2018 Colorado Ballot Issues

AMENDMENT V: Lower Age Requirement for Members of the State Legislature

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a reduction in the age qualification for a member of the general assembly from twenty-five years to twenty-one years?

  • Explained

    This amendment seeks to reduce the minimum age to serve in the Colorado General Assembly from 25 to 21.

  • A YES vote

    changes the minimum age from 25 to 21.

  • A NO Vote

    keeps the age requirement at 25.

  • Supporters say

    Individuals who are of age to serve in the armed forces should be eligible to be elected to state government. Younger elected voices will be beneficial to the legislative process, offering a diversity of perspectives.

  • Opponents say

    Twenty-one-year-olds are not mature enough to serve in the state legislature.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizen Project SUPPORTS this Amendment. Citizen Project in principle supports measures that increase citizen engagement and participation in our democracy.

AMENDMENT W: Election Ballot Format for Judicial Retention Elections

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a change in the format of the election ballot for judicial retention elections?

  • Explained

    Shortens language on the ballot regarding the retention of justices and judges by consolidating questions and providing one retention question for each level of court. Voters would choose “yes” or “no” after each name.

  • A YES vote

    allows county clerks to shorten the ballot by using one judge retention question for each level of court with individual judges listed below the question.

  • A NO vote

    supports the status quo and each judge will continue to have their own question on the ballot.

  • Supporters say

    This will create efficiencies and reduce costs for county clerks and also makes the ballot more concise and clearer for voters.

  • Opponents say

    This measure risks confusing voters.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project SUPPORTS this Amendment.

AMENDMENT X: Industrial Hemp Definition

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning changing the industrial hemp definition from a constitutional definition to a statutory definition?

  • Explained

    Changes the definition of “industrial hemp” from a constitutional definition to a statutory one.

  • A YES vote

    the definition of “industrial hemp” would be removed from the Colorado Constitution and, instead, be in state statute, using the same definition as in federal law.

  • A NO vote

    the definition of “industrial hemp” remains in the Colorado Constitution.

  • Supporters say

    The state legislature will have more flexibility regarding the regulation of industrial hemp, keeping the Colorado hemp industry competitive.

  • Opponents say

    When Colorado legalized marijuana, they voted to define “industrial hemp” in the Constitution. This measure deviates from that original intent.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project HAS NO POSITION on this Amendment.

AMENDMENT Y: Congressional Redistricting

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a change to the way that congressional districts are drawn, and, in connection therewith, taking the duty to draw congressional districts away from the state legislature and giving it to an independent commission, composed of twelve citizens who possess specified qualifications; prohibiting any one political party's control of the commission by requiring that one-third of commissioners will not be affiliated with any political party, one-third of the commissioners will be affiliated with the state's largest political party, and one-third of the commissioners will be affiliated with the state's second largest political party; prohibiting certain persons, including professional lobbyists, federal campaign committee employees, and federal, state, and local elected officials, from serving on the commission; limiting judicial review of a map to a determination by the supreme court of whether the commission or its nonpartisan staff committed an abuse of discretion; requiring the commission to draw districts with a focus on communities of interest and political subdivisions, such as cities and counties, and then to maximize the number of competitive congressional seats to the extent possible; and prohibiting maps from being drawn to dilute the electoral influence of any racial or ethnic group or to protect any incumbent, any political candidate, or any political party?

  • Explained

    Amendments Y and Z are compromises that remove congressional redistricting from the legislature and gives that responsibility to an independent commission of 4 Republicans, 4 Democrats, and 4 Unaffiliated voters appointed by a panel of former judges. The commission is designed to reflect Colorado geographically, politically and demographically and ensure an open, ethical, and public process to draw state legislative and congressional district maps that maximize competitive districts.

  • A YES vote

    creates an independent 12-person commission responsible for approving district maps for federal congressional districts in Colorado.

  • A NO vote

    the Colorado General Assembly will continue to be responsible for congressional redistricting.

  • Supporters say

    An independent commission will limit the role of partisan politics in redistricting. Final maps must be approved by a supermajority of the commission, encouraging political compromise. The redistricting process will be more transparent and allow greater public input. Allowing the state legislature to draft districts has often led to disputes over the result; this Amendment provides more transparency and equity for the citizens of Colorado.

  • Opponents say

    Appointed commissioners are not accountable to voters. The selection process for commissioners is complicated and might not ensure impartiality.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project SUPPORTS this Amendment.

