What is Proposition 104?

*Colorado Pols is profiling ballot measures that will appear on the 2014 Colorado statewide ballot. See also:
What is Amendment 67 in Colorado?
What is Amendment 68 in Colorado?
What is Proposition 104 in Colorado?
What is Proposition 105 in Colorado?

Proposition 104 (Colorado)
OFFICIAL TITLE: School Board Open Meetings
ALSO KNOWN AS: "Proposition 104"…There is Very Little Buzz Either Way Here


Official Ballot Language for Proposition 104:
"Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes requiring any meeting of a board of education, or any meeting between any representative of a school district and any representative of employees, at which a collective bargaining agreement is discussed to be open to the public?”

…In Other Words:
Colorado already has “Sunshine Laws” that are supposed to ensure open meetings and discussions of topics related to the public interest (not that they are always followed). Proposition 104 is about trying to publicize specific types of meetings where school districts discuss collective bargaining with teachers’ unions.

It makes sense to allow the public into meetings of school boards and other elected boards and commissions, but should negotiations about salaries and benefits also be open to the public? Opponents of Proposition 104 worry that making contract negotiations public will lead to grandstanding in an effort to try to sway the public in one direction or another. There are also legitimate concerns over potentially publicizing sensitive employment issues. The Colorado Springs Independent published a pretty thorough examination of these concerns in September.

Results of contract negotiations are usually made public after the fact already, so it could be argued that Proposition 104 is a solution in need of a problem. It’s worth noting that neither side has spent any real money or effort organizing a campaign around Proposition 104; you won’t likely lose much sleep over how to vote on this issue.

Who Supports Proposition 104?
Proposition 104 is the creation of the Independence Institute and its “libertarian” [cough, cough] leader, Jon Caldara. Most newspapers generally support 104 because of their general interest in transparency.

Who Opposes Proposition 104?
The Colorado Education Association, assorted statewide education groups, and strident proponents of local control in general.

The Horse Race (Will Proposition 104 Pass or Fail?)
This is one of many statewide issues/campaigns that will likely be influenced by the bizarre antics of the Jefferson County School Board. Proposition 104 will probably pass fairly easily because it doesn’t really impact budgets or taxes, and because people generally like the idea of more transparency.

You’re better off doing your own Google search on Proposition 104, since there is little being done in the way of organized support or opposition.


4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PERA hopeful says:

    I looked it up and saw Jon Caldara leading the list of endorsers.  This is the creation of the Independence Institute, which was enough information for me.  II has no interest in making government better, just smaller.  The Colorado Independent said Prop 104 "has pushed teachers unions and school board administrators into the same camp. The thinking on both sides of the traditional divide seems to be that, whatever Caldara is up to with Proposition 104, which aims to open school board-teacher union contract negotiations to the public, it can’t be good."

  2. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    I have a masters degree in labor relations and am a former union officer and veteran of negotiations.  this is just another bullshit attempt to cripple teacher unions.  results of negotiations — i.e. proposed contracts — are rightly subject to open meetings rules.  negotiations should be allowed in privacy.  PERA hoeful nailed it — if Caldara and the other union bashers are for it, it stinks.  I voted no and am on y way to drop off my ballot now.

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