Club 20 takes positions on ballot measures
Editor’s note: The positions expressed here are those of Club 20 and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Craig Press.
The leadership of Club 20 convened recently to hear pro/con presentations on many of the ballot measures we expect to see on the ballot in November and took the following positions:
• Amendments Y and Z — Congressional and Legislative Redistricting: Club 20 was an early supporter of these measures to create and independent congressional and legislative redistricting commission that has political balance and allows non-partisan legislative staff to draw district maps. It is our hope these measures will limit the role of partisan politics in the redistricting process and increase the number of effectively competitive electoral districts.
• Proposition 110 — Transportation Funding: Club 20 is a founding member of the coalition that conducted a lengthy stakeholder process to determine the best mechanism to provide a statewide funding fix to address our crumbling transportation infrastructure. This measure provides new revenue that will allow the Colorado Department of Transportation to address the lion’s share of its Tier 1 project list, while providing much needed funds to towns and counties to construct and repair local roads. Additionally, a small portion of these funds will be reserved for multi-modal projects to include safe routes to school for our school children, the expansion of bike lanes, senior van rides to medical appointments, and more. The sales tax increase has a 20-year sunset.
• Initiative 173 — Campaign Contributions: This measure, which applies only to statewide candidations, seeks to level the playing field when candidates or supporters put millions of dollars into campaigns. If a candidate contributes or lends more than $1 million to his or her candidate committee, all candidates in the same election who did not benefit from contributions shall be entitled to accept aggregate individual contributions for a primary or general election at five times the current rate.
• Initiative 97 — Setback Requirements for Oil and Gas Development: Club 20 has grave concerns about this measure, as it increases setbacks to five times the distance currently required and would effectively ban natural gas development in the state. Colorado has some of the most stringent oil and gas regulations in the country, and we have proven we are a nationwide leader in resource recovery without compromising the environment that makes our state so beautiful. The economic impacts of this measure would be far reaching and have significant negative consequences throughout the region.
• Initiative 108 — Just Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation: While Club 20 has great respect for the Colorado Farm Bureau and highly values our relationship with the organization, we were unable to support this measure due to the vagueness and lack of clarity of the language and unintended consequences that would likely result from its passage. Questions remain as to how passage of this initiative would impact land management decisions for local governments and would greatly diminish their ability to manage the needs of their community.
• Initiative 167 — Authorize Bonds for Transportation Projects: Some of the most concerning areas of this measure are the absence of funds for local governments and the approximately $432,600,000 annual appropriation from the state general fund. While no one would argue our state highways are in rough shape, it is the local roads that are most commonly traveled, and this measure provides no revenue to local governments for repair, maintenance, and new construction. Our members are also concerned about what programs will be cut from the General Fund to pay for the approximate $432,600,000 annual appropriation. We also have grave concerns that education funding may be one of the first areas to be cut.
Pending Board of Directors Presentation
• Amendment X — Industrial Hemp Definition: This measure would remove the definition of “industrial hemp” from the Colorado Constitution and use the definition in federal law or state statute. Club 20 is an ardent supporter of the uses of industrial hemp and needs to ensure this measure will not create uncertainty or have negative impacts on hemp producers before taking a position.
• Amendment A — Prohibition of Slavery and Involuntary Servitude in All Circumstances
• Amendment V — Assembly Age
• Amendment W — Election Ballot Format for Judicial Retention Elections
• Amendment 73 — Funding for Public Schools
• Initiative 126 — Payday Loans
On a cool autumn afternoon in 1914 Hayden, a human being was seen occupying space previously reserved for only birds, clouds and celestial bodies. It was a monumental occasion — one that shook the very fiber of reality for the people of Northwest Colorado.