AMENDMENT Z: Legislative Redistricting

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a change to the manner in which state senate and state house of representatives districts are drawn, and, in connection therewith, reforming the existing legislative reapportionment commission by expanding the commission to twelve members and authorizing the appointment of members who possess specified qualifications; prohibiting any one political party's control of the commission by requiring that one-third of commissioners will not be affiliated with any political party, one-third of the commissioners will be affiliated with the state's largest political party, and one-third of the commissioners will be affiliated with the state's second largest political party; prohibiting certain persons, including professional lobbyists, federal campaign committee employees, and federal, state, and local elected officials, from serving on the commission; limiting judicial review of a map to a determination by the supreme court of whether the commission or its nonpartisan staff committed an abuse of discretion; requiring the commission to draw state legislative districts using communities of interest as well as political subdivisions, such as cities and counties, and then to maximize the number of competitive state legislative seats to the extent possible; and prohibiting maps from being drawn to dilute the electoral influence of any racial or ethnic group or to protect any incumbent, any political candidate, or any political party?

  • Explained

    Amendments Y and Z are compromises that remove congressional redistricting from the legislature and gives that responsibility to an independent commission of 4 Republicans, 4 Democrats, and 4 Unaffiliated voters appointed by a panel of former judges. The commission is designed to reflect Colorado geographically, politically and demographically and ensure an open, ethical, and public process to draw state legislative and congressional district maps that maximize competitive districts.

  • A YES vote

    creates an independent 12-person commission responsible for approving district maps for the Colorado General Assembly.

  • A NO vote

    the Colorado General Assembly will continue to be responsible for redistricting for the Colorado General Assembly.

  • Supporters say

    An independent commission will limit the role of partisan politics in redistricting. Final maps must be approved by a supermajority of the commission, encouraging political compromise. The redistricting process will be more transparent and allow greater public input. Allowing the state legislature to draft districts has often led to disputes over the result; this Amendment provides more transparency and equity for the citizens of Colorado.

  • Opponents say

    Appointed commissioners are not accountable to voters. The selection process for commissioners is complicated and might not ensure impartiality.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project SUPPORTS this Amendment.

AMENDMENT A: Prohibit Slavery and Involuntary Servitude in All Circumstances

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution that prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and thereby prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances?

  • Explained

    The Colorado Constitution currently prohibits “slavery or involuntary servitude” but provides an exception for punishment of a convicted criminal. The proposed Amendment eliminates that exception.

  • A YES vote

    would ban slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime.

  • A NO votes

    continues to allow for slavery and involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for a crime.

  • Supporters say

    This will remove antiquated language from the Constitution that devalues people. This will not impact the treatment of prisoners.

  • Opponents say

    There is no organized opposition to this measure. Some have expressed concerns about the possible the impact on community service as a punishment.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project SUPPORTS this Amendment.

AMENDMENT 73: Funding for Public Schools

  • Ballot Language

    Shall state taxes be increased $1,600,000,000 annually by an amendment to the Colorado constitution and a change to the Colorado revised statutes concerning funding relating to preschool through high school public education, and, in connection therewith, creating an exception to the single rate state income tax for revenue that is dedicated to the funding of public schools; increasing income tax rates incrementally for individuals, trusts, and estates using four tax brackets starting at .37% for income above $150,000 and increasing to 3.62% for income above $500,000; increasing the corporate income tax rate by 1.37%; for purposes of school district property taxes, reducing the current residential assessment rate of 7.2% to 7.0% and the current nonresidential assessment rate of 29%to 24%; requiring the revenue from the income tax increases to be deposited in a dedicated public education fund and allowing the revenue collected to be retained and spent as voter-approved revenue changes; requiring the legislature to annually appropriate money from the fund to school districts to support early childhood through high school public educational programs on an equitable basis throughout the state without decreasing general fund appropriations; directing the legislature to enact, regularly review, and revise when necessary, a new public school finance law that meets specified criteria; until the legislature has enacted a new public school finance law, requiring the money in the fund to be annually appropriated for specified education programs and purposes; requiring the money in the fund to be used to support only public schools; requiring general fund appropriations for public education to increase by inflation, up to 5%, annually; and requiring the department of education to commission a study of the use of the money in the fund within five years?

  • Explained

    Directs the general assembly to increase income taxes to support and maintain a uniform system of public schools in Colorado. Income taxes would increase for those earning above $150,000 per year. Corporate income taxes would increase, and property taxes imposed by school districts would decrease. Funds would be placed in a Quality Public Education Fund to increase the statewide base per pupil, with emphasis on special education, English language proficiency, gifted and talented programs, and preschool.

