Colorado Initiative Process Amendment (2012)

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Proposed allot measures that were not on a ballot
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The Colorado Initiative Process Amendment did not make the 2012 ballot in the state of Colorado as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. Colorado Senate President Brandon Shaffer was sponsoring the originally proposed amendment in 2011, which would have required more than simple majority of voters to approve any future amendments to the state constitution. This would have figured to be 60% of the people, according to reports. Statutory amendments would have still required a simple majority of voter approval. Shaffer's amendment was the latest attempt by members of the Colorado General Assembly to increase the thresholds for qualifying an constitutional amendment. If the amendment had been approved by the voters, the new law would have grandfathered any constitutional amendments before 2011.[1]

In addition to making amendments harder to enact by voters, the measure would have also made statutory measures harder for state legislature to amend following an approval of the people. Legislators would have had to have a 60% approval in each chamber in order to amend, or repeal, a voter-approved statute within three years that the law becomes enacted.[2]

Text of measure

Ballot text

The ballot text that voters would have seen if the measure was sent to the ballot read as follows:[3]

"Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning ballot measures that increases the number of votes needed to pass a constitutional amendment from a majority to at least sixty percent of the votes cast; and that allows a constitutional amendment passed prior to 2013 to be repealed by a majority of the votes cast; and that adds a requirement that a minimum number of petition signatures for a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment be gathered from voters who reside in each Colorado congressional district; and that increases the requirement from a majority to at least a sixty percent vote of the state legislature to change, repeal, or supersede a citizen-initiated statutory law for three years after it becomes effective?"

Path to the ballot

On February 14, 2011, the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee approved the measure on a 3-2 party-line vote, advancing the proposal in the chamber. If approved by two-thirds of each chamber of the Colorado General Assembly, the measure would have been presented to voters on the 2012 ballot. On February 21, 2011, the measure was approved by the Colorado State Senate, sending the measure to the House. Then, four days later, on February 25, 2011, the Colorado House of Representatives voted to approve the measure with a vote of 52-12, sending the measure to the Colorado State Senate in order to place final touches before officially sending the measure to the ballot.[1][4]

The measure failed to be placed on the ballot during 2011 legislative session, as the bill stalled the day before the last day. On May 11, 2011, it was reported that the proposal failed to gain enough support to be sent to the ballot. The measure was revisited in 2012 state legislative session, but failed there as well.[5]

Similar measures

Members of the General Assembly were successful in qualifying Referendum O on the 2008 ballot. Amendment O would have increased the requirements for qualifying constitutional amendments. The amendment was narrowly defeated by the voters. Supporters for the 2008 referendum had fundraising issues in the early stages of the campaign which contributed to its defeat. [1]

See also

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