Oath Records

Oath Records


Record a Constitutional Oath to support the protection to and from one's State, U.S. Territory and Country's Constitutions, including the indigenous people of the Americas through and by the United States' Declaration of Independence and the ordain powers of the Town of Vail.

An ‘Oath’ exhibit shall be proclaimed from a natural, non-analogous, sovereign, and conscious legal entity with a {Lawful Name} capable to proclaim, announce and pronounce the pronoun: “I” with spiritual and holy affirmation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all, with appointed verity.

The conduct rule is any member shall not imitate, nor, either slander to harm with any weapon, annoyance, or either, to trespass upon any of the Official Governmental formations in any manor, action, or either, formation.

“I, Citizen, (Legal and lawful Name: [Blank]) affirm that this is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth: that, I, through and by the United States’ Declaration of Independence and the ordain powers of the Town of Vail, I support the Constitutions of the State of (fifty States1), the United States territory (sixteen Territories1), and the Constitution of The United States of America (The District of Washington), including the Constitutions of the indigenous people of the Americas; for the control of jurisprudential protection to and from the sameI take this obligation freely without any purpose of evasion or mental reservation: that at this historical momentI signal my willful intent to well and faithfully create this recordso help me God—indivisible, with liberty and justice for all indigenous peoples of the Americas, Citizens, Military and nature.”

States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Commonwealth Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming;  Incorporated U.S. Territories: Puerto Rico; Guam; The United States of America Virgin Islands; Northern Mariana Islands; American Samoa; Unincorporated U.S. Territories: Jarvis Island, Baker Island, Howland Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, Wake Island; Disputed U.S. Territories: Bajo Nuevo Bank, Serranilla Bank.

“I, Citizen, (Legal and lawful Name: _________) affirm that this is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth: that, I, through and by the United States’ Declaration of Independence and the ordain powers of the Town of Vail, I inertially support the Constitutions of the State of (fifty States1), the United States territory (sixteen Territories1), and the Constitution of The United States of America (The District of Washington), including the Constitutions of the indigenous people of the Americas; for the control of jurisprudential protection to and from the sameI take this obligation freely without any purpose of evasion or mental reservation: that at this historical moment, with terms for the directivity of timeI signal my willful intent to well and faithfully create this recordso help me God—indivisible, with liberty and justice for all indigenous people of the Americas, Citizens, Military and nature.”

States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Commonwealth Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming;  Incorporated U.S. Territories: Puerto Rico; Guam; The United States of America Virgin Islands; Northern Mariana Islands; American Samoa; Unincorporated U.S. Territories: Jarvis Island, Baker Island, Howland Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, Wake Island; Disputed U.S. Territories: Bajo Nuevo Bank, Serranilla Bank.

Indigenous Tribes of The Americas

Federally Recognized Tribes:

Alabama

Poarch Band of Creeks

Alaska

Native Village of Afognak (formerly the Village of Afognak)
Agdaagux Tribe of King Cove
Native Village of Akhiok
Akiachak Native Community
Akiak Native Community
Native Village of Akutan
Village of Alakanuk
Alatna Village
Native Village of Aleknagik
Algaaciq Native Village (St. Mary’s)
Allakaket Village
Native Village of Ambler
Village of Anaktuvuk Pass
Yupiit of Andreafski
Angoon Community Association
Village of Aniak
Anvik Village
Arctic Village (See Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government)
Asa’carsarmiut Tribe
Native Village of Atka
Village of Atmautluak
Atqasuk Village (Atkasook)
Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government
Beaver Village
Native Village of Belkofski
Village of Bill Moore’s Slough
Birch Creek Tribe
Native Village of Brevig Mission
Native Village of Buckland
Native Village of Cantwell
Native Village of Chenega (aka Chanega)
Chalkyitsik Village
Cheesh-Na Tribe (formerly the Native Village of Chistochina)
Village of Chefornak
Chevak Native Village
Chickaloon Native Village
Chignik Bay Tribal Council (formerly the Native Village of Chignik)
Native Village of Chignik Lagoon
Chignik Lake Village
Chilkat Indian Village (Klukwan)
Chilkoot Indian Association (Haines)
Chinik Eskimo Community (Golovin)
Native Village of Chitina
Native Village of Chuathbaluk (Russian Mission, Kuskokwim)
Chuloonawick Native Village
Circle Native Community
Village of Clarks Point
Native Village of Council
Craig Community Association
Village of Crooked Creek
Curyung Tribal Council
Native Village of Deering
Native Village of Diomede (aka Inalik)
Village of Dot Lake
Douglas Indian Association
Native Village of Eagle
Native Village of Eek
Egegik Village
Eklutna Native Village
Native Village of Ekuk
Ekwok Village
Native Village of Elim
Emmonak Village
Evansville Village (aka Bettles Field)
Native Village of Eyak (Cordova)
Native Village of False Pass
Native Village of Fort Yukon
Native Village of Gakona
Galena Village (aka Louden Village)
Native Village of Gambell
Native Village of Georgetown
Native Village of Goodnews Bay
Organized Village of Grayling (aka Holikachuk)
Gulkana Village
Native Village of Hamilton
Healy Lake Village
Holy Cross Village
Hoonah Indian Association
Native Village of Hooper Bay
Hughes Village
Huslia Village
Hydaburg Cooperative Association
Igiugig Village
Village of Iliamna
Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope
Iqurmuit Traditional Council (formerly the Native Village of Russian Mission)
Ivanoff Bay Village
Kaguyak Village
Organized Village of Kake
Kaktovik Village (aka Barter Island)
Village of Kalskag
Village of Kaltag
Native Village of Kanatak
Native Village of Karluk
Organized Village of Kasaan
Kasigluk Traditional Elders Council (formerly the Native Village of Kasigluk)
Kenaitze Indian Tribe
Ketchikan Indian Corporation
Native Village of Kiana
King Island Native Community
King Salmon Tribe
Native Village of Kipnuk
Native Village of Kivalina
Klawock Cooperative Association
Native Village of Kluti Kaah (aka Copper Center)
Knik Tribe
Native Village of Kobuk
Kokhanok Village
Native Village of Kongiganak
Village of Kotlik
Native Village of Kotzebue
Native Village of Koyuk
Koyukuk Native Village
Organized Village of Kwethluk
Native Village of Kwigillingok
Native Village of Kwinhagak (aka Quinhagak)
Native Village of Larsen Bay
Levelock Village
Lime Village
Village of Lower Kalskag
Manley Hot Springs Village
Manokotak Village
Native Village of Marshall (aka Fortuna Ledge)
Native Village of Mary’s Igloo
McGrath Native Village
Native Village of Mekoryuk
Mentasta Traditional Council
Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Island Reserve
Native Village of Minto
Naknek Native Village
Native Village of Nanwalek (aka English Bay)
Native Village of Napaimute
Native Village of Napakiak
Native Village of Napaskiak
Native Village of Nelson Lagoon
Nenana Native Association
New Koliganek Village Council
New Stuyahok Village
Newhalen Village
Newtok Village
Native Village of Nightmute
Nikolai Village
Native Village of Nikolski
Ninilchik Village
Native Village of Noatak
Nome Eskimo Community
Nondalton Village
Noorvik Native Community
Northway Village
Native Village of Nuiqsut (aka Nooiksut)
Nulato Village
Nunakauyarmiut Tribe (formerly the Native Village of Toksook Bay)
Native Village of Nunam Iqua (formerly the Native Village of Sheldon’s Point)
Native Village of Nunapitchuk
Village of Ohogamiut
Village of Old Harbor
Orutsararmuit Native Village (aka Bethel)
Oscarville Traditional Village
Native Village of Ouzinkie
Native Village of Paimiut
Pauloff Harbor Village
Pedro Bay Village
Native Village of Perryville
Petersburg Indian Association
Native Village of Pilot Point
Pilot Station Traditional Village
Native Village of Pitka’s Point
Platinum Traditional Village
Native Village of Point Hope
Native Village of Point Lay
Native Village of Port Graham
Native Village of Port Heiden
Native Village of Port Lions
Portage Creek Village (aka Ohgsenakale)
Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. Paul & St. George Islands
Qagan Tayagungin Tribe of Sand Point Village
Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska
Rampart Village
Village of Red Devil
Native Village of Ruby
Saint George Island (See Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. Paul & St. George Islands)
Native Village of Saint Michael
Saint Paul Island (See Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. Paul & St. George Islands)
Village of Salamatoff
Native Village of Savoonga
Organized Village of Saxman
Native Village of Scammon Bay
Native Village of Selawik
Seldovia Village Tribe
Shageluk Native Village
Native Village of Shaktoolik
Native Village of Shishmaref
Native Village of Shungnak
Sitka Tribe of Alaska
Skagway Village
Village of Sleetmute
Village of Solomon
South Naknek Village
Stebbins Community Association
Native Village of Stevens
Village of Stony River
Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak (formerly the Shoonaq’ Tribe of Kodiak)
Takotna Village
Native Village of Tanacross
Native Village of Tanana
Tangirnaq Native Village (formerly Lesnoi Village)
Native Village of Tatitlek
Native Village of Tazlina
Telida Village
Native Village of Teller
Native Village of Tetlin
Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes
Traditional Village of Togiak
Tuluksak Native Community
Native Village of Tuntutuliak
Native Village of Tununak
Twin Hills Village
Native Village of Tyonek
Ugashik Village
Umkumiute Native Village
Native Village of Unalakleet
Native Village of Unga
Village of Venetie (See Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government)
Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government (Arctic Village and Village of Venetie)
Village of Wainwright
Native Village of Wales
Native Village of White Mountain
Wrangell Cooperative Association
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe

Arizona

Ak Chin Indian Community of the Maricopa (Ak Chin) Indian Reservation
Cocopah Tribe of Arizona
Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation (Arizona and California)
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (Arizona, California and Nevada)
Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation
Havasupai Tribe of the Havasupai Reservation
Hopi Tribe of Arizona
Hualapai Indian Tribe of the Hualapai Indian Reservation
Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians of the Kaibab Indian Reservation
Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico and Utah)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona
Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation (Arizona and California)
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation
San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe of Arizona
Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona
Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation
Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe

