2014 Business Ballot Guide
Proposition 105- GMO Labeling Initiative
Proposition 105 seeks to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Distributors, manufacturers and retailers that fail to properly label GMO food would be subject to the state’s misbranding statute and could face criminal prosecution.
The Denver Metro Chamber took a formal position in opposition of Proposition 105. We believe this new labeling system would raise cost to consumers and to local farmers and food producers who would have to invest in costly new production systems. The proposed labeling system would not be comprehensive, exempting meat and dairy, among other products. The proposed labeling would also put Colorado food exports at a competitive disadvantage because the labeling system would create a negative perception of Colorado foods being unsafe or different.
Denver Preschool Program (DDP)
The Denver Preschool Program (DPP) is a sales tax-funded program that provides preschool tuition support to families in need and invests in improving the overall quality of preschools in Denver. Denver voters will be asked to reauthorize the sales tax that funds this program.
For most Denver residents, ballots for the Nov. 4 election have arrived in mailboxes. While a blizzard of political ads has put the spotlight on statewide races and Congressional elections, one issue on the back of the ballot deserves your attention.
Referred Question 2A would maintain and expand the Denver Preschool Program, which has provided support for high-quality preschool for 31,816 4-year-olds since 2007.
Voters created the program in 2006 when they endorsed a 12-cent sales tax on $100 purchases. Question 2A calls for a 15-cent tax on $100 purchases to continue the program through 2026 and expand it to include the summer months.
The Denver Preschool Program is a proven, cost-effective effort to help prepare children for kindergarten and at the same time provide high-quality child care for working parents. Colorado’s child care costs are the fifth least-affordable in the U.S., averaging around $800 per month.
The Denver Preschool Program is managed by a board of directors appointed by the mayor. The board includes business leaders, education experts, parents and members of the community.
Since its creation, the program has invested $55 million in tuition support for children and $8 million to enhance child care programs through teacher training programs, funds for learning materials and other support. Administrative costs consume no more than 7 percent of funds.
The Denver Preschool Program is a national model. But it will end in 2016 if 2A does not pass.
The Denver Metro Chamber took a formal position in support of the ballot proposal to not only reauthorize the funding for the program but expand it to serve even more children. Data shows Denver Preschool Program students are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten and they are outperforming non-DDP students in reading and math. A successful business future for Colorado relies on an educated workforce. Reading at grade level by the end of the third grade is a strong indicator of a student’s likelihood to graduate high school. In fact, 90 percent of students who are functionally illiterate in third grade drop of school before graduation. Early literacy is key to the success of our future workforce; thus, ensuring our preschools are preparing students for third grade and setting them up for higher success is essential.