HICKENLOOPER SIGNS “RAISE THE BAR” LAW

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

Amend­ment 71, a bal­lot mea­sure mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult to change the state con­sti­tu­tion via bal­lot ini­tia­tive, has been signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The gover­nor’s of­fice for­mally an­nounced the sign­ing Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Dubbed by sup­port­ers as the “Raise the Bar” ini­tia­tive, Amend­ment 71 lifts the thresh­old for pas­sage of con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments to 55 per­cent from a sim­ple ma­jor­ity. And to get on the bal­lot, mea­sures will now need sig­na­tures from 2 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers in all 35 state Se­nate dis­tricts.

Back­ers said the changes were long over­due, ar­gu­ing that the state’s bal­lot ac­cess laws made it too easy to change the state con­sti­tu­tion, mak­ing Colorado’s among the long­est — and most con­vo­luted — in the na­tion.

Op­po­nents, though, said the new sig­na­ture thresh­old is too high, and will vir­tu­ally close off the con­sti­tu­tional bal­lot ini­tia­tive process to all but the wealth­i­est cam­paigns.

Ul­ti­mately, sup­port­ers of the ini­tia­tive, which in­cludes all five liv­ing gov­er­nors, won with ease, se­cur­ing 55.7 per­cent of the vote.

The ini­tia­tive process for statu­tory changes was un­changed.

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