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Colorado 2008 General Election Ballot Measures


Amendment 46 - Prohibition on Discrimination and Preferential Treatment by Colorado Governments

Summary: An amendment concerning prohibition against discrimination by the state and prohibiting the state from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting; would allow exceptions when bona fide qualifications based on sex are reasonably necessary or when action is necessary to establish or maintain eligibility for federal funds; would preserve the validity of court orders or consent decrees in effect at the time the measure becomes effective; defines "state" to include the state of Colorado, agencies or departments of the state, public institutions of higher education, political subdivisions, or governmental instrumentalities of or within the state; and making portions of the measure found invalid severable from the remainder of the measure.


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Amendment 47 - Prohibition on Certain Conditions of Employment

Summary: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning participation in a labor organization as a condition of employment, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting an employer from requiring that a person be a member and pay any moneys to a labor organization or to any other third party in lieu of payment to a labor organization and creating a misdemeanor criminal penalty for a person who violates the provisions of the section?


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Amendment 48 - Definition of Person

Summary: Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution defining the term “person” to include any human being from the moment of fertilization as “person” is used in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law?



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Amendment 49 - Limitation on Public Payroll Deductions

Summary: An amendment concerning deductions from governmental payroll systems, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting a governmental payroll system from taking a payroll deduction from any government employee except deductions required by federal law, tax withholdings, judicial liens and garnishments, deductions for individual or group health benefits or other insurance, deductions for pension or retirement plans or systems, or other savings or investment programs, and charitable deductions.

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Amendment 50 - Limited Gaming

Summary: An amendment that would allow residents of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to vote to extend casino hours of operation, approved games to include roulette and craps or both, and maximum single bets up to $100; adjust distributions to current gaming fund recipients including distribution to student aid and community colleges;  and require any increase in the gaming tax levels to be approved in a statewide election if local voters in one or more cities have approved any revision to limited gaming.


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Amendment 51 - State Sales Tax for Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Summary: An amendment to increase state taxes by $186.1 million annually after full implementation. The increase in state sales and use tax would provide funding for long-term services for persons with developmental disabilities. The sales and use tax rate would increase by one-tenth of 1 percent in each of the next two fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2009.


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Amendment 52 - Severance Tax - Transportation

Summary: An amendment concerning the allocation of revenues from the state severance tax imposed on minerals and mineral fuels other than oil shale. Would require half of the revenues to be credited to the local government severance tax fund and the remaining to be credited first to the severance tax trust fund until an annually calculated limit is reached. After that, the remaining will be credited to a new Colorado transportation trust fund.


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Amendment 54 - Restrictions on Campaign Contributions from Government Sole-Source Contractors

Summary: An amendment restricting campaign contributions by prohibiting the holder of contracts totaling $100,000 or more awarded by state or local governments without competitive bidding, from contributing for the benefit of a political party or candidate during the term of the contracts and for two years thereafter.


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Amendment 58 - Severance Tax

Summary: An amendment to increase state severance taxes on oil and gas extracted in the state by $321.4 million annually for taxable years commencing on or after Jan. 1, 2009; changes the tax to 5% of total gross income from the sale of oil and gas when the amount of annual gross income is at least $300,000; eliminates a credit against the severance tax for property taxes paid by oil and gas producers and interest owners; reduces the level of production that qualifies wells for an exemption from the tax; exempts revenues from the tax and related investment income from state and local government spending limits; and requires the tax revenues to be credited as follows: a. 22% to severance tax trust fund b. 22% to local government severance tax fund and c. 56% to a new severance tax stabilization trust fund.


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Amendment 59 - Education Funding

Summary: An amendment concerning the manner in which the state funds public education from preschool through 12th grade and for the 2010-11 state fiscal year and each state fiscal year thereafter, requiring that any revenue that the state would otherwise be required to refund pursuant to the constitutional limit on state fiscal year spending be transferred instead to the state education fund; eliminates the requirement that for the 2011-12 state fiscal year and each state fiscal year thereafter, the statewide base per pupil funding for public education from preschool through the 12th grade and the total state funding for all categorical programs increase annually by at least the rate of inflation; creates a savings account in the state education fund; requires that a portion of the state income tax revenue that is deposited in the state education fund be credited to the savings account in certain circumstances; requires either a two-thirds majority vote of each house of the general assembly or, in any state fiscal year in which Colorado personal income grows less than six percent between the two previous calendar years, a simple majority vote of the general assembly to use the moneys in the savings account; establishes the purposes for which moneys in the savings account may be spent; establishing a maximum amount that may be in the savings account in any state fiscal year; and allowing the general assembly to transfer moneys from the general fund to the state education fund, so long as certain obligations for transportation funding are met.

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Referendum L - Age Qualification for Serving in the General Assembly

Summary: Would change the age of qualification for serving the General Assembly to 21. Currently, the Constitution sets the age at 25.

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Referendum M - Elimination of Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Regarding Land Value Increase

Summary: Would repeal a part of the constitution that states, “The general assembly may provide that the increase in the value of private lands caused by the planting of hedges, orchards and forests thereon, shall not, for a limited time to be fixed by law, be taken into account in assessing such lands for taxation.”

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Referendum N - Elimination of Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Regarding Intoxicating Liquors

Summary: Would repeal a section of the constitution regarding the importation for the purpose of sale any "spurious and drugged liquors." Would also repeal a section that states, "The manufacture, sale and distribution of all intoxicating liquors, wholly within the state of Colorado, shall, subject to the constitution and laws of the United Staets, be performed exclusively by or through such agencies and under such regulations as may hereafter be provided by statutory laws of the state of Colorado; but no such laws shall ever authorize the establishment or maintenance of any saloon."


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Referendum O - Initiative Petition Requirements

Summary: Changes the basis for the computation of signature requirement from votes cast for secretary of state to votes cast for governor; reduces signature requirement for statutory initiatives from 5 to 4 percent; increases the signature requirement for constitutional initiatives from 5 to 6 percent; adds a geographic distribution requirement for constitutional amendment petitions (requiring that a minimum of 8 percent of the total signatures required on the petition come from each congressional district in the state); increases from six to nine months after the ballot title is set the time for circulating petitions; restricts the ability of the Legislature to amend, repeal or supersede a law passed by initiative (requiring a 2/3 vote of all members elected to each house to do so during the first five years after it is passed);requires that proposed constitutional amendments be submitted to the legislature during the legislative session immediately preceding the election at which the measure would be considered;and permits the legislature to hold public hearings on proposed constitutional initiatives.

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