SONNENBERG TALKS BALLOT QUESTIONS
I continually get asked about the ballot questions and am always happy to be helpful. People know that I am not politically correct and I will tell you exactly what I think, even if we disagree. This column is no different. My general rule is, “If I have doubts, I will vote NO.”
Amendment T - Currently, we still have references to slavery and involuntary servitude for prisoners in our Constitution. Slavery has been outlawed for decades and the Legislature has proposed that Colorado should remove those outdated references. I agree and will vote YES.
Amendment U - Possessory interest taxes are levied on people that rent government property. Often times these taxes cost more to collect than they actually bring in. According to the Blue Book, the average ag possessory interest tax is $10 and officials say it costs more than it is worth. I think this tax on people leasing government property is silly so I will vote YES.
Amendment 69 - Probably the worst amendment to our Constitution I have seen in my lifetime. You will pay 10% more taxes on every aspect of your income. That includes Social Security and the sale of any property. The new tax will be around $25 billion with a “b.” This does not create free health care, it creates a bureaucracy that is accountable to nobody. That bureaucracy will then determine what is medical conditions will be covered and how much will be paid to doctors and hospitals for your “free” healthcare. This bureaucracy also will have the power to levy more taxes if the cost of this “free” healthcare is more than 10% and $25 billion. This is a disaster for Colorado and I will vote NO.
Amendment 70 - The only true winner of the increase in minimum wage is government where it will receive more tax revenue to spend. The employer who has to pay a much higher wage mandated by government will then either raise their prices to cover the cost, eliminate some employees, or utilize kiosks to replace people. The cost to buy these new higher priced products will nullify the increase in wages, especially in rural Colorado so I will vote NO.
Amendment 71 - If you think that it should be a little tougher to change our Constitution than it does to change a law, this amendment will do that. Currently, we have over 150 amendments to our Colorado Constitution which includes things like the Spring Bear Hunt. While this does not change our ability to petition our government which I am in full support of, Amendment 71 “Raises the Bar” to change the process of amending our Constitution. Rather than gathering all of the signatures in Denver and Boulder, they would actually have to get signatures from each portion of the state, a reasonable requirement to change our Constitution. I have endorsed this amendment and am proud to vote YES.
Amendment 72 - This “sin tax” is meant to discourage tobacco use. Unfortunately, the people it is meant to help, will not be deterred. It also creates mandatory spending programs in the Constitution that if those programs don’t work or are no longer needed, the money will still flow to those programs unless another amendment to our Constitution is passed to change them. In my view, it is not governments role to tell the people how they should live and what is best for each individual and that is why I am voting NO.
Proposition 106 - This makes “Assisted Suicide” legal in Colorado, similar to Oregon. The potential for fraud and misdiagnosis should be a concern. As a Christian, I also believe that life is precious and a gift from God so I will vote NO.
Proposition 107 - When it comes to presidential primaries, this would make a winner take all requirement for the delegates from our state. If the primary was 51-49% all of the delegates would be required to vote for the candidate that received 51%. Unaffiliated voters would be able to vote but people in the American Constitution, Libertarian, Green or other minor party would not get to vote. Those, among other reasons are why I am voting NO.
Propostion 108 - This would create an open primary for every office in the state. Just like 107, if you are in a minor party, you couldn’t vote. Unaffiliated can already vote in a primary and this just takes away one step to unaffiliate again.
This also creates a possibility that the current primaries we have now would be eliminated all together. I will also be a NO on this one.