The 2020 Colorado ballot will be packed this year with eleven statewide ballot initiatives, a Senate race, and the Presidential election. As an organization, we are committed to shifting power to the communities that are directly affected by policies. So for the first time on September 28th, community member-leaders from Pueblo and Fort Morgan joined us to learn about ballot initiatives that are connected to our mission of fighting for policies that allow everyone to care for themselves and their families. Our community member-leaders voted on our positions; below are the measures we endorse or oppose.
We OPPOSE Amendment 76, Citizenship Requirement for Voting. Amendment 76 would change the Colorado constitution from “Every citizen” can vote to “only citizens” can vote. The immediate impact of change would be that 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election can not vote in primary elections. Colorado already has a secure election system that ensures that voters meet the legal voting requirements. The change would only serve to further confuse and disenfranchise voters.
We OPPOSE Proposition 115, Prohibit Abortions After 22 Weeks. Proposition 115 is a back-door abortion ban which would limit access to health care. As written, Proposition 115 makes no exception for late-term abortion due to health care needs or in the event of rape. If passed, Proposition 115 would punish providers who perform abortions after 22 weeks with fines and/or the suspension of their license, further reducing access to critical health services. We believe that everyone should have access to what they need to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families; Proposition 115 would limit that access and particularly impact women of color.
We OPPOSE Proposition 116, State Income Tax Rate Reduction. If passed, Proposition 116 would reduce the income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%. While the reduction may not seem substantial, the result would be a $154 million cut to our state budget, meaning cuts to things like schools and transportation. As a result of COVID-19 and the economic crisis that has followed, Colorado already had to cut $3.3 billion from our state budget in 2020. The impact of reduced funding will disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities, while the wealthiest in our state will see the largest benefit.
We OPPOSE Proposition 117, Voter Approval for Certain New State Enterprises. Proposition 117 seeks to require voter approval for enterprises that generate over $100 million in the first five years. Enterprises are part of the TABOR Amendment in the state constitution and are state-owned businesses that receive less than 10% of funding from the State and are largely funded by fees. The Health Insurance Affordability Fund (SB20-215) that Center for Health Progress supported creates an enterprise that collects a fee on health insurance companies that will help make health insurance more affordable for many Coloradans, if Proposition 117 passed, it could negatively impact the implementation of the Health Insurance Affordability Fund. We oppose Proposition 117 because it would further restrict the ability of our state representatives to address the needs of the state.
We SUPPORT Proposition 118, Paid Family and Medical Leave. If passed, Proposition 118 would create a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado. Employees would receive 12 weeks of paid leave for personal or family health including domestic violence after $2,500 earned in wages. People would be able to take an additional four weeks for pregnancy or childbirth complications. At Center for Health Progress, we believe health care is a right. Creating a paid family and medical leave program would make it so that more people can take the time they need to care for themselves and their families.