Initiative Process Under Assault

Posted on April 24, 2014

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The Colorado General Assembly is trying to take away the initiative process for grassroots groups, but leave it in place for the wealthiest interests. This is unacceptable.

Time and time again, the citizens of Colorado have had to use the initiative process when the legislature would not act. Campaign finance reform, ethics in government, the GAVEL amendment that requires every bill get a legislative hearing -- these are all voter created constitutional amendments we would not have seen were it not for the initiative process.

Proponents say that doubling the signatures required to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot will protect the integrity of the Constitution. That's not what will happen. Increasing the signature requirement makes it harder for grassroots groups, while the wealthiest interests only have to add another several hundred thousand dollars to get on the ballot. What's more, the bill would require geographic distribution of signatures. This sets up one part of the state to act as gatekeeper for everyone else -- even if there is strong support in most of the state.

As we say in the Greeley Tribune today with our partners at the Independence Institute, "one measure of their effectiveness is the deep hostility of many legislators, special interest groups and their lobbyists against the process, made clear by the General Assembly's repeated attempts at 'reform.'" "How many times must Coloradans say no before legislators leave initiative and referendum alone?"

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Voting and Elections, Voting and Elections

Tags: Protecting The Vote

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