Today is the first day that Colorado counties can begin mailing ballots to registered voters for the 2020 General Election. For the first time in Illuminate Colorado’s history, our organization is sharing public positions on several ballot measures because we want Coloradans to know how your decisions will have the power to affect the lives of children and families in your community and influence the prevention of child maltreatment in Colorado.
Your ballot will be arriving within the next few weeks if you are a registered voter. The deadline to register to vote or update your registration to still receive a ballot in the mail is October 26. Colorado voters can now sign up for BallotTrax – a system promoted by the Colorado Secretary of State that will allow you to track your ballot from sent to accepted. Sign up for BallotTrax here!
Illuminate Colorado 2020 Statewide Ballot Measure Guide
Strengthening Families Through Paid Family and Medical Leave
For Colorado to remain one of the healthiest economies in the country, we need to work together to build brighter childhoods. Our future workforce, innovators, leaders, and community members can only reach their full potential through thoughtful development and investment in services and policies that strengthen children and families. Investing in practices, policies, and services–like Paid Family and Medical Leave–that promote children’s healthy development ensures that children build the skills they need to be successful. Positive experiences and loving relationships create a strong foundation for a lifetime of health and wellness. Paid Family and Medical Leave is good for families, good for businesses, and good for Colorado. Colorado voters have the opportunity to strengthen families by voting in support of paid leave:
Yes on Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave
Now more than ever, Coloradans shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck and recovering from a serious illness, caring for a loved one, or bonding with a new child. Paid Family and Medical Leave allows families more time with an infant during the most critical year for preventing child fatality: the first year of life. Paid Family and Medical Leave programs are associated with significantly higher rates of successful breastfeeding and maternal health, reductions in infant hospitalizations for abusive head trauma, and lower rates of family stressors and risk factors.
Currently, 80% of Colorado workers do not have access to paid family leave. Proposition 118 will ensure that all workers, regardless of race or income, can take the time they need to care for themselves and their family members. Offering paid time to parents to care for not only their children, but also themselves, increases all five of the Protective Factors to strengthen families: Concrete Support, Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Knowledge Of Parenting and Child Development, and Social and Emotional Competence Of Children. Illuminate Colorado endorses Proposition 118.
Building and Maintaining a Strong Foundation of Community Resources for Families
Investing in programs and policies that support families enables children to achieve their potential and become productive members of the community as adults. When families have information and access to available local resources to meet basic needs, we strengthen the foundation for families and communities to thrive. Colorado voters have the opportunity to build and maintain a strong foundation of community resources across Colorado by voting with children and families in mind:
Yes on Amendment B: Repeal the Gallagher Amendment
Voting yes on Amendment B is a tangible way to protect state funding as the global pandemic continues to negatively impact state budgets. The measure was referred to voters by a bipartisan majority of the state legislature. The Gallagher Amendment outlines that no more than 45% of statewide property tax collections can come from residential property. As residential property values have risen over recent decades, the residential assessment rate has continued to decrease over the years. This is problematic for schools, counties, and other special districts who rely on property taxes for funding. By repealing the Gallagher Amendment and freezing residential and nonresidential property assessment rates at their current levels, Colorado can protect funding for schools, hospitals, fire protection districts, libraries, and other critical community services, all of which contribute to the five Protective Factors for families. Illuminate Colorado endorses Amendment B.
Yes on Proposition EE: Tobacco-Vape Tax
Proposition EE, which will expand access to preschool, will increase Protective Factors for Colorado families, particularly including social and emotional competence of children and concrete support. This measure would raise taxes on tobacco and institute a tax on nicotine vaping products in Colorado for the first time. The revenue raised from these taxes will be aimed at improving child and family well-being by investing in programs that improve health and educational outcomes. The funding will support Colorado’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, fund tobacco and nicotine cessation initiatives, and will ultimately create universal access to ten hours per week of voluntary preschool for all children the year prior to kindergarten entry, with the greatest resources invested in those who face the greatest barriers to school success. Illuminate Colorado endorses Proposition EE.
No on Proposition 116: State Income Tax Reduction
Proposition 116 would reduce Colorado’s state income tax permanently, resulting in as much as $236 million less in the state’s budget next fiscal year alone. The revenue reduction could result in cuts to K-12, higher education, healthcare and more. As families, communities and organizations are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and associated economic hardships, now is the time to invest in community resources, not diminish them. Illuminate Colorado urges a no vote on Proposition 116.
Ballot Measures Fast Facts:
- Lettered measures are referred to the voters from the Colorado State Legislature.
- Numbered measures are put on the ballot through a Citizen Initiative signature gathering process.
- Propositions create new laws.
- Amendments change or amend the state’s constitution.
For additional information, review the 2020 Ballot Information Book (Blue Book).