What You Need to Know About Everything on the Colorado Ballot

Here is what you need to know about all the propositions and amendments on the Colorado state ballot to make an informed decision on each measure. Please do your civic duty, friends, and get out and vote. The lovely thing about Colorado is you can register in person on the day of the election at a polling place! So don’t let not yet being registered stop you!

Included here is a little information on all statewide Amendments and Propositions:

Amendment V (Constitutional) Amendment V is asking if Colorado should amend its constitution to lower the age minimum to 21 years of age, instead of the current 25 year age minimum, to be a member of the Colorado general assembly. Remember that people still have to be elected, which means we will not necessarily have 21 year olds in our general assembly. 

Amendment W (Constitutional) Amendment W is asking if it is okay for those writing the ballot to ask the question “Shall Judge______ of the ________ be retained in office?” one time at the beginning of the section rather than asking it for every single Judge on the ballot. 

Amendment X (Constitutional) This one basically just removes the definition of industrial hemp from the state constitution, which in turn means we then rely on the federal constitution for the definition.  

Amendment Y (Constitutional) This amendment is proposing a separate commission to redraw the US House districts in Colorado to address gerrymandering. Since currently the party in political power is able to draw the district lines, they are often drawn to benefit that particular party. This commission would transfer the power to a separate entity. 

Amendment Z (Constitutional) This amendment is similar to Amendment Y but would just develop a commission to redraw the state house districts. 

Amendment A (Constitutional) This amendment would adjust the language in the Colorado Constitution to fully ban slavery and involuntary servitude, instead of the current language that says that it is prohibited unless it is a punishment for a crime. 

Amendment 73 (Constitutional) This amendment would adjust the Colorado Constitution to establish an income tax bracket system rather than a flat rate system. It would increase the taxes on the extremely wealthy and would raise the corporate income tax rate. The excess money would then be used to create a Quality Public Education Fund to help increase funding per student for all levels of public education.

Amendment 74 (Constitutional) This amendment would adjust the language in the Colorado Constitution to say that the government must fairly compensate anyone whose property they take or reduce the fair market value of for public or private use. For examples, this amendment would require that the government make payouts from adding public facilities near private property that then reduced the value of that property.

Amendment 75 (Constitutional) This amendment is attempting to address what is called the “billionaire loophole” in the Colorado constitution. Currently the campaign finance laws allow candidates to loan/donate money to their own campaigns but limits how much they can accept from any one donor. This amendment would allow candidates running against someone who donates more than one million dollars to their own campaign the ability to accept donations of five times the amount of money that is currently authorized. 

Proposition 109 (Statutory) This proposition would allow the sale of $3.5 billion in bonds. The money would then be used to help fund local transportation projects. This, however, would require the bondholders to be paid back in 20 years. The money for this return would come from the state budget. This is also competing with proposition 110.

Proposition 110 (Statutory) Proposition 110 is much like 109, in that it still utilizes the sale of bonds. In this case it would be $6 billion to fund local transportation projects. The way it is different, however, is that instead of finding some way in the state budget to pay back bondholders, it increases the state sales tax by 0.62% to 3.52% to ensure the bondholders are repaid.

Proposition 111 (Statutory) Proposition 111 deals with payday loans. Payday lending is for people who are living paycheck to paycheck and need small loans of $500 or less. Currently interest rates are very high. Proposition 111 would reduce the interest rate to 36% and eliminate other charges and fees associated with payday lending. 

Proposition 112 (Statutory) Proposition 112 would require that new oil and gas developments, including fracking, must be at least 2500 feet from vulnerable buildings including schools, homes, and hospitals. Currently, the law states that these sites must be at least 1000 feet from high occupancy buildings, such as schools and hospitals, 500 feet from homes, and 350 feet from playgrounds. This proposition would unify all of those structures under one statute and would increase the minimum distance for all locations.

I hope you learned something and are now able to make a more informed decision on each of these Amendments and Propositions. 

Happy Voting!