mineral extraction, clean energy development, low-income energy assistance, and wildlife conservation. The local government portion is distributed to communities affected by mining, either based on mining activity in the area or through competitive loans or grants.

How does Amendment 58 distribute severance tax revenue? Under Amendment 58, the state programs and local governments that currently receive all of the severance tax revenue will evenly split 44 percent of severance tax collections. Although the portion of money set aside for these uses is less than under current law, the estimated increase in collections under Amendment 58 is expected to provide existing programs with about the same amount of money over the next four years. However, severance tax collections fluctuate with energy prices, and state programs and local governments could receive more or less money than currently anticipated.

Amendment 58 dedicates the remaining 56 percent of severance tax revenue to new uses. Ten percent is placed in a reserve account for future use by the state. Ninety percent pays for new programs as follows:

– 60 percent for a college scholarship program for lower- and middle-income Coloradans. The governor-appointed board that oversees the state’s higher education system sets the specific eligibility criteria for the scholarship program, considering factors such as income, family size, and academic performance;

– 15 percent to assist local governments, nonprofit organizations, and the state to acquire and maintain wildlife habitat. The state board tasked with preserving Colorado’s wildlife and open space distributes this money;

– 10 percent for projects that promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable, clean energy resources;

– 10 percent for transportation projects in areas of the state impacted by the oil and gas industry; and

– 5 percent for small community drinking water and domestic wastewater treatment projects.

How do Amendment 58 and Amendment 52 interact? Both Amendment 58 and Amendment 52 change how the state spends severance tax revenue, but the two measures propose different uses for the money. Thus, some of the provisions of these measures appear to conflict with one another. Should both measures pass, the state will be required to implement these conflicting provisions, but if challenged the courts will have to decide how the measures take effect. Amendment 52 proposes a change to the state constitution, while this measure proposes a change to state statute. To date, Colorado courts have not addressed this type of conflict between ballot measures, but it is likely that the constitutional provision would prevail.


Single Member Districts
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1966Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 70.3%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Legislatures

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to amend Article V of the State Constitution, providing for a Senate of not more than thirty-five members and a House of Representatives of not more than sixty-five members; provides for single member districts in both Houses, each district in each House to be substantially equal in population; provides standards for formation of districts; provides for revision of districts by the General Assembly in 1967 and after each decennial census thereafter, under penalty of loss of compensation and eligibility of members to succeed themselves in office; and includes a severability and savings clause.

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Single Subject for Initiatives and Referenda
Referendum A
Election:
General

1994Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 65.7%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Require that proposals initiated by the people and referred by the General Assembly be confined to a single subject which shall be clearly expressed in the title;

– Place procedural requirements in the constitution relative to the setting of ballot titles and for revising and changing the proposal (if the official or officials responsible for fixing the title determine that more than one subject is contained in a proposal);

– Provide that any subject contained in an initiated or referred measure, which subject is not expressed in the title of the measure, shall be void to the extent that it is not expressed in the title; and

– State that the revision and resubmission procedures shall not extend filing deadlines for the measure.


Special Elections for Ballot Measures
Amendment 17
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.1%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing for the holding of special elections for voting on proposed constitutional amendments and initiated and referred laws.

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Special Elections for Initiatives and Referenda
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1914Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.4%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

Giving the people the right to petition the governor to call special elections for submitting measures under the initiative and referendum.

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State Borrowing
Referendum D
Election:
General

2005Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.3%)

Topic Areas:
Bond Measures

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Election Day falls on November 1 in Colorado in 2005.

Referendum D:

– permits the state to borrow up to $2.072 billion with a maximum repayment of $3.225 billion, including principal and interest;

– requires the money to be used for transportation projects, K-12 and higher education buildings, and local fire and police pension obligations;

– takes effect only if voters also approve Referendum C at this election; and

– increases the revenue that Referendum C allows the state to keep by up to $100 million each year into the future, beginning in 2011.


State Fair
Amendment 11
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.3%)

Topic Areas:
Arts & Culture | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Establishing a state fair

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State Government
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1974Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.0%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Articles IV, V, and XII of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the revision of functions and procedures of the Executive and Legislative Departments of the State of Colorado, providing for filling vacancies in state offices, and relieving the lieutenant governor of legislative duties.

State Highway Commission
Amendment 26
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.7%)

Topic Areas:
State Government | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Giving the state highway commission control of certain funds.

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State Immigration Bureau
Amendment 12
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 35.9%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Providing special funds for state immigration bureau

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State Medical Assistance – Repayment
Amendment 18
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 31.9%)

Topic Areas:
Health | Human Services | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Require that any costs for medical assistance provided by the state, or any of its political subdivisions, to parents receiving medical assistance on behalf of their children born on or after July 1, 1995, shall constitute a debt owed to the state;

– State that medical assistance would include, but not be limited to, prenatal care, birth delivery, and post-partum care;

– Require the debt to be repaid by the parent not receiving the medical assistance (typically an absent parent) and in the event that either the mother or the father of the child is a minor, by the parents of the minor mother and the minor father (the grandparents);

– Make the parents of the minor mother and the minor father liable for the debt until their income, property, and resources become insufficient to meet the costs of covering medical assistance provided to the recipient, or until the minor parent(s) reach full age, whichever occurs first;

– Supersede all provisions of Colorado law and the Colorado Constitution which conflict with the intent or the provisions of this initiative, and require the state to seek waivers from federal statutory provisions which conflict with this amendment;

– Require the applicant or recipient of such assistance to aid the appropriate agency in establishing paternity of the child when necessary;

– Exempt from the debt provisions medical assistance provided that is free or subsidized, and is otherwise made available without regard to economic status;

– Require the General Assembly, by May 1, 1995, to enact legislation to implement the provisions of the amendment; and

– Require the appropriate agency to promulgate all necessary rules.

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State Minimum Wage Amendment
Amendment 70
Election:
General

2016Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.6% unofficial)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary
Effective January I, 2017, Colorado’s minimum wage shall be increased to~ $9.30 per hour and shall be increased annually by $0.90 each January 1 until it reaches $12 per hour effective January 2020., and thereafter is adjusted annually cost of living increases, as measured by the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado. This minimum wage shall be paid to employees who receive the state or federal minimum wage. No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income may be used to offset the minimum wage of employees who regularly receive tips.

State Personnel System
Amendment S
Election:
General

2012Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 56.1% (unofficial))

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment S proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

-? increase the number and types of state employees who may be exempt from the state civil service system, also known as the state personnel system;

-? change testing and hiring procedures for filling vacancies in the state personnel system;

-? expand hiring preferences for veterans; and

-? adjust the terms of service and duties for members of the State Personnel Board, and the standard to remove certain members.

Summary and Analysis

The State of Colorado employs about 74,150 individuals in full- and part-time positions within the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. These positions are generally categorized as classified (about 33,000 current employees) or nonclassified (about 41,150 current employees). All employees are covered under applicable state and federal employment laws, such as those protecting against discrimination. The measure applies only to classified employees in the state personnel system.

State personnel system. In 1918, Colorado voters amended the state constitution to create the state personnel system. It currently requires that:

• employees be hired and promoted according to merit and fitness;

• job candidates be scored and ranked using a competitive exam;

• hiring decisions be made from among job candidates with the three highest scores on competitive exams;

• eligible veterans be able to receive a hiring preference for only one position;

• positions be filled by Colorado residents unless certain conditions are met; and

• employees provide 12 months of satisfactory service before becoming certified as classified.

Other portions of the system are governed by state law or rule, including processes to evaluate candidates and job performance, respond to grievances, and terminate employment. The system is administered by the state personnel director (head of the Department of Personnel and Administration), with oversight from the independent State Personnel Board.

Exemption from the state personnel system. Exempted positions are specifically listed in the state constitution and include most employees of the state courts, the legislature, and the state’s institutions of higher education, as well as department heads and members of certain boards and commissions. Political
appointees serving the administration of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are also exempt. Similar to the private sector, exempted employees and their state agency employers may each end the employment relationship at any time. In these positions, there are no universal standards for evaluating candidates, assessing job performance, or responding to grievances.

Amendment S allows the state personnel director to exempt certain additional management and support positions, up to 1 percent of the total number of employees in the state personnel system. Based on the current figure of about 33,000 classified employees, the measure allows an estimated 330 new positions to be exempted. Currently, most departments have only one exempt position, the department head. If voters approve Amendment S, additional exemptions may include deputy department heads, chief financial officers, public information officers, legislative liaisons, human resource directors, executive assistants to department heads, and members of the senior executive service (SES). The SES is a performance pay plan authorized by state statute to compensate up to 125 positions with a high level of management responsibility. SES positions are currently allocated according to department size, and new exemptions may be similarly distributed.

Evaluating and hiring job candidates. Currently, candidates must be ranked based on the results of a competitive exam using criteria set by each department and following rules issued by the State Personnel Board. In practice, each candidate is awarded up to 100 points based on the results of his or her exam, with additional points awarded if he or she qualifies for a veterans’ preference. The measure allows for the use of other objective methods to evaluate, compare, and rank job candidates. These other methods may include written exams, oral boards, search committees, or the use of non-numerical criteria, as long as they meet professionally accepted standards.

Current law requires hiring managers to choose among the three candidates with the highest scores. Amendment S allows the top six candidates to be considered, regardless of the evaluation and ranking method used. Under the measure, the state personnel director, rather than the State Personnel Board, will be required to issue rules for the evaluation and ranking of candidates through the public rule-making process.

