Highlights of Colorado’s ballot measures
DENVER, Colorado ” Highlights of the statewide ballot initiatives:
“PERSONHOOD: Would define a person “to include any human being from the moment of fertilization.” DEFEATED.
“AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Would ban preference based on race or gender in state hiring and admission to public universities. TOO CLOSE TO CALL.
“TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS: Would eliminate surplus refunds under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to provide more funding for schools. It also would eliminate mandatory inflationary increases for education spending. FAILING.
“RIGHT TO WORK AND UNION DUES: Would bar “closed shops” in unionized workplaces. No one can be forced to join a union but currently unions can force non-members to pay dues if 75 percent of workers agree. FAILING.
“PAYCHECK DEDUCTIONS: Would bar governments from deducting money from employee paychecks for politically active groups such as unions and other professional organizations. DEFEATED.
“NO-BID CONTRACTS: Would bar some government contractors, including unions, from making contributions to political parties. TOO CLOSE TO CALL.
“SALES TAX: Would raise the state sales tax one-tenth of 1 percent in each of the next two years, with the estimated $186 million raised annually to finance services for the disabled. DEFEATED.
“LIMITED GAMBLING: Would allow Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City to hold their own elections on whether casinos could raise betting limits from $5 to $100, operate 24 hours a day, and add other games. APPROVED.
“SEVERANCE TAXES-ENERGY: Would eliminate a credit that allows oil and gas companies to deduct property taxes from severance taxes. The change would bring in an estimated $321 million in the first year with most going to college scholarships, plus communities affected by energy development, wildlife habitat and clean energy projects. FAILING.
“SEVERANCE TAX-HIGHWAYS: Would maintain the severance tax rate but distribute more revenue to highways, an estimated $89 million in the first year. DEFEATED.
“BALLOT MEASURES: Would change the citizen initiative system to require more signatures for proposals to amend the State Constitution and lower the bar for proposals that would change a state law. TOO CLOSE TO CALL.
” LEGISLATIVE AGE: Would lower the age requirement for serving in the legislature from 25 to 21. FAILING.