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Amendment 71 supporters say it protects constitution, opponents say it silences the people

Posted: 2:34 PM, Oct 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-09 16:34:13-04

DENVER -- Colorado's state constitution is one of the easiest to change in the country, and depending on which side of the Amendment 71 issue you are on that is either a good thing or a bad one.

According to the Colorado Legislative Council's information booklet, Amendment 71 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to: 

  • Require that a certain number of signatures be gathered from each state senate district to place a constitutional initiative on the ballot. 
  • Increase the percentage of votes required to adopt a constitutional amendment, except for proposals that only repeal part of the state constitution.

"What we've seen is a realm, a whole host of shenanigans from interest groups on the right and left, in fairness, over the course of the last 10 years," Josh Penry of Raise the Bar told Anne Trujillo and Marshall Zelinger on a recent Politics Unplugged

Raise the Bar supports Amendment 71.

"That's why there has been this chorus of voices from the right and the left, a broad bipartisan coalition of all living governors to say 'you should make it more difficult to amend the constitution and when you amend it should include the support of the entire state and not just Denver and Boulder.'"

"What we really need to do is make it more useful for the people," said Phil Doe of Be the Change, which opposes the proposal. "The issue is in the constitution so that people will have control over government whether it be unresponsive or corrupt and that's what it's been used for.  If you look at most of the constitutional amendments the citizens have initiated they are about reforming government and giving rights to the people that the legislature is incapable of responding to."

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You can watch more interviews and discussions of election issues on the Politics Unplugged homepage.

You can watch more interviews and discussions of election issues on the Politics Unplugged homepage.