Hiring preferences for veterans. Under the current evaluation process, an eligible veteran or his or her surviving spouse receives five additional points on his or her competitive exam score. A disabled veteran receives ten additional points. Once an individual has been hired by the state using a veterans’ preference, he or she may not apply the preference again to another position. Amendment S allows a veteran to continue to use preference points when applying for most other positions in the system.

Hiring temporary employees. Colorado’s constitution allows for temporary employment of persons for up to 6 months to address a short-term or urgent hiring need. State rules clarify that a temporary appointment may not exceed 6 months within a 12-month period. The measure extends the time limit for temporary employment to 9 months, and state rules may be adjusted accordingly.

Residency. Colorado’s constitution requires that positions within the personnel system be filled by residents of Colorado unless the State Personnel Board finds the position requires special education or special qualifications and the position cannot be readily filled by a Colorado resident. Amendment S gives the state personnel director the authority to waive residency requirements as well. It also eliminates the residency requirement for positions located within 30 miles of the state border.

State personnel system oversight. The five-member State Personnel Board, which includes three members appointed by the Governor and two members elected by classified employees, sets policy for the system. None of the members may be a state employee. Currently, board members may serve an unlimited number of five-year terms and may only be removed for cause. The board is responsible for setting rules for conducting competitive exams used to evaluate candidates for positions in the system, approving exemptions from residency requirements, and hearing appeals to certain decisions made by the state personnel director.

If approved, Amendment S:

• reduces board terms from five years to three years for members appointed or elected after January 1, 2013;

• limits board members from serving more than two terms;

• allows two appointees to serve or be removed at the Governor’s pleasure;

• removes the authority of the board to set rules for the process and criteria used to evaluate and hire candidates for positions in the system; and

• allows the state personnel director to set the rules for evaluating and hiring candidates and to approve residency exemptions.


State Personnel System
Referendum A
Election:
General

2004Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.2%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– exempts about 140 additional state employees from the state civil service system, also known as the state personnel system;

– changes testing and hiring procedures for filling vacancies in the state personnel system;

– transfers certain oversight responsibilities from the State Personnel Board to the Executive Director of the Department of Personnel and Administration;

– allows the legislature to change certain state personnel policies and procedures by law; and

– expands veterans’ hiring preferences to include members of the National Guard.

Background

What is the state personnel system?

Colorado voters amended the state constitution in 1918 to create the state personnel system. It requires that state employees be hired and promoted according to merit. This proposal makes a number of changes to the constitution and in certain instances gives the legislature the authority to change the personnel system.

Currently, there are about 31,000 state employees in the state personnel system. Most are employees of the state’s 19 departments, and some are employees of state higher education institutions. About 29,000 additional state employees are exempt from the state personnel system, including department heads, faculty of public universities, and employees of the legislature, the Governor’s Office, and the state courts. This proposal exempts an additional 0.45 percent of the number of employees in the state personnel system, or about 140 senior state officers and support staff combined.

How is the state personnel system governed?

The five-member State Personnel Board sets the policy for the state personnel system, and the Executive Director of the Department of Personnel and Administration takes care of day-to-day operations.

How are job applicants hired?

Current law identifies how employees are hired and promoted.

How will this proposal be implemented?

During the 2004 legislative session, a state law was passed that defines procedures and sets limits on issues addressed in this proposal. Most of the law will go into effect only if this proposal is adopted. Among other provisions, the bill prohibits more than 15 exempt officers and employees in any department and changes the laws regulating contracts for services.


State Personnel System
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1986Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 48.6%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to Article XII of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, requiring appointments to offices and employments in the state personnel system to be made according to merit and fitness, to be ascertained by competitive tests without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, handicap, age, or political affiliation, excepting encumbered position reallocations from the competitive test requirement, exempting persons whose salaries are paid solely from federal or private grants from the personnel system, requiring a two-thirds majority on final passage by each house of the general assembly to increase exemptions from the system, eliminating the state personnel board, granting rule-making authority to the State Personnel Director, authorizing the Attorney General to veto personnel rules he determines to be unconstitutional, otherwise illegal, arbitrary, or capricious. Permitting appointing authorities to shorten the twelve-month probationary period for initial appointments, extending provisions for temporary employment from six months to one year, making department heads or their designees the appointing authorities for their department, except for the Colorado State Patrol, whose employees the patrol chief shall appoint, providing a grievance procedure, including arbitration, for employees, and eliminating employee residency requirements.

State Retention of Excess State Revenues
Referendum B
Election:
General

1998Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.4%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets

Summary: Click for Summary
Proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes to allow the state to use the first $200 million of money in excess of the state constitution’s revenue limit for each of the next five years (up to $1 billion in total); require that the money be used for capital construction projects as follows: 50% for transportation, 30% for K-12 school construction, and 20% for higher education construction; require that the transportation money be shared by the state, counties, and cities, and that the state portion be spent toward completion of 28 specific statewide projects; and exclude the money in this proposal from state and local revenue and spending limits.

State Sales Tax Increase for Services for People with Developmental Disabilities
Amendment 51
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.6%)

Topic Areas:
Human Services | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 51 proposes amending the Colorado statutes to:

– increase the state sales and use tax from 2.9 percent to 3.0 percent on July 1, 2009, and from 3.0 percent to 3.1 percent on July 1, 2010;

– direct that the new money be used to pay for services for people with developmental disabilities and to help eliminate the waiting lists for services;

– prohibit the legislature from reducing the current level of state funding for services for people with developmental disabilities; and

– exempt the new money from state spending limits.

Summary and Analysis

Developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities include a number of different conditions that affect a person’s physical or mental abilities, such as speaking, moving, learning, and independent living. Developmental disabilities can become apparent at anytime up to age 22 and last throughout a person’s lifetime. Mental retardation, autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy are examples of developmental disabilities.

Services for people with developmental disabilities. Services for people with developmental disabilities are delivered through a state and local system. The state administers the overall system; twenty local nonprofit agencies throughout the state determine a person’s eligibility and arrange and provide services. Services are generally provided in the community or in the family home, and vary based upon the person’s specific disability and needs. For instance, one person may need assistance with speech and language development, another may need job training to become employed, and another may need full-time care.

Current funding allows about 11,800 people to receive services in the community. This year, federal, state, and local government funding for services is estimated at $372 million. The state’s share of that total is about $184 million.

Waiting lists for services. There are currently about 9,700 adults and children on waiting lists for services within the next two years. That number is expected to grow to over 12,000 people by 2012. If funding to eliminate the waiting lists becomes available, a number of people who are not currently on a waiting list may seek services as services become more accessible. Thus, it is difficult to estimate the total number of people who are eligible for services and the cost to eliminate the waiting lists.

Sales and use tax. The state sales tax is paid on the purchase price of most items. Some items are exempt, such as food bought at grocery stores, prescription drugs, household electricity and heat, and gasoline. The tax applies to some services, most notably local telephone service, cell phone service, food and drink service at restaurants and bars, and lodging. The state use tax is paid on items on which the sales tax was not collected, such as items bought from sellers outside of the state. In addition to the state, local governments also have sales and use taxes, although they may apply to different items than the state tax.

Amount of tax increase. The current state sales and use tax rate is 2.9 percent. When combined with local government sales taxes, the total tax rate varies across the state. For example, the total tax rate in the City of Denver is 7.72 percent, in Fort Collins it is 6.7 percent, in Fort Morgan it is 5.9 percent, in Pueblo it is 7.4 percent, and it is 7.65 percent in Grand Junction.

Amendment 51 raises the state tax rate to 3.1 percent over two years. On July 1, 2009, the rate increases to 3 percent, and on July 1, 2010, and thereafter the rate is 3.1 percent. The measure is estimated to raise about $89 million in the first year of the tax increase and $186 million in the next year when the tax increase is fully in place.

Use of the new money for services. Amendment 51 requires that all of the new sales tax money be used for services for people with developmental disabilities to help reduce the current waiting lists. The money cannot be used for state administration costs or to reduce current state spending on services. However, in any year in which two-thirds of the state legislature and the governor declare a state fiscal emergency, the money can be used for any purpose relating to services for people with developmental disabilities, such as replacing the current level of spending on services and for state administration costs. In addition, Amendment 51 creates a reserve for any money that is not spent in a given year for use in future years. Finally, a large portion of the new money can be used to leverage additional federal funds, increasing the total amount available to pay for services.

How Colorado’s taxes compare with other states. Colorado has the lowest state sales tax rate of the 45 states with a state sales tax. However, Colorado has higher local government sales tax rates than most states. Thus, when comparing combined state and local sales taxes, Colorado ranks higher. Colorado ranks 17th in the amount of sales taxes paid per person and 23rd in the amount paid based on wealth. Colorado’s total state and local taxes, including income, property, sales, and other taxes, rank 26th in the amount paid per person and 46th based on wealth.


State Spending
Referendum C
Election:
General

2005Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.0%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Election Day falls on November 1 in Colorado in 2005.

Referendum C is an amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes that:

– permits the state to spend the money it collects over its limit for the next five years on health care, public education, transportation projects, and local fire and police pensions;

– eliminates for the next five years refunds that taxpayers receive when the state collects more than it is allowed to spend, and reduces these refunds thereafter;

– uses the highest amount of money the state collects in any year during the next five years to calculate allowable state spending thereafter; and

– caps annual increases in the new state spending amount at inflation plus population growth, beginning in 2011.


State Tax Commission
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1912Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.9%)

Topic Areas:
State Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Creating a state tax commission in lieu of the state board of equalization and continuing county boards of equalization

State Tax Equalization Commission
Amendment 12
Election:
General

1972Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 21.1%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An Act to Amend the State Constitution by the addition of a new Article, concerning replacement of property taxes for the financing of schools and limitations on other property taxes, provides for creation of a State Tax Equalization Commission for uniform assessment of all real property; requires imposition by law effective January 1, 1974, of certain taxes to replace lost property tax revenue sources, namely: severance taxes; progressively graduated corporate and personal income taxes, and taxes on sales and services; provides sales tax credits and limits sales and service taxes to 3% by the State and 3% by any local governmental subdivision.

