2016 State Ballot Measures

Amendment T: No Exception to Involuntary Servitude Prohibition

  • Explained

    Removes constitutional language that allows slavery and involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for conviction of a crime.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the removal of the exception to the prohibition of slavery and involuntary servitude when used as punishment for persons duly convicted of a crime?

  • Supporters say...

    The language being removed is antiquated and reflects a needed update to reflect the fundamental values of freedom and quality.

  • Opponents say...

    This could result in uncertainty around current work requirements for prisoners.

Amendment U: Property Tax Exemtpion for Some Possessory Interests

  • Explained

    Beginning in tax year 2018, eliminates property taxes for individuals or business that use government-owned property for a private benefit worth $6,000 or less.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning an exemption from property taxation for a possessory interest in real property if the actual value of the interest is less than or equal to six thousand dollars or such amount adjusted for inflation?

  • Supporters say...

    The cost of collecting this tax often exceeds the amount of the income generated. This reduces inefficiencies in current practice.

  • Opponents say...

    This provides an unfair tax break for businesses and individuals who use government-owned land for private gain.

Amendment 69: Statewide Healthcare System

  • Explained

    Create ColoradoCare , a taxpayer-funded healthcare payment system designed to finance universal healthcare for Colorado residents.

  • Ballot Language

    SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED $25 BILLION ANNUALLY IN THE FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR, AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS THAT ARE RAISED THEREAFTER, BY AN AMENDMENT TO THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION ESTABLISHING A HEALTH CARE PAYMENT SYSTEM TO FUND HEALTH CARE FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS WHOSE PRIMARY RESIDENCE IS IN COLORADO, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, CREATING A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY CALLED COLORADOCARE TO ADMINISTER THE HEALTH CARE PAYMENT SYSTEM; PROVIDING FOR THE GOVERNANCE OF COLORADOCARE BY AN INTERIM APPOINTED BOARD OF TRUSTEES UNTIL AN ELECTED BOARD OF TRUSTEES TAKES RESPONSIBILITY; EXEMPTING COLORADOCARE FROM THE TAXPAYER'S BILL OF RIGHTS; ASSESSING AN INITIAL TAX ON THE TOTAL PAYROLL FROM EMPLOYERS, PAYROLL INCOME FROM EMPLOYEES, AND NONPAYROLL INCOME AT VARYING RATES; INCREASING THESE TAX RATES WHEN COLORADOCARE BEGINS MAKING HEALTH CARE PAYMENTS FOR BENEFICIARIES; CAPPING THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF INCOME SUBJECT TO TAXATION; AUTHORIZING THE BOARD TO INCREASE THE TAXES IN SPECIFIED CIRCUMSTANCES UPON APPROVAL OF THE MEMBERS OF COLORADOCARE; REQUIRING COLORADOCARE TO CONTRACT WITH HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PAY FOR SPECIFIC HEALTH CARE BENEFITS; TRANSFERRING ADMINISTRATION OF THE MEDICAID AND CHILDREN'S BASIC HEALTH PROGRAMS AND ALL OTHER STATE AND FEDERAL HEALTH CARE FUNDS FOR COLORADO TO COLORADOCARE; TRANSFERRING RESPONSIBILITY TO COLORADOCAREFOR MEDICAL CARE THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE PAID FOR BY WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE; REQUIRING COLORADOCARE TO APPLY FOR A WAIVER FROM THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT TO ESTABLISH A COLORADO HEALTH CARE PAYMENT SYSTEM; AND SUSPENDING THE OPERATIONS OF THE COLORADO HEALTH BENEFIT EXCHANGE AND TRANSFERRING IT’S RESOURCES TO COLORADOCARE?

  • Supporters say...

    -All Coloradands would be covered under this plan -This would control health care costs in the state and improve outcomes. -This measure would increase accountability because trustees and taxes would be voted on.

  • Opponents say...

    -This measure would double the state budget and possibly harm the economy by burdening taxpayers. It may not be sustainable. -Improved costs and quality are not a guarantee. -Health care providers might not be willing to serve patients, thus reducing patient choice and access.

Amendment 70: State Minimum Wage

  • Explained

    Increases the state minimum wage from $8.31 per hour to $12 incrementally by 2020.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution increasing the minimum wage to $9.30 per hour with annual increases of $0.90 each January 1 until it reaches $12 per hour effective January 2020, and annually adjusting it thereafter for cost-of-living increases?

  • Supporters say...

    Colorado's current minimum wage does not provide for a basic standard of living and has not kept pace with inflation. This might help businesses by reducing turnover and increasing loyalty.

  • Opponents say...

    Employees may face lay-offs or reduced hours, thereby hurting the people this measure is intended to help. Small businesses, particularly in rural communities, will be hurt and struggle to implement this measure.

Amendment 71: Requirements for Constitutional Amendments

  • Explained

    Makes it more difficult to amend the Constitution by requiring signatures from at least 2% of registered electors from each state senate district for a citizen-initiated petition AND increases the percentage of votes required to adopt a constitutional amendment from 50% to 55%.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution making it more difficult to amend the Colorado constitution by requiring that any petition for a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment be signed by at least two percent of the registered electors who reside in each state senate district for the amendment to be placed on the ballot and increasing the percentage of votes needed to pass any proposed constitutional amendment from a majority to at least fifty-five percent of the votes cast, unless the proposed constitutional amendment only repeals, in whole or in part, any provision of the constitution?

