Now that the results of the election are in, let’s take a closer look at the results of the Colorado Ballot Measures. Amendment 71 could have a direct effect on the Colorado water community:
106 – Medical Aid in Dying. Passed with 65% approval
Proposition 106 will allow those with terminal illnesses and less than six months to live, to end their lives. This means that patients with this prognosis now have control in deciding their own fate. They have the choice to get prescribed medication to end their lives, if two doctors agree on the patient’s prognosis.
107 – Recreate Press Primary. Passed with 54% approval
Proposition 107 gives the 1 million unaffiliated voters, as well as those voters registered with a political party, the possibility to mail-in their votes for the presidential primary. The proposition will move the Colorado away from the current caucus system to a presidential primary election and allow unaffiliated voters the chance to cast a ballot.
108 – Expand Unaffiliated Voting. Passed with 52% approval
Proposition 108 gives the 1 million unaffiliated voters the possibility to vote in other types of primary elections, including those for governor or U.S. Senator.
4B – Denver Metropolitan Tax. Passed with 62% approval
The Denver Metropolitan arts and cultural tax, ballot issue 4B, will increase sales tax by 0.1% for arts and culture in the Denver metropolitan area. This will allow the Scientific and Cultural Facilities district, which has been in existence for 28 years, to collect one penny for every $10, and distribute the funds collected to arts, cultural, and scientific groups. Some of these groups include the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Art Museum, and Denver Botanic Gardens. The funds will aid the promotion of cultural awareness by providing free days at museums, free parking, local arts festivals, youth orchestras, neighborhood dance studios, nature programs and community theater.
Amendment 69 – State Healthcare System. Not passed with 79% disapproval
Amendment 69 would have replaced most private insurance with a state-run, single-payer system: ColoradoCare. Amendment 69 had several funding sources, including new income and payroll taxes. It was a citizen initiative that would have resulted in a 10% payroll tax with employers paying 2/3 of the cost, and employees paying 1/3 of the cost.
Amendment 70 – Increase Minimum Wage. Passed with 54% approval
Amendment 70 will raise Colorado’s minimum wage from $8.31 an hour to $12 an hour by 2020. The minimum wage will go up to $9.31 an hour starting in January, 2017, then gradually increase to $12 an hour by 2020.
Amendment 71 – Constitutional Initiatives. Passed with 57% approval
What does Amendment 71 mean? It will transform the process for changing Colorado’s Constitution. This Amendment requires that proponents of a measure to add a constitutional amendment get at least 2% of the total number of registered voters in each of Colorado’s 35 Senate districts. Now, any constitutional amendment must be approved by 55% of voters.
What does Amendment 71 mean for the Colorado water community? Amendment 71 will protect Colorado’s Constitution from future amendments that could harm the future and sustainability of Colorado water law.