‘Right-To-Work’ Initiative Certified for Ballot

    The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office announced today that a proposed “right-to-work” measure will be on the 2008 ballot after state officials found that enough petition signatures were collected to put the proposal up for a vote.If passed, the legislation (now officially titled Amendment 47) would prohibit mandatory dues or agency fees for employees joining a unionized workplace covered by collective-bargaining agreements.

    According to a statement from the state office, a projected 94,546 signatures out of approximately 136,000 submitted by initiative supporters were determined to be valid.

    A little more than 76,000 petition signatures are required to put a proposal on the state ballot. The state office verifies a random five-percent sample of signatures for certification.

    A Better Colorado, the group supporting the initiative, did not immediately return a request for comment.

    Protect Colorado’s Future, a group opposing the measure, has said it will seek to independently verify the petition signatures, much like the process completed recently recently with a ballot proposal that would ban affirmative action programs in the state.

    “Based on the election screening, we will in the coming days conduct a more a more detailed analysis of petition signatures,” said Jess Knox, spokesman for the group.

    Protect Colorado’s Future recently filed a complaint with the Secretary of State alleging that right-to-work signatures were gathered illegally.

    Financial reports detailing supporters of both groups will not be available until early May.

    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 erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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