2012 Ballot Guide

Amendment 64 – Legalization of Marijuana

Amendment 64 proposes changing the Colorado Constitution to legalize under state law the cultivation, manufacture and sale of marijuana in a system of licensed establishments regulated by state and local governments.  The proposed amendment would allow individuals who are 21 years old or older to possess, use, display, purchase, transport and transfer one ounce or less of marijuana and to possess, cultivate, process or transport up to six marijuana plants.  In addition, Amendment 64 would authorize the state legislature to apply an excise tax to marijuana, of which the first $40 million in revenue raised each year must be credited to a state fund used for constructing public schools.  The measure would also require the state legislature to enact legislation concerning the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp.

The Denver Metro Chamber took a formal position in opposition of Amendment 64. This measure was passed with more than 54% of the vote. Colorado is one of the first states in the country to legalize recreational marijuana. Possession will still be a violation of federal law.

Amendment 64: Implications for Business

No on 64 fact sheet

No on 64 presentation

Amendment 65

Amendment 65 is a proposed constitutional and statutory amendment driven by Colorado Common Cause. Amendment 65 is directed at the United States Supreme Court’s 2010 campaign finance decision, commonly known as Citizens United, which held unconstitutional, in part, the prohibition on independent expenditures by corporations and unions during the 60-day period before an election.

If passed, Amendment 65 would:

Amend Colorado’s Fair Campaign Practices Act (“Act”) to direct the Colorado Congressional Delegation to work to amend the United States Constitution to allow Congress and states to place a mandatory cap on campaign spending

Amend the Act to instruct state legislators to ratify such an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, if the opportunity arises

Amend the Colorado Constitution to state that mandatory campaign spending limits serve the public interest and that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to allow federal, state and local governments to impose such limits

The Denver Metro Chamber took a formal position in opposition of Amendment 65. Despite the fact that this constitutional amendment lacks any meaningful or legally enforceable language, Colorado voters overwhelming supported the measure with 74% of the vote.

Amendment S- Modernize Colorado’s Personnel System

Amendment S is a constitutional amendment to allow for specific areas of state personnel reform. Amendment S was referred to the ballot by the General Assembly with the passage of HCR 12- 1001, a measure that enjoyed bipartisan support from state legislators and was crafted collaboratively with the governor’s office and Colorado WINS, the state employees association. There is no organized opposition against the ballot measure.

Amendment S does the following:

• Increase the number and types of state employees who may be exempt from the state civil service system, also known as the state personnel system;
• Change testing and hiring procedures for filling vacancies in the state personnel system;
• Expand hiring preferences for veterans; and
• Adjust the terms of service and duties for members of the State Personnel Board.

The Denver Metro Chamber took a formal position in support of Amendment S. This measure with more than 56% of the vote and is the first successful civil service reform effort in decades.

Denver Measure 2A

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock is working with the Denver City Council to place on the ballot a measure to permanently “de-Bruce” the TABOR revenue and spending restrictions on sales and property tax as a means to address the city’s structural budget gap, which is estimated to be $94 million in 2013.  The measure would allow the city to initially retain approximately $44 million annually  and $68 million over time, in revenues that are currently rebated back to the public in the form of property tax credits.  The revenues would be used to eliminate the city’s structural budget gap, restore library hours, eliminate furloughs, hire police and fire recruits, replace aging police and fire vehicles and repave city streets.

The Denver Metro Chamber took a formal position of neutrality for Denver Measure 2A. It passed overwhelmingly with 74 percent approval by voters.