Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
February 7, 1998
Scott Nachtrieb (866-4752)
TITLE: SUBMITTING TO THE REGISTERED ELECTORS OF THE STATE OF COLORADO AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF COLORADO, CONCERNING MEASURES INITIATED BY PETITION, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, DECREASING THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED ON PETITIONS PROPOSING STATE LEGISLATION, INCREASING THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED ON PETITIONS PROPOSING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, AND PROHIBITING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FROM AMENDING OR REPEALING ANY LAW ENACTED BY THE INITIATIVE WITHIN FOUR YEARS OF ADOPTION UNLESS APPROVED BY TWO-THIRDS OF ALL THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Summary of Assessment
The bill would place an issue on the 1998 General Election ballot that would change the number of signatures required on an initiative petition for a constitutional amendment or a statutory provision. Current law requires that all initiative petitions be signed by registered electors in an amount equal to five percent of the total votes cast for the office of Secretary of State in the last General Election. This would lower the requirement to four percent in the case of proposed legislation and raise it to six percent in the case of a proposed constitutional amendment. The General Assembly could not change any provision enacted by the people by initiative within four years of its adoption unless approved by 2/3rds of the members of each house of the General Assembly.
The change in the number of signatures on a petition would not significantly alter the workload for the Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State has funds currently appropriated for this purpose. A change of one percent would not require significant changes in the workload. The bill would not change existing revenues, expenditures, or workloads for state or local governments. Therefore, this bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact.
The bill would be placed on the 1998 General Election ballot upon approval by the General Assembly and the provisions of the measure would become effective upon electorate approval at the next General Election.
Election Expenditure Impacts (For Informational Purposes Only)
A General Fund line-item in the 1998-99 Long Appropriations Bill will fund the costs of publicizing any initiative or referendum proposal in newspapers and for printing and distribution of the Blue Book to all electors. The General Assembly spent $291,267 GF for one state-wide ballot proposal on the November, 1995 ballot and $1,042,014 GF for the 12 proposals that appeared on the November, 1996 ballot.
The 1996 General Election fixed costs for mailing the Blue Book to 1.35 million registered voters was $174,036 for postage and $3,800 for obtaining mailing addresses. These costs will be the same regardless of the number of issues on the ballot. Variable costs included: Spanish translation of $11,215; newspaper publication of $644,828; printing costs of $206,806; and other costs of $1,328. Total costs were $1,042,014 GF. Fixed costs totaled $177,837 and variable costs were $72,015 per ballot issue.
Based on the costs incurred for the 1996 Blue Book, one ballot issue cost $249,852 to print and mail to the public. The $72,015 of incremental cost would be added for each issue to the basic mailing costs of $177,837.
Secretary of State