Lawmakers’ proposals now above citizen initiatives on ballot
The Denver Post
They’re usually the last ballot measures voters consider at the polls, but this year, the “lettered” issues will get top billing.
Legislators passed a law this year that reorders issues on the ballot so that the referenda lawmakers send to voters come before initiatives, which are numbered.
The change is in no small part related to the failure in 2008 of Referendum O, which would have made it harder to amend the constitution by initiative but easier to enact statutory changes. There were 18 measures on the ballot that year, and at the bottom of the list – literally – was Referendum O.
The measure failed 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent, which supporters said was the result of ballot fatigue by voters.
Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, sponsored the legislation this year that made the ordering change.
“Hopefully, the real effect is for the public to take that much more seriously issues that are coming out of the legislative body,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, said many Republicans didn’t support the change because they saw it as putting the legislatures’ ballot measures before the people’s.
“I don’t know that it’s going to make a big difference” in the outcome of ballot issues, Kopp said.
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