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August 22, 2016 03:25 PM UTC

And Then There Were Five Ballot Measures

  • by: Colorado Pols

According to a press release from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, an initiative seeking to increase the Tobacco Tax has gained approval and will be on the fall ballot:

Initiative No. 143 would amend Colorado’s constitution so that starting in January taxes on a pack of cigarettes would increase from 84 cents per pack to $2.59 per pack. The tax on other tobacco products would increase by 22 percent of the manufacturers’ list price. The language in the measure spells out how specific percentages of tax revenues would be spent.

As of today, there are five measures that are approved for the statewide ballot:

  1. ColoradoCare (single-payer health insurance)
  2. Minimum Wage Increase
  3. Medical Aid in Dying
  4. Making it Harder to Amend the Constitution
  5. Tobacco Tax Increase

Four other proposed initiatives are still awaiting final ballot approval:

  1. Primary Elections
  2. Presidential Primary Elections
  3. Local Control for Oil & Gas Drilling
  4. Mandatory Setbacks in Oil & Gas Drilling




35 thoughts on “And Then There Were Five Ballot Measures

  1. Here's wishing ill for mandatory setbacks, which would mean I could never sell the gas that we know underlies my farm.  We'd have to sue the state for "takings."

      1. Cq on tobacco tax.  They are already taxed enormously by the feds. I think what this country needs is a blowhard tax.  The levy on Trump alone would pay off the national debt.  

        1. How about Chris Matthews? With an extra punitive tax for asking a question if you aren't going to let the person get past three words in an answer.

    1. Here's hoping that we get these initiatives on the ballot to prevent people like you from being able to sell mineral rights. Your sale of mineral rights contaminates all those around you, the fracking industry in general has proven to be a complete disaster to the environment. Even with CO's "strong" regulations for Oil and Gas drilling our state is being destroyed. Why not focus on all the other great things Colorado has like tourism/IT/tech/renewables/agriculture?

      1. Spoken like a true socialist ideologue.  After you steal our property rights, do you plan to send us to "re-education camps" to get our minds right?


        1. V. You are about to embark on a very treacherous mission.

          After you steal our property rights, do you plan to send us to "re-education camps" to get our minds right?  

          Your precious property rights were not given to you by God. They were given to you by the blood of millions of slaves and native peoples who were slaughtered and robbed of their futures by your fucking property rights. 

          You have mineral rights because a congress full of wealthy old white men, decided that our great imperialistic aims needed fossil fuel to enable our domination of the world economy and to rule the seas. The "split estate" has ruined countless lives and broken many dreams. 

          How many times have I heard some cold-hearted, greedy son-of-a bitch, say to a homeowner and their family…"well, you knew you didn't own your mineral rights. That's your tough luck." Well, fuck that.

          If you, as a mineral right owner, did not protect the surface above your "right" from development, then that is your tough luck and you should not be in a position to damage a surface right by your profit, without paying a price for your taking.The Mining Law of 1872 set up this principle when the west was unpopulated by anyone or anything white men cared about. It is outdated and misapplied to the detriment of everyone who gets in the way of this unjust, archaic system. 

          You are way off base here , V. ol' buddy. You need to cool it with that stupid rhetoric or you and I are about to engage in a flame war that just might melt my keyboard.

          Let's not…..smiley

          1. Bullshit, Duke.   The mineral rights I'm talking about are under the farm that my family has owned since 1877.  but because they are within 2500 feet of another farm house, these crazies want to steal them.

            I agree God didn't give me my property rights because non-existent things don't give anything.  My hard working family gave them to me. My great grandfather bought two railroad sections south of Julesburg, thus helping pay for the transcontinental railroad.   I actually never owned a slave.    And your idea that I can't develop the gas underlying the land my family has been stewards of for four generations because it offends some Stalinist asshole who doesn't believe in property rights is offensive to the nth degree.

            Don't lock your F-250 tonight.   It's newer than mine and I intend to steal it in the name of "the people" since you hate "fucking property rights" and this socialist utopia is therefore gonna start with you.   I hope it has an automatic transmission.  

              1. Just to be sure you know, Duke, you aren't the Stalinist asshole I mentioned.   You fit neither category.  But if the previously unseen Amoreda7's ears are burning, well, just saying…

                I am serious, however, about stealing your truck. Diabetic neuropathy is making it harder for me to handle the manual transmission on my F-250.

