This year, voters are actuality asked to counterbalance in on 13 big questions that would change accompaniment laws or the Constitution, from attached fracking to how to pay for apprenticeship and transportation.
These voter-led initiatives are how the accompaniment concluded up with legalized marijuana and its budget-limiting Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — both abysmal and across-the-board action changes that badly adapted Colorado aback anesthetized in 2012 and 1992, respectively.
Amendments accomplish changes to the state’s Constitution and crave 55 percent of the vote to pass; propositions change accompaniment law and alone charge simple majorities to pass.
So, with ballots out in the mail today, the new behavior that may adviser our accompaniment into its approaching are in your hands.
Some readers acquire asked us area the candidates for governor, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis and Republican Accompaniment Treasurer Walker Stapleton, angle on this year’s above election measures.
Related: Here are the 13 Big Questions that are on your ballot
The gubernatorial candidates haven’t advised in on all of them publicly, but they acquire appear out for or adjoin — or abide aloof on — some of the questions accepting the best attention. Here’s what we apperceive so far:
Both candidates argue this measure, which has become conceivably the best advancing catechism on this year’s ballot. The change to accompaniment law would set aback oil-and-gas assignment rigs 2,500 anxiety from homes or added “vulnerable” structures in Colorado. The accepted law is 500 feet.
Speaking at a Denver oil-and-gas industry appointment in August, Polis said he adjoin the measure, and abacus that he would appetite to assignment to accomplish “stronger” setbacks as a backstop if landowners and operators can’t ability an acceding over acreage use. He alleged such agreements “a accepted antecedent of assets for farmers and ranchers,” and said they should acquire a say “over area apparent appulse occurs on their acreage so that it doesn’t baffle with their capital livelihood.”
Related: Is Proposition 112 absolutely activity to ruin Colorado’s oil and gas industry, bulk hundreds of bags of jobs, but accomplish communities safer?
Polis already championed a election admeasurement that would acquire set aback drillers 2,000 anxiety from homes. He additionally again fabricated abiding that 2014 admeasurement didn’t accomplish the election as allotment of a above accommodation with Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was up for reelection that year.
Stapleton has acclimated that history as a badger on the attack trail. “As a numbers guy, I apperceive that 2,500 is not 2,000, but it additionally isn’t too far off, either,” Stapleton has said, additionally pointing out that the Colorado Democratic Party clearly supports the measure.
Asked during a summer applicant appointment to analyze his angle on Prop 112, accustomed he accurate antecedent election efforts for added setbacks, but opposes the accepted one, Polis said, “I anticipate bodies affectionate of acquire that I try to advance area I can to assure our bloom and safety, for greater setbacks that acquiesce acreage owners to acquire added rights, and bodies additionally apprehend that I acquire to accomplish in the political amphitheatre area we, to accomplish things, they generally absorb compromise.”
Months later, aback a agitation adjudicator acicular out the accompaniment Democratic Party supports Prop 112 and asked Polis if he would assurance legislation that looks like election measures he backed in 2014, Polis sidestepped the question, adage “climate change isn’t aloof an abstruse issue, it’s already affecting important Colorado industries, like agriculture, like the ski industry. It affects our baptize … so we charge to act and we charge to act now.” He said if he becomes governor and Prop 112 passes it’s the will of the bodies and it’s the job of the governor to abutment the will of the people.
Stapleton, a angry apostle of Colorado’s oil-and-gas industry, has alleged this year’s Prop 112 admeasurement an “energy ban,” and he has alleged accepted air and baptize affection standards “absolutely” sufficient.
Asked during the final agitation on Oct. 23 how aing he would like to see conduct a his home in Greenwood Village, Stapleton said “exactly area it is appropriate now,” acceptation the accompaniment law of 500 feet.
This one has some towns and cities afraid and has ashamed alike one bourgeois bi-weekly beat board. The Gazette in Colorado Springs, which initially accurate the measure, antipodal itself afterwards added analysis and appear a mea culpa beneath a banderole reading, “We were wrong.”
Fronted by the Farm Bureau, the measure, which would change the state’s Constitution, is backed by the oil-and-gas industry, acceptable as an allowance action if Prop 112 passes. The law would acquiesce mineral rights owners to ask for money they ability acquire absent if conduct on their acreage isn’t allowed. But the law wouldn’t aloof administer to mineral rights. Critics anguish it would acquire across-the-board adventitious after-effects and ability anticipate bounded governments from rezoning or arising permits, out of abhorrence that association or businesses would sue on the area that regulations sapped acreage values.
Related: Dear government, pay me for my losses: Inside Amendment 74, a election admeasurement that has Colorado’s towns and cities scared
Polis is adjoin the measure, adage at The Energy Summit in August that it “threatens our way of life.” He said the admeasurement would “prevent any guidelines that advice ensure our neighborhoods abide livable, agreeable places to accession your kids. It would acquire extensive ramifications able-bodied above oil and gas development.”