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State Treasurer
Amendment 3
Election:
General

1974Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 63.3%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to section 12 of article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, relating to state moneys and reports of the State Treasurer and deleting the requirement for listing and publishing the number and amount of each warrant paid by the State Treasurer.

State Trust Lands
Amendment 16
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.9%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Education: PreK-12 | Natural Resources | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution changes the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners’ current constitutional duty of maximizing revenue from state trust lands to managing the lands to produce reasonable and consistent income over time.

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Student Loan Program
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1972Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.1%)

Topic Areas:
Education: Higher Ed

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, providing for a student loan program and the enactment of laws therefor.

Summer Normal Schools
Amendment 30
Election:
General

1912Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 27.1%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary
Establishing teachers’ summer normal schools

Surplus Revenue to Test I-70 Fixed Guideway
Amendment 26
Election:
General

2001Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34.1%)

Topic Areas:
Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes allows the expenditure of $50 million of surplus state revenue to plan and test a fixed guideway transportation system for the I-70 corridor linking Denver International Airport and Eagle County Airport; and exempts the Colorado Intermountain Fixed Guideway Authority from state constitutional revenue and spending limitations.

Background

Surplus state revenue.

The state constitution limits annual growth in most state revenue to the sum of the annual percentage changes in inflation and population. Revenue above this limit must be refunded to taxpayers unless the voters allow the state to keep and spend all or a portion of the surplus state revenue. The proposal asks voters to allow the Colorado Intermountain Fixed Guideway Authority to spend $50 million of the $927 million surplus from last year. Spending this $50 million would reduce an individual taxpayer’s estimated average tax refund of $221 by about $19 and a couple’s estimated refund of $442 by about $38 in 2002.

Transportation studies for the I-70 mountain corridor.

In 1998, the Colorado Department of Transportation completed a study of alternative strategies for increasing traffic capacity in the I-70 mountain corridor. This initial study recommended the construction of a high-speed “fixed guideway system” as a long-term alternative for the corridor, plus a program of additional roadway improvements in the near term. In 2004, the Department of Transportation will complete a second study that will fully evaluate transportation options for I-70 and will determine the appropriate solution for the corridor. Examples of fixed guideway systems include light rail trains, passenger rail trains, and monorails.

The Colorado Intermountain Fixed Guideway Authority.

The state legislature created the Colorado Intermountain Fixed Guideway Authority in 1998. The Authority was directed to analyze fixed guideway technologies and to develop a plan for the design, financing, and construction of a fixed guideway system in the I-70 corridor from Denver International Airport (DIA) to Eagle County Airport.

The Authority evaluated potential fixed guideway technologies and decided to pursue testing of a high-speed, elevated monorail system that relies on magnetic propulsion and braking and is designed to climb steep grades at high speeds. The proposal requires the $50 million of surplus revenue to be spent on testing the monorail’s motor and vehicles and on verifying construction and operating costs. Funding for construction of the line would be sought at a later date. The proposal gives the Authority three years to test the monorail system, and testing must occur at the national rail technology test center in Pueblo. If the entire $50 million is not spent before January 1, 2005, the balance must be returned to the state.

If a monorail line is built, it would run from DIA to Eagle County Airport, making stops on its route across metropolitan Denver and through the mountain communities along I-70. In that case, the Authority expects to build the first segment of the line between DIA and downtown Denver.

The Authority is governed by a 12-member board, which is appointed by the Governor, the leadership of the state legislature, and the governing bodies of cities and counties within the Authority’s territory: the cities of Denver and Aurora, and Clear Creek, Jefferson, Eagle, Garfield, and Summit counties. The board is comprised of a member of the Colorado Transportation Commission and members of various professions and industries, including the transportation and tourism industries.

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Sweepstakes Races
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1976Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.5%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary
Shall the conduct of sweepstakes races be authorized?

Sweepstakes Races
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1972Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 49.5%)

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries

Summary: Click for Summary
Authorizing the conduct of sweepstakes races.

TABOR question on increased taxes for transportation projects
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1997Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 15.8%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
State taxes shall be increased $172.8 million annually in the first full fiscal year of implementation, and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter, until the earlier of December 31, 2010, or the completion of projects described in the program approved on August 15, 1996, by the Colorado Transportation Commission, by an amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning transportation funding, and, in connection therewith, increasing the fuel excise tax by 54 cents per gallon; increasing the motor vehicle registration fee by $10; imposing a new tax of $100 on the initial registration of certain motor vehicles; creating the Colorado Long Term Highway Needs Account and the Colorado Long Term Multi-Modal Transportation Needs Account; authorizing the study and implementation, if feasible, of toll roads to the extent that the revenues available are not sufficient to carry out the purposes of the measure; specifying the revenues to be deposited therein, the amount of revenues allocated to the state, counties, and municipalities, the transportation purposes for which the revenues may be expended, and that such revenues be collected and spent by the state, counties, and municipalities as a voter-approved revenue change under article X, section 20 of the Colorado Constitution.
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TABOR question to permit state to enter into financial obligations for up to 10 years with non-state prison facilities
Referendum A
Election:
General

1995Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.1%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Criminal Justice

Summary: Click for Summary
Shall the state be authorized to enter into financial obligations that are part of contracts or agreements for the confinement and maintenance of juvenile or adult state prisoners in nonstate facilities for up to ten years?

TABOR question: Increased debt by the state for the financing of transportation projects
Referendum A
Election:
General

1999Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.8%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
The state of Colorado debt be increased up to $1,700,000,000, with a maximum repayment cost of $2,300,000,000, with no increase in any taxes, for the purpose of addressing the critical, priority transportation needs in the state by financing transportation projects that qualify for federal funding through the issuance of revenue anticipation notes, and shall earnings on the proceeds of such notes constitute a voter-approved revenue change?

TABOR Question: reinstatement of sales tax for tourist-related goods and services for tourist promotion
Referendum A
Election:
General

1993Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 44.8%)

Topic Areas:
Arts & Culture | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Shall state taxes be increased by $13,100,000 annually in the first full fiscal year of implementation, and by $13,100,000 as adjusted for inflation plus the percentage change in state population for each fiscal year after the first full fiscal year of implementation, by reinstating the 0.2 percent sales tax on tourist-related items, including lodging services, restaurant food and drinks, ski lift admission, private tourist attraction admission, passenger automobile rental, and tour bus and sightseeing tickets for the purpose of funding statewide tourism marketing and promotional programs under the Colorado Tourism Board in order to assist future growth and promote Colorado’s continuing economic health?

Tax Assessments
Amendment 15
Election:
General

1914Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.3%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
Concerning the equalization of tax assessments at full cash value by state and county boards of equalization.

Tax Cuts
Amendment 21
Election:
General

2000Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 34%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: cuts the taxes which fund certain basic local and state services by $25 per year including property, income, utility, and vehicle taxes; increases the amount of each tax cut by $25 per year in perpetuity or until the tax and the services paid for by the tax are eliminated or until the services are paid for in some other way; prohibits the provisions of the proposal from reducing the amount of state or local revenue that must be refunded to taxpayers under current law; and requires that a husband and wife each receive the tax cuts that affect state income taxes.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: The proposal provides for an initial $25 tax cut for several local and state taxes. Most of the local and state taxes which this proposal will reduce are used to provide government services including: fire protection, law enforcement, libraries, schools, highway and mass transit projects, prisons, and other special district services like emergency and hospital care, water, and soil conservation. A portion of the taxes are allocated for other specific purposes, such as the repayment of bonds. When the local and state governments each impose a particular tax, the tax cut applies to each tax imposed. The amount of each tax cut increases by $25 per year, up to the amount of the tax paid. For example, if an annual tax bill is $70, the tax will be reduced $25 in the first year and $50 in the second year, and the tax bill will only be eligible for an additional $20 cut in the third year.

Property tax. All counties and school districts and most cities and special districts impose a property tax. Property taxes are reduced in two ways. First, each local government’s tax is directly reduced, and then it is reduced to rebate any sales tax revenue collected by the local government on food and nonalcoholic beverages sold at grocery stores and restaurants. Most property owners pay property taxes. Property taxes are paid to multiple local governments, and the tax cuts will apply to each government’s property tax. Owners of multiple properties are entitled to tax cuts for each property. The property tax cuts begin with bills received in 2002.

Income tax. Three of the tax cuts affect the state’s income tax. First, individual and corporate income taxes are directly cut. Next, income taxes are cut to return the amount of sales tax that the state collects on food and nonalcoholic beverages sold at restaurants. Finally, income taxes are cut to return the money the state receives from the estate tax. The amount returned for taxes on food and nonalcoholic beverages is expected to increase to $75 per taxpayer in the third year, but to less than $100 in the fourth year. The amount returned for estate taxes is expected to be $25 in the first year, but less than $50 in the second year. The income tax cuts begin with income tax returns filed in 2002.

Utility taxes and charges. This proposal affects taxes and franchise charges paid on utility services. While the proposal does not define “utility,” common examples of a utility are gas, electric, and telephone service providers.
Homeowners and renters do not pay state sales taxes on their gas and electric bills, but in most cases pay local taxes on these bills. Telephone bills can include sales taxes for services for regular telephones, cellular telephones, pagers, and other telecommunications equipment. The tax cuts for utility taxes and charges begin in 2001.

