Roughly a dozen statewide ballot measures are making their way through the process of receiving a summary that voters can read in the ballot information booklet, also known as the Blue Book. In several cases, the deadlines for submitting public comments about the draft summaries fall later this week or next week
The analyses summarize the effect of a yes or no vote for each measure and describe the fiscal impact, if any. For five initiatives, the comment deadline is on Wednesday or Thursday for the first draft of the analysis. Those proposals are:
Economic Studies for Initiated Ballot Measures: This measure would allow for third parties to submit fiscal impact analyses of ballot initiatives, a summary of which would appear on the ballot. The deadline to comment is on Wednesday.
Taxes on Nicotine Products: This measure would nearly triple cigarette taxes, increase the tobacco tax percentage, and establish a nicotine products tax equivalent to the tobacco tax. When all increases are phased in, the measure would generate $275 million in revenue for spending on education, housing, tobacco prevention, health care and preschool. The deadline to comment is on Thursday.
Expungement of Eligible Criminal Records: This measure would establish a process for destroying or sealing certain records of criminal convictions, with fees going to a range of community programs. The deadline to comment is on Thursday.
Prohibit Abortions After 22 Weeks: This measure would punish physicians criminally and professionally who perform abortions after the gestational age of the fetus reaches 22 weeks. The deadline to comment is on Thursday.
Repeal the Gallagher Amendment: This measure would eliminate the fixed ratio between residential and commercial property tax assessments. It would likely increase property tax revenues in the future and reduce the proportion of state dollars spent on K-12 education. The deadline to comment is on Thursday.
The second drafts that are approaching their comment deadline are:
Changes to the State Income Tax Rate: This measure would implement a graduated income tax system that would generate up to $2.0 billion in revenue, half of which would go to public schools. The deadline to comment is July 27.
State Income Tax Rate Reduction: This measure would reduce the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%, lowering the average person’s tax bill by $37. The deadline to comment is July 27.
Local Voter Approval of Casino Bet Limits and Games in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek: This measure would allow the aforementioned cities to increase bet maximums and approve new casino games, likely increasing tax revenue. The deadline to comment is July 27.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program: This measure would require employers and employees to pay premiums on wages to fund a program that allows 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave beginning in 2024. The deadline to comment is July 28.
Conduct of Charitable Gaming: This measure would reduce the timeline for nonprofit organizations to receive a bingo-raffle license and allows for outside workers to operate the games. The deadline to comment is July 28.
The state will mail the Blue Book to voters in October, after a legislative committee approves the summaries of all initiatives.