2020 Colorado State Ballot Issues

Amendment B: Repeal Gallagher Amendment

  • Summary

    Repeals the Gallagher Amendment of 1982, which limits the residential and non-residential property tax assessment rates so that residential property taxes amount to 45% of the total share of state property taxes and non-residential property taxes amounted to 55% of the total share of state property taxes.

  • A Yes vote

    Supports repealing the fixed ratio of 45% residential and 55% non-residential. Assessment rates for all property types will remain the same. Future increases in assessment rates will require a vote of the people.

  • A No vote

    Supports maintaining the limit on residential and non-residential property tax assessment rates. This will likely result in a decreasing residential assessment rate in addition to automatic local mill levy increases in places where required by law.

  • Supporters say

    Repealing the Gallagher Amendment allows for more flexibility in property tax assessment and will subsequently provide more funds to a state budget that is fiscally constrained due to a stringent residential to commercial property tax ratio. Allowing flexibility in revenue intake from property taxes will help fund schools, healthcare, and other public costs. The Gallagher Amendment is based on a statewide ratio that doesn't take local economic factors into account, meaning property-rich areas dictate local tax policy for the whole state. In areas where property values have stagnated, there is little public funding from other revenue streams available when residential taxes get cut due to these statewide mandates. The Gallagher Amendment also increases taxes on businesses in order to keep the required ratio, which can put undue burden on small businesses and low-income communities without a large commercial tax base.

  • Opponents say

    The Gallagher Amendment provides relief for homeowners from rising housing costs, and landlords may increase rent due to rising costs. Additionally, lawmakers might face political pressure to cut business taxes if assessment rates are not set by the constitution.

  • Ballot Language

    Without increasing property tax rates, to help preserve funding for local districts that provide fire protection, police, ambulance, hospital, kindergarten through twelfth grade education, and other services, and to avoid automatic mill levy increases, shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution to repeal the requirement that the general assembly periodically change the residential assessment rate in order to maintain the statewide proportion of residential property as compared to all other taxable property valued for property tax purposes and repeal the nonresidential property tax assessment rate of twenty-nine percent?

Amendment C: Conduct of Charitable Gaming

  • Summary

    Requires charitable organizations to have existed for three years before obtaining a charitable gaming license instead of five years; allows charitable organizations to hire managers and operators of gaming activities so long as they are not paid more than the minimum wage.

  • A Yes vote

    Supports lowering the required number of years a nonprofit organization must have existed in order to obtain a bingo-raffle license to three years, allows these games to be conducted by workers who are not members of the organization, and allows worker compensation up to minimum wage.

  • A No vote

    Supports no change in current requirements that nonprofit organizations must operate in Colorado for five years before obtaining a bingo-raffle license. Maintains that workers must be unpaid volunteers who are members of the organization.

  • Supporters say

    This measure makes it easier for nonprofit organizations to raise funds for their programs. Allowing worker compensation reduces the burden of having to find volunteers to run operations and expanding licenses to newer nonprofits allows for additional fundraising opportunities.

  • Opponents say

    This measure professionalizes bingo-raffle operations; paying workers could potentially reduce the amount of funding nonprofits raise.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the conduct of charitable gaming activities, and, in connection therewith, allowing bingo-raffle licensees to hire managers and operators of games and reducing the required period of a charitable organization's continuous existence before obtaining a charitable gaming license?

Amendment 76: Citizenship Qualification of Voters

  • Summary

    Specifies that only U.S. citizens who are age 18 or older may vote, disallowing 17-year-olds from voting in a primary election as long as they turn 18 by the general election, which is current law. Changes the verbiage from “every citizen” being eligible to vote to “only a citizen.”

  • A Yes vote

    Would prevent 17-year-olds from voting in primary elections when eligible, and it would change the citizenship language of the Colorado Constitution from “every citizen” is eligible to vote to “only a citizen” is eligible to vote.

  • A No vote

    Would keep Colorado law the same. 17-year-olds would maintain the right to vote in primary elections if they will turn 18 by the general election. This measure would have no impact on voting requirements related to residency and registration and does not change current election law prohibiting noncitizens from voting.

  • Supporters say

    The Constitution should be changed to make clear that non-citizens cannot vote.

