What’s on the Ballot?

Aug. 6 was the deadline to submit petition signatures for ballot initiatives to go to Colorado voters in November. Interest groups pushing oil and gas measures have said they gathered record numbers of signatures. Political gerrymandering is another hot topic, with a pair of resolutions overwhelmingly approved by the state legislature at the last session's end in May. Below are a few of the biggest issues poised to go on this fall's ballot.

7 Initiative petitions submitted
•4 statutory
•2 constitutional
•1 statutory and constitutional

4 Initiative petitions canceled from legislature

6 active legislative concurrent resolutions

Initiative 97: Oil & Gas Development Setback Requirement
•Subject: Oil & Gas
•Type: Statutory
•Key component: Any new oil and gas development not located on federal land has to take place at least 2,500 feet from any occupied structure.
•Key supporter: Colorado Rising

Initiative 108: Compensation for Fair Market Value Reduction
•Subject: Property law
•Type: Constitutional
•Key component: Initiative would make government financially liable to private property owners for policies that reduce value. Constitution currently requires compensation if the government renders private property useless or takes possession of it. Initiative would consider a value reduction a “taking.”
•Key supporter: Colorado Farm Bureau

Concurrent Resolution 2: Prohibition of Slavery/Involuntary Servitude
•Subject: Involuntary servitude for convicted criminals
•Type: Constitutional
•Key component: Outlaws slavery and compelled servitude for convicted criminals as punishment for crimes. As a result the amendment would prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances.
•Status: Comments on second draft closed

Concurrent Resolutions 4 and 5: Congressional & Legislative Redistricting
•Subject: Political gerrymandering
•Type: Constitutional
•Key components:
-Outlawing political gerrymandering outright.
-Creation of a 12-member independent commission appointed by Colorado Supreme Court to draw congressional district maps. The amendment would require four unaffiliated voters to serve on the commission, and four each affiliated with Colorado’s two largest political parties.
•Status:
-Amendment X: Comments on third draft due 8/15
-Amendment Z:Comments on second draft closed

Initiative 173: Campaign Contributions
•Subject: Campaign finance
•Type: Constitutional
•Key component: Would allow candidates for an electoral office to accept five times the amount of campaign contributions normally allowed if one candidate directs more than $1 million in support of his or her own campaign.
•Key supporters: Former Rep. B.J. Nikkel, former Sen. Greg Brophy

Initiative 153: Transportation Funding
•Subject: Tax increase
•Key component: Raise the vendor tax to 3.52 percent of all sales and the excess tax to3.52 percent of all taxable sales in order to raise money for transportation projects. Initiative would also create a local transportation priorities fund to direct spending.
•Key supporter: Club 20

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the August 13, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.