Vehicle taxes. The state, a few special districts such as RTD and the baseball stadium district, and most cities and counties impose a sales tax when a vehicle is purchased. The tax cut applies to the state sales tax and each local sales tax. In addition to sales tax, a vehicle ownership tax is paid annually when a vehicle is registered. Revenue from the vehicle ownership tax is allocated to local governments that collect property taxes. The vehicle ownership tax declines as a vehicle ages. The tax cut for each vehicle tax begins in 2001.

Impact of proposal on taxpayers and governments. The tax cuts would total $234 million in 2001, $843 million in 2002, and $1.3 billion in 2003.

The actual tax reductions for any household will depend on several factors. Some of these factors are the number and age of vehicles owned, vehicle purchases, actual utility expenses, the local sales tax rates, the number of
property tax districts and their mill levies, and whether a taxpayer owns property and pays income taxes. Tax reductions that occur due to this proposal do not take into account increases in federal income taxes for those taxpayers who deduct their property, income, and vehicle ownership taxes.

State replacement of local revenue. This proposal does not require the state to replace the money that local governments will lose as a result of this proposal. However, this proposal does prohibit the state from using TABOR-related excess revenues to replace the revenue that will be lost by local governments due to this proposal. Without state replacement of lost local revenue, and absent a voter-approved increase in the tax rate, many local
governments will face significant declines in revenue.

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Tax Limitations – Voting
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 53.7%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Elections | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Current Law:

At the state level, current law limits the annual growth in state General Fund appropriations to 6 percent over prior year General Fund appropriations, or, in total, no more than 5 percent of state personal income. The General Fund is the state’s main account from which many programs are financed. Except in specific circumstances, the state constitution also prohibits state general obligation debt (i.e., borrowing based on a government’s overall revenue-raising ability rather than a specific revenue source). However, the state does issue revenue bonds (i.e., bonds repaid from specifically designated revenue sources, most often those raised directly from the project itself) and participates in multi-year lease-purchase agreements in which annual payments are used to retire principal and interest provided up front by an entity other than the government.

At the local level, state law limits the annual increase in local government and special district property tax revenue to 5.5 percent over the prior year. This law also contains various exceptions that accommodate conditions such as rapid local growth, and does not apply to cities and counties with home rule charters. Many such charters do, however, contain restrictions on property tax revenue or limits on the number of mills that may be levied. Concerning school district finances, the state legislature largely controls annual increases in district general fund revenue raised from local property taxes through the Public School Finance Act of 1988. In many instances, increases beyond these various local government, special district, and school district limits are subject to voter approval, as are most proposals for new taxes, tax increases, and general obligation debt. However, local government revenue bonds and multi-year contracts do not require voter approval in most instances. Currently, there are no limitations on local government expenditures that apply generally to all local governments throughout the state. However, locally initiated tax and spending limits do exist. For instance, in April 1991, Colorado Springs voters approved a local measure that is similar to this statewide proposal.

Impact of the Proposal:

The proposed amendment would supersede any provisions in current state or local law that are in conflict. In instances where there is no conflict, the existing limits and restrictions would continue to apply. State and local government would be restricted to making changes in tax policy and the tax code that decrease taxes. All other changes would require voter approval. State and local governments would not be able to issue new revenue bonds or other multi-year financial obligations without voter approval. The amendment also states that “other limits on [government] revenue, spending, and debt may be weakened only by future voter approval.” This apparently means that, whether such limits were created by local ordinance, state law, or through an election, weakening those limits would require voter approval.

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Taxable Value of Residential Property
Amendment 32
Election:
General

2003Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 24.1% (unofficial results))

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:
– Increases the taxable portion of residential property from the current level of 7.96 percent to 8 percent beginning with 2005 property taxes; and
– Repeals the process for reducing the percentage in the future.[CA]


Taxes on Self-Propelled Equipment and Motor Vehicles
Amendment 2
Election:
General

1966Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 60.1%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, providing for classification of self-propelled equipment, motor vehicles, and certain other movable equipment, and for a specific ownership tax thereon in lieu of ad valorem taxation.

Taxpayer Add-On for Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Conversion Fund
Amendment 6
Election:
General

1982Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.6%)

Topic Areas:
Environmental Protection | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall the Constitution of the State of Colorado be amended in order to bring about the cessation of nuclear weapons component production in Colorado by providing that a taxpayer may designate a portion of his income tax refund to be deposited in the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Conversion Fund, by appropriating moneys in the fund annually to the governor for his use in publicizing the hazards of plutonium processing and the opportunities for conversion to other activities and in promoting the cessation of plutonium processing, and by requiring the Governor to direct state executive agencies to assist in such action and to initiate an inventory of Rocky Flats facilities to determine which are unsafe for conversion?

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Temporary Location for the State Seat of Government
Amendment Q
Election:
General

2010Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 57.5%)

Topic Areas:
State Government

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment Q proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to establish a process for moving the state seat of government to a temporary location during a declared disaster emergency.

Summary and Analysis

Since statehood, the Colorado Constitution has designated Denver as the state seat of government. The legislature is prohibited from moving the seat of government out of Denver unless it refers the question to the voters at a general election. The question must be approved by at least a two-thirds vote.

Amendment Q creates a process for temporarily moving the seat of government when a disaster emergency affects the ability of state government to operate in Denver. It defines a disaster emergency as the occurrence or threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, illness, or loss of life or property resulting from an epidemic or a natural, man-made, or technological event. For the purpose of addressing such emergencies, it also defines the seat of government as the location of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the state of Colorado.

After declaring a disaster emergency, and after consulting with the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Governor may designate a temporary meeting location for the state legislature. The legislature must meet at that location and decide whether to enact a bill designating a temporary location for the seat of government outside of Denver. Such legislation must include a date when the temporary location of the seat of government expires. Amendment Q does not change the process for permanently moving the state seat of government. Currently, 36 other states have created a legal process to temporarily move the seat of state government in an emergency.


Temporary Tax Increase for Public Education
Proposition 103
Election:
General

2011Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 36.8%)

Topic Areas:
Education: Higher Ed | Education: PreK-12 | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

NOTE: Colorado’s general election will be held on November 1, 2011.

Proposition 103 proposes amending the Colorado
statutes to:

– increase the state income tax rate from 4.63 to 5.0 percent for five years, starting January 1, 2012;

– increase the state sales and use tax rate from 2.9 to
3.0 percent for five years, starting January 1, 2012; and

– require the state legislature to spend the money on public education by increasing funding above the amount in budget year 2011-12.

Summary and Analysis

Proposition 103 temporarily increases the state income and sales and use tax rates and requires the state to spend the money on public education. Public education includes public preschools, kindergarten through 12th grade schools, and colleges and universities.

What is the state income tax? Households and businesses pay taxes on their income to both the state and federal governments. State income taxes are calculated by applying a fixed rate to a taxpayer’s Colorado taxable income. The state income tax is the largest source of revenue the state collects to pay for its main programs. The state’s current income tax rate is 4.63 percent for both households and businesses, regardless of income level. In 1987, the state moved from a graduated income tax rate to a single tax rate, which was initially set at 5.0 percent. This rate was reduced to 4.75 percent in 1999, and reduced again to 4.63 percent in 2000. The measure returns the rate to 5.0 percent for five years, after which it will be restored to 4.63 percent.

What is the state sales and use tax? The state sales tax is paid on the purchase price of most items. Some items are exempt, such as food bought at grocery stores, prescription drugs, and household electricity and heat. The tax applies to some services, most notably local telephone service, cell phone service, food and drink service at restaurants and bars, and lodging. The state use tax is paid on taxable items for which the sales tax was not collected, such as items bought from sellers outside the state. In addition to the state sales and use tax, local governments also have sales and use taxes, although local rates may be different and may apply to different items than the state tax. In 2000, the state legislature reduced the sales and use tax rate from 3.0 to 2.9 percent. Proposition 103 returns the rate to 3.0 percent for five years, after which it will be restored to 2.9 percent. The measure does not affect local tax rates.

How much money will the state collect under Proposition 103? Over the five-year period of the tax rate increase, the state will collect about $2.9 billion in new tax revenue for public education.

How much will state income taxes increase under
Proposition 103?
Currently, Colorado taxpayers pay $46.30 in state income taxes for each $1,000 of taxable income. Under Proposition 103, taxpayers will pay $50.00 in state income taxes for each $1,000 of taxable income, or about 8 percent more than under current law. Taxpayers will pay the higher rate for five years, beginning with the tax payment due in April 2013 for the 2012 tax year. An individual’s taxable income is equal to the person’s gross income minus deductions, exemptions, or other adjustments. It varies based on marital status, the number of dependents, business exemptions, and other factors such as deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, or interest paid on student loans.

What does the state spend on public education? For budget year 2011-12, the state’s portion of public school funding is currently set at $3.7 billion for preschool through high school education and $624 million for higher education. This amount may change, for example, when mid-year adjustments are made to balance the budget. Combined, spending on public education represents about 50 percent of the General Fund, which pays for the state’s general operating expenses. Direct state funding for public education has declined in the past few years, although some of these reductions have been offset with other sources of money. Local communities contribute taxes and fees, and universities and colleges charge tuition and fees and seek private donations. In addition, the federal government provides funding for a variety of education programs. The combination of these funds pays for programs and services such as classroom instruction, preschool programs, administrative services provided by the state, and financial aid to students attending public universities and colleges.

How does Proposition 103 impact state spending on
education?
The measure sets budget year 2011-12 state funding for public education — currently about $4.3 billion — as a minimum funding level for five years. It requires that the money raised through the tax increase be allocated in addition to, not as a substitute for, this amount. Although Proposition 103 requires that the money raised be spent on public education, it does not specify how the money is to be split between the various preschool through high school and higher education programs.