California

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation
Alturas Indian Rancheria
Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians
Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria
Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California
Big Lagoon Rancheria
Big Pine Band Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley
Big Sandy Rancheria of Western Mono Indians of California
Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
Bishop Pauite Tribe (previously listed as Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony)
Blue Lake Rancheria
Bridgeport Indian Colony
Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California
Cabazon Band of Mission Indians
Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community of the Colusa Rancheria
Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians of the Cahuilla Reservation
Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
California Valley Miwok Tribe
Campo Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Campo Indian Reservation
Capitan Grande Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of California:Barona Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians of the Barona Reservation; Viejas (Baron Long) Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians of the Viejas Reservation
Cedarville Rancheria
Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation
Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria
Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California
Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California
Cold Springs Rancheria of Mono Indians of California
Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation (Arizona and California)
Cortina Indian Rancheria of Wintun Indians of California
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California
Death Valley Timbi-Sha Shoshone Tribe
Dry Creek Rancheria of Pomo Indians
Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
Elk Valley Rancheria
Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California
Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
Fort Bidwell Indian Community of the Fort Bidwell Reservation of California
Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation
Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (Arizona, California and Nevada)
Greenville Rancheria
Grindstone Indian Rancheria of Wintun-Wailaki Indians of California
Guidiville Rancheria of California
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
Hoopa Valley Tribe
Hopland Band of Pomo Indians
Inaja Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Inaja and Cosmit Reservation
Ione Band of Miwok Indians of California
Jackson Band of Miwuk Indians
Jamul Indian Village of California
Karuk Tribe
Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewart’s Point Rancheria
Koi Nation of Northern California
La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians
La Posta Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the La Posta Indian Reservation
Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe
Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla & Cupeno Indians
Lytton Rancheria of California
Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester Rancheria
Manzanita Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Manzanita Reservation
Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria
Mesa Grande Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Mesa Grande Reservation
Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California
Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California
Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians
Northfork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California
Pala Band of Luiseño Mission Indians of the Pala Reservation
Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California
Pauma Band of Luiseño Mission Indians of the Pauma & Yuima Reservation
Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians of the Pechanga Reservation
Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California
Pinoleville Pomo Nation (formerly the Pinoleville Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California)
Pit River Tribe (includes XL Ranch, Big Bend, Likely, Lookout, Montgomery Creek and Roaring Creek Rancherias)
Potter Valley Tribe (formerly the Potter Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California)
Quartz Valley Indian Community of the Quartz Valley Reservation of California
Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation (Arizona and California)
Ramona Band of Cahuilla
Redding Rancheria
Redwood Valley or Little River Band of Pomo Indians of the Redwood Valley Rancheria California
Resighini Rancheria
Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians of the Rincon Reservation
Robinson Rancheria
Round Valley Indian Tribes, Round Valley Reservation
San Manual Band of Serrano Mission Indians of the San Maual Reservation
San Pasqual Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of California
Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria
Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians (formerly the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians of the Santa Rosa Reservation)
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians of the Santa Ynez Reservation
Lipay Nation of Santa Ysabel (Previously listed as the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Santa Ysabel Reservation)
Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California
Sheep Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians
Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California
Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, Shingle Springs Rancheria (Verona Tract)
Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians
Susanville Indian Rancheria
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation (formerly the Sycuan Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California)
Table Mountain Rancheria of California
Tejon Indian Tribe
Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation
Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians
Tule River Indian Tribe of the Tule River Reservation
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria of California
Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians of California
United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria of California
Upper Lake Band of Pomo Indians
Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe of the Benton Paiute Reservation
Washoe Tribe (Carson Colony, Dresslerville Colony, Woodfords Community, Stewart Community and Washoe Ranches) (California and Nevada)
Wilton Rancheria
Wiyot Tribe (formerly the Table Bluff Reservation-Wiyot Tribe)
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation

Colorado

Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation
Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain Reservation (Colorado, New Mexico and Utah)
Connecticut
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe
Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut

Florida

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood and Tampa Reservations)

Idaho

Coeur D’Alene Tribe
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Nez Perce Tribe
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho

Indiana

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan and Indiana)

Iowa

Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa

Kansas

Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri (Kansas and Nebraska)

Louisiana

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana
Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
Jena Band of Choctaw Indians
Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana

Maine

Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
Passamaquoddy Tribe
Penobscot Nation

Massachusetts

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) of Massachusetts

Michigan

Bay Mills Indian Community
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Hannahville Indian Community
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Michigan
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan and Indiana)
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan

Minnesota

Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota
Mdewakanton Sioux Indians
Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (Six component reservations: Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake);Fond du Lac Band; Grand Portage Band; Leech Lake Band; Mille Lacs Ban; White Earth Band)
Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota
Mdewakanton Sioux Indians
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota
Upper Sioux Community
Mississippi

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Montana

Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation
Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana
Chippewa-Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation
Crow Tribe of Montana
Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana
Little Shell
Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation

Nebraska

Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska
Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri (Kansas and Nebraska)
Santee Sioux Nation
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Nevada

Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation (Nevada and Utah)
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation
Ely Shoshone Tribe of Nevada
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation (Nevada and Oregon)
Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (Arizona, California and Nevada)
Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians of the Las Vegas Indian Colony
Lovelock Paiute Tribe of the Lovelock Indian Colony
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of the Pyramid Lake Reservation
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada (Four constituent bands: Battle Mountain Band; Elko Band; South Fork Band; Wells Band)
Walker River Paiute Tribe of the Walker River Reservation
Washoe Tribe (Nevada and California) (Carson Colony, Dresslerville Colony, Woodfords Community, Stewart Community and Washoe Ranches)
Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada
Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony & Campbell Ranch
Yomba Shoshone Tribe of the Yomba Reservation

New Mexico

Jicarilla Apache Nation
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation
Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico and Utah)
Ohkay Owingeh (formerly the Pueblo of San Juan)
Pueblo of Acoma
Pueblo of Cochiti
Pueblo of Jemez
Pueblo of Isleta
Pueblo of Laguna
Pueblo of Nambe
Pueblo of Picuris
Pueblo of Pojoaque
Pueblo of San Felipe
Pueblo of San Ildefonso
Pueblo of Sandia
Pueblo of Santa Ana
Pueblo of Santa Clara
Kewa Pueblo
Pueblo of Taos
Pueblo of Tesuque
Pueblo of Zia
Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain Reservation (Colorado, New Mexico and Utah)
Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation

New York

Cayuga Nation
Oneida Nation of New York
Onondaga Nation
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (formerly the St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians of New York)
Seneca Nation of Indians
Shinnecock Indian Nation
Tonawanda Band of Seneca
Tuscarora Nation of New York

North Carolina

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

North Dakota

Spirit Lake Tribe
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (North Dakota and South Dakota)
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota

Oklahoma

Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians
Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Caddo Nation of Oklahoma
Cherokee Nation
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Comanche Nation
Delaware Nation
Delaware Tribe of Indians
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
Kaw Nation
Kialegee Tribal Town
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma
Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
Quapaw Tribe of Indians
Sac & Fox Nation
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
Seneca-Cayuga Nation
Shawnee Tribe
The Chickasaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
The Osage Nation
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town
Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco and Tawakonie)
Wyandotte Nation

Oregon

Burns Paiute Tribe
Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians of Oregon
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon
Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Reservation
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon
Coquille Indian Tribe
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation (Nevada and Oregon)
Klamath Tribes

Rhode Island

Narragansett Indian Tribe

South Carolina

Catawba Indian Nation (Catawba Tribe of South Carolina)

South Dakota

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation
Oglala Sioux Tribe (previously listed as Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (North Dakota and South Dakota)
Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

Texas

Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo

Utah

Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation (Nevada and Utah)
Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico and Utah)
Northwestern Band of Shoshoni Nation
Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah (Cedar Band of Paiutes, Kanosh Band of Paiutes,Koosharem Band of Paiutes, Indian Peaks Band of Paiutes, and Shivwits Band of Paiutes)
Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians of Utah
Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (Colorado, New Mexico and Utah)

Virginia*

Pamunkey Indian Tribe
Chickahominy Indian Tribe
Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division
Upper Mattaponi Tribe
Rappahannock Tribe, Inc.
Monacan Indian Nation
Nansemond Indian Tribe

Washington

Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
Cowlitz Indian Tribe
Hoh Indian Tribe
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation
Lower Elwha Tribal Community
Lummi Tribe of the Lummi Reservation
Makah Indian Tribe of the Makah Indian Reservation
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Nisqually Indian Tribe
Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington
Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation
Quileute Tribe of the Quileute Reservation
Quinault Indian Nation
Samish Indian Nation
Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe of Washington
Shoalwater Bay IndianTribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation
Skokomish Indian Tribe
Snoqualmie Indian Tribe
Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation
Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation
Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians of Washington
Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Tulalip Tribes of Washington
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe of Washington

Wisconsin

Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation
Forest County Potawatomi Community
Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
Sokaogon Chippewa Community
Stockbridge Munsee Community

Wyoming

Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation
Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation

Source: Federal Register, 2019

 

State Recognized Tribes:
State tribal recognition for the states below specifically refers to states that have created a formal process for recognition. Please note, some states, even if they have not established a formal process for recognition acknowledge the historical and cultural contribution of tribes, however they are not captured in this list.

