Eight is enough

Voters to decide on range of issues this November

Moffat County voters will have more to decide on than just their next sheriff and county commissioner during November's general election.

The Colorado Secretary of State's Office finalized Thursday the last of eight ballot initiatives that were each submitted by petition and found sufficient for placement on the ballot.

The last question added to the ballot, Amendment No. 45, proposes to allow same-sex couples the designation of domestic partnerships, a label that would provide them essentially the same legal rights and protections as married heterosexual couples.

Dana Williams, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's Office, said all petitions submitted for consideration were placed on the November ballot.

The questions posed before voters are:

Amendment No. 38, petitions: The proposal would change petition rights and procedures for all levels of Colorado government.

Amendment No. 39, school district expenditures for education: The proposal would require school districts to spend at least 65 percent of operational money on classroom instruction.

Amendment No. 40, term limits on court of appeals and supreme court judges: The proposal would set a 10-year cap on terms for judges.

Amendment No. 41, ethics in government: The proposal would prohibit public officials and government employees from accepting monetary gifts or non-monetary gifts worth more than $50.

Amendment No. 42, minimum wage: The proposal to raise the state's minimum wage for most workers from $5.15 to $6.95 beginning Jan. 1, 2007, and to adjust annually for inflation.

Amendment No. 43, marriage: The proposal would define marriage as "only a union between one man and one woman."

Amendment No. 44, marijuana possession: The proposal would legalize the possessions of one ounce of marijuana for anyone 21 and older.

Amendment No. 45, domestic partnerships: The pro--posal would allow same-sex couples in domestic partnerships opportunities to have legal protections now afforded to people in heterosexual marriages.

Two of the most controversial questions before voters this November are amendments 43 and 44.

Amendment 43, a question essentially banning gay marriage, is supported by the Greenwood Village-based Colorado Family Action Issue Committee, according to the Secretary of State's Office. Listed as opposing the question is the Coloradoans for Fairness Issue Committee, located in Denver.

Amendment 44, the push for legalizing marijuana possession, has support from the Denver-based Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative Com--mittee. Three groups -- Students Against Marijuana, Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana and Drug Free Schools Coalition of Colorado, all of Cañon City -- oppose the measure.

The Secretary's Office approved the initiatives for placement on the November ballot after verifying from a 5 percent sample that signatures listed on the petition are eligible voters.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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