Better Ballots Bill Advances

Reps. Kennedy and Weissman’s bill to ensure voters understand the impact of the ballot measures they’re voting on passes State Affairs Committee 

DENVER, CO– The House State, Veterans, Military, and Civic Affairs Committee today advanced a bill to give voters more detailed information about the ballot initiatives they are voting on. The bill passed by a vote of 7-4. 

“Today we took the first major step towards unrigging Colorado’s ballot initiative process,” said Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “Colorado’s voters are entrusted with the responsibility of making enormously consequential decisions for the future of our state, and it’s only fair that they have as much information as possible to guide those choices. Giving voters more accurate and detailed information about what they’re voting on should be an idea that everyone can agree on.”  

“Our current ballots are giving voters an incomplete picture of the impact of the decisions they’re making,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora. “This bill will provide voters with crucial information about how a specific ballot initiative will impact individual taxpayers and the public investments they care about. Today the State Affairs Committee voted in favor of better ballots and a more fair initiative process that trusts voters to decide for themselves what’s best for Colorado.”

Under current law dating back to the 1992 TABOR law, ballot measures that would increase taxes are required to outline, in capital letters, how much revenue will be raised from said initiative. This bill would provide voters with even more information about the impact of ballot questions on taxpayers and taxpayer-funded programs. 

For example, the bill would require that for measures that either increase or decrease the individual income tax rate or the state sales tax rate, ballots show a table indicating the average tax burden change for taxpayers in each income bracket. The bill also requires that for ballot measures that reduce state tax revenue, the blue book sent to every voter shows the top three programs the revenue reduction impacts, as determined by nonpartisan legislative research staff.