Alabama

Cher-O-Creek Intra Tribal Indians
Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama
Cherokees of Southeast Alabama
Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama
Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama
Mowa Band of Choctaw Indians
Piqua Shawnee Tribe
Star Clan of Muscogee Creeks
United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation

Connecticut

Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
The Golden Hill Paugussett
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation

Delaware

Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware
Nanticoke Indian Tribe

Georgia

Cherokee of Georgia Tribal Council
Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee
Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe

Louisiana

Addai Caddo Tribe
Biloxi-Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogee
Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb
Clifton Choctaw
Four Winds Tribe Louisiana Cherokee Confederacy
Grand Caillou/Dulac Band
Isle de Jean Charles Band
Louisiana Choctaw Tribe
Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana
Pointe-Au-Chien Indian Tribe
United Houma Nation

Maryland

Piscataway Indian Nation
Piscataway Conoy Tribe

Massachusetts

Nipmuc Nation

New Jersey

Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation
​Ramapough Lenape Nation
The Powhatan Renape Nation

New York

Tonawada Band of Seneca
Tuscarora Nation
Unkechaug Nation

North Carolina

Cohaire Intra-Tribal Council, Inc.
Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe
Lumbee Tribe
Meherrin Nation
Occaneechi Band of teh Saponi Nation
Sappony
Waccamaw-Siouan Tribe

South Carolina

Beaver Creek Indians
Edisto Natchez Kusso Tribe of South Carolina
Pee Dee Indian Nation of Upper South Carolina
Pee Dee Indian Tribe of South Carolina
Santee Indian Organization
The Waccamaw Indian People
Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians

Vermont

Elnu Abenaki Tribe
Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation
Koasek Abenaki Tribe
Mississquoi Abenaki Tribe

Virginia

Cheroenhaka (Nottoway)
Chickahominy Tribe
Eastern Chickahominy Tribe
Mattaponi
Monacan Nation
Nansemond
Nottoway of Virginia
Pamunkey
Pattawomeck
Rappahannock
Upper Mattaponi Tribe

Sources:

Federal Register, January 2019
State Commissions on Indian Affairs
Federalism and the State Recognition of Native American Tribes: A Survey of State-Recognized Tribes and State Recognition Processes Across the United States; Santa Clara Law Review, Volume 48 (2007); by Alexa Koenig and Jonathan Stein
National Congress of American Indians
Newspapers and state government websites

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in order to form a more independent and perfect government; establish justice; insure tranquility; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the “State of Colorado”.

PREFACTORY SYNOPSYS:

The Charter Commission of the Town of Vail, Colorado, hereby submits to the voters of the Town the Home Rule Charter which has been framed in conformity with Article XX of the Colorado Constitution and the Municipal Home Rule Act of 1971.
 
   The philosophy of the commission throughout the drafting of this document has been that the people of Vail will elect a town council composed of men and women whose intelligence, honesty and integrity will provide the high level of leadership necessary to ensure Vail’s future as a quality community. This Charter therefore provides for and encourages citizen involvement and participation in matters of local government. Further, the Charter reflects a broad granting of powers which, unless specifically restricted herein, are intended to be as inclusive as permitted by the state constitution.
 
   This Charter provides for basic Council-Manager form of government. The council shall consist of seven members, including a mayor who shall be elected by the council for a two-year term. A majority of the council (four members) shall be elected every two years, thereby providing continuity of government while at the same time ensuring maximum responsiveness to the voters.
 
   The full legislative power of the municipal government shall be vested in the council, and the executive responsibilities shall rest with the town manager, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the council.
 

The Commission of the Town of Vail, Colorado, recognizes that the community of Vail is unique in that it places greater emphasis on aesthetic, environmental, promotional, and recreational concerns than are traditional in most municipal governments. This Charter is intended to provide the enduring framework within which these concerns can best be implemented. This Charter is, therefore, fundamentally founded in the belief that the quality of life of the people of Vail shall continue and be enhanced through progressive municipal government.

PREAMBLE:

We, the people of the town of Vail, Colorado, under the authority of the constitution of the state of Colorado and the municipal home rule act of 1971, and in order to exercise the rights, privileges and responsibilities of self-government granted to us by the said constitution and act do ordain and establish this home rule charter for the town of Vail, Colorado.

Town charter approved at election held September 12, 1972.
 
Town charter amended on the following dates:
 
      November 19, 1985
 
      November 21, 1995
 
      September 16, 1997
 
      September 20, 2005
 
      November 6, 2012
(Disclaimer: This document that appears on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. American Legal Publishing Corporation provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation. Additionally, the formatting and pagination of the posted documents varies from the formatting and pagination of the official copy. The official printed copy of a Code of Ordinances should be consulted prior to any action being taken.)

Articles of Organization for a Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association filed pursuant to § 7-30-101 and § 7-30-119 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) effective February 23rd, 2022 Anno Domini.

Open Source Citizen Control of Trans-National Governments shall perpetually further lawful obedience of the Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association effective at the instance date of February, 23rd, 2022 Anno Domini.

Open Source Citizen Control of Trans-National Governments shall wound up entirely all dutiful authority of: “Recording Constitutional Oaths” pursuant to § 7-30-101 and so shall the Member premise abide through and by an Oath exhibit that shall be proclaimed from a natural, non-analogous, conscious, sovereign and lawful entity with a {Lawful Name} capable to proclaim, announce and pronounce the pronoun: “I” with spiritual or holy affirmation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Any Member “Recording Constitutional Oaths” shall exhibit to a mobilized counterpart the equal and asymmetrical station for the gross assets the unincorporated organization owns.

The mobilized counterpart shall contain all Members precedence by inter-vivos promissory gift notification and shall retain the perfect and complete unified control of useful creativity this quality of gift possesses upon its member’s lives.

Civilian jurisprudential derivatives and Military life expectancy yields shall perpetuate this gift of life to establish future value virtually with the system multiple scalability equation and the causal-mechanical edifice with equation.

System Multiple Scalability Equation

  • {SN = (SE/TM)(M)}; TM = (X Produced)/(X Production Cost at Multiple)
      • SN = System Scale to Necessity
      • SE = Cost of Achievement of Example System including Resources
      • TM = X or $ Produced / X or $ to Startup
    • M = Multiple of Systems Proposed

Causal-Mechanical Edifice

Cause and result have a direct relationship where the cause is always positioned before the result, and the result is always equal to and proportional to the cause—in the normal flow of time to normal chronological events.

Special flow of time may include non-chronology in that a cause which is at a circumstantial position after the result may yet then reposition the result in the normal flow of time to chronological events.

Identification of the critical difference within the flow of time separating a unified singular cause different yet equal from a unified singular result is necessary through the empty dimensionless latticework separating material.

The causal-mechanical equation allows Open Source Citizen Control of The United States of America’s Principal Officer to create an increase of the fixed positive signature for the asymmetric flow within time from how a cause and result are inertially positioned. This is how an inertial impact identity retains the protections to and from the plural possessive value of State and County Constitutions proving universal directivity or pattern.

The OSCC USA Causal-Mechanical Edifice — 3 Axioms:

First Axiom:

Time possesses a quality, creating a difference in causes from results. This is detectable with directivity or pattern. This property determines the difference of the present from future difference; and/or the difference in the past from the future.  Proceeding from those circumstances in which: 1) cause shall be exalted for the realized result and may be outside of the body in which the result is realized and 2) the result sets in after the cause.

Second Axiom:

Causes and results are always separated by space. Therefore, between them exists an arbitrarily small, but not equaling zero, spatial difference.

Third Axiom:

Causes and results are separated in time. Therefore, between their appearance there exists an arbitrarily small, but not equaling zero, time difference of a fixed sign.

