One can bemoan what a non-choice Obama versus Romney offers, but there are other issues on the ballot. Here are the ballot issues for Colorado:
Amendment S: Increases the number and types of state employees exempt from Colorado’s civil service system; Change personnel and hirng procedures for filling vacancies in the state personnel system; expand hiring preferences for veterans;adjust the terms of service and duties for members of the State Personnel Board and the standard to remove certain members.
I plan to vote against this question. I oppose veteran’s preferences. We have had an all-volunteer military for close to 40 years. As with affirmative action of other types, it is time to end this preference, not expand it. If defeated, veterans will continue to be able to use veteran’s preference of five points on their initial hiring. If passed, they will be able to continue to get the preference for all subsequent jobs. Once is enough if they are any good at what they do.
Another provision of the measure allows an additional 325 employees to be made exempt employees, which may point the way to a greater number of political appointments, because the exempt employees are usually the directors of a department. It also allows two members of the 5-member personnel board to be removed by the governor. Currently, three members of the panel are appointed by the goernor and two are elected by state employees. It is not clear whether the goernor can remove the members elected by the state employees. If he can, he gets to “pack the board” with members who are receptive to his ideas.
Amendment 64: Regulates the growth, manufacture, and sale of marijuana in a system of licensed establishments overseen by state and local governments. It allows anyone over 21 years of age to possess or transfer up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older, keep up to six marijuana plants for personal use, and other provisions. Supposely, tax will be charged for a permit, and the first $40 million raised ANNUALLY will go to build new schools.
I plan to vote for this measure. My feelings about allowing marijuana are not nearly as strong as my feelings against veteran’s preference. Currently, one is fined about $300 for possession of marijuana as an administrative violation.
Amendment 65 is an attempt to overturn Citizens United and establish escampagn spending limits (unspecified) and disclosure of donations. Essentially, if passed, the people are telling the legislature to propose, support, and ratify an amendment to the constitution that allows Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending. Sounds good to me. I’ll vote yes, but will be shocked if it takes less than 20 years to get the amendment passed.
In my former home state of Maryland, I watch Queston 4 with some interest. It is a referendum on granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens. The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for the Univeersity of Maryland is about $18,000. The state estimated that granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens would cost about $3.5 million per year. I suspect that is the first-year cost, because $3.5 million covers the difference in cost for only about 200 students, presuming that the students get no financial aid.