                1. So here's a moral dilemma for you, Vger. Happens to be a real situation. In Greeley, Colorado, where the motto is, "Frack more, Frack Closer, Frack Frequently." Bella Romero K-8 school  happens to have a back lot with Extraction O&G's mineral interests below it.

                  So whose interests should take priority? The little children who will be breathing methane while they frolic in the playground? Extraction O&G? District 6, which would have to compensate _Extraction for "taking" its mineral rights away, per your logic? That's what Greeley rep Dave Young believes should happen.

                  Now, nothing has yet been drilled. This is all still in the courts and hearing and permitting process. Parents were not informed of the O&G plans prior to sending their kids to Bella Romero, and they are scared and outraged.

                  Me, I think that sensible regulation should have prevented permitting for drilling any nearer than 2500' from an elementary school. That's not how Greeley City Council sees it, but then again, "there's no conflict of interest – only interest" in Greeley.

                  But I'm curious as to your take on this, since you claim moral authority here. Do children have a right to have their developing lungs develop unfracked – even poor and minority children? Or is the property right of subsurface ownership so very sacred to you that it supercedes even that right?

                  1. To begin with, the proposed law is 2500 feet from every dwelling, not just a school, which would put 87 percent off Colorado off limits.  Next, there is no serious evidence that fracking is a threat to anyone but the coal industry's profits.  Yes,the Luddites scream

                    , but the EPA disagrres. Too bad the left throws that science thing out the window when fracking or nuclear power is on the line.  In your specific case, I'll trust theprocess.  If necessary, maybe a 250 foot setback not 2500 can be used.

                    1. Never thought you'd be a climate science denier. Methane is 84X more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, according to the environmental and energy science institute, plus every other reputable climate scientist around.

                      Methane also has substantial negative effects on agriculture, animals, and humans. I don't have time to document all of that this morning, but tiime is long past for ostrich mode, even if that is the lucrative position.

                    2. The jury is still out on whether EPA has properly calculated the overall effects of natural gas. 

                      "It depends".  

                      Responsible development of our resources should be the baseline.  We couldn't even develop the pristine waters of the Ogallala without filing it with triazines and nitrates because there was little to no oversight. Same goes for the natural gas, tar sands and coal industry. Tailings from gold mines. You get the picture.  Without an authentic 'cop' to manage the industries, ballot initiatives fill the vacuum.  

                      There's a reason why we don't have pig farms in Boulder County and we don't have tech companies in Haxtun.  Local control on one hand and resource allocation on the other.  

              1. Well, good luck running your car with a windmill on top, bc.  I suspect gas power, like rtd uses on the shuttle is a big part of that green future.   Natural gas also is a rapid response, low emission, backup to the intermittentent solar, wind combinations.  A new study shows Colorado has 365 niights a year, and sometimes 366.  So good luck with that solar uber alles thing.  A blend of the zero emission technologies , nuclear, wind, solar, and low emmission natural gas is the best answer now.  A century from now, maybe fusion.  I would also like to see more pumped storage like cabin creek to provide a practical. Way to store solar and wind for round the clock use.

                1. Another bs call on mj (so much bs, so little time.)  Obviously we should be careful handling metthane, for both economic and environmental reasons.  But methane breaks down in about 12 years in the atmosphere while carbon dioxide is stable and lasts essentially forever unless removed by plants, etc.  Sorry that science opposes your ideology, but you can look it up.   Also, if you want to curb methane, stop eating beef.  Cow burps ( much more than farts) are a major source of methane.  Try chick peas instead.

                  1. Don' t forget that NIMBY/Luddite forces don't just target nuclear, michael.  Even Ted Kennedy fought again wind power, as does Donald Trump.  I love wind because you can still farm or graze under it.  But there is a finite limit to how far you can transmit that power.  Sea coasts offer many chances for wind but face major nimbyist opposition. And we still have a long way to go on storage.  I hope to see more solar where they use the sun to heat salts and generate the power when you need it.  But we also need to store wind for use and I still think we could retrofit hoover dam and others as pumped storage.  There are a lot of possibilities.  But coal is the archenemy and natural gas will be part of the mix for the rest of my lifetime.

                    1. I agree that natural gas will be a part of the mix.  The question is will/whether the industry clean up its act and plug the methane leaks? The use of the toxic cocktails that threaten our water supplies?  The technology exists to do just that, but unless we have a government that can grow a spine and enforce a BMP, we'll just get more of what we've got.

