BREAKING: 142,000 Signatures In Favor of Initiative 25

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From a news conference under way now–supporters of Initiative 25, the ballot measure from Sen. Rollie Heath to restore Colorado sales and income tax rates to 1999 levels, plan to submit some 142,000 names to the Secretary of State’s office later today. Well in excess of the campaign’s goal of 125,000 signatures, and nearly double the legal requirement of approximately 86,000, it’s now very likely that a measure to raise the state sales tax from 2.9% to 3.0%, and income tax from 4.63% to 5%, will appear on this November’s statewide ballot.

Release follows. Says Sen. Heath, “By voting yes, Colorado will establish itself as a national leader by reinvesting in our future, our kids, jobs and our economy. It will state loud and clear that we are open for business. That’s the best economic development message we can send.”

Coloradans call for reinvestment in education as Initiative 25 supporters submit petitions  

Demonstrating deep and broad grassroots support for Colorado’s schools and colleges, the Bright Colorado coalition today submitted 142,160 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in support of Initiative 25. The overwhelming success of the petition drive reflects the mood of many Coloradans that the ongoing cuts to public education have gone too far.

“Getting people to sign was quite easy,” said Julie Dillon, a Littleton parent who had never been involved in a signature effort before Initiative 25.  “It is clear the people of Colorado feel we must stop shortsighted and irresponsible cuts to our schools and start reinvesting in education. They know it’s the key to our children’s future and to our economy.”

When certified by the Secretary of State’s office, the initiative will be placed on the Nov. 1, 2011, ballot, giving Coloradans the opportunity to stop the destructive cuts to schools. Initiative 25 would inject almost $3 billion into public education, preschool through higher education, during the next five years.

Sen. Rollie Heath, one of the authors of the initiative, said the groundswell of support for Initiative 25 demonstrates Coloradans recognize the need to invest in education to strengthen our communities and our economy.

“Coloradans know that educated children and an educated workforce are critical elements to attracting the types of jobs and companies to Colorado that we need to be successful,” Heath said.

Great Education Colorado, along with more than 40 other organizations, played a huge role in the petition drive. More than 650 volunteers in more than 100 communities engaged their friends and neighbors about the future of our state and the quality of schools as they circulated petitions.

“Now the question for Colorado voters is ‘What kind of Colorado do we want?’ Do we want a state that reinvests in its future by educating our kids and our workforce, or a state that funds education at close to the lowest level in our country?” Heath said.

“By voting yes, Colorado will establish itself as a national leader by reinvesting in our future, our kids, jobs and our economy,” Heath said. “It will state loud and clear that we are open for business. That’s the best economic development message we can send.”

To be certified for the Nov. 1, 2011, ballot, the Secretary of State’s office needs to verify at least 86,105 of the 142,160 signatures are from registered voters. The campaign submitted substantially more signatures than necessary to virtually guarantee the initiative will be placed on the ballot.

47 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Now lets once again prove everyone wrong and pass this puppy. We do that and we then prove that approving a tax increase does not require pre-approval by all interest groups (which has been the excuse for inaction on increasing revenues).

  2. BlueCat says:

    a state level intiative. I’m impressed.

    • softie says:

      mj is starting to collect for 2012 already

    • Middle of the Road says:

      over at Colorado Peak Politics swore up and down the river that Heath would never get near enough signatures to get this on the ballot?

      Today’s lesson: whatever CPP predicts, vote or bet the opposite. You can’t go wrong betting against the house when the house is run by halfwits.

      • Dan WillisDan Willis says:

        If you have enough money getting the necessary signatures isn’t that hard. I imagine there was a lot of $$ behind this one.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          You’d have to address your question to the geniuses over at Colorado Peak Politics if you want an answer to that one.  

          • FrenchFinn says:

            He recently opined that the ballot initiative would never make the ballot.

