Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Better ‘Blue Book’ bill passes House and Senate

Monday, the Senate passed a bill that will require the state of Colorado to provide voters with the necessary information to consider proposed changes to state law. House Bill 1035, sponsored by Senator Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora), will improve information in the “Blue Book,” the ballot information booklet provided to Colorado voters each election. For years it has been difficult for voters to find information about who exactly drafted the ballot title and text of measures.

Senator Carroll offered the following comment on the passage of HB 1035 by the Senate:

“Voters are asked each election to consider many proposals to change the laws that govern this state. This bill will give voters important information about these proposals that will help them make better informed decisions. It makes sense for voters to know who is behind ballot measures and who prepared the language.”

HB 1035 will require that the description of each measure on the ballot also include who is responsible for placing the measure on the ballot and who drafted the title and text of the measure.

For measures placed on the ballot by the legislature, the Blue Book would inform voters that the ballot title and text of the measure were drafted by non-partisan legal staff for the legislature and referred to voters by a 2/3 majority vote of both chambers.

For citizen initiated measures, the Blue Book would inform voters that the ballot title was drafted by professional staff of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the Legislature, and that the text of the measure was drafted by the proponents of the initiative, who collected signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

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