It's an initiative bonanza at the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, where petitions for eight potential ballot questions are being reviewed. Only one citizen initiative, Amendment 69 (ColoradoCare) has been approved. Its passage would create health coverage similar to Medicaid for most Coloradans.
Each initiative needs 98,492 valid signatures to qualify. The Secretary of State's Office has until Sept. 7 to announce whether proposals will make the ballot. They include:
• Initiative 75, allowing local governments to regulate oil and gas development with powers currently held by the state, such as being able to limit development and fracking. Local controls would have to be at least as restrictive as the state's.
• Initiative 78, creating mandatory setbacks for oil and gas development at least 2,500 feet from any occupied structure or "other specified or locally designated area."
• Initiative 143, new taxes on cigarettes and tobacco, expected to raise $315.7 million annually for health-related programs. The taxes would be about $1.75 per pack.
• Initiative 98, allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in political primaries, but also allowing political parties to select candidates only at an assembly or convention.
• Initiative 140, creating a Colorado presidential primary before the end of March every four years.
• Initiative 101, gradually raising Colorado's minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
• Initiative 145, allowing physician-assisted suicide, also known as "right to die," for terminally ill, mentally capable patients. To be eligible, patients would have to be within six months of death and would self-administer prescribed life-ending drugs.
• Initiative 96, raising requirements for amending the Colorado Constitution, increasing the petition signatures needed to make the ballot, and increasing the percentage needed for passage to 55 percent of votes cast, unless the amendment only repeals a existing provision of the state constitution.
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