Nobel Prize Illegal With Amendment 41?

One of the nation’s most coveted prizes could become obsolete to public employees under a newly passed Colorado law.

Amendment 41, which was approved by voters last November, restricts gifts government workers can accept.

Now Attorney General John Suthers is saying that it would be illegal for university professors to accept money portions from awards like the Nobel Prize.The Denver Business Journal reports:

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Thursday issued his analysis of Amendment 41– which limits the value of gifts to public officials — and concluded that university professors can’t accept monetary portions of Nobel Prizes or other similar awards.

Suthers also said that only under certain strict circumstances can a university employee or their dependents accept college scholarships.

The Attorney General has also released a press release regarding the matter after University of Colorado President Hank Brown requested an analysis:

“Our analysis of Amendment 41 has led to some extremely unfortunate, yet unavoidable, conclusions,” said Suthers. “Under the measure, college professors can no longer accept professional awards if the award is monetary, and children of public employees can no longer accept many college scholarships. This is an absurd result.”

Such problems could lead to the general assembly clarifying the law when it conveys in January, according to the Journal.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

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