Colorado Revised Statutes 2021
CONSTITUTION OF THE
STATE OF COLORADO
Preamble
We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the
Universe, in order to form a more independent and perfect government; establish justice; insure
tranquillity; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare and secure the
blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for
the “State of Colorado”.
ARTICLE I
Boundaries
The boundaries of the state of Colorado shall be as follows: Commencing on the thirtyseventh parallel of north latitude, where the twenty-fifth meridian of longitude west from
Washington crosses the same; thence north, on said meridian, to the forty-first parallel of north
latitude; thence along said parallel, west, to the thirty-second meridian of longitude west from
Washington; thence south, on said meridian, to the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude;
thence along said thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude to the place of beginning.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 28.
Editor’s note: As a result of a survey that was performed in the 1800’s, the actual
boundaries of the state of Colorado differ from the legal description of the boundaries in Article
I of the state constitution. However, the United States Supreme Court held in New Mexico v.
Colorado, 267 U.S. 30, 45 S. Ct. 202, 69 L.Ed. 499 (1925) that the boundary line marked by a
surveyor in the 1800’s will not be disturbed on the theory that it does not coincide with the 37th
parallel of north latitude described as the common boundary under Acts of Congress and the
state’s constitutions.
ARTICLE II
Bill of Rights
Editor’s note: In Medina v. People, 154 Colo. 4, 387 P.2d 733 (1963), cert. denied, 379
U.S. 848, 85 S. Ct. 88, 13 L. Ed. 2d 52 (1964), the Colorado supreme court held that the bill of
rights is self-executing; the rights therein recognized or established by the constitution do not
depend upon legislative action in order to become operative.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 1 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Law reviews: For article, “A New or Revised Constitution of Colorado”, see 11 Dicta
303 (1934); for article, “Criminal Procedure in Colorado – A Summary, and Recommendations
for Improvement”, see 22 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 221 (1950); for article, “Constitutional Law”,
which discusses Tenth Circuit decisions dealing with questions of constitutional law, see 63 Den.
U. L. Rev. 247 (1986); for article, “Constitutional Law”, which discusses Tenth Circuit decisions
dealing with standards applied to constitutional law, see 65 Den. U. L. Rev. 499 (1988); for a
discussion of Tenth Circuit decisions dealing with constitutional law, see 66 Den. U. L. Rev. 695
(1989); for a discussion of Tenth Circuit decisions dealing with constitutional law, see 67 Den.
U. L. Rev. 653 (1990); for article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
In order to assert our rights, acknowledge our duties, and proclaim the principles upon
which our government is founded, we declare:
Section 1. Vestment of political power. All political power is vested in and derived
from the people; all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will
only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 28.
Section 2. People may alter or abolish form of government – proviso. The people of
this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, sovereign and
independent state; and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever
they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, provided, such change be not
repugnant to the constitution of the United States.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 29.
Section 3. Inalienable rights. All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable
rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and
liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their
safety and happiness.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 29.
Cross references: For the guarantee of judicial process for protection of inalienable
rights, see § 25 of this article.
Section 4. Religious freedom. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession
and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall
be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning
religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with
oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the good
order, peace or safety of the state. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 2 of 204 Uncertified Printout
or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference
be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 29.
Cross references: For separation of church and state in education, see §§ 7 and 8 of
article IX of this constitution.
Section 5. Freedom of elections. All elections shall be free and open; and no power,
civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 29.
Cross references: For suffrage and elections, see article VII of this constitution.
Section 6. Equality of justice. Courts of justice shall be open to every person, and a
speedy remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character; and right and justice
should be administered without sale, denial or delay.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 29.
Cross references: For rights of a defendant in criminal prosecutions, see § 16 of this
article; for limitation for commencing criminal proceedings, see § 16-5-401; for deferred
prosecution, see § 18-1.3-101.
Section 7. Security of person and property – searches – seizures – warrants. The
people shall be secure in their persons, papers, homes and effects, from unreasonable searches
and seizures; and no warrant to search any place or seize any person or things shall issue without
describing the place to be searched, or the person or thing to be seized, as near as may be, nor
without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation reduced to writing.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 29.
Cross references: For a warrant or summons upon a felony complaint, see Crim. P. 4;
for a warrant or summons upon a misdemeanor or petty offense complaint, see Crim. P. 4.1; for
issuance of arrest warrant without information or complaint, see § 16-3-108; for search warrants
and seizures, see part 3 of article 3 of title 16; for arrest warrant issued upon an indictment,
information, or complaint, see § 16-5-205 (2) and (3); for suppression of evidence unlawfully
seized, see Crim. P. 41(e).
Section 8. Prosecutions – indictment or information. Until otherwise provided by law,
no person shall, for a felony, be proceeded against criminally otherwise than by indictment,
except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time
of war or public danger. In all other cases, offenses shall be prosecuted criminally by indictment
or information.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 3 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 29.
Cross references: For prosecution by indictment or information, see Crim. P. 6 to 9 as
well as part 2 of article 5 of title 16.
Section 9. Treason – estates of suicides. Treason against the state can consist only in
levying war against it or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort; no person can
be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on his
confession in open court; no person can be attainted of treason or felony by the general
assembly; no conviction can work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate; the estates of such
persons as may destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in cases of natural death.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 30.
Editor’s note: Compare Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Nelson, 350 U.S. 497, 100
L. Ed. 640, 76 S. Ct. 477 (affirming Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Nelson, 377 Pa. 58, 104
A.2d 133 whereby the enforceability of a state anti-sedition act was successfully resisted as
superseded by federal intervention into the field by the Smith Act which proscribed the same
conduct as did the state act); and Uphaus v. Wyman, 360 U.S. 72, 79 S. Ct. 1040, 3 L. Ed. 2d
1090 (1959) (Distinguishing Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Nelson, 350 U.S. 497, 76 S. Ct.
477, 100 L. Ed. 640 (1956) on the state’s right to require the production of corporate papers of a
state-chartered corporation pursuant to legislative investigation to determine if state policy
concerning seditionary activities had been violated, not impaired by the Smith Act.).
Section 10. Freedom of speech and press. No law shall be passed impairing the
freedom of speech; every person shall be free to speak, write or publish whatever he will on any
subject, being responsible for all abuse of that liberty; and in all suits and prosecutions for libel
the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and the jury, under the direction of the court, shall
determine the law and the fact.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 30.
Cross references: For statutory provision concerning truth as a defense or mitigating
factor in a defamation action, see § 13-25-125; for the privilege of nondisclosure of news
information by newspersons, see § 13-90-119; for provisions relating to governmental access to
news information, see article 72.5 of title 24; for freedom of press for students in public schools,
see § 22-1-120.
Section 11. Ex post facto laws. No ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of
contracts, or retrospective in its operation, or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges,
franchises or immunities, shall be passed by the general assembly.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 30.
Cross references: For retrospective laws, see § 12 of article XV of this constitution.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 4 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Section 12. No imprisonment for debt. No person shall be imprisoned for debt, unless
upon refusal to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors in such manner as shall be
prescribed by law, or in cases of tort or where there is a strong presumption of fraud.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 30.
Section 13. Right to bear arms. The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense
of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned,
shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice
of carrying concealed weapons.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 30.
Section 14. Taking private property for private use. Private property shall not be
taken for private use unless by consent of the owner, except for private ways of necessity, and
except for reservoirs, drains, flumes or ditches on or across the lands of others, for agricultural,
mining, milling, domestic or sanitary purposes.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 30.
Cross references: For compensation for taking of private property under this section, see
§ 15 of this article; for eminent domain, see articles 1 to 7 of title 38.
Section 15. Taking property for public use – compensation, how ascertained. Private
property shall not be taken or damaged, for public or private use, without just compensation.
Such compensation shall be ascertained by a board of commissioners, of not less than three
freeholders, or by a jury, when required by the owner of the property, in such manner as may be
prescribed by law, and until the same shall be paid to the owner, or into court for the owner, the
property shall not be needlessly disturbed, or the proprietary rights of the owner therein divested;
and whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the
question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and
determined as such without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 30.
Cross references: (1) For judicial aspects of the question of necessity when property is
to be taken under this section for public or quasi-public purposes, see: Rothwell v. Coffin, 122
Colo. 140, 220 P.2d 1063 (1950); Pine Martin Mining Co. v. Empire Zinc Co., 90 Colo. 529, 11
P.2d 221 (1932); Jennings v. Bd. of Com. Montrose Co., 85 Colo. 498, 277 P. 467 (1929); Haver
v. Matonock, 75 Colo. 301, 225 P. 834 (1924); Colo. & Utah Coal Co. v. Walter, 75 Colo. 489,
226 P. 864 (1924); Snider v. Town of Platteville, 75 Colo. 589, 227 P. 548 (1924); Wassenich v.
City & County of Denver, 67 Colo. 456, 186 P. 533 (1919); Lavelle v. Town of Julesburg, 49
Colo. 290, 112 P. 774 (1910); Kirkwood v. School Dist. Summit County, 45 Colo. 368, 101 P.
343 (1909); Schneider v. Schneider, 36 Colo. 518, 86 P. 347 (1906); Union Pac. R. R. v. Colo.
Postal Telegraph Co., 30 Colo. 133, 69 P. 594 (1902); Gibson v. Cann, 28 Colo. 499, 66 P. 879
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 5 of 204 Uncertified Printout
(1901); Warner v. Town of Gunnison, 2 Colo. App. 430, 31 P. 238 (1892). (Compare: Town of
Eaton v. Bouslog, 133 Colo. 130, 292 P.2d 343 (1956), and Otero Irr. Dist. v. Enderud, 122
Colo. 136, 220 P.2d 862 (1950); Crystal Park Co. v. Morton, 27 Colo. App. 74, 146 P. 566
(1915); Thompson v. DeWeese-Dye Ditch Co., 25 Colo. 243, 53 P. 507 (1898); Seidler v. Seely,
8 Colo. App. 499, 46 P. 848 (1896); Sand Creek Lateral Irrigation v. Davis, 17 Colo. 326, 29 P.
742 (1892).)
(2) For jurisdiction of federal court, when (properly) invoked, see County of Allegheny v.
Frank Mashuda Company, 360 U.S. 185 (1959), and Louisiana Power & Light Company v. City
of Thibodaux, 360 U.S. 25 (1959).
(3) For taking of private property for private use, see § 14 of this article; for deprivation
of property without due process of law, see § 25 of this article; for eminent domain, see articles 1
to 7 of title 38.
Section 16. Criminal prosecutions – rights of defendant. In criminal prosecutions the
accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature
and cause of the accusation; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have process to
compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of
the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 31.
Editor’s note: In a United States supreme court case (Escobedo v. State of Illinois, 378
U.S. 478, 84 S. Ct. 1758, 12 L. Ed. 2d 977 (1964)) the court held that “where the investigation is
no longer a matter of general inquiry into an unsolved crime, but has begun to focus on a
particular suspect, the suspect has been taken into police custody, the police carry out a process
of interrogations that lends itself to incriminating statements, the suspect has requested and been
denied an opportunity to consult with his lawyer and the police have not effectively warned him
of his absolute constitutional right to remain silent” such suspect had been denied his
constitutional rights and his confession was not admissible.
In Washington v. People, 158 Colo. 115, 405 P.2d 735 (1965), the Colorado supreme
court held the Escobedo case did not apply where accused made a voluntary confession to a
friend prior to police interrogation as the Escobedo case was concerned with police tactics
during interrogation.
In Ruark v. People, 158 Colo. 110, 405 P.2d 751 (1965), the Colorado supreme court
