The final list of Colorado Ballot initiatives is out. Extended analysis will have to wait for another post. Some of the easier calls follow the list.
November 4, 2008 General Election Amendments and Referenda
Amendment 46 - Prohibition on Discrimination and Preferential Treatment by Colorado Governments
Amendment 47 - Prohibition on Certain Conditions of Employment
Amendment 48 - Definition of Person
Amendment 49 - Limitation on Public Payroll Deductions
Amendment 50 - Limited Gaming
Amendment 51 - State Sales Tax for Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Amendment 52 - Severance Tax - Transportation
Amendment 53 - Liability of Business Entities and Their Executive Officials - Criminal Liability
Amendment 54 - Restrictions on Campaign Contributions from Government Sole-Source Contractors
Amendment 55 - Just Cause for Employee Discharge or Suspension
Amendment 56 - Employer Responsibility for Health Insurance
Amendment 57 - Safe Workplace
Amendment 58 - Severance Tax
Amendment 59 - Education Funding
Referendum L - Age Qualification for Serving in General Assembly
Referendum M - Elimination of Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Regarding Land Value Increase
Referendum N - Elimination of Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Regarding Intoxicating Liquors
Referendum O - Initiative Petition Requirements
46 -- Bad. Affirmative action is still needed to get us on track. It will probably pass, however, and the main effect is likely to be dramatic declines in minority enrollment at the most selective public colleges.
47 -- Bad. Pointlessly anti-union.
48 -- Bad. Unconstitutional for the most part, and havoc wrecking in unexpected ways to the extent given effect.
49 -- Bad. Gives corporations an unfair advantage over unions in political fundraising.
50 -- Indifferent. The changes in the gambling rules aren't necessarily so bad, but the justifications given for it and the disposition of additional revenues to locals are questionable.
L -- Good. Let the voters choose who they want to serve in the legislature.
M -- Good. The less junk in the state constitution the better.
N -- Good. Prohibition is long gone. Good riddance.
O -- Good. Even well meaning initiatives are often poorly crafted. There should be a distinction between iniatives and referrendums. And, the legislature can forge bipartisan constitutional amendments. It does entrench some existing bad language in the state constition, but given the single subject rule for initiatives, those problems are hard to solve via initiative anyway.
I am still studying the final versions of 51-59, which have much more recently been assigned their final numbers. Most initatives have multiple versions, so it pays to check which one got on the ballot.
Feel free to make your ballot initiative and referrendum pitches, pro and con, in the comments.