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Education Ballot Backers Turn in Signatures

Photo by Kirk Siegler
State Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) is the author of an initiative that would raise the state's income and some sales taxes to fund K-12 education.

Supporters of an initiative that would raise taxes to fund K-12 education say they’ve gathered more than the required signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.  Initiative 25 would raise Colorado’s income tax by about four-tenths of a percent over a five year period. State Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) spoke at a small rally in downtown Denver Monday before delivering the signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. 


"When we’re one of the wealthiest states in the country and are basically supporting education at virtually the lowest in the country, I think people would say to you, and they said to me, this is not the kind of state we want to live in," Heath said.

The estimated half a billion dollars raised annually would be used to backfill the legislature’s recent cuts to K-12 education.  Some prominent education groups have not publicly backed the measure, nor has the Governor.  But Heath told reporters at the event he believes support will build assuming the initiative secures a spot on the ballot. 

The Secretary of State must first verify the signatures.  Heath's group said it collected more than 140,000, or some 60,000 more than is needed under state law. 

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.