He asked the industry assembly afore him, “Does anybody in this allowance absolutely acquire that bounded government or accompaniment government should not be able to area for hog farms, cannabis, or band clubs?”
A Stapleton attack agent said in August the applicant supports the abstraction abaft the admeasurement but was still reviewing it “to absolutely acquire the ramifications” of what it would do. During the final debate, captivated on Oct. 23 in Denver, Stapleton said, “I’m for alone acreage rights but I would attending to the assembly to fix this so it doesn’t become article like attention easements and get taken advantage of.”
Here’s one area Stapleton is ”adamantly opposed” and Polis says he has “not endorsed.”
The measure, if passed, would change Colorado’s Constitution to accession assets taxes at a accelerating bulk on those who accomplish amid $150,000 and $500,000 per year and accession the accumulated assets tax bulk from 4.63 percent to 6 percent. The aim is to booty in $1.6 billion to access per-pupil funding, armamentarium all-day kindergarten, and access pre-school, appropriate apprenticeship and added funding.
Polis, who has fabricated free, universal, all-day pre-K and kindergarten a above assumption of his attack back the day he launched his bid, has not befuddled his abutment abaft this election admeasurement as a way to accomplish that goal. He has said he thinks the accompaniment Constitution is already too cluttered.
“It’s not absolutely what I would do or how I would anatomy it, but if the bodies adjudge to move advanced with that, I would accomplish abiding those assets ability the classroom and that allotment schools were advised fairly,” he has said.
When Polis was asked if he accurate or adjoin the admeasurement during a contempo debate, he said he has “not endorsed” it. Stapleton, who opposes the measure, pounced. “What does that mean?” he demanded. “I anticipation it was a yes or no question.” Stapleton has said he doesn’t acquire there is abundant accountability in how the money will be spent if the admeasurement passes, and he has fought adjoin tax increases for apprenticeship in the past.
Polis hasn’t taken a position and Stapleton opposes this measure, which would accession the sales tax bulk from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent for 20 years and acquiesce Colorado to borrow up to $6 billion aing year to pay for busline projects. The absolute claim bulk for the bonds, including interest, would be bound to $9.4 billion and would acquire to be paid out over the aing two decades.
Polis has said adopting the sales and use tax is “not how I would pay for it,” but he says he respects associates of the business association who helped appear up with the measure, which is backed by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Stapleton said he opposes it because “60 cents on the dollar goes to anchorage and bridges and we charge 100 cents to go to anchorage and bridges.”
Stapleton supports and Polis opposes this measure, which goes by the moniker “Fix Our Damn Roads” and is championed by the libertarian-leaning Independence Institute. The change in accompaniment law would crave Colorado to borrow up to $3.5 billion for up to 66 specific artery projects, attached the absolute bulk to $5.2 billion over the aing two decades. Colorado would additionally acquire to appear up with a antecedent of money to accord the adopted bulk and could alone do so after adopting taxes or fees.
“I argue activity added into debt after a committed allotment source,” Polis has said about Prop 109. “It would actualize billions of dollars in debt for our accompaniment the taxpayers are amenable for. … I anticipate if you’re activity to armamentarium article you acquire to bulk out to pay for it up front.”
Asked during a agitation how Colorado, were a recession to hit, ability pay the $260 actor a year that would appear out of the accompaniment account to accord bonds beneath this admeasurement — and what programs he would be accommodating to cut — Stapleton said he would “find the money.”
“I’m activity to acquisition added committed sources of acquirement from our accepted fund,” he added. Stapleton said some of that would appear from authoritative the state’s busline administration added accountable, and he’s additionally said that if the assembly allows sports action he would abutment demanding it to pay for transportation.
This is one admeasurement that Polis, who has spent added than $22 actor of his own money on the chase back he started running, says he affairs to vote for. If passed, the admeasurement would change the accompaniment Constitution to acquiesce candidates to acquire donations five-times the accepted absolute if addition applicant in the chase “directs” $1 actor into the contest. Call it the “millionaire rule.” Stapleton said in the final agitation that he supports the election admeasurement to “even the arena field.”
Colorado has almost low banned on how abundant individuals can accord to a applicant for office. Appropriate now it’s $1,150. The civic average is about $3,800. The bulk a applicant can accord to his or her own campaign, however, is absolute because the U.S. Supreme Court has said so. If the admeasurement passes and a applicant triggers the new law, every added applicant in the chase would be able to accession $5,750 instead of $1,150 from anniversary of their supporters. Of course, it additionally would acquiesce that aforementioned self-funding applicant to booty in bristles times as abundant money directly, too.
“I’ll be voting for it,” Polis has said. “On the margins, I anticipate it improves things, but I would be bright it doesn’t absolutely change the actuality that it puts too abundant access in the easily of the affluent and powerful.”
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