held the Escobedo case did not apply retrospectively to entitle one to relief in case that had been
previously decided.
Cross references: For duty of court to inform an accused of his right to counsel and the
nature of the charges against him, see Crim. P. 5(a)(2) and § 16-7-207; for accused’s right to
compel attendance of witnesses, see § 16-9-101; for dismissal of criminal case for failure to
bring to trial within time period, see Crim. P. 48(b)(1) and (b)(5); for self-incrimination and
double jeopardy, see § 18 of this article; for right to trial by jury in criminal cases, see § 23 of
this article; for due process in criminal proceedings, see § 25 of this article.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 6 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Section 16a. Rights of crime victims. Any person who is a victim of a criminal act, or
such person’s designee, legal guardian, or surviving immediate family members if such person is
deceased, shall have the right to be heard when relevant, informed, and present at all critical
stages of the criminal justice process. All terminology, including the term “critical stages”, shall
be defined by the general assembly.
Source: L. 91: Entire section added, p. 2031, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 93, p. 2155, January 14, 1993.
Cross references: For statutory provisions relating to victims’ rights set out in this
section, see §§ 24-4.1-302.5, 24-4.1-303, and 24-31-106.
Section 17. Imprisonment of witnesses – depositions – form. No person shall be
imprisoned for the purpose of securing his testimony in any case longer than may be necessary
in order to take his deposition. If he can give security he shall be discharged; if he cannot give
security his deposition shall be taken by some judge of the supreme, district or county court, at
the earliest time he can attend, at some convenient place by him appointed for that purpose, of
which time and place the accused and the attorney prosecuting for the people shall have
reasonable notice. The accused shall have the right to appear in person and by counsel. If he has
no counsel, the judge shall assign him one in his behalf only. On the completion of such
examination the witness shall be discharged on his own recognizance, entered into before said
judge, but such deposition shall not be used if in the opinion of the court the personal attendance
of the witness might be procured by the prosecution, or is procured by the accused. No exception
shall be taken to such deposition as to matters of form.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 31.
Cross references: For right to compel attendance of witnesses at trial, see § 16-9-101;
for summoning witnesses from outside the state, see § 16-9-202.
Section 18. Crimes – evidence against one’s self – jeopardy. No person shall be
compelled to testify against himself in a criminal case nor shall any person be twice put in
jeopardy for the same offense. If the jury disagree, or if the judgment be arrested after the
verdict, or if the judgment be reversed for error in law, the accused shall not be deemed to have
been in jeopardy.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 31.
Editor’s note: (1) Compare Kirschwing v. Farrar, 114 Colo. 421, 166 P.2d 154 (1946)
(civil case, blood test obtained while unconscious); Lewis v. People, 115 Colo. 435, 174 P.2d
736 (1946) (civil case, void telephone company identification); Hanlon v. Woodhouse, 113 Colo.
504, 160 P.2d 998 (1945) (civil case).
(2) For successive indictments and trials in federal and state courts on the same offense,
compare Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 12 L. Ed, 653, 84 S. Ct. 1489 (1964) (referee
investigation); Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 12 L. Ed. 997, 84 S. Ct. 1758 (1964) (right to
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 7 of 204 Uncertified Printout
counsel upon request on time investigation), and Bartkus v. Illinois, 359 U.S. 141, 79 S. Ct. 676,
3 L. Ed. 2d 684 (1959); and, as to double jeopardy between cumulative state and federal courts,
see Mills v. Louisiana, 360 U.S. 230, 79 S. Ct. 980, 3 L. Ed. 2d 1193 (1959); Knapp v.
Schweitzer, 357 U.S. 371, 78 S. Ct. 1302, 2 L. Ed. 2d 1393 (1958), and Feldman v. United
States, 322 U.S. 487, 64 S. Ct. 1082, 88 L. Ed. 1408 (1944).
Cross references: For when prosecution is barred by former proceedings, see part 3 of
article 1 of title 18.
Section 19. Right to bail – exceptions. (1) All persons shall be bailable by sufficient
sureties pending disposition of charges except:
(a) For capital offenses when proof is evident or presumption is great; or
(b) When, after a hearing held within ninety-six hours of arrest and upon reasonable
notice, the court finds that proof is evident or presumption is great as to the crime alleged to have
been committed and finds that the public would be placed in significant peril if the accused were
released on bail and such person is accused in any of the following cases:
(I) A crime of violence, as may be defined by the general assembly, alleged to have been
committed while on probation or parole resulting from the conviction of a crime of violence;
(II) A crime of violence, as may be defined by the general assembly, alleged to have been
committed while on bail pending the disposition of a previous crime of violence charge for
which probable cause has been found;
(III) A crime of violence, as may be defined by the general assembly, alleged to have
been committed after two previous felony convictions, or one such previous felony conviction if
such conviction was for a crime of violence, upon charges separately brought and tried under the
laws of this state or under the laws of any other state, the United States, or any territory subject
to the jurisdiction of the United States which, if committed in this state, would be a felony; or
(c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 94, p. 2853, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 95, p. 1434, January 19, 1995.)
(2) Except in the case of a capital offense, if a person is denied bail under this section, the
trial of the person shall be commenced not more than ninety days after the date on which bail is
denied. If the trial is not commenced within ninety days and the delay is not attributable to the
defense, the court shall immediately schedule a bail hearing and shall set the amount of the bail
for the person.
(2.5) (a) The court may grant bail after a person is convicted, pending sentencing or
appeal, only as provided by statute as enacted by the general assembly; except that no bail is
allowed for persons convicted of:
(I) Murder;
(II) Any felony sexual assault involving the use of a deadly weapon;
(III) Any felony sexual assault committed against a child who is under fifteen years of
age;
(IV) A crime of violence, as defined by statute enacted by the general assembly; or
(V) Any felony during the commission of which the person used a firearm.
(b) The court shall not set bail that is otherwise allowed pursuant to this subsection (2.5)
unless the court finds that:
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(I) The person is unlikely to flee and does not pose a danger to the safety of any person or
the community; and
(II) The appeal is not frivolous or is not pursued for the purpose of delay.
(3) This section shall take effect January 1, 1995, and shall apply to offenses committed
on or after said date.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 31. L. 82: Entire
section R&RE, p. 685, effective January 1, 1983. L. 94: Entire section amended, p. 2853,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 95, p. 1434, January 19, 1995.
Editor’s note: For the proclamation of the Governor, December 30, 1982, see L. 83, p.
1671.
Cross references: For considering the question of bail, see Crim. P. 46 and part 1 of
article 4 of title 16; for prohibition against excessive bail, see § 20 of this article.
Section 20. Excessive bail, fines or punishment. Excessive bail shall not be required,
nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Cross references: For right to bail and exceptions thereto, see § 19 of this article; for
considering the question of bail, see Crim. P. 46 and part 1 of article 4 of title 16.
Section 21. Suspension of habeas corpus. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
shall never be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may
require it.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Cross references: For provisions regulating the granting of a writ of habeas corpus, see
article 45 of title 13.
Section 22. Military subject to civil power – quartering of troops. The military shall
always be in strict subordination to the civil power; no soldier shall, in time of peace, be
quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner
prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Section 23. Trial by jury – grand jury. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate
in criminal cases; but a jury in civil cases in all courts, or in criminal cases in courts not of
record, may consist of less than twelve persons, as may be prescribed by law. Hereafter a grand
jury shall consist of twelve persons, any nine of whom concurring may find an indictment;
provided, the general assembly may change, regulate or abolish the grand jury system; and
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provided, further, the right of any person to serve on any jury shall not be denied or abridged on
account of sex, and the general assembly may provide by law for the exemption from jury
service of persons or classes of persons.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32. L. 43: Entire
section amended, see L. 45, p. 424.
Cross references: For the right to trial by impartial jury in criminal prosecutions, see §
16 of this article; for right of trial by jury, see § 16-10-101; for the duty of the court to inform
defendant of his right to a jury trial, see Crim. P. 5(a)(2)(VII) and § 16-7-207(1)(f) and (2)(c);
for waiver of jury trial, see Crim. P. 23(a)(5) and (a)(6) and C.R.C.P. 38(e) and 39(a); for
witnesses before grand jury, see § 16-5-204; for summoning grand jurors, see Crim. P. 6.
Section 24. Right to assemble and petition. The people have the right peaceably to
assemble for the common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government
for redress of grievances, by petition or remonstrance.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Section 25. Due process of law. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property,
without due process of law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Cross references: For inalienable rights, see § 3 of this article; for equality of justice, see
§ 6 of this article; for rights reserved to the people, see § 28 of this article and § 1 of article V of
this constitution; for taking of property by eminent domain proceedings, see articles 1 to 7 of
title 38; for searches and seizures, see § 7 of this article; for rights of defendant in criminal
prosecutions, see § 16 of this article; for self-incrimination and jeopardy, see § 18 of this article;
for the admissibility of laboratory test results, see § 16-3-309.
Section 26. Slavery prohibited. There shall never be in this state either slavery or
involuntary servitude.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32. Referred
2018: Entire section amended, Amendment A, L. 2018, p. 3113, effective upon proclamation of
the Governor, December 19, 2018.
Cross references: For the legislative intent in Amendment A, see p. 3113, Session Laws
of Colorado 2018.
Section 27. Property rights of aliens. Aliens, who are or may hereafter become bona
fide residents of this state, may acquire, inherit, possess, enjoy and dispose of property, real and
personal, as native born citizens.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Section 28. Rights reserved not disparaged. The enumeration in this constitution of
certain rights shall not be construed to deny, impair or disparage others retained by the people.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Section 29. Equality of the sexes. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or
abridged by the state of Colorado or any of its political subdivisions on account of sex.
Source: L. 72: Entire section added, p. 647, effective upon proclamation by the
Governor, January 11, 1973.
Section 30. Right to vote or petition on annexation – enclaves. (1) No unincorporated
area may be annexed to a municipality unless one of the following conditions first has been met:
(a) The question of annexation has been submitted to the vote of the landowners and the
registered electors in the area proposed to be annexed, and the majority of such persons voting
on the question have voted for the annexation; or
(b) The annexing municipality has received a petition for the annexation of such area
signed by persons comprising more than fifty percent of the landowners in the area and owning
more than fifty percent of the area, excluding public streets, and alleys and any land owned by
the annexing municipality; or
(c) The area is entirely surrounded by or is solely owned by the annexing municipality.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to annexations to the city and county of
Denver, to the extent that such annexations are governed by other provisions of the constitution.
(3) The general assembly may provide by law for procedures necessary to implement this
section. This section shall take effect upon completion of the canvass of votes taken thereon.
Source: Initiated 80: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 81, p. 2055, December 19, 1980.
Section 30a. Official language. The English language is the official language of the
State of Colorado.
This section is self executing; however, the General Assembly may enact laws to
implement this section.
Source: Initiated 88: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 89, p. 1663, January 3, 1989.
Editor’s note: Although this section was numbered as section 30 and did not contain a
headnote as it appeared on the ballot, for ease of location, it has been numbered as “Section 30a”,
and a headnote has been added.
Section 30b. No Protected Status Based on Homosexual, Lesbian or Bisexual
Orientation. Neither the State of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any
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of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or
enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual
orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of or
entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences,
protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all
respects self-executing.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire section added, see L. 93, p. 2164.
Editor’s note: (1) Although this section was numbered as section 30 as it appeared on
the ballot, for ease of location, it has been numbered as section 30b.
(2) In the case Evans v. Romer, Denver District Court found this section
unconstitutional and permanently enjoined its enforcement (see Evans v. Romer, 854 P.2d 1270
(Colo. 1993)). The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling (see Evans v.
Romer, 882 P.2d 1335 (Colo. 1994)), and the United States Supreme Court affirmed the
Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling (517 U.S. 620, 116 S.Ct. 1620, 134 L.Ed.2d 855 (1996)).
Section 31. Marriages – valid or recognized. Only a union of one man and one woman
shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2962, December 31, 2006.
Editor’s note: (1) In Kitchen v. Herbert, 755 F.3d 1193 (10th Cir. 2014), the Tenth
Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full
protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to
two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in
the marriage union.
(2) In Bishop v. Smith, 760 F.3d 1070 (10th Cir. 2014), the Tenth Circuit held that
Oklahoma’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that states “Marriage in this state shall
consist only of the union of one man and one woman.” violates the Equal Protection Clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment by precluding same-sex couples from receiving an Oklahoma
marriage license. The Tenth Circuit has jurisdiction over Colorado in addition to Utah and
Oklahoma, and section 31 of article II of the state constitution is similar to the constitutional
provisions of those states. On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted petitions for
writs of certiorari in consolidated cases from Sixth Circuit states that also had similar provisions.
(3) In Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. __ (2015), the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted
state constitutional and statutory provisions similar to section 31 of article II of the state
constitution and to this provision and held that the right to marry is a fundamental right and that
the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same
sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was
lawfully licensed and performed out of state.
ARTICLE III
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Distribution of Powers
The powers of the government of this state are divided into three distinct departments,–
the legislative, executive and judicial; and no person or collection of persons charged with the
exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any power
properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution expressly directed or
permitted.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 32.
Cross references: For power of general assembly to enact measures, and power of
people to institute initiative and referendum, see § 1 of article V of this constitution; for
prohibition against delegating legislative power to special commissions or private corporations,
see § 35 of article V of this constitution; for exercise of legislative powers by home rule cities,
see § 6 of art. XX of this constitution.
ARTICLE IV
Executive Department
Section 1. Officers – terms of office. (1) The executive department shall include the
governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, and attorney general, each of
whom shall hold his office for the term of four years, commencing on the second Tuesday of
January in the year 1967, and each fourth year thereafter. They shall perform such duties as are
prescribed by this constitution or by law.
(2) In order to broaden the opportunities for public service and to guard against excessive
concentrations of power, no governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, or
attorney general shall serve more than two consecutive terms in such office. This limitation on
the number of terms shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1991. Any
person who succeeds to the office of governor or is appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in one
of the other offices named in this section, and who serves at least one-half of a term of office,
shall be considered to have served a term in that office for purposes of this subsection (2). Terms
are considered consecutive unless they are at least four years apart.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 33. L. 56: Entire
section amended, see L. 57, p. 792. L. 64: Entire section amended, p. 837. Initiated 90: Entire
section amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2035, January 3, 1991.
Cross references: For provisions concerning the office of the governor, see part 1 of
article 20 of title 24; for provisions concerning the office of the secretary of state, see article 21
of title 24; for provisions concerning the office of the state treasurer, see article 22 of title 24; for
the powers and duties of the attorney general, see § 24-31-101.
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Section 2. Governor supreme executive. The supreme executive power of the state shall
be vested in the governor, who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 33.
Section 3. State officers – election – returns. The officers named in section one of this
article shall be chosen on the day of the general election, by the registered electors of the state.
The governor and the lieutenant governor shall be chosen jointly by the casting by each voter of
a single vote applicable to both offices. The returns of every election for said officers shall be
sealed up and transmitted to the secretary of state, directed to the speaker of the house of
representatives, who shall immediately, upon the organization of the house, and before
proceeding to other business, open and publish the same in the presence of a majority of the
members of both houses of the general assembly, who shall for that purpose assemble in the
house of representatives. The joint candidates having the highest number of votes cast for
governor and lieutenant governor, and the person having the highest number of votes for any
other office, shall be declared duly elected, but if two or more have an equal and the highest
number of votes for the same office or offices, one of them, or any two for whom joint votes
were cast for governor and lieutenant governor respectively, shall be chosen thereto by the two
houses, on joint ballot. Contested elections for the said offices shall be determined by the two
houses, on joint ballot, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 33. L. 67: Entire
section amended, p. 1083. L. 84: Entire section amended, p. 1143, effective upon proclamation
of the Governor, L. 85, p. 1791, January 14, 1985.
Cross references: For elections generally, see articles 1 to 13.5 of title 1; for state and
district officers, see § 1-4-204; for the proceedings to contest the election of state officers, see §
1-11-205; for rules for conducting contests for state officers, see § 1-11-207.
Section 4. Qualifications of state officers. No person shall be eligible to the office of
governor or lieutenant governor unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, nor to the
office of secretary of state or state treasurer unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five
years, nor to the office of attorney general unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five
years and be a licensed attorney of the supreme court of the state in good standing, and no person
shall be eligible to any one of said offices unless, in addition to the qualifications above
prescribed therefor, he shall be a citizen of the United States, and have resided within the limits
of the state two years next preceding his election.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 33. L. 64: Entire
section amended, p. 837.
Section 5. Governor commander-in-chief of militia. The governor shall be
commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state, except when they shall be called into
actual service of the United States. He shall have power to call out the militia to execute the
laws, suppress insurrection or repel invasion.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 34.
Section 6. Appointment of officers – vacancy. (1) The governor shall nominate, and, by
and with the consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by this
constitution, or which may be created by law, and whose appointment or election is not
otherwise provided for, and may remove any such officer for incompetency, neglect of duty, or
malfeasance in office. If the vacancy occurs in any such office while the senate is not in session,
the governor shall appoint some fit person to discharge the duties thereof until the next meeting
of the senate when he shall nominate and, by and with the consent of the senate, appoint some fit
person to fill such office.
(2) If the office of state treasurer, secretary of state, or attorney general shall be vacated
by death, resignation, or otherwise, the governor shall nominate and, by and with the consent of
the senate, appoint a successor. The appointee shall hold the office until his successor shall be
elected and qualified in such manner as may be provided by law. If the vacancy occurs in any
such office while the senate is not in session, the governor shall appoint some fit person to
discharge the duties thereof until the next meeting of the senate, when he shall nominate and, by
and with the consent of the senate, appoint some fit person to fill such office.
(3) The senate in deliberating upon executive nominations may sit with closed doors, but
in acting upon nominations they shall sit with open doors, and the vote shall be taken by ayes
and noes, which shall be entered upon the journal.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 34. L. 64: Entire
section amended, p. 838. L. 74: Entire section amended, p. 445, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Cross references: For removal of officers by impeachment or for misconduct, see article
XIII of this constitution.
Section 7. Governor may grant reprieves and pardons. The governor shall have power
to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after conviction, for all offenses except treason,
and except in case of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law
relative to the manner of applying for pardons, but he shall in every case where he may exercise
this power, send to the general assembly at its first session thereafter, a transcript of the petition,
all proceedings, and the reasons for his action.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 34.
Cross references: For governor’s right to commute sentence, see article 17 of title 16.
Section 8. Governor may require information from officers – message. The governor
may require information in writing from the officers of the executive department upon any
subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, which information shall be given upon
oath whenever so required; he may also require information in writing at any time, under oath,
from all officers and managers of state institutions, upon any subject relating to the condition,
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management and expenses of their respective offices and institutions. The governor shall, at the
commencement of each session, and from time to time, by message, give to the general assembly
information of the condition of the state, and shall recommend such measures as he shall deem
expedient. He shall also send to the general assembly a statement, with vouchers, of the
expenditures of all moneys belonging to the state and paid out by him. He shall, also, at the
commencement of each session, present estimates of the amount of money required to be raised
by taxation for all purposes of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 34.
Section 9. Governor may convene legislature or senate. The governor may, on
extraordinary occasions convene the general assembly, by proclamation, stating therein the
purpose for which it is to assemble; but at such special session no business shall be transacted
other than that specially named in the proclamation. He may by proclamation, convene the
senate in extraordinary session for the transaction of executive business.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 35.
Section 10. Governor may adjourn legislature. The governor, in case of a
disagreement between the two houses as to the time of adjournment, may upon the same being
certified to him by the house last moving adjournment, adjourn the general assembly to a day not
later than the first day of the next regular session.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 35.
Section 11. Bills presented to governor – veto – return. Every bill passed by the general
assembly shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor. If he approve, he shall
sign it, and thereupon it shall become a law; but if he do not approve, he shall return it, with his
objections, to the house in which it originated, which house shall enter the objections at large
upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider the bill. If then two-thirds of the members elected
agree to pass the same, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which
it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members elected to that
house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the objections of the governor. In all such cases
the vote of each house shall be determined by ayes and noes, to be entered upon the journal. If
any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days after it shall have been presented to
him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly
shall by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall be filed with his objections in
the office of the secretary of state, within thirty days after such adjournment, or else become a
law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 35.
Section 12. Governor may veto items in appropriation bills – reconsideration. The
governor shall have power to disapprove of any item or items of any bill making appropriations
of money, embracing distinct items, and the part or parts of the bill approved shall be law, and
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the item or items disapproved shall be void, unless enacted in manner following: If the general
assembly be in session, he shall transmit to the house in which the bill originated a copy of the
item or items thereof disapproved, together with his objections thereto, and the items objected to
shall be separately reconsidered, and each item shall then take the same course as is prescribed
for the passage of bills over the executive veto.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 36.
Section 13. Succession to the office of governor and lieutenant governor. (1) In the
case of the death, impeachment, conviction of a felony, or resignation of the governor, the office
of governor shall be vacant and the lieutenant governor shall take the oath of office and shall
become governor.
(2) Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the lieutenant governor, because of
death, impeachment, conviction of a felony, or resignation, the governor shall nominate a
lieutenant governor who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of
the general assembly. If the person nominated is a member of the general assembly, he may take
the oath of office of lieutenant governor, and the legislative seat to which he was elected shall be
vacant and filled in the manner prescribed by law pursuant to section 2 of article V of this
constitution.
(3) In the event that the governor-elect fails to assume the office of governor because of
death, resignation, or conviction of a felony, or refuses to take the oath of office, the lieutenant
