Our View: Yes on 104 — no on 105, Amendments 67, 68
November 1, 2014
Election season is a time of pondering big ballot questions, dissecting what it all means and making an educated decision on important topics that will have long-term affects — negative and positive — on our society.
The 2014 election cycle has been an interesting one, with two propositions and two amendments that various political groups have poured millions of dollars into promoting and denouncing.
The Craig Daily Press editorial board sat down and discussed the propositions and amendments, agreeing 5-0 on each measure.
Proposition 104 keep schools accountable
If Proposition 104 is passed, it will "require that local school boards or their representatives negotiate collective bargaining agreements in open meetings," states the Blue Book.
The proposition would basically change the language of the Colorado Open Meetings Law to require that school boards conduct bargaining agreements in public — language that doesn't currently exist in the state's open meetings law.
"Under current law, the governing body of a local government may designate an employee or representative to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement, and there is no requirement that these negotiations take place in public," the Blue Book states, noting that nearly one-quarter of the state's school districts, accounting for three quarters of the state's public school students, have collective bargaining agreements.
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Although the Moffat County School Board hasn't taken a position on the Proposition 104, we certainly have, and we think that voters should say "yes" to this ballot measure.
We think that the public has a right to know what's going on within school board meetings — including collective bargaining agreements — and where funds are going.
Proposition 105 steps on personal choice
This year's genetically modified food ballot question could have extreme negative affects on society if passed.
The proposition would "require foods that are genetically modified or produced with genetic engineering to include the words 'Produced With Genetic Engineering' on the label or container." It also would apply penalties in Colorado law to food manufacturers, distributors or retailers for not complying with labeling laws.
We feel the exemptions are too broad and that it could hurt local farmers. It also could damage the ability for other farmers and producers to send their products into the state.
If food consumers are concerned about what they put in their bodies, they have rights as American citizens to choose healthier foods.
Amendment 67 is bad for Colorado women
The "personhood" amendment that's on this year's ballot has a lot of unintended cons, and it takes far too many womens' rights away.
"Amendment 67 creates a constitutional provision stating that the terms 'person' and 'child' in the Colorado Criminal Code and the state wrongful death statutes must include unborn human beings. The measure does not define the term 'unborn human beings,'" according to the Blue Book.
The language of the amendment is extremely cloudy and broad, leaving questions about how this could affect women's birth control rights.
Amendment 68 doesn't to support schools
The biggest problem with Amendment 68 is that there's no way for us to know what schools get what money from horse track gambling.
Amendment 68 would "permit casino gambling at horse racetracks in Arapahoe, Mesa and Pueblo counties, limited to one racetrack in each county; and distribute new casino gambling revenue to K-12."
The ballot question is: "Shall state taxes be increased $114.5 million annually for the first full fiscal year and by such amounts that are raised thereafter, by imposing a new tax on authorized horse racetracks' adjusted gross proceeds from limited gaming to increase statewide funding for K-12 education."
A big question looming about this amendment is if the owner of the sole racetrack in Arapahoe County will keep the generated money in Colorado.
While funding for public schools is imperative, we don't support this initiative.