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2011 Issues On The Ballot

Colorado Luis
Flickr - Creative Commons

Colorado voters have just one statewide issue before them tomorrow but voters in cities along the Front Range will be asked to decide several local issues that have created a good deal of controversy.

In Denver, voters will decide whether businesses should have to provide paid-sick leave for their employees.  That’s set up a fierce battle between labor groups and business interests. Another hotly contested issue that’s divided the business community in Boulder is a proposal to sever the city’s ties with Xcel Energy in favor of creating a municipal electric utility. Xcel has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into fighting the initiatives 2C and 2B. Meanwhile in nearby Longmont, voters will consider a measure that would allow more access to the city’s broadband system, and in Fort Collins, voters will decide whether to ban medical pot dispensaries.

Proposition 103 would raise state income and sales taxes to fund K through 12 education for the next five years.  It’s the only statewide tax measure in the country this November and it’s being viewed as a barometer for the nation’s mood on taxes. Business friendly Republicans and anti-tax groups have called the measure a job killer, but Prop 103’s chief backer, Democratic State Senator Rollie Heath, has also promoted it as an economic issue.

There is no greater economic development driver to bring companies and to bring jobs and to bring key individuals to this state than education.

But Heath has struggled to build a coalition of support among some progressive groups and his own party.  Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper has said Coloradans don’t have an appetite for a tax increase this year.

The archive of 2011 Election coverage can be found here.

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