State voters may face a plethora of ballot initiatives this fall but perhaps the most troubling is the proposed initiative #75, the Right to Local Self-Government. The proponents have until August 4th to gather enough signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.
This initiative would change the State’s constitution, which already gives home rule municipalities and counties the “full right of self government in local and municipal matters.” The initiative would give any municipality the power to “the power to enact local laws protecting health, safety, and welfare by establishing the fundamental rights of individuals, their communities, and nature…. and the power to enact local laws establishing, defining, altering, or eliminating the rights, powers, and duties of corporations and other business entities operating or seeking to operate in the community, to prevent such rights and powers from interfering with such locally-enacted fundamental rights of individuals, their communities, and nature.”
If the initiative were to pass, local activists would have to ability to push legislation banning any activity or business deemed to be contrary to health, safety and welfare. As such, the initiative is supported by groups such as Boulder Rights of Nature, which lists fracking and GMOs (genetically modified organism) on its website in its support of the initiative. Unless voters understand the full significance of this initiative, they might sign the petition and put this measure on the ballot, meaning a great deal of money would have to be spent to educate the electorate concerning the consequences of this measure.