            Closer to home, the debate about fiscal formulas in Colorado has been in something of a holding pattern for several months while the liberal supporters of Proposed Initiative 25 try to get their latest tax-hike scheme on the ballot. The measure would boost income and sales taxes for only five years (sound familiar?) to save our public schools (again).

            But what’s not familiar is how disorganized and generally invisible the campaign is. Usually, tax-hike efforts like these are heralded daily with a steady round of endorsements, press conferences and ginned-up news stories about school closings, the infirm being thrown to the streets and seniors losing Meals on Wheels.

            But that normal symphony of political posturing is noticeably missing, at least in conjunction with an Initiative 25 campaign. All of which suggests that Initiative 25 is dying a slow death.

            Call it a reprieve, call it a win, call it what you like – it seems that Colorado will be spared having to debate a huge statewide tax increase in the middle of a recession that economists tell us is over, even though common sense and daily living tell us different.

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        but Google quickly found that diary for me.

        Multiple sources are telling the Peak that the confluence of a tax-hostile political environment, Senator Rollie Heath’s bumbling political roll out, and concerns over huge new job losses in an already fragile Colorado recovery have all but doomed Heath’s $3 billion tax hike plan slated for the ballot this November.

        Two sources in particular say amplified chatter recently makes them more and more confident that the measure may not even make the ballot at all. If it does, all of our sources say that there is no financial commitment from any of the major financial players on the Left that would be needed to get an unpopular measure like Heath’s passed.

        Said one Peak source, “I guess they don’t have a rebuttal to 119,000 lost jobs.”

        This news is a remarkable turn of events for Colorado’s anti-TABOR conspirators, who earlier this year seemed hell bent on going to the ballot for a new revenue fix in the wake of education cuts meted out by Governor Hickenlooper and Speaker Frank McNulty.

        Now, why do you suppose they don’t currently have a diary about today’s development?

        (Interesting – isn’t going to the voters what TABOR proscribes? How is following that being “anti-TABOR”?

    • BlueCat says:

      Can’t remember who but somebody named Littleton the best place for raising kids recently. We have great parks, trails library and even a very sweet museum,  a great place for young families without a lot of spare cash to entertain kids, highly rated schools.  Know what else? Whenever we’re asked for mill levy increases and such to keep all this great stuff, Littleton folks say yes. Even in slow economies.  

      We enjoy free concerts, a  7 day a week library, a jewel of an urban wild lands park where we can raft, tube and bird watch without making a major project and car trip out of it, miles and miles of trails and lesser parks where we can hike, bike and walk the dog without dealing with traffic, a world class rec center with inexpensive fitness classes of all kinds, spinning, free weights, machines, pool as well as all kinds of other classes and activities for kids, adults and seniors.  

      It’s easy to have plenty of family stuff to do here on the tightest budget in return for increases that amount to much less than it would cost to buy a similar lifestyle and educational opportunities in most other communities, although all covered by South Suburban Rec and Littleton School district have plenty to offer.  Littleton folks are just smart that way. The slower the economy the more we need these things to make life better and we know it.

      • Gray in the mountains says:

        you said so.

        Would we could transplant some of those virtuous qualities to Leadville where the highest temp ever recorded is 85

        • BlueCat says:

          and less economically diverse tax base. And am I correct in assuming nobody moves to Leadville for the amenities? Or the weather the rest of the year?

          • ajb says:

            In Leadville, you can ski out your door on the groomed nordic tracks of the Mineral Belt. They’ve got Colorado Mountain College for culture and Vail for jobs and their own little family-friendly ski area up at Cooper. Downtown is on the upswing with a couple nice cafes that even somebody from Littleton could appreciate 🙂

            But, really, people in Leadville are looking for something you won’t find in Littleton, and vice versa.