governor-elect shall take the oath of office and shall become governor on the second Tuesday in
January in accordance with the provisions of section 1 of article IV of this constitution. In the
event the lieutenant governor-elect fails to assume the office of lieutenant governor because of
death, resignation, or conviction of a felony, or refuses to take the oath of office, the governorelect upon taking office shall nominate a lieutenant governor who shall take the oath of office
upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of the general assembly. If the person
nominated is a member of the general assembly, he may take the oath of office of lieutenant
governor, and the legislative seat to which he was elected shall be vacant and filled in the
manner prescribed by law pursuant to section 2 of article V of this constitution.
(4) In the event the lieutenant governor or lieutenant governor-elect accedes to the office
of governor because of a vacancy in said office for any of the causes enumerated in subsections
(1) and (3) of this section, the office of lieutenant governor shall be vacant. Upon taking office,
the new governor shall nominate a lieutenant governor who shall take the oath of office upon
confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of the general assembly. If the person nominated
is a member of the general assembly, he may take the oath of office of lieutenant governor, and
the legislative seat to which he was elected shall be vacant and filled in the manner prescribed by
law pursuant to section 2 of article V of this constitution.
(5) In the event the governor or lieutenant governor, or governor-elect or lieutenant
governor-elect, at the time either of the latter is to take the oath of office, is absent from the state
or is suffering from a physical or mental disability, the powers and duties of the office of
governor and the office of lieutenant governor shall, until the absence or disability ceases,
temporarily devolve upon the lieutenant governor, in the case of the governor, and, in the case of
the lieutenant governor, upon the first named member of the general assembly listed in
subsection (7) of this section who is affiliated with the same political party as the lieutenant
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governor; except that if the lieutenant governor and none of said members of the general
assembly are affiliated with the same political party, the temporary vacancy in the office of
lieutenant governor shall be filled by the first named member in said subsection (7). In the event
that the offices of both the governor and lieutenant governor are vacant at the same time for any
of the reasons enumerated in this subsection (5), the successors to fill the vacancy in the office of
governor and in the office of lieutenant governor shall be, respectively, the first and second
named members of the general assembly listed in subsection (7) of this section who are affiliated
with the same political party as the governor; except that if the governor and none of said
members of the general assembly are affiliated with the same political party, the vacancy in the
office of governor and the vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor, respectively, shall be
filled by the first and second named members in said subsection (7). The pro rata salary of the
governor or lieutenant governor shall be paid to his successor for as long as he serves in such
capacity, during which time he shall receive no other salary from the state.
(6) The governor or governor-elect, lieutenant governor or lieutenant governor-elect, or
person acting as governor or lieutenant governor may transmit to the president of the senate and
the speaker of the house of representatives his written declaration that he suffers from a physical
or mental disability and he is unable to properly discharge the powers and duties of the office of
governor or lieutenant governor. In the event no such written declaration has been made, his
physical or mental disability shall be determined by a majority of the supreme court after a
hearing held pursuant to a joint request submitted by joint resolution adopted by two-thirds of all
members of each house of the general assembly. Such determination shall be final and
conclusive. The supreme court, upon its own initiative, shall determine if and when such
disability ceases.
(7) In the event that the offices of both the governor and lieutenant governor are vacant at
the same time for any of the reasons enumerated in subsections (1), (2), and (3) of this section,
the successor to fill the vacancy in the office of governor shall be the first named of the
following members of the general assembly who is affiliated with the same political party as the
governor: President of the senate, speaker of the house of representatives, minority leader of the
senate, or minority leader of the house of representatives; except that if the governor and none of
said members of the general assembly are affiliated with the same political party, the vacancy
shall be filled by one such member in the order of precedence listed in this subsection (7). The
member filling the vacancy pursuant to this subsection (7) shall take the oath of office of
governor and shall become governor. The office of lieutenant governor shall be filled in the
same manner as prescribed in subsection (3) of this section when the lieutenant governor-elect
fails to assume the office of lieutenant governor.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 36. L. 74: Entire
section R&RE, p. 446, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 14. Lieutenant governor president of senate. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 36. L. 74: Entire
section repealed, p. 447, effective January 1, 1975.
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Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 15. No lieutenant governor – who to act as governor. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 36. L. 74: Entire
section repealed, p. 447, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 16. Account and report of moneys. An account shall be kept by the officers of
the executive department and of all public institutions of the state, of all moneys received by
them severally from all sources, and for every service performed, and of all moneys disbursed by
them severally, and a semi-annual report thereof shall be made to the governor, under oath.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 36.
Section 17. Executive officers to make report. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 37. L. 74: Entire
section repealed, p. 447, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 18. State seal. There shall be a seal of the state, which shall be kept by the
secretary of state, shall be called the “Great Seal of the State of Colorado”, and shall be in the
form prescribed by the general assembly.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 37. L. 90: Entire
section amended, p. 1861, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2033, January
3, 1991.
Cross references: For the state seal, see § 24-80-901.
Section 19. Salaries of officers – fees paid into treasury. The officers named in section
one of this article shall receive for their services a salary to be established by law, which shall
not be increased or diminished during their official terms. It shall be the duty of all such officers
to collect in advance all fees prescribed by law for services rendered by them severally, and pay
the same into the state treasury.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 37.
Cross references: For compensation of district attorneys, see § 20-1-301; for
compensation of state officers, see article 9 of title 24.
Section 20. State librarian. (Repealed)
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 37. L. 2004:
Entire section repealed, p. 2745, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2005, p. 2341,
December 1, 2004.
Section 21. Elected auditor of state – powers and duties. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 37. L. 64: Entire
section amended, p. 838. L. 74: Entire section repealed, p. 447, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 22. Principal departments. All executive and administrative offices, agencies,
and instrumentalities of the executive department of state government and their respective
functions, powers, and duties, except for the office of governor and lieutenant governor, shall be
allocated by law among and within not more than twenty departments. Subsequently, all new
powers or functions shall be assigned to departments, divisions, sections, or units in such manner
as will tend to provide an orderly arrangement in the administrative organization of state
government. Temporary commissions may be established by law and need not be allocated
within a principal department. Nothing in this section shall supersede the provisions of section
13, article XII, of this constitution, except that the classified civil service of the state shall not
extend to heads of principal departments established pursuant to this section.
Source: L. 66: Entire section added, see L. 67, p. 1 of the supplement to the 1967
Session Laws. L. 69: Entire section amended, p. 1246, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, December 7, 1970. L. 2004: Entire section amended, p. 2745, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2005, p. 2341, December 1, 2004.
Section 23. Commissioner of insurance. The governor shall nominate and, by and with
the consent of the senate, appoint the commissioner of insurance to serve at his pleasure, and the
state personnel system shall not extend to the commissioner of insurance.
Source: L. 84: Entire section added, p. 1153, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 85, p. 1783, January 14, 1985.
ARTICLE V
Legislative Department
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007); for article, “How the Colorado General Assembly Works”, see 45
Colo. Law. 33 (Dec. 2016).
Section 1. General assembly – initiative and referendum. (1) The legislative power of
the state shall be vested in the general assembly consisting of a senate and house of
representatives, both to be elected by the people, but the people reserve to themselves the power
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to propose laws and amendments to the constitution and to enact or reject the same at the polls
independent of the general assembly and also reserve power at their own option to approve or
reject at the polls any act or item, section, or part of any act of the general assembly.
(2) The first power hereby reserved by the people is the initiative, and signatures by
registered electors in an amount equal to at least five percent of the total number of votes cast for
all candidates for the office of secretary of state at the previous general election shall be required
to propose any measure by petition, and every such petition shall include the full text of the
measure so proposed. Initiative petitions for state legislation and amendments to the constitution,
in such form as may be prescribed pursuant to law, shall be addressed to and filed with the
secretary of state at least three months before the general election at which they are to be voted
upon.
(2.5) In order to make it more difficult to amend this constitution, a petition for an
initiated constitutional amendment shall be signed by registered electors who reside in each state
senate district in Colorado in an amount equal to at least two percent of the total registered
electors in the senate district provided that the total number of signatures of registered electors
on the petition shall at least equal the number of signatures required by subsection (2) of this
section. For purposes of this subsection (2.5), the number and boundaries of the senate districts
and the number of registered electors in the senate districts shall be those in effect at the time the
form of the petition has been approved for circulation as provided by law.
(3) The second power hereby reserved is the referendum, and it may be ordered, except
as to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, and
appropriations for the support and maintenance of the departments of state and state institutions,
against any act or item, section, or part of any act of the general assembly, either by a petition
signed by registered electors in an amount equal to at least five percent of the total number of
votes cast for all candidates for the office of the secretary of state at the previous general election
or by the general assembly. Referendum petitions, in such form as may be prescribed pursuant to
law, shall be addressed to and filed with the secretary of state not more than ninety days after the
final adjournment of the session of the general assembly that passed the bill on which the
referendum is demanded. The filing of a referendum petition against any item, section, or part of
any act shall not delay the remainder of the act from becoming operative.
(4) (a) The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures initiated by or
referred to the people. All elections on measures initiated by or referred to the people of the state
shall be held at the biennial regular general election, and all such measures shall become the law
or a part of the constitution, when approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon or, if
applicable the number of votes required pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (4), and not
otherwise, and shall take effect from and after the date of the official declaration of the vote
thereon by proclamation of the governor, but not later than thirty days after the vote has been
canvassed. This section shall not be construed to deprive the general assembly of the power to
enact any measure.
(b) In order to make it more difficult to amend this constitution, an initiated
constitutional amendment shall not become part of this constitution unless the amendment is
approved by at least fifty-five percent of the votes cast thereon; except that this paragraph (b)
shall not apply to an initiated constitutional amendment that is limited to repealing, in whole or
in part, any provision of this constitution.
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(5) The original draft of the text of proposed initiated constitutional amendments and
initiated laws shall be submitted to the legislative research and drafting offices of the general
assembly for review and comment. No later than two weeks after submission of the original
draft, unless withdrawn by the proponents, the legislative research and drafting offices of the
general assembly shall render their comments to the proponents of the proposed measure at a
meeting open to the public, which shall be held only after full and timely notice to the public.
Such meeting shall be held prior to the fixing of a ballot title. Neither the general assembly nor
its committees or agencies shall have any power to require the amendment, modification, or
other alteration of the text of any such proposed measure or to establish deadlines for the
submission of the original draft of the text of any proposed measure.
(5.5) No measure shall be proposed by petition containing more than one subject, which
