Thursday, September 18, 2008

Colorado Voter Guide to Amendments and Referenda - 2008 Election

Colorado voters have lots to think about. Just to get you started, here's a short and simplified list of the proposed 2008 Colorado Constitutional amendments and referenda as originally summarized by The Rocky Mountain News. I plan to evaluate the summaries and post pros and cons of the ballot measures in later posts. *Note: I've added some notes to these summaries since the original post.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 46 - Colorado Civil Rights Initiative a.k.a Affirmative Action Ban - Would prohibit the state from granting "preferential treatment" to anyone on the basis of race, sex or ethnicity in hiring, education and contracts. Would ban affirmative action programs intended to remedy system-wide governmental exclusionary practices (remember Jim Crow?). Would limit outreach programs, scholarships, recruiting, government contracting opportunities for minorities and women.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 47 - Right-to-work a.k.a. Anti-Union amendment - Would outlaw agreements requiring workers covered by union contracts to pay fees for representation. Would amend the Constitution to criminalize certain union dues.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 48 - Definition of person a.k.a. Anti-Choice amendment - Would ban abortion by defining personhood as beginning at fertilization. Could expose doctors, mothers, and others to criminal liability.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 49 - Public payroll standards - Would ban governments from taking deductions directly from employee paychecks for any nongovernmental special interest group.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 50 - Gaming - Would allow casino towns to vote on whether to increase bet limits to $100 from $5, expand hours of operation and add games.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 51 - Sales tax for disabled services - Would increase the state sales tax (by 2 cents on every $10) to fund services for those with developmental disabilities.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 52 - Severance tax - transportation - Would allocate more severance tax money to transportation.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 53 - Corporate fraud - Would impose tougher sanctions for fraud committed by businesses, executives.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 54 - Campaign finance curbs - Would bar sole-source government contractors and unions with exclusive bargaining powers from making contributions to political candidates.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 55 - Just cause - Would require employers to provide valid reasons for firing workers. Provides remedies to workers fired without cause. Exempts small employers with fewer than 20 employees and non-profits with fewer than 1000 employees.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 56 - Health coverage for employees - Would require employers with 20 or more workers to provide health care coverage for workers.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 57 - Safe workplaces - Would allow an employee to sue for damages in addition to any settlements from the workers compensation system.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 58 - Severance tax - Would reduce energy company tax breaks and use revenue to pay for college scholarships and other programs.

COLORADO AMENDMENT 59 - K-12 schools funding - Would lift constitutional limits on state spending and direct additional revenue into an education fund.


COLORADO REFERENDUM L - Would lower the age of a candidate for the Colorado House and Senate from 25 to 21.

COLORADO REFERENDUM M - Would eliminate obsolete provisions in the state constitution about land value increases.

COLORADO REFERENDUM N - Would eliminate obsolete provisions in the constitution about intoxicating liquor.

COLORADO REFERENDUM O - Would increase the number of signatures required on petitions for constitutional amendments to at least 6 percent of votes cast in the previous election for governor.

Stay tuned for posts with the pros and cons!

Source: Kevin Flynn, Rocky Mountain News, One less initiative on hefty Colorado ballot,, (Accessed 9/18/08)

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