Rep. Court’s Bill Would Give More Info On Ballot Measures

STATE BILL COLORADO

DENVER — A bill introduced last week in the state House of Representatives would put additional information about ballot measures in the state voter information guide, or Blue Book. HB11-1035, sponsored by Rep. Lois Court and Sen. Morgan Carroll, both Democrats, gets its first hearing Thursday morning in the House State Veterans & Military Affairs Committee.

The bill requires a statement before each measure in the Blue Book saying that language that appears in the ballot title is just a summary drafted by professional staff, and is not the actual language that will go on the books.

The bill calls for an additional statement, which is different for referred measures and initiated measures. For referred measures, the statement would tell voters that its text was thoroughly debated by the general assembly and is included on the ballot because it passed majority vote by the legislature. For initiated measures, the statement would tell voters that its text was drafted by the initiative’s proponents and appears on the ballot because proponents had gathered the required amount of signatures.

The idea for the bill came out of Court’s conversations with constituents, many of whom were confused about where ballot measures come from, she said.

“I teach American government at community college, so the natural pedagogue in me wanted to give my constituents more education,” she told State Bill Colorado.

Court considers the language of her bill “pretty neutral,” and said Tuesday she was unaware of any opposition to the bill, though she added, “I suspect some people will think it’s overkill.”

The proposal comes with a fiscal note of approximately $5,000 because of higher printing costs.

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