  • Opponents say

    Amendment 76 will result in voter confusion and is divisive. It will strip 17-year-olds of their right to vote. It claims to solve non-issue with regard to non-citizens voting, and in the process, it disenfranchises young voters.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution requiring that to be qualified to vote at any election an individual must be a United States citizen?

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project is opposed to Amendment 76 because it creates an unnecessary divide targeting non-citizens, who already cannot vote. Additionally, this ballot measure removes the right for 17-year-olds to be able to vote in primary elections as long as they turn 18 by election day. Citizens Project always supports an expansive approach to inclusion and rights rather than language that limits.

AMD 77 Gaming Limits

  • Summary

    Allows voters in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to determine expansion of allowed gaming types and bet limits.

  • Yes

    Supports allowing voters in the only towns in Colorado where gaming is legal— Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek Cities — to approve a maximum single bet limit of any amount and expand allowable game types in addition to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps.

  • No

    Maintains current casino bet limits ($100) and games will be limited to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps. A statewide vote will remain required to make any changes to these restrictions.

  • Supporters say

    This amendment allows the people of Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek Cities to make the decisions that are best for their communities. This Amendment will also likely increase funding for community college financial aid, school instruction, workforce development, and student support programs. The added revenue from this amendment will help with the economic downturn.

  • Opponents say

    Removing bet limits may exacerbate problem gambling. Additionally, opponents argue that other cities will not receive any of the tax revenue, even though they may be impacted by additional traffic due to increased gambling.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution and a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning voter-approved changes to limited gaming, and, in connection therewith, allowing the voters of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek, for their individual cities, to approve other games in addition to those currently allowed and increase a maximum single bet to any amount; and allowing gaming tax revenue to be used for support services to improve student retention and credential completion by students enrolled in community colleges?

Proposition EE: Taxes on Nicotine Products

  • Summary

    Increases taxes on tobacco, creates a new tax on nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and dedicates funds to education and health programs.

  • A Yes vote

    Increases taxes on tobacco products and creates a new tax on nicotine products and dedicates revenue to funding education, housing, tobacco prevention, healthcare, and preschool.

  • A No vote

    Supports maintaining current taxes on tobacco and nicotine products.

  • Supporters say

    Tax increases could deter nicotine and tobacco consumption and thereby increase public health. This measure helps fund education, particularly during a time of budget cuts. With a particular focus on preschool programs, this funding supports child development and working parents.

  • Opponents say

    Increasing nicotine and tobacco sales tax imposes financial burden on consumers, particularly low-income users. These products are addictive, so users will likely continue using them despite a price increase. Funding measures that depend on individual consumers are regressive taxation and only a temporary funding measure for public programs that need long-term funding solutions.

  • Ballot Language

    SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED BY $294,000,000 ANNUALLY BY IMPOSING A TAX ON NICOTINE LIQUIDS USED IN E-CIGARETTES AND OTHER VAPING PRODUCTS THAT IS EQUAL TO THE TOTAL STATE TAX ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS WHEN FULLY PHASED IN, INCREMENTALLY INCREASING THE TOBACCO PRODUCTS TAX BY UP TO 22% OF THE MANUFACTURER'S LIST PRICE, INCREMENTALLY INCREASING THE CIGARETTE TAX BY UP TO 9 CENTS PER CIGARETTE, EXPANDING THE EXISTING CIGARETTE AND TOBACCO TAXES TO APPLY TO SALES TO CONSUMERS FROM OUTSIDE OF THE STATE, ESTABLISHING A MINIMUM TAX FOR MOIST SNUFF TOBACCO PRODUCTS, CREATING AN INVENTORY TAX THAT APPLIES FOR FUTURE CIGARETTE TAX INCREASES, AND INITIALLY USING THE TAX REVENUE PRIMARILY FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING TO HELP OFFSET REVENUE THAT HAS BEEN LOST AS A RESULT OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS RELATED TO COVID-19 AND THEN FOR PROGRAMS THAT REDUCE THE USE OF TOBACCO AND NICOTINE PRODUCTS, ENHANCE THE VOLUNTARY COLORADO PRESCHOOL PROGRAM AND MAKE IT WIDELY AVAILABLE FOR FREE, AND MAINTAIN THE FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS THAT CURRENTLY RECEIVE REVENUE FROM TOBACCO TAXES, WITH THE STATE KEEPING AND SPENDING ALL OF THE NEW TAX REVENUE AS A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE?

