How to get through Colorado's election ballot

Here are the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce's recommendations

(Editor’s note: These views are solely those of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and do not necessarily represent those of ColoradoBiz magazine.)

Don’t be daunted by this year’s long ballot. Some of our most critical issues will be near the bottom, so stay strong and use this guide to speed up the process and make it to the very end of your ballot.

As in every election, it’s important to know the facts about ballot issues. The Chamber has taken a stance on a number of critical statewide and regional ballot measures. We will share not only our position on the ballot issue but, just as importantly, why we have taken that position.

No: Amendment 69

Amendment 69 would raise $25 billion in taxes to create a government-run health insurance system.

The Chamber is opposing this experimental initiative because of the staggering cost—it nearly doubles the size of the entire state budget and gives Colorado the highest income tax rate in the country, creating a tax structure that hits our smallest of businesses the hardest. It’s not clear what’s covered or what the cost to working families would be.

No: Amendment 70

Amendment 70 would maintain Colorado’s minimum wage in the Constitution and increase it to $12 per hour by Jan. 1, 2020, with an annual increase thereafter based on inflation.

Just like our economy, wages fluctuate due to a number of market factors. With that in mind, cementing a minimum wage and automatic adjustment into our constitution doesn’t make sense. Minimum wage should be tackled through statutory law, allowing us to respond to changing conditions.

Yes: Amendment 71

Amendment 71 changes requirements to amend the constitution, requiring that voter signatures be collected from across Colorado (giving rural Colorado a voice in what is on our ballot) and requiring a passage rate of 55 percent. (It’s important to remember that Coloradans still can pass a law, a statute, with only 50 percent plus one under this proposed amendment—this only changes how we amend our constitution.)

Colorado’s constitution is among the easiest in the country to amend—it’s been amended more than 150 times so far. It’s extremely challenging to make adjustments to constitutional amendments when the world changes or there are unintended consequences of what once might have seemed like a good idea. Further, Colorado’s process attracts out-of-state interests who want to use our state as a testing ground. Fighting extreme ideas on our ballot costs us all, so we’re supportive of ensuring that more Colorado voices are required to change our constitution.

Yes: Propositions 107 & 108

Let Colorado Vote has two ballot issues: one that would allow unaffiliated voters to vote in primaries and another to restore the presidential primary in Colorado.

Unaffiliated voters, the largest voter bloc of over 1 million Coloradans, can’t participate in primary elections they help pay for. When it comes to democracy, we think all voters should be at the table. These proposals increase engagement and amplify Colorado’s voice. They also help voters reward elected officials who are finding solutions to some of our most critical business issues and not be penalized for being moderate and pragmatic.

Yes: SCFD Ballot Issue 4B

This proposal reauthorizes the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), which provides funding for cultural organizations through a regional penny-on-$10 sales tax.

Those dollars go far, allowing organizations to run programming and offer free days to our community, ensuring everybody has access to these valuable experiences. Arts and cultural facilities set our community apart—they make us a destination, pump serious dollars into our economy (to the tune of $1.85 billion in economic activity) and improve our quality of life.

Yes: DPS Bond 3B and Mill Levy 3A

We are supporting the mill levy override for Denver Public Schools of approximately 4.2 mills annually and $575 million in increased bond capacity.

Investing in our urban school district is critical to growing our own workforce and meeting the needs of the knowledge-based economy we are building. In less than four years, 74 percent of Colorado’s jobs will require completion of some post-secondary education—we need to ensure our kids can make it there. When local school districts step forth to address improved graduation rates, lower remediation rates and focus on student achievement, the Chamber supports their work.

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(This sponsored content was provided by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.)

Categories: Company Perspectives, Sponsored Content