Term Limits
Amendment 12
Election:
General

1996Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.0%)

Topic Areas:
Federal Government | Term Limits

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Begins the process in Colorado to call a convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to limit congressional terms;

– Provides that the congressional term limits amendment considered at the amendment-proposing convention, commonly referred to as a constitutional convention, restricts members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms and members of the U.S. Senate to two six-year terms, and limits former and current House members to two additional terms and Senate members to one additional term;

– Instructs each Colorado state legislator to vote for a constitutional convention to propose a congressional term limtis amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to ratify the amendment when it is referred to the states;

– Requires that, until the congressional term limits amendment is approved by the Colorado General Assembly, all election ballots identify any state legislator who failed to vote for the amendment during the steps necessary to amend the U.S. Constitution;

– Instructions each member of Colorado’s congressional delegation to vote for the amendment;

– Requires election ballots to identify each member of Congress from Colorado who fails to vote for the amendment during the steps in the process necessary to win its approval;

– Requires primary and general eleciton ballots to identify which non-incumbents running for Congress and the state legislature have not signed a pledge to vote for the term limits amendment; and

– Provides that challenges to the amendment be filed before the Colorado Supreme Court.

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Term Limits
Amendment 17
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 51.0%)

Topic Areas:
Federal Government | Legislatures | Local Government | Term Limits

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Amend the term limitation provisions adopted by the voters of Colorado as a constitutional amendment in 1990 specifying the maximum consecutive terms of office, beginning January 1, 1995, as follows:

— US House of Representatives – reduce the number of consecutive terms from six to three consecutive terms, or from 12 to six years.

— Local elected officials – establish a new limit of two consecutive terms of office, unless this limitation is changed by the voters of that political subdivision (includes elected officials of counties, municipalities, school districts, service authorities, and other political subdivisions)

— Other state elective offices – establish a new limit of two consecutive terms for members of the State Board of Education and the University of Colorado Board of Regents, a total of 12 years.

– Allow the voters of a political subcivision to lengthen, shorten, or eliminate the limitations on terms of office imposed by this amendment;

– Allow the voters of the state to lengthen, shorten, or eliminate the terms of office for the two state education boards included in this proposal;

– State that the people of Colorado, in adopting this amendment, are in support of a nationwide limitation of terms of not more than two consecutive terms for members of the U.S. Senate and three consecutive terms for members of the U.S. House of Representatives and that public officials of Colorado are instructed to use their best efforts to work for such limits; and

– State that the intent of this measure is that federal officials elected from Colorado will continue to voluntarily observe the wishes of the people as presented in this proposal in the event that any provision of this proposal is held invalid.

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Term Limits for Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Judges
Amendment 40
Election:
General

2006Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 42.9%)

Topic Areas:
Judiciary | Term Limits

Summary: Click for Summary
Amendment 40 proposes a change to Section 1 of Article VI of the Colorado Constitution that:
– limits the number of terms that Colorado Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges, called appellate court judges, may serve;- reduces the term of Supreme Court justices from ten years to four years, and of Court of Appeals judges from eight years to four years;

– requires appellate court judges who have already served ten years or more to leave their current position in January 2009; and

– requires appellate court judges who are eligible to serve another term to appear on the November 2008 ballot for retention.

Summary and Analysis

The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The Colorado Supreme Court consists of seven justices who serve ten-year terms. The Colorado Court of Appeals consists of nineteen judges who serve eight-year terms. When a vacancy occurs on either of these courts, an appointed commission selects three nominees for consideration by the governor. The governor then appoints one of the three nominees to fill the vacancy.

What happens after a judge is appointed? After appointment, appellate judges serve an initial two-year term and then stand for retention at the next general election. At a retention election, voters vote to either keep a judge in office or to remove a judge from office. If voters choose to keep the judge in office, he or she serves an additional term before standing for retention again. There is currently no limit on the number of terms a judge can serve, but judges are required to retire at age 72.

How are Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges evaluated? Appellate judges who are standing for retention are evaluated by a state commission on judicial performance. The commission reviews opinions authored by the justice or judge, conducts an interview with the justice or judge, and reviews surveys completed by trial court judges and attorneys. The commission’s evaluation includes a recommendation stated as “retain,” “do not retain,” or “no opinion.” This evaluation is printed in the ballot information booklet that is mailed to every Colorado voter household before a general election.

How does Amendment 40 change the current system? Amendment 40 limits Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges to three terms one initial two-year term plus two four-year terms. Appellate judges who, as of the November 2008 election, have already served ten years will not be eligible to serve another term in their current position. Judges who are eligible to continue serving will appear on the November 2008 ballot for retention.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Based on current terms, at least five of seven Supreme Court justices and seven of nineteen Court of Appeals judges will leave office on January 13, 2009. Replacement justices and judges may need time to receive training in judicial procedure and to review pending cases, which could create a case backlog and increase workload for agencies working in the court system. Any case backlog will depend on the number of appeals filed and the number of cases resolved during the next two years. It is estimated that if additional resources are needed, they will be requested during the annual budget process.

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Term limits: Limiting consecutive terms of state executive officials, members of the General Assembly, and Senators and Representatives to the U.S. Congress
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1990Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 71.0%)

Topic Areas:
Federal Government | Legislatures | State Government | Term Limits

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution limiting the number of consecutive terms that may be served by the governor, lt. governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, members of the general assembly, and United States senators and representatives elected from Colorado?

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Tobacco Tax Increase for Health-Related Purposes
Amendment 35
Election:
General

2004Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 61.4%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Health | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– increases the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 64 cents;

– increases the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes from 20 percent to 40 percent of the price;

– specifies that the new tax revenue is to be used for health care services and tobacco education and cessation programs;

– requires the legislature to maintain current funding levels for existing health-related programs and to use the new revenue only to expand these programs;

– excludes the new tax revenue from state revenue and spending limits and local government revenue limits; and

– allows the legislature, by a two-thirds vote, to declare a state fiscal emergency and to use all of the new revenue for any health-related purpose for up to one budget year.

Background

Cigarette taxes.

Cigarette taxes are levied by the federal government and all 50 states. The federal tax rate on cigarettes is 39 cents per pack. State tax rates range from a low of 19 cents per pack in Kentucky to a high of $2.38 per pack in New Jersey. The national average is 91 cents per pack. Colorado’s cigarette tax rate is 20 cents per pack.

Tobacco products taxes.

Taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products are levied on
cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, and chewing tobacco by the federal government and 47 states. The federal government levies its tax according to weight. States tax tobacco products based either on weight or a percentage of price. The tobacco products tax rate in Colorado is 20 percent of the price.

History of tobacco taxes in Colorado.

In 1964, the state established a tax on cigarettes of 3 cents per pack. Prior to the state cigarette tax and through 1972, many local governments also taxed cigarettes. In 1973, the state raised the tax on cigarettes to 10 cents per pack and gave local governments the option of receiving a portion of state cigarette taxes or levying their own tax. No local government has levied a tax since that time. In 1986, Colorado’s cigarette tax was raised to its current rate of 20 cents per pack, and the tobacco products tax of 20 percent of the price was enacted. The proposal prohibits the legislature from reducing these taxes in the future.

Current tobacco tax revenues.

Colorado collected about $64.8 million from cigarette and tobacco products taxes last year. About one-quarter of this amount is sent to local governments statewide to use as they see fit. The remaining three-quarters is deposited into the state’s bank account, along with other state taxes, to pay for state programs.

Current state health-related programs.

In the current budget year, the state will spend about $3.0 billion to provide health care to low-income individuals, $4.3 million for programs on the dangers of tobacco use, and $141.2 million for a variety of prevention programs run by the state health department.

Distribution of tobacco tax revenues under the proposal.

Collection of the new tobacco taxes would begin on January 1, 2005. The proposal is expected to raise an additional $175 million annually. Of this amount, $169.8 million goes to targeted health care programs and $5.2 million can be spent by the state and local governments on health-related programs of their choosing.

This proposal and current law.

In 2004, the state legislature passed a law in
anticipation of this proposal. The law does not affect how the money from the new tobacco taxes is distributed. However, it declares that the legislature is responsible for setting the spending levels for health-related programs funded from other sources of revenue.


Tobacco Taxes
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.5%)

Topic Areas:
Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy | Health | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Place an additional 25 mills per cigarette (50 cents per pack) tax on the sale of cigarettes by wholesalers;

– Place an additional statewide tobacco products tax on the sale, use, consumption, handling, or distribution of tobacco products other than cigarettes by distributors at the rate of 50 percent of the manufacturer’s list price;

– Designate the annual new revenue as follows:

— 50% for programs which promote and provide health care to people who need such care, but are unable to afford the cost, with the funds divided equally between programs for children and pregnant women and programs for other persons;

— 30% for school and community programs and educational campaigns to prevent and reduce tobacco use;

— 10% for research concerning tobacco related illnesses and strategies for the prevention and cessation of tobacco use;

— 5% for health related economic development

— 4% for municipalities and counties to be distributed and proportioned in the same manner as the revenues attributable to the statewide cigarette tax that existed as of January 1, 1993; and

— 1% for administration of the new citizens’ commission hich is created by the proposal

– Allow municipalities and counties to adopt local laws to impose license or fees on businesses for the privilege of selling cigarettes and tobacco products and to allow municipalities and counties to impose taxes on such businesses or to place additional taxes on the sale, use or consumption of cigarettes and tobacco taxes, subject to voter approval, spending limit, and other requirements of Amendment 1, the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights;

– End the state sales tax exemption for cigarettes and specify that municipalities and counties receive 27 percent of the aggregate state proceeds from such repeal; and

– Establish an 11-member Citizens’ Commission on Tobacco and Health within the State Department of Health to administer the distribution of revenues to qualified programs. The initiative details the appointment of commission members, their geographical requirements for appointment, length of terms, and political party representation.

