Summary of local and state ballot questions
In just two weeks, Garfield County voters will have one of the state’s longest ballots to ponder. On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, voters will see 12 local and 14 state ballot questions ranging from school financing to same-sex partnerships.Local questions ask voters to approve raising taxes for a self-supporting library district, increases in school district financing and home rule charters for Silt and Parachute town governments.In the interest of helping voters make up their minds about the complicated issues before they enter the polling booth, the Post Independent offers the following run-down of local and state issues.Here’s a look at the local ballot questions:Library District 1A and 1B asks voters to approve a 1 mill increase in property taxes in Garfield County to raise $2.5 million annually for renovation and expansion of library buildings and to keep a current one-quarter cent sales tax, which Garfield County dedicated to operations of the county libraries. City of Rifle 2A: The city of Rifle is asking voters to be allowed to keep excess revenues generated from the 1-cent sales tax for parks and recreation, which voters passed in the November 2005 election.City of Rifle 2B sets out the term of newly elected city councilmen to begin on the first Monday following the municipal election.City of Rifle 2C: Voters are being asked to approve a 0.2 percent sales tax increase to fund a transportation district. The money would be used, in part, for bus service by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA). Town of Silt 2D and town of Parachute 2E: The towns ask voters to approve home rule charters for town government.Town of Carbondale 2F: Voters will be asked to allow the town of Carbondale to issue up to $1.8 million in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds to construct and operate two large-scale solar systems.Re-2 School District 3A and 3B: The Garfield School District Re-2 is asking for a $1.6 million mill levy increase and a $74.9 million bond issue.Eagle County School District 3B: The district is requesting a $128 million bond issue and a $15.5 million mill levy increase.School District 16 3C: Garfield County School District 16 is asking for a $35 million bond for construction costs.State ballot proposals will put some contentious issues before the voters including a constitutional definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman and legalizing possession of a small amount of marijuana.Here’s a brief look at the state issues:Amendment 38 would make it easier to put an initiative or referendum on a ballot by changing petition procedures.Amendment 39 would require school districts to spend at least 65 percent of their operating money on classroom-related expenses.Amendment 40 reduces term limits for appellate court judges (from eight years to four years) and reduces terms of office for supreme court justices (from 10 years to four years).Amendment 41 sets up an ethics code for state and some local elected officials including accepting no more than $50 in gifts. It also establishes an ethics commission.Amendment 42 raises the state minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.85.Amendment 43 defines marriage in the state constitution as solely the union of one man and one woman.Amendment 44 legalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older. Possession would include use of marijuana as long as it’s not consumed in public. It would still be illegal to sell marijuana.Referendum E reduces property taxes for qualified disabled veterans by exempting part of the value of their home from taxation.Referendum F allows the state legislature to set deadlines for petitions to recall elected officials and requirements for when the recall elections are held.Referendum G removes obsolete laws in the state constitution.Referendum H increases state income taxes for some businesses that employ unauthorized aliens. It defines that person as someone who is not eligible under federal immigration law to work in the United States.Referendum I creates a domestic partnership, giving same-sex couples legal protection granted to married couples under state law. The definition specifies that such partnerships do not constitute marriage.Referendum J: A school district must spend 65 percent of its operating budget on specific items including teachers, libraries, computers, support services, buildings and administration.Referendum K requires the state to sue the federal government to demand enforcement of existing federal immigration laws.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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