  • A YES vote

    increases taxes for individuals earning more than $150,000 and for corporations to create the Quality Public Education Fund.

  • A NO vote

    maintains the status quo for public education funding.

  • Supporters say

    The state needs sustainable revenue to fund public education. Since 2010 education funding has been cut and schools impacted. Investing in education will ensure a strong state economy.

  • Opponents say

    This measure increases taxes without a guarantee of academic achievement. We should find efficiencies within the current funding structure. Increasing state income tax could negatively impact the state’s economy.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project SUPPORTS this Amendment. Citizens Project generally supports increased funding for public education, although Citizens Project does not, as a rule, take a position on specific education funding measures. In this case, the focus on strengthening public education across the state, using an income-based approach and emphasizing important programs that benefit students of all income levels warrants support.

AMENDMENT 74: Just Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution requiring the government to award just compensation to owners of private property when a government law or regulation reduces the fair market value of the property?

  • Explained

    The Colorado Constitution currently provides that “Private property shall not be taken, or damaged, for public or private use, without just compensation.” This Amendment would insert “or reduced in fair market value by government law or regulation” as a basis for claiming compensation from the state.

  • A YES vote

    supports the requirement that property owners be compensated for a reduction in property value caused by the government.

  • A NO vote

    opposes this requirement and keeps the Colorado Constitution the same.

  • Supporters say

    Homeowners should be compensated for their loss when their property’s value is harmed by the government.

  • Opponents say

    This Amendment has far-reaching consequences for taxpayers and governments. The liability created by potential lawsuits will discourage governments from making decisions that will benefit communities.

  • Citizens Project position

    Although Citizens Project HAS NO OFFICIAL POSITION on this Amendment as it is outside the organization’s scope, Citizens Project encourages voters to exercise due diligence in considering the Amendment’s pros and cons because of the significant, and perhaps unintended, consequences. Specifically: (1) Any government law or regulation may have a negative impact on the fair market value of a property. An owner, therefore, could seek compensation for nearly any governmental action. (2) This Amendment puts no boundaries on how it might be applied; it could produce a massive, unintended liability for any local or state government, in which individuals could file claims against the government for alleged reductions in market value because of regulations involving taxes, infrastructure, transportation systems, mining, energy policy, environmental restrictions, districting, or other matters.

AMENDMENT 75: Campaign Contributions

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution providing that if any candidate in a primary or general election for state office directs more than one million dollars in support of his or her own election, then every candidate for that office in the same election may accept five times the amount of campaign contributions normally allowed?

  • Explained

    Allows candidates to raise five times the current campaign finance contribution limits from donors if a candidate in their race directs more than $1 million of his or her own money into that political race.

  • A YES vote

    supports increasing the limit of contributions by five times when a candidate is running against an opponent who contributes more than $1 million to his/her own campaign.

  • A NO vote

    opposes increasing campaign finance limits to candidates running against a person who contributes $1 million to his/her own campaign.

  • Supporters say

    Wealthy candidates are unfairly advantaged in political races because they can contribute an unlimited amount to their own campaigns. Current campaign finance limits disadvantage those who rely on individual donors to fund a competitive race. This Amendment will level the playing field.

  • Opponents say

    This measure does not fix Colorado’s campaign finance system, nor does it address financial disparities among candidates. The net result of this Amendment will be more money in politics, and an increase the influence of wealthy donors, which is not the solution.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project OPPOSES this Amendment. Although Citizens Project applauds the intent, i.e., to equalize candidates’ access to campaign funding, this provision would ultimately increase the amount of money flowing into campaigns; it is also unlikely it would deter self-funded candidates or minimize the substantial and largely unlimited funding that flows through PACs.

PROPOSITION 109: Authorize Bonds for Transportation Projects

  • Ballot Language

    Shall state debt be increased $3,500,000,000, with a maximum repayment cost of $5,200,000,000, without raising taxes or fees, by a change to the Colorado revised statutes requiring the issuance of transportation revenue anticipation notes, and, in connection therewith, note proceeds shall be retained as a voter-approved revenue change and used exclusively to fund specified road and bridge expansion, construction, maintenance, and repair projects throughout the state?

  • Explained

    “Fix our Damn Roads” authorizes $3.5 billion in bonds to be paid from the state budget to be used for road and bridge expansion, construction, maintenance, and repairs to Colorado’s transportation infrastructure.

