8/22/2016

Amending the Colorado Constitution

The presidential election may be getting all the attention, but this November is going to be a very significant ballot year in Colorado.  Already there are four initiatives approved for the ballot, and five others are pending approval from the Secretary of State, who tabulates the signatures received on petitions.

According to the Secretary of State's recent press release, one of the issues approved to appear on the ballot this year is Initiative #96, which would make it harder to amend the State Constitution.  It would require that "any petition for a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment be signed by at least 2 percent of the registered electors in each of the 35 state Senate districts. The percentage of votes to pass any proposed constitutional amendment would be increased from a majority to at least 55 percent of the votes cast, unless the proposed amendment only repeals any provision of the constitution."

The ease of amending the Colorado constitution has long been debated in political circles, and constitutional conventions have occasionally been proposed in recent years.  In our library you can find numerous resources regarding the amending of the state constitution, including some resources from earlier decades that still capture the issue as it stands today, and offer a history of Colorado's constitutional amendments and attempts.  Selected resources from our library include:

See also our library's Blue Book Finding Aid, which includes links to Colorado ballot proposal analysis booklets back to 1954.

To view the Colorado Constitution as it stands today, along with versions back to 2004, see the Colorado and United States Constitutions booklets from the Colorado Secretary of State. The following historical publications include copies of the state constitution as they stood in that respective year:
  • The Compiled Laws of Colorado, 1921
  • The Revised Statutes of Colorado, 1908
  • State of Colorado Legislative Manual 
Publications listed here that do not include URLs can be viewed in or checked out from our library.  As always, for more resources, search our library's online catalog.

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