Colorado Senate passes bill to re-order initiatives

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May 11, 2010

Colorado State Capitol

By Kyle Maichle

DENVER, Colorado: The Colorado State Senate on May 7, 2010, approved Senate Bill 216, that would re-order how initiatives are put on the ballot by a 22-13 vote[1].

The legislation, backed by Senate Democrats, requires that when the state's ballot is printed, legislatively-referred ballot propositions must be listed before initiated constitutional amendments and initiated state statutes.[2]. Under current law, citizen-initiated measures are listed before the referred measures sponsored by the General Assembly[2].

Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), who sponsored the bill, said that he thought legislative referrals should have pride of place on the ballot because it is harder to get a legislative referral approved for the ballot, than it is to get an initiated measure on the ballot. Any legislatively-referred constitutional amendment in Colorado must be approved by a 2/3rds vote in both houses of the Colorado General Assembly before it can go on the ballot.[2]

Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) sharply opposed the legislation, calling the proposed change in ballot order "a slap in the face." Sen. Lundberg also stated: "it does send a message to the voters that what they put on the ballot is less important than what we put on the ballot", and further stated "that their ideas our more important than our ideas."[2].

The bill now moves to the Colorado House of Representatives, where the House must approve the bill before the legislative session ends on May 12, 2010[2].

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