  • Supporters say...

    Current requirements make it too easy to change the state constitution, making Colorado a national testing ground for special interest groups. Requiring signatures from every senate district will ensure that constitutional amendments represent the interests of everyone in the state, rather than only in urban areas with large populations.

  • Opponents say...

    This measure will ensure that only interests with money will be able to initiate a citizen initiated constitutional ballot measure, defeating the intent of this provision of our democracy. Relying on statutory changes to create change often results in those changes being amended or repealed by the legislature without the approval of voters. We must preserve the right of citizens to make changes to the constitution.

  • Citizens Project Position

    Citizens Project is OPPOSED to Amendment 71. Although we recognize that the state constitution is easily amended, we have concerns that this measure would significantly impact the ability of citizen groups without substantial funding to propose an initiative. As written, Amendment 71 would increase the obstacles for grassroots citizens groups to successfully petition onto the ballot.

Amendment 72: Increase Cigarette and Tobacco Taxes

  • Explained

    Increases the state tax on a pack of cigarettes from $0.84 to $2.59 and increases the state tax on other tobacco products from 40% to 62% of the price; new tax money to be used for health and smoking cessation programs, medical research and other listed uses.

  • Ballot Language

    SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED $315.7 MILLION ANNUALLY BY AN AMENDMENT TO THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION INCREASING TOBACCO TAXES, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2017, INCREASING TAXES ON CIGARETTES BY 8.75 CENTS PER CIGARETTE ($1.75 PER PACK OF 20 CIGARETTES) AND ON OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY 22 PERCENT OF THE MANUFACTURER'S LIST PRICE; AND ALLOCATING SPECIFIED PERCENTAGES OF THE NEW TOBACCO TAX REVENUE TO HEALTH-RELATED PROGRAMS AND TOBACCO EDUCATION, PREVENTION, AND CESSATION PROGRAMS CURRENTLY FUNDED BY EXISTING CONSTITUTIONAL TOBACCO TAXES; AND ALSO ALLOCATING NEW REVENUE FOR TOBACCO-RELATED HEALTH RESEARCH, VETERANS' PROGRAMS, CHILD AND ADOLESCENT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH, CONSTRUCTION AND TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS FOR QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDERS, EDUCATIONAL LOAN REPAYMENT FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IN RURAL AND UNDERSERVED AREAS, AND HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TRAINING TRACKS?

  • Supporters say...

    -This will deter people from smoking -This measure will offset the healthcare costs related to smoking and generate money for research, prevention, and treatment.

  • Opponents say...

    -Spending priorities should not be part of the constitution -This triples tobacco taxes, impacting low-income people the most, many of whom are addicted and not likely to quit.

Proposition 106: Access to Medical Aid-in-Dying Medication

  • Explained

    Allows a terminally ill individual with a prognosis of six months or less to live to obtain self-administered medication to voluntarily end his or her life.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado revised statutes to permit any mentally capable adult Colorado resident who has a medical prognosis of death by terminal illness within six months to receive a prescription from a willing licensed physician for medication that can be self-administered to bring about death; and in connection therewith, requiring two licensed physicians to con!rm the medical prognosis, that the terminally-ill patient has received information about other care and treatment options, and that the patient is making a voluntary and informed decision in requesting the medication; requiring evaluation by a licensed mental health professional if either physician believes the patient may not be mentally capable; granting immunity from civil and criminal liability and professional discipline to any person who in good faith assists in providing access to or is present when a patient self-administers the medication; and establishing criminal penalties for persons who knowingly violate statutes relating to the request for the medication?

  • Supporters say...

    -Terminally ill patients have the right to decide when and how they should end their lives. -This measure allows patients to avoid suffering. -The measure adequately safeguards physicians through a prescribed process. Physicians are not obligated to prescribe.

  • Opponents say...

    -There are inadequate safeguards against coercion for vulnerable populations. -There is room for error in prognoses and might compromise a physician's judgement.

Proposition 107: Presidential Primary Elections

  • Explained

    Changes CO Revised Statues to re-create a presidential primary in which unaffiliated electors may vote without declaring an affiliation with a political party.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes recreating a presidential primary election to be held before the end of March in each presidential election year in which unaffliated electors may vote without declaring an affliation with a political party?

  • Supporters say...

    -The caucus system limits the ability of people to participate and this will lead to increased voter participation in primaries -All registered voters should be allowed to participate in the selection of presidential nominees -Requires candidates to appeal to a broader range of voters -Protects voter confidentiality

  • Opponents say...

    -Shifts cost to taxpayers from parties, which are private entities -Because political parties are private entities, voters who are not affiliated should not get a say in the party’s nominee -Undermines caucuses, which allows for traditional discussion of candidates and issues -Currently, voters can affiliate if they want to vote on a party’s candidates

  • Citizens Project Position

    Citizens Project is NEUTRAL on Proposition 107. Although we generally support the idea of a presidential primary and increased voter participation, we are concerned that the proposal does not allow full participation by all voters.

Widget Area

Please login and add some widgets to this widget area.

Additional Resources
For more information on 2016 ballot measures check out these resources: