By CHEC Legislative Liaison Carolyn Martin
One of the primary duties of being a citizen in America is to vote. Mid-term elections notoriously have a low voter turnout. While voting can be a challenge when there are many items on the ballot, it is important that we take the time to investigate the proposals and vote. Abstaining from voting will help bad measures pass, so don’t just skip them.
On the ballot you will receive in the mail in just a few short weeks, there will be 9 amendments to the Colorado Constitution and 4 propositions to change the Colorado Revised Statutes. Each one of these would change different aspects of how we are governed.
I will be voting no on all of them except Amendment 74. In general, a good rule of thumb is, when in doubt, vote NO!
Here is a brief overview of each amendment and proposition on the ballot. Because of space concerns, I cannot elaborate at length, but feel free to contact me if you want help understanding any of these measures. (Also, on the Secretary of State’s website, you can find the full ballot language and information here for each amendment and proposition. Click “Text” or “Ballot Analysis” to view the information.)
- Amendment V: Voting no. Reduction in age for members of the Colorado Assembly from 25 years old to 21 years old. [This is a concern because statesmen need experience in the real world before joining the political class.]
- Amendment W: Voting no. Change the ballot format for the question of retaining judges. [This could add more confusion to the ballot, and eliminate the ability to retain or remove judges on an individual basis.]
- Amendment X: Voting no. Change the definition of industrial hemp to align with the federal definition. [I disagree with this because I believe definitions are best made at the state level instead of handing more authority to the federal government.]
- Amendment Y: Voting no. Change the process by which congressional districts lines are drawn. [While there are issues with the current system, this solution removes voter accountability, and places redistricting in the hands of an unelected committee. The redistricting process would also be politicized by prioritizing ethnic communities and marginalizing conservative neighborhoods. This system has been implemented in California and has impacted them negatively instead of helping.]
- Amendment Z: Voting no. Change the process by which Colorado assembly district lines are drawn. [See notes on Amendment Y.]
- Amendment A: Voting no. Prohibit slavery and involuntary solitude. [Slavery and involuntary servitude are already illegal so this is unneeded at a certain level. Additionally, the change could impact prisoner work programs, causing confusion over the legality of their wages.]
- Amendment 73: Voting no. Raises income tax rates for the funding of the public-school system from preschool through 12th grade. [Amounts to a $1.6 billion tax increase and, as written, it is not subject to the TABOR rules of growth. TABOR – Taxpayer Bill of Rights added to the Colorado Constitution in 1992, places a limit on the growth of government and subjects all tax increases to a vote of the people (unless otherwise specified).]
- Amendment 74: Voting yes. Mandates just compensation for property taken by the government. [The government must pay fair market value for any land they take from a property owner.]
- Amendment 75: Voting no. Expands campaign contributions. [Allows opponents of candidates who finance their own campaigns to accept increased campaign contributions. This constitutional amendment is only further complicating the broken campaign finance system.]
- Proposition 109: Voting no. Authorizes bonds for specific transportation projects. [Allows government to issue bonds worth up to $3.5 billion over 20 years to fund specifically listed projects, essentially, accruing massive debt with no way to pay it back. Further, the real problem with Colorado roads is mismanagement of funds, which this proposition doesn’t fix.]
- Proposition 110: Voting no. Raises Colorado sales tax for transportation funding. [Tax increase would not be subject to TABOR. Again, the problem is mismanagement of funds, not lack of funds. Moreover, an increased sales tax will harm low income families.]
- Proposition 111: Voting no. Sets a limit to the interest payday loan businesses can charge. [Lowers the cost of these loans which may impact their availability. This unnecessarily interferes with the free-market when reforms in 2010 already fixed much of the problem.]
- Proposition 112: Voting no. Limits where oil and gas companies can operate in the state. [Will basically kill the industry in Colorado which in turn will raise gas prices and tens of thousands of Coloradans will lose their jobs.]
Please note that we provide this information and opinion as a courtesy to you, our constituents, but does not equate to an endorsement. If you have further questions about any of these or other legislative issues, please contact me directly.
It’s a privilege to serve you and Colorado families!
CHEC Legislative Liaison
Christian Home Educators of Colorado