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Transportation Bond Issue and Reallocation of Existing Revenue Initiative
Proposition 109
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 39.3%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
The measure authorizes $3.5 billion in bonds to fund statewide transportation projects. The interest on the bonds would be paid out of the state’s general fund.

Transportation Bond Issue and Sales Tax Increase Initiative
Proposition 110
Election:
General

2018Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 40.6%)

Topic Areas:
Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary
The measure increases the sales and use tax from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent for 20 years beginning in 2019 and ending 2039. It also authorizes the issuance of $6 billion in bonds. 45 percent of the revenue goes to State Highway Fund; 40 percent goes to Local Transportation Priorities Fund; and 15 percent goes to Multimodal Transportation Options Fund.

Transportation of Pupils to Educational Institutions
Amendment 8
Election:
General

1974Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 68.7%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to section 8 article IX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, to prohibit the assignment or the transportation of pupils to public educational institutions in order to achieve racial balance of pupils at such institution.

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Unemployment Compensation Insurance
Referendum D
Election:
General

1996Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 29.3%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Labor & Employment | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Allows unemployment insurance taxes to be increased without voter approval;

– Excludes unemployment compensation revenues from the calculation of governmental spending limits; and

– Adjusts the fiscal year 1996-97 financial base for calculating the annual state spending limit to exclude a portion of unemployment compensation revenues.


Uniform Regulation of Livestock Operations
Amendment 13
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 38.7%)

Topic Areas:
Agriculture | Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to the Colorado Constitution to require uniform laws for regulating all livestock operations that have similar potential impacts on air and water quality; define “livestock” as any animals raised or kept for profit; allow the legislature to make certain exceptions to the uniform laws based on the size and type of feeding operation; and make unconstitutional any law or regulation that does not treat livestock operations uniformly.

[CA]


University of Colorado Board of Regents
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1972Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 52.0%)

Topic Areas:
Education: Higher Ed | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
An Amendment to Articles VIII and IX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, concerning the state institutions of higher education, and providing for the governing boards thereof; increasing the number of regents of the University of Colorado from six to nine; providing for the election of such regents as provided by law; and providing for the removal of the authority of the president of the University of Colorado to vote in case of a tie vote by the Regents.

Use and Regulation of Marijuana
Amendment 64
Election:
General

2012Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 54.8% (unofficial))

Topic Areas:
Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary
Amendment 64 proposes amending the Colorado
Constitution to:- regulate the growth, manufacture, and sale of marijuana in a system of licensed establishments overseen by state and local governments;

– allow individuals who are 21 years old or older to possess, use, display, purchase, transport, and transfer—to individuals who are 21 years old or older—one ounce or less of marijuana;

– allow individuals who are 21 years old or older to possess, grow, process, and transport up to six marijuana plants, with certain restrictions;

– require the state legislature to enact an excise tax on marijuana sales, of which the first $40 million in revenue raised annually must be credited to a state fund used for constructing public schools. The excise tax must be approved by a separate statewide vote; and

– require the state legislature to enact legislation concerning the growth, processing, and sale of industrial hemp.

Summary and Analysis

Marijuana is a plant that contains the psychoactive component delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana can be used in various ways, including smoking it, inhaling it as vapor, and consuming it in food. Currently, individuals who grow, transfer, manufacture, possess, or sell marijuana violate federal, state, and, in some cases, local laws. However, state penalties for marijuana offenses are not as severe as penalties for many other drug-related offenses. Although the use of marijuana for medical purposes is not authorized under federal law, Colorado and several other states have enacted legislation allowing the use of medical marijuana. To date, state regulation of medical marijuana establishments has generally been allowed to occur, although the federal government has ordered some businesses to close.

Current federal and state penalties for marijuana offenses.

Sentences for drug offenses are discretionary, and depend on the law violated and the severity and circumstances of the crime. Under federal law, penalties for marijuana offenses range from up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000 for a first offense of possession, to up to life in prison and a fine of $4 million for the sale of 1,000 kilograms (about 2,200 pounds) or more of marijuana.

Under current state law, marijuana offenses range from a class 2 petty offense to a class 3 felony. For example, individuals accused of possession of two ounces of marijuana or less may be required to appear in court and, if convicted, can be fined up to a maximum of $100. Other penalties range from no jail time or fine for sharing small amounts of marijuana without payment, to up to 12 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both for transferring any amount of marijuana to a person under 15 years old, provided that the offender is at least 18 years old, or for knowingly distributing more than 100 pounds of marijuana. Individuals convicted of marijuana offenses are also required to pay a drug offender surcharge, which may range from $200 to $3,000, depending on the severity of the crime. It is not clear how the state’s current criminal laws would be changed in response to Amendment 64.

Personal use of marijuana.
Under the measure, individuals who are 21 years old or older (adults) may possess, use, display, purchase, and transport up to one ounce of marijuana. Adults may share up to one ounce of marijuana with other individuals who are at least 21 years old, but are not allowed to sell marijuana. The use of marijuana in public or in a manner that endangers others is prohibited. The measure allows adults to grow their own marijuana or to purchase marijuana from a licensed retail marijuana store with proof of age.

Adults may possess up to six marijuana plants, of which three or fewer are mature, flowering plants, as well as the marijuana harvested from the plants, provided that the plants are kept in an enclosed and locked space and are not grown openly or publicly. The marijuana harvested must remain on the premises where the plants were grown. Adults are also permitted to possess, use, display, purchase, and transport marijuana accessories that are used for the growth, manufacture, and consumption of marijuana.

Amendment 64 states that its provisions are not intended to:

• allow driving under the influence of or while impaired by marijuana;

• permit underage access to or use of marijuana;

• affect the ability of an employer to restrict the use or
possession of marijuana by employees; or
• prevent a school, hospital, or other property owner from prohibiting or otherwise regulating the use, possession, growth, manufacture, or sale of marijuana on the property.

Regulation by the state.
Amendment 64 requires the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) to adopt regulations by July 1, 2013, concerning licensing and security requirements for marijuana establishments, the prevention of marijuana sales to underage individuals, labeling requirements for marijuana products, health and safety standards for marijuana manufacturing, advertising restrictions, and civil penalties for violations. The measure specifies that the regulations may not prohibit marijuana establishments or make the operation of such establishments unreasonably impracticable.

The DOR must also develop a schedule of application, licensing, and renewal fees. The application fees may not exceed $5,000, adjusted annually for inflation, unless the DOR determines that a greater fee is necessary. If a licensed medical marijuana business applies for a separate license created by the measure, the application fee may not exceed $500. The measure does not limit the amounts that may be charged for licensing and renewal fees. After the DOR receives a license application from a prospective marijuana establishment, it must forward the application and half of the application fee to the local government involved. The DOR must issue or deny the license within 90 days. If the DOR denies the license, it must notify the applicant in writing of its reason for doing so.

In the event that the DOR does not adopt regulations by July 1, 2013, the measure states that marijuana establishment applicants may apply for an annual license with a local government. Applicants may only apply for a locally issued license after October 1, 2013, which is the deadline for local governments to identify which local agency will process marijuana license applications if necessary. Applicants may also apply for a locally issued license if the DOR adopts regulations but has not issued any licenses by January 1, 2014. While operating under a locally issued license, the marijuana establishments are not subject to regulation by the DOR.

Regulation by local governments.
Local governments may enact regulations concerning the time, place, manner, and number of marijuana establishments in their community. In addition, local governments may prohibit the operation of marijuana establishments through an ordinance or a referred ballot measure; citizens may pursue such a prohibition through an initiated ballot measure. Even if marijuana establishments are prohibited by a local government, individuals in that community who are at least 21 years old may still possess, grow, and use marijuana as allowed by the measure.

Types of licenses.

Under Amendment 64, marijuana growth, processing, testing, and sales are authorized to be carried out by four types of regulated marijuana establishments. The measure directs the DOR to implement procedures for issuing, renewing, suspending, and revoking licenses for the establishments.

Taxes.
This measure requires that the state legislature enact an excise tax. The current Colorado Constitution forbids a member of the state legislature to be bound to vote for or against any bill or measure pending or proposed to the state legislature. Because of this inherent conflict, the excise tax outlined in the measure might not be imposed. Additionally, this issue may result in significant litigation.

Under the measure, marijuana is subject to existing state and local sales taxes and a new state excise tax to be set by the legislature. An excise tax is a tax on the use or consumption of certain products such as gasoline, alcohol, or cigarettes. The tax is generally collected at the wholesale level and passed on to consumers in the retail price. Marijuana cultivation facilities will pay the excise tax when selling marijuana to either marijuana product manufacturing facilities or to retail marijuana stores.

Amendment 64 requires the legislature to enact the state excise tax; however, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) requires a separate statewide vote to approve the tax and any future tax increases. Under the measure, the excise tax is limited to 15 percent until January 1, 2017, when the legislature may set it at any rate. Each year, the first $40 million in revenue raised by the excise tax will be credited to a state fund used for constructing public schools. Medical marijuana is not subject to the state excise tax required by the measure, or to any existing state excise tax.

Effect on medical marijuana laws.

Amendment 64 does not change existing state medical marijuana laws, which allow Colorado citizens who have certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana. Medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers register with the state health agency, and businesses that grow, manufacture, and sell medical marijuana are regulated by the DOR and by local licensing authorities throughout the state. Medical marijuana patients are permitted to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants. Caregivers are subject to the same possession and growth limitations as patients and may serve up to five patients.

