Vote Your Values / RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VOTING ON BALLOT ISSUES PRESENTED BY COLORADO CHAPTER OF PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY EAGLES byJim Schindler

Colorado voters this November will make decisions on nearly a dozen proposed changes to the state’s laws and constitution. It’s one of the longest statewide ballots in recent history, with three measures referred by state lawmakers, seven proposals from citizen groups and one effort to repeal a recently passed state law. The decisions voters make on these questions will affect Colorado’s tax rates, government budgets, ecology and more. Many of these measures are supported and opposed by a range of organizations.

New Laws:
NO Proposition 113 – Adopt Agreement To Elect U.S. Presidents By National Popular Vote Colorado voters can choose to affirm or reject the legislature’s 2019 decision to join the National Popular Vote Compact. The Democratic backed law could eventually bind Colorado and other states to commit their presidential election votes to the candidate who wins the most votes nationally, rather than the candidate who wins the state. (Note: PS Eagles prefer to honor the foresight of our founders when they established the Electoral College, which is still the most fair way of giving each state representation on a far more equal scale than NPV would offer. States with larger populations such as New York and California would essentially determine election outcomes in using the National Popular Vote.)

NO Proposition 114 – Restoration of Gray Wolves The Question: Should Colorado reintroduce gray wolves on certain lands west of the Continental Divide? Proponents say, If approved, it could help an endangered species recover its place in Colorado’s ecology, but the measure faces opposition from farmers and ranchers who fear they’ll lose livestock to the predators. (Note: PS Eagles view this as an unnecessary and potentially dangerous measure that will only serve special interests while having negative consequences on livestock and other animals indigenous to our mountains and forests such as deer and elk populations.)

YES Proposition 115 – Prohibition on Late-Term Abortions If voters approve this measure, people in Colorado would be restricted from aborting after 22 weeks of pregnancy, except when there’s a risk to the mother’s life. These types of abortions are only about 1.3 percent of all procedures. The measure’s supporters describe it as a step to protect the unborn, arguing that abortions this late in pregnancy are “cruel.” (Note: PS Eagles will always support measures that preserve the life of the unborn. Colorado currently has no laws restricting abortion and agree this to be an incremental step in preserving many lives! Proposition 115 was established by thousands of Colorado voters signing petitions to put it on the ballot!)

YES Proposition 116 – State Income Tax Rate Reduction This initiative would cut the state’s income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.55 percent. A person making $50,000 would see their tax burden fall by about $40. This change would reduce the state government’s revenue by an estimated $170 million in the next fiscal year. Supporters argue it would boost businesses and consumer spending, while opponents say it would weaken government services and social supports already severely cut by the downturn. The measure was originally intended to counter a progressive tax measure that failed to make the ballot. (Note: PS Eagles supports sensible measures towards less government and lower taxes which has always proven to benefit our overall economy by putting more dollars in the hands of citizens!)

YES Proposition 117 – Voter Approval Requirement for Creation of Certain Fee-Based Enterprises This would add a new TABOR-like provision to state law, requiring the state government to get voter permission before it creates major new “enterprises,” which are partially funded by fees. (Note: PS Eagles see fees as an end-run around TABOR’s spending limits and fully support measures that strengthen our Taxpayers Bill of Rights, TABOR!)

NO Proposition 118 – Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program This initiative would mandate that employers provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for many Colorado workers, plus an additional four weeks in case of complications. The leave could be used for childbirth and other family medical situations, and the law would cover people who have earned at least $2,500 and worked for six months at a job. (Note: PS Eagles believe that this puts undue burdens on already struggling businesses and view this move as a business killing measure as many will have to shut down, unable to meet the Medical Leave requirements financially.)

NO Proposition EE – Increase taxes on nicotine products This measure was referred to the ballot by the state legislature. If passed, it would raise an estimated $294 million per year by creating a new tax on nicotine vaping products and raising existing taxes on tobacco products. Vaping product taxes would start at 30 percent of the manufacturer’s price and eventually rise to 62 percent. The tax on cigarettes would ramp up from $0.84 a pack today to $2.64 a pack by 2027. Taxes on other tobacco products would grow from 40 percent today to 62 percent by 2027. The minimum price for cigarettes would be set at $7 per pack beginning in 2024. (Note: PS Eagles are opposed to any measure which allows government to be involved in picking winners and losers in the private sector businesses.)
Constitutional Changes:

YES Amendment 76 – Citizenship Qualification of Electors Should the state constitution be amended to explicitly require that Colorado voters must be U.S citizens? Supporters argue that language needs strengthening and point to a handful of cities in other states that allow non-citizens to vote in some local elections. The state constitution currently says that “every citizen” may vote, while the amendment would change it to say that “only citizens” may vote. (PS Eagles believe this is a necessary change to strengthen the wording in Amendment 76)

NO Amendment 77 – Local Voter Approval of Gaming Limits in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek When Colorado voters approved gambling in three historic mountain mining towns, it came with a lot of limits; casinos can only offer slots, blackjack, poker, craps and roulette, and as of 2008, individual wagers are capped at $100. This measure would allow voters in the three cities to approve additional games and higher bets. It also allows revenues to go to community colleges. (Note: PS Eagles believe that the ‘limited stakes gambling’ needs to stay in place to prevent our state from being overrun with ‘high rollers’ which encourages more crime and population growth in a state already suffering from exploding population increases!)

NO Amendment B – Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates Should Colorado repeal part of the Gallagher Amendment, which limits residential property taxes to 45 percent of the statewide tax base? Originally added to the state constitution in 1982, Gallagher effectively forces the state to lower residential property tax rates in order to keep residential tax revenue “balanced” with commercial property revenue. (Note: PS Eagles believe the Gallagher Amendment is a critical part of TABOR, holding government in check from arbitrary tax increases that would have a critical impact on Colorado businesses.)

NO Amendment C – Bingo Raffles Allow Paid Help and Repeal 5- year Minimum Added to the ballot by the state legislature, this measure would change how charitable gaming activities are managed. It would shorten the time a nonprofit must operate in Colorado before it can apply for a charitable gaming license, from five years to three. It would also allow licensees to hire paid staff to operate their bingo games or raffles. (This measure was referred to the ballot by state lawmakers via HCR20-1001) (Note: PS Eagles view this as an expansion of the gambling industry already in our state. Bingo raffles are traditionally used by benevolent organizations to raise funds for local causes, which would be negatively impacted by giving control of these raffles to the gambling industry who can afford to pay their people to run them!)