Colorado Election : Positions concerning 2010 Statewide Ballot Initiatives

As directed by the Libertarian Party of Colorado Constitution, the Board of Directors has reviewed the 2010 amendments and propositions on the ballot for voter consideration.  There are seven proposed amendments to the Colorado Constitution and two propositions to change the Revised Statutes.

For the 2010 election, the Colorado “Blue Book” contains succinct summaries of each of these.  There are also pro and con websites and other information being provided in numerous information media outlets.
The Libertarian Party of Colorado consists of free thinkers and responsible voters who seek as much information as possible about the pros and cons of every voting decision they will make.  We believe every libertarian and other voters will make up their own minds based on their careful review of the issues.
The following are the Libertarian Party of Colorado positions concerning each of the 2010 Colorado initiatives.
Amendment P –Regulation of Games of Chance. The LPCO takes no position either way on this amendment.
Moves bingo and raffle licensing from Sec State to Dept of Revenue (or other designated by the state legislature).  In addition to time, energy, and money already expended on this change to existing law, there will be a onetime $116,000 expenditure from bingo and raffle license fees.
The amendment makes no significant changes to the Colorado Constitution or the long term financial situation of the State Government-
Amendment Q –Temp Location of State Seat of Government.  The LPCO recommends Yes on this amendment.
Currently there is no provision in the Colorado Constitution for convening of the State Government if a major disaster emergency were to make Denver unusable.  This amendment provides direction for the Governor and the Legislature to designate a temporary location for the seat of government.
Amendment R –Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property.  The LPCO recommends Yes on this amendment.
Eliminates property taxes for individuals and businesses that use government-owned property for a private benefit worth $6,000 or less in market value.
The fiscal effects of this amendment are relatively minor, but should increase the efficiency of local governments by reducing the costs of assessing and collecting minor amounts of property taxes from numerous small assessments.
Ammendment 60 –Concerning Property Taxes. The LPCO recommends a YES vote on this amendment.
Strengthens TABOR by adding a new section (10) to Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution.
-Requires audit and enforcement of this section.
-All owners of real property would be entitled to vote on all proposed property taxes affecting their property.
-Voters may petition to lower property taxes
-Property tax issues shall have November election notices separate from debt issues
-Property Tax bills list only property taxes and late charges
-Enterprise and authorities shall pay property taxes.  Lower mil-levy rates to offset income to taxing dist
-10 year expiration on property tax rate increases
-Extending expiring property taxes, is a tax increase
-Prior actions to keep excess property tax revenue are expired; future actions are tax increases expiring in 4 years.  Local governments and enterprises will have to make serious adjustments to their budgets and seek direct voter approval of property taxes on at least a four-year cycle.
-by 2020, non-college school districts phase out ½ of their 2011 property tax rate for operating expenses.  State aid replaces the revenue.  Shifts school operating costs to State general fund from local resources.
Amendment 61 –Limit State and Local Government Borrowing. The LPCO recommends YES on this amendment.
-Repeals existing Article XI Section 3 and re-enacts the original 1876 version of this section to read, “The state shall not contract any debt in any form.”
-Repeals Article XI Sections 4, 5, 6(2), and 6(3) as obsolete and superceded.
-Repeals and re-enacts Article XI Section 6(1) to require voter approval for local governments to contract debt.  Also requires ballot title to be specific.
-Adds further specific requirements concerning debt to Article X section 20(4)
–November Ballot approval
–10 year limit on new local debt
–borrowing can’t exceed 10% of assessed valuation
–Tax Rates must be reduced when borrowing is repaid
Amendment 62 Application of Term Person. The LPCO recommends NO on this amendment.
Would define person as at the beginning of biological development and entitled to full protection of Colorado law.
This is an effort to insert the State into the intensely personal decisions concerning the beginning of human life.  It would only further complicate already difficult decisions.
Amendment 63 -Health Care Choice. The LPCO recommends Yes on this amendment.
Adds Article II section 32 to make health care choice a constitutional right.  Prohibits the state from requiring a person to participate in health plans.  Restricts the state from limiting a person’s ability to make or receive direct payments for health services.  Exempts emergency treatment and Workers’ Compensation from this new right.
This is in response to the recently enacted Federal health care decrees.  It is unfortunately now necessary for Colorado to take a stand to protect individual and state rights associated with US Constitution Article I and Amendments 9 and 10.
Proposition 101 -Income, Vehicle, and Telecommunication Taxes and Fees.  The LPCO recommends YES on this Proposition.
-Reduces state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.5% in 2011 and then over time to 3.5%.
-reduces and eliminates vehicle taxes and fees over next 4 years.
-eliminates all state and local taxes on telecommunications service, except 911 fees
-requires voter approval to for future vehicle and telecomm fees.
Proposition 102 –Criteria for Release to Pretrial Services Programs.  The LPCO recommends NO on this proposition.
Adds requirements to Colorado Statutes to prohibit release of a defendant on an unsecured bond to pretrial services program unless it is a first offense and is nonviolent misdemeanor.
If passed this measure will reduce the ability of Judges to release those accused of crimes while awaiting trial.  Those unable to afford additional bonding expenses would remain in custody.  Additional total costs to the State are estimated at $2.8 million.
Retention of Colorado Supreme Court Judges.
For the 2010 November election, voters are asked to consider retention/non-retention of a number of Judges.  The LPCO encourages all voters to carefully consider each judge.
Several of the Citizen initiated amendments on the 2010 November Ballot are in response to Supreme Court decisions contrary to the intent of existing constitutional provisions.  The activist nature of the recent Colorado Supreme Court and it’s decisions appears to be more focused on predetermined outcomes rather than the Rule of Law.
-The LPCO recommends NO on each of the 3 Supreme Court Judges to be considered.
Date: 12 Oct 10
From: LPCO Board of Directors
To:   Colorado Libertarians and interested Voters
Subj:  Libertarian Party of Colorado Positions concerning 2010 Statewide Ballot Initiatives.

Perhaps the LPCO has regained some semblance of sanity? Time will tell.

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