            • BlueCat says:

              Lived there when the first stop light went up and the entire police force was Fred under Police Chief Verne Soucie. Miners, ranchers, construction workers, hippie artists, musicians, journalists, realtors and vegetarians, people born there and the wave of newcomers all drank elbow to elbow in the bars and played on soft ball teams. The police force, ( Fred) played on my old man’s team, The Valley Journal team, an eclectic bunch. The Mountain Fair was mainly local people and friends of local people. But Carbondale’s not nearly so high and cold as Leadville. And summer lasts a lot longer than a few days. Just makes me sad to visit now. It’s full of developments, condos and shoppes (with an e).  

              • Six89 covers a whole multitude of sins . . .  

                • BlueCat says:

                  Today most people, myself included, just hang out with those most like themselves.   Carbondale in the 70s was a very special moment in transitional time and place where we all had to rub elbows with a completely eclectic mix of old timers and newcomers in the old occupations and new every day. The entire main drag was just a few blocks so we were regularly out on foot, not just driving by in our own little worlds.  It’s a lot harder to see those with whom you disagree as the enemy that way and you learn a lot about each others’ ways of life.  

              • ajb says:

                I grew up and have lived in a couple of small towns that have developed to where you wouldn’t recognize them.

                I’m not sure I could even find the town I grew up in anymore.  

    • There will be significant pressure from the Obama administration not to have any type of tax increase on the ballot for the presidential year election.  It is really pathetic how we fund our schools in this state. I believe we are still 48th.  Does anyone Democrat, Republican, Independent really think that is going to turn out well for us over the medium term?

  3. John Tzekara says:

    I read through the several articles and looked at a few other pieces, but I guess I’m lost on a few points.

    This is a return to 1999 tax levels right?  Which ones?  Is it an increase in Sales Tax, income tax, or what?

    I’ve heard some of the business community is opposed because it’s not a “progressive” tax, meaning they think it will hurt small business while not taxing big companies enough.  Any truth to that?  I guess that also kind of relates to my first question.

    In other words, can someone explain what exactly Initiative 25 does (without spin one way or the other please).

  4. Skyler says:

    I’m proud to have been in attendance at today’s press conference (there on Rep. Max Tyler’s right, in blue).

    While it’s not on the ballot yet, what Great Education Colorado and Senator Heath have accomplished today demonstrates that parents, teachers, students, small business owners and dozens of others around the state have had enough with balancing the budget on the back of Colorado’s students. They’ve demonstrated that more than 140,000 Colorado voters value public education. They’ve demonstrated that more than 140,000 Colorado voters think that the route to a bright future is through education by way of the ballot box.

    Today citizens from around the state submitted their petitions to the secretary of state. In the coming weeks, the campaign to actually change Colorado’s investment in public schools to the better will really get off the ground. I’m proud that I was able to attend today, and I’ll be proud to help however I can in the future to show the rest of the state and nation that Colorado and its voters really understand just how important public education is for our collective future.  

  5. nancycronknancycronk says:

    You are a true hero for Colorado’s families!

  6. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    What happens in 5 years when school funding gets tossed back in to budget GenPop?  Why not a permanent hike?

    I know sexy, I’m one of those addicted to spending D’s.

  7. Mark G. says:

    Being an elected official and using the citizens initiative at the same time, is a double dip into the well of power. I am surprised Cpolls did not call out this abuse.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      Being a registered user of Colorado Pols should indicate a person of intelligence and insight. I am surprised Cpolls did not call out Mark G. for not measuring up to these standards.

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      Is that some online gaming concept? Does it involve emerging with swords?

    • raymond1 says:

      … that should disqualify you from being part of a voter effort.  Come to think of it, legislators shouldn’t vote for governor because having legislators pick the governor is yet another “double dip into the well of power.”

      But wait, you’re against democracy (see sig quote below); isn’t the tea party dictatorship you long for not only a “double-dip” but an “infinite dip” into the “well of power”? I guess you’re ok with multi-sipping as long as it’s Michele Bachman or Herman Cain is wearing the ring and staffing Mordor?

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