HEADLINE: Hearing reset for affirmative action ballot measure
By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
May 3, 2007
A hearing scheduled last week for a 2008 ballot measure challenging affirmative action in Colorado was rescheduled to give sponsors time to review questions posed by the Legislative Council.
Sponsors of the “Prohibition on Discrimination and Preferential Treatment by Colorado Governments” ballot measure said they got only 24 hours notice about the Legislative Council’s questions because of an e-mail problem. The questions were actually sent 48 hours in advance.
Valery Pech Orr, executive director of the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, said sponsors wanted their “allies and lawyers” to have a chance to review what the council was asking.
The hearing, originally was slated for April 26, has been rescheduled for May 14.
Legislative Council officials said the hearing is designed to help sponsors look at how the measure interacts with current laws and if there might be any problems with its wording.
Pech Orr said the questions were “standard” and technical in nature, though officials with the Legislative Council said such inquires can be substantive as well. Neither would disclose the exact nature of the questions.
The measure is similar to ones passed recently in Michigan, California and other states. It seeks to restrict government from using race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.
Opponents claim it would roll back gains made by minorities disenfranchised by legal discrimination for decades.
Proponents say that once they clear the Legislative Council hearing, they will take the ballot measure to the Secretary of State’s Office.
Assuming it is approved for the November 2008 ballot, sponsors can begin collecting signatures.
They will need about 76,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. -30-
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