Under the measure, licensed medical marijuana cultivators, manufacturers, and dispensaries may apply for a separate marijuana establishment license, and are eligible for a reduced application fee. However, medical marijuana dispensaries may not sell marijuana to retail customers or operate on the same premises as retail marijuana stores. If competition for licenses exists, applicants with prior experience producing or distributing medical marijuana and who have complied with state medical marijuana regulations are granted preference in licensing.

Industrial hemp.

The measure requires the state legislature to enact, by July 1, 2014, legislation concerning the growth, processing, and sale of industrial hemp, but does not specify what provisions must be included, or whether such activities should be authorized. The measure defines industrial hemp as the same plant as marijuana, but with a THC concentration of no more than three-tenths percent. THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. Federal law currently prohibits the growth of industrial hemp, although it is legal to sell imported hemp and hemp products in the United States. Hemp seeds are sold as food, and hemp fibers are used to manufacture rope, clothing, and building materials.


Use of Severance Tax Revenue for Highways
Amendment 52
Election:
General

2008Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 35.7%)

Topic Areas:
Budgets | Tax & Revenue | Transportation

Summary: Click for Summary

Amendment 52 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

– require the state legislature to spend a portion of state severance tax collections on highway projects.

Summary and Analysis

What is the severance tax? Companies that extract nonrenewable natural resources such as coal, oil, natural gas, gold, and silver from the earth pay the state severance tax. The amount of severance tax paid is based on company income or the volume of the resource mined.

How is severance tax revenue spent now? The state legislature determines how severance tax revenue is spent. Under existing statutes, it is evenly divided between local governments and state programs. State statute distributes the local government portion to communities impacted by the mineral extraction industry — either directly based on mining activity in the area or through competitive loans or grants. The state portion is spent on loans for local water projects like dams, pipelines, and canals; programs regulating mining activity; and, in recent years, programs like low-income energy assistance and wildlife conservation.

How does Amendment 52 change current law? Of the 50 percent of severance taxes spent on state programs, Amendment 52 constitutionally limits the amount that the state legislature can spend to the prior year’s amount plus inflation (with an adjustment if severance tax collections decrease). The remaining amount of the state portion must be used to construct and maintain highways, with priority given to relieving congestion on Interstate-70 (I-70). The state legislature is responsible for budgeting the highway money. The state legislature maintains the ability to allocate both the money that is currently returned to local governments and the money spent on state programs in any way it chooses, just as it does now.

What is the projected change in spending under Amendment 52? Table 1 (please refer to the website of the Colorado General Assembly to view this table) shows the projected shift in spending from state programs to highway projects under Amendment 52. For example, in 2009, state programs receive $181 million under current law. Under Amendment 52, these programs receive $92 million, and $89 million is shifted to highway projects aimed at relieving congestion on I-70.

How are transportation projects currently funded? Fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees, a portion of income and sales taxes, and federal highway money finance transportation projects in Colorado. The state received about $1.2 billion for transportation projects in budget year 2008, with fuel taxes and registration fees at $415 million, federal funds at $408 million, and income and sales taxes at $426 million.

How do Amendment 52 and Amendment 58 interact? Both Amendment 52 and Amendment 58 change how the state spends severance tax revenue, but the two measures propose different uses for the money. Thus, some of the provisions of these measures appear to conflict with one another. Should both measures pass, the state will be required to implement these conflicting provisions, but if challenged the courts will have to decide how the measures take effect. Amendment 52 proposes a change to the state constitution, while Amendment 58 proposes a change to state statute. To date, Colorado courts have not addressed this type of conflict between ballot measures, but it is likely that the constitutional provision would prevail.


Vesting Power to Regulate Public Utilities in the Public Utilities Commission
Amendment 1
Election:
General

1954Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.9%)

Topic Areas:
Energy & Electric Utilities | State Government

Summary: Click for Summary
Summary not available.

Video Lottery/Tourism Promotion
Amendment 33
Election:
General

2003Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 20.8% (unofficial results))

Topic Areas:
Gambling & Lotteries | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary
The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:
– requires the Colorado Lottery Commission to implement a state-supervised video lottery program at specific horse and greyhound racetracks and at licensed casinos by November 1, 2004;
– creates a distribution formula for video lottery proceeds that allocates up to $25 million annually for tourism promotion, provides additional revenue for open space and parks and recreation, potentially provides additional revenue for Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), and designates any remaining revenue for purposes specified in state law; and
– exempts revenue from the video lottery program from state and local spending and revenue limits.[CA]


Voluntary Congressional Term Limits
Amendment 18
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 50.4%)

Topic Areas:
Federal Government | Term Limits

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning term limits declarations that may be voluntarily submitted by candidates for the U.S. Congress, and, in connection therewith, providing that a candidate shall not be refused placement on the ballot if the candidate does not submit a declaration; providing that candidates may voluntarily declare that the candidate will not serve more than three terms as a U.S. Representative or more than two terms as a U.S. Senator or may voluntarily declare that the candidate has chosen not to accept term limits; allowing such candidates who have made such a declaration to voluntarily authorize placement of an applicable ballot designation next to the candidate’s name on congressional election ballots and government-sponsored voter education material.

[CA]


Voter Approval – Constitutional and Statutory Amendments
Referendum A
Election:
General

1996Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 40.9%)

Topic Areas:
Elections-Initiative Process

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution:

– Increases the votes needed to amend the state constitution from a simple majority to 60 percent of the votes cast;

– Provides that amendments to the constitution previously adopted with less than 60 percent of the votes may be amended or repealed, until January 1, 2003, with only a simple majority of votes cast;

– Allows amendments to the constitution to be submitted to the electors only at a general election and not at an election held in an odd-numbered year; and

– Requires, for four years after their adoption, that initiated statutes can be amended or repealed only by two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature.


Voter Approval for New or Increased State or Local Taxes
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1986Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 37.5%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Local Government | State Government | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution prohibiting new or increased state or local taxes without the approval, at a biennial election, of the voters of the unit of government proposing or increasing the tax, and requiring the state to provide the funds for any increase in spending it mandates for a political subdivision?

[CA]


Voter Approval of Growth
Amendment 24
Election:
General

2000Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 30%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Land Use/Property Rights

Summary: Click for Summary

Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Analysis by Colorado Legislative Council: Requires voter approval of maps, called “growth area maps,” that identify areas for future development in counties, cities, and towns of a certain population; requires affected local governments to designate areas called “committed areas,” in which development may occur without voter approval because the areas meet certain qualifications; requires affected counties, cities, and towns to provide information to
voters about the impacts of proposed growth; and exempts local governments below a certain population, and some types of development, from its requirements.

Background and Provisions of the Proposal: Current regulation of development. Colorado law gives counties, cities, and towns broad authority over the development of land. Counties regulate development in areas of the county outside of city limits, while cities and towns regulate development within their boundaries. To develop land, builders and property owners must satisfy local government regulations including zoning ordinances, building codes, and subdivision and platting requirements. Cities and towns may expand their boundaries by annexing land that is not part of another city or town. Local regulations are often quite detailed and consist of many steps, including review by local planning departments, public hearings before planning commissions, and public hearings and approval by boards of county commissioners or town or city councils.

Many local governments have planning commissions that create master plans to advise elected officials on development of land in their jurisdictions. Counties are required to have planning commissions; cities and towns are authorized, but not required, to have them. Local governments hold public hearings when creating or changing a master plan. Any proposal to develop land must comply with master plans that have been adopted as a local ordinance. If a master plan has not been placed in ordinance by a local government then local governments may approve development that is not consistent with these plans, or deny development that is consistent with these plans.

Voter approval of growth area maps. Local governments subject to the proposal may propose maps to voters that show the geographic areas where they want new development to occur. These maps “with a text describing the
proposed growth area” will identify the general locations of proposed land uses and development densities within these areas. Growth area maps must be proposed to the voters if the local government seeks to grow beyond certain
areas designated for development. Voters must approve the growth area maps before new development may occur. Growth area maps may be adopted or changed once each year at a November election.

Local governments may propose new growth areas only where the development will be served by roads and central water and sewer within ten years. Growth areas for municipalities must share at least one-sixth of their borders with areas that have already been committed to development by a local government or with other areas that have been approved by the voters as growth areas. The proposal also requires local governments to coordinate their proposed growth maps so that the maps are consistent with those of adjoining cities, towns, and counties. Public hearings must be held on proposed growth area maps.

Before a vote on a growth area map, local governments must mail to voters information describing the elements of the growth area including open spaces and parks, new public facilities and infrastructure, number of new housing units, and any local government revenue sharing arrangements. In addition, information must be mailed to voters on the anticipated effects of the proposed growth on population, traffic, air quality, and water supplies.

Areas committed to growth. Voter approval is not needed for development to occur in areas that have been designated by local governments as committed areas. To qualify as a committed area, a valid development application must have been submitted to the local government by September 13, 2000, or certain levels of construction must have already occurred on or around the land to be designated as a committed area. These areas must be identified by December 31, 2001, or within one year after a local government meets the population threshold in the proposal, whichever is later.

Local governments affected by the proposal. Counties with populations greater than 10,000, and cities and towns within these counties with populations greater than 1,000 are subject to the proposal. However, counties with fewer than 25,000 residents may vote to exempt themselves, and all cities and towns within the county, from all requirements for up to four years at a time. Cities and towns that have any part of their territory in a county subject to the proposal must also comply. Towns under 1,000 population in counties to which the proposal applies are only required to determine areas that have been committed to development. The population of a city, town or county will be determined by the most recent census data or applicable population projection.

