Thoughts on ballot issues

Feeling a bit or a lot overwhelmed with the extensive ballot? As I’ve written, it’s a price to pay for living in a participatory democracy. It’s compounded, though, by Colorado’s rejection of republicanism, one in which the citizenry entrusts it’s elected representatives to do their job.

There are 13 initiatives at the state level and two or more, depending on where you live, in Clear Creek.

Ballot issues 4A and 4B would allow the Clear Creek School District to extend the life of current funding that’s dedicated to paying off a school bond due to expire and redirect that revenue to much needed capital improvements—e.g., boilers in the elementary schools—and teachers, who sacrificed greatly by delaying their cost-of-living raises. YES!

In Georgetown, issue 2A would raise the sales tax by a half percent to help fund both capital improvements and a full-time employee, for the eight, soon to be ten, town parks. Another, YES!

Please take a few minutes to listen to my short interviews with BOE President Mitch Houston and Beth Luther to hear in their words the reasons for supporting both at https://www.jerryfabyanic.com/thinking-liberally/.

At the state level, Amendment V would lower the age requirement to be a representative from 25 to 21. Why not? Twenty-one-year-olds enjoy all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of adulthood. Maturity and sophistication are not correlated to an age level. Besides, if the voters are willing to entrust a 21- to 24-year-old, what right does the larger society have to deny them?

Amendment W would simplify the ballot with regard to retention of judges. I’m all over it. As noted above, the Colorado ballot is insanely long and complicated. Editing out duplicate language would be helpful.

Amendment X would remove the definition of “industrial hemp” from the constitution and allow the legislature to define it. Again, a simplification of the constitution and a partial restoration of republicanism to Colorado governance.

Amendments Y and Z would change the redistricting process for legislative and congressional seats. My inner cynic says it’s moving forward because Republicans are accepting the reality of a bluing Colorado and not wanting Democrats do what they did nationwide in 2010. My noble side sees it as the adult thing to do.

Amendment A would ban slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances. In the 21st century, it’s incredulous knowing we still have it in our constitution.

Amendment 73 would begin to restore financial support to Colorado public schools that has been whacked $7.2 billion since 2011, lowering Colorado near the bottom in per-pupil funding. It’s the Great Colorado Irony: One of the most educated populaces denying that opportunity to its children.

Amendment 74 is a crackpot idea that would open a major can of worms by setting up every government entity to defend itself from litigation when it comes to land-use decisions, which means your tax dollars being spent in courts.

I call Amendment 75 the anti-Jared Polis campaign. A75 is led by two prominent Republicans who claim to have found religion in limiting campaign contributions by a candidate. Their consciences, though, don’t seem to be troubled by the dark money pouring in to stop Polis. No! until we can eliminate all BIG BUCKS from our elections.

Propositions 109 and 110 both deal with funding roads. Prop 109 is the irresponsible, credit-card approach given it would not provide a new funding source. Borrow now and saddle future generations with the debt. Like blowing up your credit card and leaving it to your children to pay off.

Prop 110 is the responsible option. It would be funded by state sales tax increase of .62 percent, and it would distribute the funds across the board to local towns and counties. Readers know I’ve been a consistent CDOT critic, but like with Amendments Y and Z, supporting Prop 110 is the adult thing to do. Listen to my interview with Tim Mauck about it at https://www.jerryfabyanic.com/thinking-liberally/.

Finally, Prop 112, the great moral challenge: Protecting the oil-and-gas industry and a few jobs or protecting the health and welfare of the people, homes, and schools in proximity to the oil wells? It’s about saving the earth as we know it. Climate change due to carbon-spewing fossil fuels is real. The situation is dire. We need to break our addiction. Hence, the question: When do we begin? Now! YES! on 112.

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