  • A YES vote

    supports authorizing $3.5 billion in bonds to fund transportation.

  • A NO vote

    does not support authorizing a tax increase and bonds to fund transportation.

  • Supporters say

    This measure helps with essential construction projects without raising taxes or fees. This measure will force the state to prioritize highway projects ahead of other programs.

  • Opponents say

    This measure creates new debt without creating new revenue. This will divert money from other essential state programs and does not fund the maintenance of the transit projects.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project HAS NO POSITION on this Proposition.

PROPOSITION 110: Transportation Funding

  • Ballot Language

    Shall state taxes be increased $766,700,000 annually for a twenty-year period, and state debt shall be increased $6,000,000,000 with a maximum repayment cost of $9,400,000,000, to pay for state and local transportation projects, and, in connection therewith, changing the Colorado revised statutes to: 1) increase the state sales and use tax rate by 0.62% beginning January 1, 2019; requiring 45% of the new revenue to fund state transportation safety, maintenance, and congestion related projects, 40% to fund municipal and county transportation projects, and 15% to fund multimodal transportation projects, including bike, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure; 2) authorize the issuance of additional transportation revenue anticipation notes to fund priority state transportation maintenance and construction projects, including multimodal capital projects; and 3) provide that all revenue resulting from the tax rate increase and proceeds from issuance of revenue anticipation notes are voter-approved revenue changes exempt from any state or local revenue, spending, or other limitations in law?

  • Explained

    This measure authorizes $6 billion in bonds and establish new sales and commodity taxes to fund repair, maintenance, and improvement of Colorado’s transportation infrastructure.

  • A YES vote

    supports raising state sales tax by .62 percent for 20 years to fund transportation projects, including multimodal transit projects.

  • A NO vote

    opposes funding transportation projects through increased sales tax.

  • Supporters say

    Colorado needs to invest in its infrastructure and needs a sustainable revenue source to do that. This measure supports transit funding and allows the state to continue to fund education, health programs, and public safety.

  • Opponents say

    Transportation funding should be funded through the state budget. This measure dedicates too much money to multimodal transportation instead of focusing exclusively on roads.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project HAS NO POSITION on this Proposition.

PROPOSITION 111: Payday Loans

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning limitations on payday lenders, and, in connection therewith, reducing allowable charges on payday loans to an annual percentage rate of no more than thirty-six percent?

  • Explained

    Under current law, the annual percentage rate on a payday loan in Colorado can be as much as 200%. Proposition 111 would cap the annual percentage rate (APR) at 36%.

  • A YES vote

    would cap the APR for payday loans at 36%.

  • A NO vote

    would make no changes to the APR for payday loans.

  • Supporters say

    Some consumers borrow money to pay off other payday loans, which leads to a cycle of debt. Because the measure reduces the high cost of payday loans, consumers may be better able to repay their loans and avoid further financial stress.

  • Opponents say

    This measure may eliminate the payday lending business in Colorado. Payday loans provide options for consumers who may not qualify for other types of credit.

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project SUPPORTS this Proposition. Citizens Project believes that the excessive interest rates currently charged by payday lenders target the most needy and vulnerable in our community, including our veterans, and contribute to a debt trap of repeat borrowing from which these individuals are unable to escape. This condition exacerbates issues of poverty and homelessness in our community.

Proposition 112: Setback Requirement for Oil and Gas Development

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning a statewide minimum distance requirement for new oil and gas development, and, in connection therewith, changing existing distance requirements to require that any new oil and gas development be located at least 2,500 feet from any occupied structure and any area designated for additional protection and authorizing the state or a local government to increase the minimum distance requirement?

  • Explained

    Establishes a requirement that all new oil and gas development not on federal land must be located at least 2,500 feet from an occupied structure or vulnerable area.

  • A YES vote means

    creating a 2,500-foot setback for oil and gas development.

  • A NO vote means

    maintaining current setback requirement for oil and gas development.

  • Supporters Say

    Oil and gas operations could adversely affect health and the environment. This requirement will ensure that these risks are farther away from homes, schools, businesses, and other occupied buildings, thereby reducing nuisance impacts and potential exposure to air pollutants.

  • Opponents Say

    Oil and natural gas development is important to Colorado’s economy. This will reduce the economic benefits the oil and natural gas industry provides for the state.

  • Citizens Project Position

    No Position