Based on their current populations, the following counties are subject to the proposal: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Delta, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Montrose, Morgan, Pueblo, and Weld. Voters in the following counties may exempt themselves from the proposal: Alamosa, Chaffee, Elbert, Grand, Gunnison, Las Animas, Logan, Moffat, Montezuma, Otero, Park, Pitkin, Prowers, Rio Grande, Routt, Summit, and Teller. All other counties are currently exempt from the proposal’s requirements.

Development exempt from the proposal. Development related to water facilities, telecommunications, utilities, mining, and oil and gas is exempt from the proposal; road construction within growth areas is not. Local governments may approve the following types of development outside of growth areas and committed areas without voter approval:

– construction that does not require any further local government approval, only lacks the issuance of a building permit, or for which a development application was accepted by a local government as valid on or before September 13, 2000;

– certain public facilities, groupings of new homes in rural areas that leave two-thirds of the land for open space, divisions of land greater than 35 acres that are not currently subject to county subdivision regulations, and
certain small lots for farm families; and

– certain retail and service businesses of less than 10,000 square feet and businesses that serve farmers and ranchers, other than confined animal feeding operations, as long as they are located at least one mile apart.

Fiscal Impact: State impacts. The proponents intend that existing estimates be used to satisfy requirements for municipal population data. If that approach is adopted, there will be no significant state fiscal impacts. If new projections are required, the Department of Local Affairs estimates that it would require an additional six full-time employees at a cost of $347,846 to fulfill the requirements of the measure. At this time, there does not appear to be any additional state fiscal impact.

Local impacts. Actual fiscal impacts on local governments are indeterminate. Local governments would assume direct costs in complying with the following five tasks required by the measure:

1) Delineating “committed areas”;

2) Developing “growth area maps”;

3) Referring growth area maps to a popular vote at a regular election;

4) Providing growth impact disclosures; and

5) Distributing the growth area map and associated impact disclosures to voters.

The Department of Local Affairs estimates that the aggregate total direct costs of initial compliance with these five requirements on the part of local governments could possibly be as high as $60 million. Only limited data exists regarding the cost to local governments of complying with an additional requirement under the measure: Ensuring that growth area maps are consistent with growth proposed by other local governments. These costs could be similar in magnitude to those associated with delineating committed areas and developing growth area maps.

Estimates of direct costs do not include the cost of updating zoning or other land use regulations in order to achieve consistency with committed areas and growth areas or the cost to be incurred by other political subdivisions (such as special districts or school districts) in complying with the measure as required by section 6 of the measure.

In the event of an unsuccessful election or in the event that growth area maps are revised in the future to reflect changing conditions, these direct costs will continue forward as recurring costs associated with local government planning efforts.

Indirect fiscal impacts on local governments are indeterminate. Possible indirect positive fiscal impacts to local governments would result from the control and possible reduction of some of the negative impacts of growth cited in section 1 (“Purpose”) of the measure. There could be a significant reduction in the cost of building new roads and extending water and sewer service to low density development. It is impossible to quantify the dollar value of these positive impacts.

Indirect negative impacts are similarly impossible to quantify and thus are also indeterminate. The measure could result in negative fiscal impacts from delays in, or prohibition of, certain development, either in the short term as growth area maps are created and voted upon along with other planning tasks imposed by the measure or in the long term should citizens vote to curtail certain development.

[CA]


Voter Approval of New or Increased Taxes
Amendment 10
Election:
General

1976Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 25.3%)

Topic Areas:
Elections | Tax & Revenue

Summary: Click for Summary

An Amendment adding a new Section 21 to Article X of the Constitution of the State of Colorado, requiring registered elector approval of all state and local executive or legislative acts which result in new or increased taxes.

[CA]


Voting Rights – Age
Amendment 4
Election:
General

1970Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 45.2%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to article VII of the constitution of the State of Colorado, reducing the minimum age and residency requirements of electors and extending the right to vote for candidates for the United States Senate and House of Representatives and providing that electors shall have all the rights, privileges, liabilities, responsibilities, and duties of adults, as provided by law.

Voting Rights – Residency
Amendment 5
Election:
General

1970Type:
Legislative Referendum

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 64.6%)

Topic Areas:
Civil & Constitutional Law | Elections

Summary: Click for Summary
An amendment to article VII of the constitution of the State of Colorado, changing the residency qualification of electors, and providing that no person shall be denied the right to vote in an election because of residence on land situated within this state that is under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Vouchers for Education
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1992Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.2%)

Topic Areas:
Education: PreK-12

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– direct the General Assembly to apportion all state moneys for the general support of kindergarten, elementary, and secondary education among Colorado students between the ages of five and twenty-one, and provide that the value of each individual share of the apportionment is to be in the form of a “voucher” to be controlled by each student’s parent or guardian. Emancipated minors would control their own vouchers;

– allow parents, guardians, and emancipated minors to use the voucher to choose from the various kindergarten, elementary, and secondary educational services available in Colorado, including public, private, and home schools;

– require the General Assembly to set the value of each voucher at no less than 50 percent of the average per pupil expenditure in the district of the student’s residence and provide for the implementation of the voucher system in law beginning with the 1993-94 school year;

– allow the General Assembly to increase the value of each voucher by providing for the similar division of local property taxes, other local taxes raised for educational purposes, and moneys appropriated for categorical services such as transportation and special education;

– require public schools to accept vouchers as payment for services rendered and redeem their value from the state;

– allow private schools to accept vouchers and redeem their value from the state;

– allow home schools to exchange the value of the voucher for educational services and materials in-kind, but prohibit any monetary profit to the student’s parents;

– provide that no school district shall be required to accept students from outside the district in excess of reasonable capacity as determined by the directors of the school district;

– provide that for any portion of a voucher charged to the local property tax, a student using a voucher shall be counted only to the extent that educational services are actually provided;

– provide that no voucher shall be redeemed or exchanged for services or materials from any institution operated, controlled or funded by an organization formed for political purposes or from any institution that discriminates in contravention of federal or state law;

– allow the General Assembly to permit the school district of residence to charge an administrative fee of no more than 2 percent of the value of the voucher;

– prevent the General Assembly or any state agency from reating any authority over non-public schools, not existing prior to January 1, 1991, except for provisions in law which set minimum student achievement or proficiency standards which may be no more stringent than for public schools; and

– supersede the provisions of the state constitution prohibiting state moneys from being used for private, religious and sectarian schools.

[CA]


Water Meters in the San Luis Valley
Amendment 15
Election:
General

1998Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 23.8%)

Topic Areas:
Local Government | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary

An amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning a requirement for the installation of water flow meters on any nonexempt well in the unconfined aquifer in water division 3 (which is located in whole or in part in Conejos, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Mineral, Saguache, and Costilla counties) on or before April 1, 1999, and, in connection therewith, requiring that the water flow meters be certified by the state engineer; requiring the state engineer to read the water flow meters monthly at the well owner’s expense; and directing the state engineer to prevent the operation of any well that does not have a functioning water flow meter.

[S]


Water Rights and Irrigation
Amendment 32
Election:
General

1912Type:
Popular Referendum

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 32.5%)

Topic Areas:
Agriculture | Natural Resources

Summary: Click for Summary
Concerning water rights and irrigation

Wine Sales at Grocery Stores
Amendment 7
Election:
General

1982Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 35.0%)

Topic Areas:
Business & Commerce | Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy

Summary: Click for Summary

Shall grocery stores after licensing, be permitted to sell wine containing not more than fourteen percent of alcohol by volume in sealed containers not to be consumed on the premises subject to the same requirements of law concerning age of purchaser and hours and days sold as are applicable to other retailers of wine in sealed containers?

[S]


Women’s Eight-Hour Employment Law
Amendment 9
Election:
General

1912Type:
Initiative

Status: Pass (Yes votes: 77.3%)

Topic Areas:
Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary

Women’s 8-hour employment law

[S]


Workers’ Choice of Care
Amendment 11
Election:
General

1994Type:
Initiative

Status: Fail (Yes votes: 33.6%)

Topic Areas:
Health | Labor & Employment

Summary: Click for Summary

The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution would:

– Provide that benefits to an injured worker include all reasonable and necessary treatment for work related injuries;

– Allow injured employees to select their own health care providers; and

– Subject fees charged by such health care providers to regulation by the State of Colorado.

[CA]


Statewide Ballot Measures Database


11/7/2018

Image of search key on a keyboard.NCSL’s Statewide Ballot Measures Database includes all statewide ballot measures in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, starting over a century ago. New measures are added as they are certified and identified by NCSL staff. Results are updated soon after election night; each entry is then updated with “pass” or “fail.”

You can search legislation for each year from the late 1800s through 2017 by state, topic, keyword, year, status or primary sponsor. Topics include: Abortion, Agriculture, Animal Rights/Hunting & Fishing, Arts & Culture, Banking & Financial Services, Bond Measures, Budgets, Business & Commerce, Civil & Constitutional Law, Criminal Justice, Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco Policy, Economic Development, Education: Higher Ed, Education: PreK-12, Elections, Elections-Initiative Process, Energy & Electric Utilities, Environmental Protection, Ethics/Lobbying/Campaign Finance, Federal Government, Gambling & Lotteries, Health, Human Services, Insurance, Judiciary, Juvenile Justice, Labor & Employment, Land Use/Property Rights, Legislatures, Local Government, Military & Veterans Affairs, Natural Resources, Redistricting, State Government, State-Tribal Relations, Tax & Revenue, Telecom & Info Technology, Term Limits, and Transportation.

This database is provided for informational purposes only. For details on ballot measures, please contact the appropriate state’s election officials.

For more information about the database, contact NCSL’s elections team via email or at 303-364-7700.

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