There are a number of citizen initiated ballot issues in the hopper for Coloradans to consider. With a small number of exceptions, they are in the hammering it out to make sure they are in the proper form stage, and must receive administrative approval and then have signatures gathered, before they can make it to the ballot. What are they? The live proposals currently pending are as follows:
* Barry Poulson is pushing PERA reform (the Public Employees Retirement Association) in a long, detailed statutory provision.
* John Gorman is pushing a one sentence constitutional amendment that would require mineral developers to compensate surface owners.
* William Gondrez has offered up an idea that isn't anything close to a statute about not interfering with memorial services.
* John Andrews wants to limit state appellate judges to a total of ten years of service (2-4-4), interrupted by two retention elections, by constitutional amendment.
* Michael Lawrence has a carefully drafted statute that would make it a class 4 felony to knowingly or recklessly carry out an abortion of a viable fetus, with a health of the mother exception.
* John Caldera wants to partially roll back Referendum C to the estimated amounts it would raise when proposed. He also wants to refund all oil and gas severance taxes which are collected. These two proposals are in process.
And, wants taxes to sunset in ten years. And wants to ban people who bid on contracts paid for with tax increases from contributing to issue campaigns to raise those taxes. These two proposals have petitions ready to circulate.
* Liane Morrison wants the state to issue debt for schools funded with a 1% severance tax on mineral extrations.
* William Mohrman wants to require the government to compensate property owners for land use regulations that diminish fair market value by 20% or more (retroactive to 1970 in some cases).
* Daniel Hayes wants to limit suburban residential housing growth in metropolitan Denver to 1% per year in a not very well drafted state constitutional amendment.
* Bishop Porter wants a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman.
* Page Penk wants to amend the Colorado Constitution to say "Peace Is Possible.". And, also wants to make January 31, "Non-Lethal Weapons Day". And, to make Colorado a nuclear weapons free zone.
* John Zakhem wants to require campaign contributions to be disclosed on the Internet within 48 hours.
* Mason Tvert wants the marijuana initiative decriminalizing small scale possession that passed in Denver (for Denver ordinances) to apply statewide. This petition is ready to circulate.
* Jeremiah Attridge wants to the right to form labor unions and certain related rights to become part of Colorado's Constitution. This petition is ready to circulate.
* Robert Hoban wants to narrowly define public use for eminent domain purposes in the state constitution. This petition is ready to circulate.
* Michael Graves wants the Colorado Wildlife Commission, and the Director of the Division of Wildlife to be elected officials. The proposal is probably unconstitutional as the election districts it proposes are not equal in population. He also wants to require a public vote to raise hunting and fishing fees. Both petitions are ready to circulate.
* Richard Lamm wants to restrict non-emergency services by government to illegal immigrants. This petition is ready to circulate.
* Mary Jensen wants to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to replace the Fair Debt Collection Practices Board with an administrator and stiffen the penalties for violations and require more disclosures from debt collectors.
* Joe Stengle wants to force school districts to spend at least 65% of their funds on instruction. This petition is ready to circulate.
* Douglas Bruce wants to cut every kind of tax on the books every year in a basically indiscriminate fashion.
* Thom Butler wants to end a lower minimum wage for minors, and set a minimum wage of $7.00 an hour.
* Doug Campbell wants broad petition rights in all local government and the measure has been approved for the 2006 ballot.
The deadline for 2006 proposals is April 21, 2006, and May 26, 2006 is the last day to finish the pre-petition circulation initiative process. You need 67,829 signatures to get on the ballot, which must be turned in by August 7, 2006 at 3:00 p.m.
Most of these proposals will get hung up in the process, or fail to secure enough signatures, but some of them will end up on your ballots in November. Most, if not all, are bad ideas in the forms they will be voted upon.