2020 Prop 113 NPV

  • Summary

    Joins Colorado into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement among participating states that the presidential candidate who receives most total votes nationwide is elected. Colorado's electoral votes would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote once the agreement becomes binding.

  • A Yes vote

    Supports Colorado joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

  • A No vote

    Opposes Colorado joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

  • Supporters say

    A national popular vote ensures every person’s vote is valued equally and that the choice of the majority of people in this country is valued. This ensures that one person, one vote, is properly carried out, and that presidential candidates focus on all 50 states, not just states that are strategic to campaign in due to inequalities awarded by the electoral college. Because of how Electors are allocated, some states have more representation in the Electoral College than others, which is not representative of the diversity of interests and needs in the U.S.

  • Opponents say

    Colorado should cast its electoral votes for the candidate who received the most votes in Colorado, not nationally. Opponents believe that less populated areas need more representation through the Electoral College, otherwise cities will get most of the attention from candidates.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall the following Act of the General Assembly be approved: An Act concerning adoption of an agreement among the states to elect the President of the United States by national popular vote, being Senate Bill No. 19-042?

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project supports Proposition 113 because it ensures the voices of all in our democracy are treated equally, rather than giving some states more representation than others. Candidates should address issues that impact a diversity of people, not just areas which become strategic to campaign in due to the Electoral College.

Proposition 114: Reintroduction and Management of Gray Wolves

  • Summary

    Reintroduces gray wolves on public lands west of the continental divide.

  • A Yes vote

    Supports requiring the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop a plan to reintroduce gray wolves on public lands west of the Continental Divide.

  • A No vote

    Colorado will not be required to reintroduce gray wolves.

  • Supporters say

    Reintroducing gray wolves is necessary to preserve ecological balance, such as regulating deer and elk population to prevent overgrazing on sensitive habitats. Gray wolves have been largely eliminated from their natural habitats due to human interference and reintroduction is necessary to ensure a permanent gray wolf population.

  • Opponents say

    Gray wolves can cause conflict with humans and animals by preying on livestock or being introduced in areas where people live and recreate.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the restoration of gray wolves through their reintroduction on designated lands in Colorado located west of the continental divide, and, in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado parks and wildlife commission, after holding statewide hearings and using scientific data, to implement a plan to restore and manage gray wolves; prohibiting the commission from imposing any land, water, or resource use restrictions on private landowners to further the plan; and requiring the commission to fairly compensate owners for losses of livestock caused by gray wolves?

Proposition 115: Prohibit Abortions After 22 Weeks

  • Summary

    Prohibits abortion after 22 weeks gestational age, creates a criminal penalty for anyone who performs a prohibited abortion, and requires the state to suspend the medical license for at least three years for any physician who violates this measure.

  • A Yes vote

    Prohibits abortions after 22 weeks gestational age and creates subsequent criminal and professional repercussions for physicians who perform a prohibited abortion.

  • A No vote

    Supports maintaining current abortion laws and allowing abortions after 22 weeks gestational age.

  • Supporters say

    Colorado needs more abortion limits, and fetuses can sometimes be viable outside of the womb at 22 weeks.

  • Opponents say

    Abortion should be a choice between a pregnant person and their doctor, not a choice dictated by the state. Each pregnancy is unique, and this abortion ban makes no distinctions based on fetus viability or abnormal health conditions or the pregnant person’s own health conditions, nor does it make any exceptions for rape or incest. This measure restricts one’s bodily autonomy and would likely force those facing an unwanted pregnancy to travel to another state with different abortion restrictions and face exorbitant associated healthcare costs.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning prohibiting an abortion when the probable gestational age of the fetus is at least twenty-two weeks, and, in connection therewith, making it a misdemeanor punishable by a fine to perform or attempt to perform a prohibited abortion, except when the abortion is immediately required to save the life of the pregnant woman when her life is physically threatened, but not solely by a psychological or emotional condition; defining terms related to the measure including "probable gestational age" and "abortion," and excepting from the definition of "abortion" medical procedures relating to miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy; specifying that a woman on whom an abortion is performed may not be charged with a crime in relation to a prohibited abortion; and requiring the Colorado medical board to suspend for at least three years the license of a licensee whom the board finds performed or attempted to perform a prohibited abortion?

