Colorado’s Raise the Bar initiative gets it wrong Amending the Colorado constitution should be more difficult than adding a statute. But this amendment isn’t a fix. Instead this would make it harder to get the Honest Judge Amendment on the Ballot. Vote No On Amendment 71
September 20, 2016 by Lulu
Amendment 71would make it impossible to get signatures for the Honest Judge Amendment and get it on the Ballot. Maybe this is why they are making it difficult in Colorado. Think about it!
Colorado’s Raise the Bar initiative gets it wrong
Amending the Colorado constitution should be more difficult than adding a statute. But this amendment isn’t a fix.
By The Denver Post Editorial Board
PUBLISHED: September 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm | UPDATED: September 18, 2016 at 10:06 A supporter of Amendment 66, which would have increased taxes to pay for public education in Colorado, delivers boxes of signed petitions to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office on Aug. 5, 2013. The measure was defeated at the polls.
Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post file
A supporter of Amendment 66, which would have increased taxes to pay for public education in Colorado, delivers boxes of signed petitions to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office on Aug. 5, 2013. This year, Colorado voters will decide whether to make it harder to put amendments on the ballot, as well as requiring 55 percent of the vote to pass them. While it seeks a laudable goal, the Raise the Bar effort to make it more difficult to amend Colorado’s constitution goes too far, and citizens liberal, moderate and conservative would soon come to hate its provisions.
We wanted to support a reasonable reform effort. For years we have believed the initiative process makes it too easy to lock problematic laws into the state’s constitution where, unlike with statutory changes, our elected officials are prevented from making alterations.
But the proposed Amendment 71 would cement in place troublesome provisions — as within TABOR — that we would like to see modified at the ballot box.
Amendment 71 would require 55 percent of voters to approve a proposed amendment, instead of the 50 percent needed now to pass either an amendment or a new statute. That would be the case whether citizens advance the measure, or lawmakers refer it to the ballot. Had its crafters stopped there, we likely would have looked more favorably on the measure.
The problem that the Raise the Bar language presents is in its second major requirement: To place a citizens’ initiative on the ballot, organizers would have to collect valid signatures from 2 percent of registered voters in each of the 35 state Senate districts. Presently, the number of signatures organizers must collect is to equal 5 percent of the votes cast for the secretary of state in the last election. VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 71