How I will vote on Colorado ballot questions

In Blog, Capitol Review by Mark Hillman17 Comments

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS (need 55% to pass) 

Amendment V: Lower Age Requirement for State Legislature

NO.  Would lower the minimum age for state lawmakers from 25 to 21. I was 31 when first elected to the Colorado Senate.  I’m now 51 and recognize what I didn’t know 20 years ago.  The last thing we need is laws made by inexperienced kids freshly indoctrinated by college professors.

Amendment W: Ballot Format for Judges

YES.  This is a simple change that will make the ballot more readable and save money for counties when printing ballots.

Amendment X: Industrial Hemp Definition

YES.  Corrects yet another unintended consequence of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana and makes our definition consistent with federal law which will eliminate needless red-tape for growers of industrial hemp.

Amendments Y&Z: Congressional & Legislative Redistricting

YES ON BOTH.  The current system is broken.  These initiatives replace the current system with a balanced process that includes equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independent voters.  It has adequate checks and balances to ensure fairness and to prevent manipulation by a single political party.

Amendment A: Language Prohibiting Involuntary Servitude as Punishment

YES.  Clarifies our state constitution’s prohibition on slavery and involuntary servitude to state that they are also not allowed as punishment for a crime.

Amendment 73: Tax Increase for Education

NO.  The problem with school funding in Colorado is that legislators have expanded social welfare programs at the expense of education. If public schools still received the same share of the budget as they did 10 years ago, our schools would receive an extra $800 per student.  We don’t need a $1.6 BILLION tax increase written into our state constitution.

Amendment 74: Compensation for Property Values

NO, sadly.  If all this did was protect property owners from intrusive government regulation, I’d be 100% in favor. But this so open-ended that it would allow neighboring property owners to sue local government to stop you from using your property if they can claim it would reduce the value of their property.  Although intended to protect oil and gas development, it’s easy to see how NIMBY activists could use this to stall energy development through endless litigation.

Amendment 75: Campaign Contributions vs. Millionaire Candidates

YES.  I’m not sure this makes a big difference, but at least it acknowledges that Colorado’s severe campaign contribution limits create an unfair advantage for millionaires who can self-fund their campaigns and it allows their competitors to accept larger donations than allowed under current law.

 

AMENDMENTS TO STATE STATUTE (pass with simple majority)

Proposition 109: Fix Our Damn Roads

YES.  Transportation is another budget item that has suffered due to the expansion of social welfare entitlements.  Lawmakers should make transportation a funding priority within the existing budget.

Proposition 110: Sales Tax for Transportation

NO.  If Prop 109 wasn’t on the ballot, I’d probably vote YES on this one because transportation funding isn’t keeping up with population growth. That’s because our gas tax isn’t a per-cent tax, it’s a per-gallon tax.  As fuel efficiency increases and more hybrids and electric cars hit the road, gas consumption (and tax revenue) stays relatively flat.  By using the general sales tax, Prop 110 makes everyone who uses our roads help pay the cost, including people who use mass transit and ride bicycles.  If you think our roads need a big funding boost, I wouldn’t blame you for voting YES on 109 and 110.

Proposition 111: Limits on Payday Loans

NO.  Payday loans are small loans (less than $500) used by people who may not be able get traditional loans. They are also risky loans for lenders who charge a higher interest rate as a result.  These are voluntary, private transactions, and we don’t need the nanny-state interfering with them.

Proposition 112: Half-Mile Setback for Oil & Natural Gas Development

NO.  An effort by Boulder anti-energy extremists to stop oil and gas development in over 90 percent of the state and a severe intrusion on property rights.  Passing this would make Colorado crazier than California!

Comments

  1. Ron Teck

    I agreed with all of your ballot positions except two, A 74 and Prop 111. Where are you on Amendment A?

  2. MaryAnn Sundby

    Thank you very much for sharing this information. I am a well read Colorado republican and appreciate knowing suggestions to better understand the ballet issues.

  3. Perry Lorenz

    Greetings Mark Hillman:
    I’m voting in favor of 112. Sooner or later, all petroleum resources will be extracted. I would like to save some for future generations. We should not be so greedy. Leave some resources for our great grandchildren.
    Regards,
    -Perry Lorenz

  4. Author
    Mark Hillman

    I don’t know how I omitted Amendment A, but I’ve updated the list above to include it. YES on Amendment A. Thanks for asking!

  5. Mike Poindexter

    Can Amendment A be read to prohibit requiring incarcerated felons to work in prison? Looks like it to me.

    1. Author
      Mark Hillman

      Mike, I don’t believe so. Prisoners work voluntarily to earn credits to buy supplies in prison.

  6. Del

    Thx Mark,
    Question on 75. You said that candidates can with this Amendment be able to accept donations of a larger amount than currently allowed. But isn’t the donation ceiling fixed by the Colorado Constitution ?

    Also –on A— could you explain why yes?
    Or do you feel that it is wrong to have inmates work?
    I know of several inmates who want to work for their own mental and physical well-being. Would this prevent them from voluntarily working?

  7. Author
    Mark Hillman

    Del, 75 is a constitutional amendment, so it would change the existing limit.

    On A, it’s only about involuntary work. Prisoners work either for pay or voluntarily, so I don’t believe their work will be affected.

  8. Henry schnabel

    Mark, I am concerned that if 109 and not 110 passed that it only pushes the debt down the road with less funding for upkeep of the system. You and I know that social spending will not be reduced to balance the budget. It is a “ sacred cow” that they feel it leads to reelection.
    Henry Schnabel

  9. Sharon

    Do you know where I can find a list of the judges for the state, Boulder and Weld counties how they score? Who is fair? Thank you

    1. Author
      Mark Hillman

      Sharon, unfortunately there isn’t a good source of information on state judges. Keep this in mind: if any of them are voted out, they will be replaced by the next Governor. I’d rather take my chances with the judges we have than worry about who might be appointed if the polls are correct and Polis wins.

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