                      We could move wind electrons from Martha's Vineyard to Los Angeles with almost no line loss now if we'd build a DC superhighway, buried along the medium of the old Lincoln Highway, America's 'Main Street' that runs from NYC Times Square to Lincoln Park in SFO.  

                      Anschutz today is planning to send Wyoming wind into the California market.  He refers to wind towers as oil derricks turned upside down. 

                      It's all a matter of public will and budget priorities.  The technology exists today to solve every challenge that faces us. Drumpf and Co. haven't given any indication they're interested in embracing the Third Industrial Revolution. 

                    2. I didn't say you'd better take advantage this week. But someday there will be options other than fossil fuel even for transportation like cars. Finite fossil fuels will go the way of the horse and buggy.  In the meantime…. live long and prosper, hopefully all the way into the next industrial revolution.yes

  2. I'm glad somebody worked really hard to put an initiative on the ballot which amends the state constitution to make it harder to amend the state constitution — so that I can ultimately vote "No" on it.

  3. You should know, Canines, that the amendment grandfathers anything now in the constitution.   Thus, anything passed under the old rules, like tabor, can be repealed by the old rules.   That's why I am a yes vote.

    1. I'm trying to understand: It sounds to me like you're saying that you're ultimately voting for this initiative strictly because it changes nothing about TABOR or how TABOR gets repealed.

      1. I think it goes like this. It makes adding future amendments harder. It doesn't, according to V, make repealing TABOR harder because that would be done according to the old rules, not new tougher rules.  Not that repealing TABOR looks very doable in the foreseeable future under any rules.  

        So….those who oppose tougher standards for adding to or changing the state constitution only because they are afraid it will make it harder than it already is to get rid of TABOR need not take that particular concern into consideration because of the grandfathering component.

        1. I will be voting against it.

          Colorado Independent:

          So who’s likely to oppose the amendment? Critics are as likely to be as bipartisan as the measure’s supporters.

          Jon Caldara, head of the libertarian Independence Institute, isn’t a fan…

          Then there’s the matter of signature verification should the Raise the Bar measure pass. Caldara said the Secretary of State would not only have to verify that the constitutional initiative had the total number of signatures required by law, but that it had enough valid signatures from each of the state’s 35 senate districts. If the petitions didn’t have enough valid signature from just one of the 35 districts, it wouldn’t get on the ballot…

          He’s not the only one who doesn’t like the proposal. The liberal group Colorado Common Cause doesn’t love it, either.

          Elena Nuñez of Colorado Common Cause echoed some of the same reasons cited by Caldara. “It doesn’t make the process better, just more expensive,” she said Wednesday…

          The campaign behind Raise the Bar has so far raised more than $250,000, with $100,000 coming from the Utah-based Colorado Dairy Farmers Trust. The trust shares an address with the Dairy Farmers of America. A call for comment on the donation was not returned by deadline.

          1. Not looking for a better process so much as for an end to cluttering up the state constitution with things that ought to be dealt with as legislation. It should be a framework like the US constitution, not an alternative to legislation via our elected representatives. Big things like rights and government structure. Not micro-managing. 

            A big yes from me.

  4. Nice try, Canines. I There's a lot of dumb-ass stuff in our state constitution that has no business there. As long as the numbers for repeal of some of that dumb-ass stuff don't change, I'm all for this. I have grown weary of being the proving ground for bad law dreamed up by some usually far left– or right–consortium just because it's as easy (or easier) here to lock their bad idea into the constitution as it is to pass a statute. The train-wreck that has been made out of the budgeting process is reason enough. Let the JBC do its job, and may Doug Bruce spend eternity in the coldest corner of hell, after they let him out of prison.

    1. Well, I'd like to say nice explanation…What does this mean?:

      As long as the numbers for repeal of some of that dumb-ass stuff don't change, I'm all for this.

      1. TABOR (or anything else already in the constitution could still be repealed by 50+% and fall under the signature gathering rules it was passed with. 

  5. Out of reply to mj's latest bs.  Methane has an extra hydrogen atom and prodeces water vapor and co2 compared to only co2 from coal.  The switch to natural gas is thus the main reason the u.s. is making ptogress on co2 reduction.  Also the sainted solar and wind are highly intermittent, operating only a third of the time.  If, however, we combine the three we can end up with one co2  atom compared to six from coal.  Plus we need to extend nuclear , 20 pct of current electrical, as far as possible and authorize new plants.  France is far ahead of us because it uses so much nuclear.  So go on mAking stuff up, mj, but admit you are driven only by hatred of business and whacko ideology, not science. 

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