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Colorado Plain Language Lawmaking Initiative (2010)

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Colorado Plain Language Lawmaking Initiative did not appear on the 2010 ballot in the state of Colorado. The measure proposed that all laws, rules and regulations be written in "plain language." "Plain language" was defined as language that was worded with simplicity, clarity and could be understood by the "average person graduating from the public high schools."[1]

Constitutional changes

The measure would have added a new Section 51 to Article V of the Colorado Constitution. If approved by voters the amendment would have been effective 30 days later.[2]

SECTION 51. PLAIN LANGUAGE LAWMAKING. Any exercise of the legislative power of the state that occurs after December 31, 2010, will be void in its entirety unless every law, rule and regulation that it changes, creates or extends is expressed entirely in plain language.
Plain language means language that is worded with simplicity and clarity and that the average person graduating from the public high schools of the state can read and understand without confusion or doubt about the correct meaning.
A law, rule or regulation is expressed entirely in plain language only if each one of its provisions is individually expressed entirely in plain language.
Any cross references is not plain language unless it is accompanied by plain language that briefly, accurately, completely and clearly describes the substance of the item to which reference is made.
Any word or phrase that has a defined meaning is not plain language unless the defined meaning, wherever given, is expressed entirely in plain language.
Any person subject to a law, rule or regulation that is not expressed entirely in plain language may bring and try a suit in the district court of any county of any judicial district of the state to enforce this section. A person who prevails in such a suit is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney fees to be paid by the state.

Path to the ballot

See also: Colorado signature requirements

In order to qualify the proposed measure for the 2010 ballot a minimum of 76,047 valid signatures were required. The signature filing deadline for the 2010 ballot in Colorado for initiated constitutional amendments was August 2, 2010.[3] However, as of petition deadline day, no signatures were filed.

See also


External links


  1. Colorado Legislature,"Review Memorandum," November 24, 2009
  2. Colorado Legislature,"Initiative 28 - plain language - text," retrieved March 31, 2010
  3. Prior to the enactment of Colorado House Bill 1326 (2009), the signature deadline for initiated statutes and initiated amendments was the same--3 months before the election.