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project is opposed to Proposition 115 because we believe each person has the right to bodily autonomy, and abortion decisions are too nuanced and unique to be dictated by the state. Abortion prohibitions impose religious beliefs on the public.

Proposition 116: State Income Tax Rate Reduction

  • Summary

    Decreases the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%.

  • A Yes vote

    Supports decreasing state income tax for individuals, estates, trusts, and foreign and domestic C corporations operating (corporations that pay income tax) in Colorado.

  • A No vote

    Opposes decreasing state income tax for individuals, estates, trusts, and foreign and domestic C corporations operating (corporations that pay income tax) in Colorado.

  • Supporters say

    This measure would allow individuals to keep more money from their income, thereby promoting spending to strengthen the economy. Struggling households need money more than the general fund does.

  • Opponents say

    A decrease in income tax gives an outsized share of money to the wealthy. The tax relief that low and middle income earners will receive is minimal compared to the cuts it will make to public services that they rely on. The saved money from this income tax decrease would be nominal for most families and services like K-12 schools and healthcare will be affected.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes reducing the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%?

Proposition 117: Voter Approval for Certain New State Enterprises

  • Summary

    Requires voter approval of new enterprises that are exempt from TABOR if their revenue is greater than $100 million within its first five years.

  • A Yes vote

    Supports requiring voter approval for any new state enterprise with a projected revenue over $100 million in its first five years.

  • A No vote

    Supports no change in requirements for new state enterprises.

  • Supporters say

    Voters should determine the size and scope of our state budget. TABOR requires voter approval for tax increases, and this should apply to new enterprises as well.

  • Opponents say

    This measure would worsen the fiscal constraints of Colorado’s general fund, particularly given the current budget cuts due to COVID. It ties the hands of legislators, local governments, and public institutions like public colleges to fund programs without first asking voter approval on the ballot.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes requiring statewide voter approval at the next even-year election of any newly created or qualified state enterprise that is exempt from the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado constitution, if the projected or actual combined revenue from fees and surcharges of the enterprise, and all other enterprises created within the last five years that serve primarily the same purpose, is greater than $100 million within the first five fiscal years of the creation or qualification of the new enterprise?

Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

  • Summary

    Creates a statewide program for paid medical and family leave.

  • A Yes vote

    Supports creating a paid family and medical leave program to provide workers with 12 weeks paid leave funded through a payroll tax by employers and employees.

  • A No vote

    Opposes creating a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado.

  • Supporters say

    Paid leave is necessary for the health of Coloradans, and workers shouldn’t have to sacrifice a job in order to care for the health of themselves or a family member. Only 18% of current workers have access to paid leave. This measure will strengthen the workforce and the economy.

  • Opponents say

    The measure will be costly to businesses who will have to fund it through a payroll tax. Additionally, employees will have to pay into this program, which they may never have to use themselves.

  • Ballot Language

    Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the creation of a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, authorizing paid family and medical leave for a covered employee who has a serious health condition, is caring for a new child or for a family member with a serious health condition, or has a need for leave related to a family member's military deployment or for safe leave; establishing a maximum of 12 weeks of family and medical leave, with an additional 4 weeks for pregnancy or childbirth complications, with a cap on the weekly benefit amount; requiring job protection for and prohibiting retaliation against an employee who takes paid family and medical leave; allowing a local government to opt out of the program; permitting employees of such a local government and self-employed individuals to participate in the program; exempting employers who offer an approved private paid family and medical leave plan; to pay for the program, requiring a premium of 0.9% of each employee's wages, up to a cap, through December 31, 2024, and as set thereafter, up to 1.2% of each employee's wages, by the director of the division of family and medical leave insurance; authorizing an employer to deduct up to 50% of the premium amount from an employee's wages and requiring the employer to pay the remainder of the premium, with an exemption for employers with fewer than 10 employees; creating the division of family and medical leave insurance as an enterprise within the department of labor and employment to administer the program; and establishing an enforcement and appeals process for retaliation and denied claims?

  • Citizens Project position

    Citizens Project supports this measure because it will support those most vulnerable in our communities.