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House Speaker Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, introduced legislation on Tuesday designed to address abuses that plagued the ballot initiative process in Colorado last election season. Co-sponsored in the House by Lois Court, D-Denver, and in the Senate by Majority Leader Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, the bill aims narrowly to address the petitioning process, where signatures in support of initiatives are gathered, and particularly "concerns raised regarding the use of paid petition circulators," according to a House Democratic Party press release.
On Election Day, Colorado voters decided against Amendment 47, a contentious “right-to-work” measure that sought to restrict the way unions organized in the state. It has been more than three decades since such a proposal was actually defeated on the ballot.
The Colorado Independent posed three questions to proponents and opponents of Amendment 47, a so-called right to work initiative that would restrict what way labor organizes in the state, by banning collective bargaining agreements between unions and businesses that require minimal agency fees from nonmember employees who receive union-negotiated benefits in the workplace.
It will likely take planning, preparation and perseverance to get through the longest ballot in Colorado history amid unprecedented turnout for the historic 2008 election. Even though more than half of the state's active voters have already cast a ballot, it all comes down to Election Day, when as many as one million Colorado residents will trek to their local polling place and exercise their right to vote.
Colorado's gargantuan ballot includes more than 14 constitutional amendments and referenda even after four measures were withdrawn on Oct. 2 by proponents after a surprise alliance of labor and business interests joined forces to oppose three anti-union amendments that remain. The Colorado Independent is putting the press to the test — we're compiling newspaper endorsements, analyzing them and then tracking the persuasive talents of editorial boards statewide.
Faced with three state ballot initiatives targeting labor unions, public servants in Colorado — most notably firefighters and law enforcement personnel — are using their free time to work as community organizers against the measures.
Unions and business groups in the state announced today the formation of a massive joint campaign against three anti-union initiatives on the state ballot, following an agreement by labor to pull four other ballot questions that would have strictly regulated business practices in the state.
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