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Thursday, September 25, 2008

LPCO Recommendations on the 2008 Ballot Initiatives

The Board of Directors of the Libertarian Party of Colorado sets forth the following recommendations on the 18 COLORADO INITIATIVES currently on the ballot for this November, 2008.






Referendum L

Candidate age limits

If passed, this would lower the age of a candidate for the Colorado House and Senate from 25 to 21.


If you can get the votes, age is irrelevant.

Referendum M

Obsolete constitutional provisions

If passed, this would eliminate obsolete provisions in the state constitution about land value increases.


Nothing substantive changed by eliminating these obsolete provisions.

Referendum N

Obsolete constitutional provisions

If passed, this would eliminate obsolete provisions in the constitution about intoxicating liquor.


Nothing substantive changed by eliminating these obsolete provisions.

Referendum O

Initiative process

If passed, this would make it harder for citizens to place constitutional amendments on the ballot for voter approval, but make it easier for citizens to place state statutes on the ballot. It also provides protection against the state legislature from amending statutes passed through the initiative process.


The LPCO fully supports the citizen initiative process. Since this Referendum makes it harder for citizens to place Constitutional Amendments on the ballot we oppose it.

Amendment 46

Affirmative action

If passed, this would prohibit the state from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.


The government should not give preferential treatment to any group.

Amendment 47

Right to work

If passed, this would prohibit unions and employers from negotiating "union shop" contracts under which employees would be required to pay union membership or "agency" fees as a condition of continued employment.


The LPCO supports the right to work.

Amendment 48

Definition of “person” and abortion

If passed, this would change the definition of 'person' in the Colorado Constitution to include any fertilized egg, embryo or fetus.


While the LPCO takes no official position on abortion, this proposed constitutional amendment would have far reaching implications and unintended consequences throughout the entire state constitution.

Amendment 49

Public payroll deductions

If passed, this would bar automatic dues deductions for private enterprises, including unions, from public employee payrolls.


The government (at taxpayer expense) should not act as collector, bundler and distributor of dues for any private organization.

Amendment 50

Casino gambling

If passed, this would allow the general assembly or voters in the cities that permit limited gaming to extend the hours of limited gaming operations; to add roulette, craps, or both to the allowed games; and to increase the maximum bet up to $100.


The government has no business telling people what they can do with their own money. If people want to gamble, it is not the government’s business.

Amendment 51

Sales tax for the developmentally disabled

If passed, this would increase the sales tax, in July 2009 and again in July 2010, to fund services for the developmentally disabled.


While this is an admirable cause, it is best addressed via private charity and not taxation.

Amendment 52

Severance tax and transportation

If passed, this would create the Colorado Transportation Trust Fund, to be funded by that portion of the severance tax that exceeds the amount deposited to the state severance tax fund in the previous year, adjusted for inflation via the Consumer Price Index


Since this amendment does not raise taxes, it only changes how existing taxes are spent, the LPCO takes no position.

Amendment 53

Criminal liability for business executives

If passed, this would increase the conduct for which criminal liability attaches for conduct of business executives.


This amendment makes executive conduct that is currently subject to civil liability and makes it criminal. Further, fraud is already illegal.

Amendment 54

Government contracting reform

If passed, this would prohibit those benefitting from no-bid government contracts valued at more than $100,000 a year from contributing to political causes for the duration of the contract plus two years.


There was disagreement among the BOD concerning the best way to address this issue.

Amendment 55

Employee relations, “employment at will” doctrine

If passed, this would end the “employment at will” doctrine in the state. Employers would have to document “just cause” for firing an employee.


This amendment would unnecessarily open additional litigation avenues, be of limited benefit to employees, and make the cost of doing business unnecessarily expensive in the state.

Amendment 56

Employee relations, health insurance

If passed, this would require employers of more than 20 people to pay for health insurance for their employees and families; also would establish a government program to administer the program.


This amendment would make the cost of doing business in this state prohibitive and drive jobs out of the state.

Amendment 57

Employee relations, workplace conditions

If passed, this would allow employees to sue employers for work injuries outside of the workers’ compensation system.


This amendment would make the cost of doing business in this state prohibitive and drive jobs out of the state.

Amendment 58


If passed, this would eliminate a tax credit for property taxes paid for payers of the severance tax, using the revenue primarily to fund college scholarships.


This amendment unnecessarily raises taxes for a cause better suited for private charitable contributions.

Amendment 59

Education funding

If passed, this would create a state education fund savings account within the state education fund, to be funded from 10% of the monies deposited into the state education fund, including revenue that would otherwise be rebated under the TABOR rules, would also require that state educational spending increase by rate of inflation plus 1% through fiscal year 2010-2011; and restricts spending of the state education fund to specific education expenses


This amendment would eviscerate TABOR.


  1. I am wondering what your objections are to Amendment 51?

    From my point of view Amendment 51 helps thousands of children and adults with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Mental Retardation, through a modest, phased-in sales tax of 2/10 of 1%.

    For voters, Amendment 51 would mean an additional 2 cents, for example, on a $10 lunch. Gas, groceries, medicine, and utilities remain exempt from the state sales tax under this proposal.

    Amendment 51 helps the more than 12,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities -- such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or Mental Retardation – who are qualified for, but not currently receiving, lifelong care and support.

    Most Americans agree that government has some basic responsibilities to our most vulnerable citizens, and one of those is to help people who cannot help themselves. For people with developmental disabilities and their families, there is absolutely no safety net, or back up options for the vital services they need.

    Solving this urgent problem is critically needed and long overdue. With new funding, a safety net for children and adults with developmental disabilities will be provided. Amendment 51 is a small price to provide vital services for children and adults who, through no fault of their own, face tremendous burdens every day just getting by.

  2. As stated in the original chart, the cause is admirable. However, the LPCO believes that admirable charitable causes are best served by voluntary private charity.

    If people are able to keep more of their money from the government and its inherent waste and corruption, people would have more money to give to private charity.

    While Amendment 51 may only add .02 to a $10 lunch, how many other worthy causes will want to add another .02 so they are not left out? I can name 100 such worthy causes. Now that lunch costs an extra $2.

    On a personal note, my brother was born with Conradi's syndrome. He was severely developmentally disabled, among other things. He was not expected to leave the hospital. He lived to be 28 years old, every day of it with his family. I know how birth defects and retardation affect people and their families.

    In my opinion, my family had no moral right to force others, against their will, to help us. And that's what taxes do.

    I admire your cause. I, and the LPCO, just think it is better served by private fundraising.

    And I'll be glad to man the phone banks, right next to you.