shall be clearly expressed in its title; but if any subject shall be embraced in any measure which
shall not be expressed in the title, such measure shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall
not be so expressed. If a measure contains more than one subject, such that a ballot title cannot
be fixed that clearly expresses a single subject, no title shall be set and the measure shall not be
submitted to the people for adoption or rejection at the polls. In such circumstance, however, the
measure may be revised and resubmitted for the fixing of a proper title without the necessity of
review and comment on the revised measure in accordance with subsection (5) of this section,
unless the revisions involve more than the elimination of provisions to achieve a single subject,
or unless the official or officials responsible for the fixing of a title determine that the revisions
are so substantial that such review and comment is in the public interest. The revision and
resubmission of a measure in accordance with this subsection (5.5) shall not operate to alter or
extend any filing deadline applicable to the measure.
(6) The petition shall consist of sheets having such general form printed or written at the
top thereof as shall be designated or prescribed by the secretary of state; such petition shall be
signed by registered electors in their own proper persons only, to which shall be attached the
residence address of such person and the date of signing the same. To each of such petitions,
which may consist of one or more sheets, shall be attached an affidavit of some registered elector
that each signature thereon is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be and that,
to the best of the knowledge and belief of the affiant, each of the persons signing said petition
was, at the time of signing, a registered elector. Such petition so verified shall be prima facie
evidence that the signatures thereon are genuine and true and that the persons signing the same
are registered electors.
(7) The secretary of state shall submit all measures initiated by or referred to the people
for adoption or rejection at the polls, in compliance with this section. In submitting the same and
in all matters pertaining to the form of all petitions, the secretary of state and all other officers
shall be guided by the general laws.
(7.3) Before any election at which the voters of the entire state will vote on any initiated
or referred constitutional amendment or legislation, the nonpartisan research staff of the general
assembly shall cause to be published the text and title of every such measure. Such publication
shall be made at least one time in at least one legal publication of general circulation in each
county of the state and shall be made at least fifteen days prior to the final date of voter
registration for the election. The form and manner of publication shall be as prescribed by law
and shall ensure a reasonable opportunity for the voters statewide to become informed about the
text and title of each measure.
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(7.5) (a) Before any election at which the voters of the entire state will vote on any
initiated or referred constitutional amendment or legislation, the nonpartisan research staff of the
general assembly shall prepare and make available to the public the following information in the
form of a ballot information booklet:
(I) The text and title of each measure to be voted on;
(II) A fair and impartial analysis of each measure, which shall include a summary and the
major arguments both for and against the measure, and which may include any other information
that would assist understanding the purpose and effect of the measure. Any person may file
written comments for consideration by the research staff during the preparation of such analysis.
(b) At least thirty days before the election, the research staff shall cause the ballot
information booklet to be distributed to active registered voters statewide.
(c) If any measure to be voted on by the voters of the entire state includes matters arising
under section 20 of article X of this constitution, the ballot information booklet shall include the
information and the titled notice required by section 20 (3)(b) of article X, and the mailing of
such information pursuant to section 20 (3)(b) of article X is not required.
(d) The general assembly shall provide sufficient appropriations for the preparation and
distribution of the ballot information booklet pursuant to this subsection (7.5) at no charge to
recipients.
(8) The style of all laws adopted by the people through the initiative shall be, “Be it
Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado”.
(9) The initiative and referendum powers reserved to the people by this section are
hereby further reserved to the registered electors of every city, town, and municipality as to all
local, special, and municipal legislation of every character in or for their respective
municipalities. The manner of exercising said powers shall be prescribed by general laws; except
that cities, towns, and municipalities may provide for the manner of exercising the initiative and
referendum powers as to their municipal legislation. Not more than ten percent of the registered
electors may be required to order the referendum, nor more than fifteen percent to propose any
measure by the initiative in any city, town, or municipality.
(10) This section of the constitution shall be in all respects self-executing; except that the
form of the initiative or referendum petition may be prescribed pursuant to law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 37. L. 10, Ex.
Sess.: Entire section amended, p. 11. L. 79: Entire section amended, p. 1672, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 81, p. 2051, December 19, 1980. L. 93: (5.5) added, p. 2152,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 95, p. 1428, January 19, 1995. L. 94: (7)
amended and (7.3) and (7.5) added, p. 2850, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 95,
p. 1431, January 19, 1995. Initiated 2016: (2.5) added and (4) amended, Amendment 71,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2017, p. 2800, December 28, 2016.
Editor’s note: The “legislative research and drafting offices” referred to in this section
are the Legislative Council and Office of Legislative Legal Services, respectively.
Cross references: For statutory provisions regarding initiatives and referenda, see article
40 of title 1; for distribution of governmental powers, see article III of this constitution; for
proposing constitutional amendments by convention or vote of the general assembly, see article
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XIX of this constitution; for the procedure and requirements for adoption of home rule charters,
see § 9 of article XX of this constitution; for organization and operation of the general assembly,
see part 3 of article 2 of title 2.
Section 2. Election of members – oath – vacancies. (1) A general election for members
of the general assembly shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in
each even-numbered year, at such places in each county as now are or hereafter may be provided
by law.
(2) Each member of the general assembly, before he enters upon his official duties, shall
take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and of the state of
Colorado and to faithfully perform the duties of his office according to the best of his ability.
This oath or affirmation shall be administered in the chamber of the house to which the member
has been elected.
(3) Any vacancy occurring in either house by death, resignation, or otherwise shall be
filled in the manner prescribed by law. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be a
member of the same political party, if any, as the person whose termination of membership in
the general assembly created the vacancy.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 37. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 553. L. 74: Entire section amended, p. 447, effective January 1,
1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 3. Terms of senators and representatives. (1) Senators shall be elected for the
term of four years and representatives for the term of two years.
(2) In order to broaden the opportunities for public service and to assure that the general
assembly is representative of Colorado citizens, no senator shall serve more than two
consecutive terms in the senate, and no representative shall serve more than four consecutive
terms in the house of representatives. This limitation on the number of terms shall apply to terms
of office beginning on or after January 1, 1991. Any person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy
in the general assembly and who serves at least one-half of a term of office shall be considered
to have served a term in that office for purposes of this subsection (2). Terms are considered
consecutive unless they are at least four years apart.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 38. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 448, effective January 1, 1975. Initiated 90: Entire section amended,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2035, January 3, 1991.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 4. Qualifications of members. No person shall be a representative or senator
who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, who shall not be a citizen of the United
States, and who shall not for at least twelve months next preceding his election, have resided
within the territory included in the limits of the district in which he shall be chosen.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 38. L. 2000:
Entire section amended, p. 2775, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391,
December 28, 2000.
Section 5. Classification of senators. The senate shall be divided so that one-half of the
senators, as nearly as practicable, may be chosen biennially.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 38. L. 74: Entire
section R&RE, p. 448, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 6. Salary and expenses of members. Each member of the general assembly
shall receive such salary and expenses as are prescribed by law. No general assembly shall fix its
own salary. Members of the general assembly shall receive the same mileage rate permitted for
travel as other state employees.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 38. L. 1883:
Entire section amended, p. 21. L. 09: Entire section amended, p. 314. L. 74: Entire section
R&RE, p. 448, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Cross references: For compensation of members of the general assembly, see § 2-2-307.
Section 7. General assembly – shall meet when – term of members – committees. The
general assembly shall meet in regular session at 10 a.m. no later than the second Wednesday of
January of each year. The general assembly shall meet at other times when convened in special
session by the governor pursuant to section 9 of article IV of this constitution or by written
request by two-thirds of the members of each house to the presiding officer of each house to
consider only those subjects specified in such request. The term of service of the members of the
general assembly shall begin on the convening of the first regular session of the general
assembly next after their election. The committees of the general assembly, unless otherwise
provided by the general assembly, shall expire on the convening of the first regular session after
a general election. Regular sessions of the general assembly shall not exceed one hundred twenty
calendar days.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 38. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 554. L. 74: Entire section amended, p. 448, effective January 1,
1975. L. 82: Entire section amended, p. 683, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L.
83, p. 1669, December 30, 1982. L. 88: Entire section amended, p. 1451, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p. 1655, January 3, 1989.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
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Section 8. Members precluded from holding office. No senator or representative shall,
while serving as such, be appointed to any civil office under this state; and no member of
congress, or other person holding any office (except of attorney-at-law, notary public, or in the
militia) under the United States or this state, shall be a member of either house during his
continuance in office.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 38. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 449, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 9. Increase of salary – when forbidden. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39. L. 74: Entire
section repealed p. 449, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 10. Each house to choose its officers. At the beginning of the first regular
session after a general election, and at such other times as may be necessary, the senate shall
elect one of its members president, and the house of representatives shall elect one of its
members as speaker. The president and speaker shall serve as such until the election and
installation of their respective successors. Each house shall choose its other officers and shall
judge the election and qualification of its members.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 554. L. 74: Entire section amended, p. 449, effective January 1,
1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 11. Quorum. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller
number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39.
Section 12. Each house makes and enforces rules. Each house shall have power to
determine the rules of its proceedings and adopt rules providing punishment of its members or
other persons for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence; to enforce obedience to its
process; to protect its members against violence, or offers of bribes or private solicitation, and,
with the concurrence of two-thirds, to expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause,
and shall have all other powers necessary for the legislature of a free state. A member expelled
for corruption shall not thereafter be eligible to either house of the same general assembly, and
punishment for contempt or disorderly behavior shall not bar a prosecution for the same offense.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 449, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 13. Journal – ayes and noes to be entered – when. Each house shall keep a
journal of its proceedings and publish the same, except such parts as require secrecy, and the
ayes and noes on any question shall, at the desire of any two members, be entered on the journal.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 449, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Cross references: For the publication of senate and house journals, see § 2-2-310.
Section 14. Open sessions. The sessions of each house, and of the committees of the
whole, shall be open, unless when the business is such as ought to be kept secret.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39.
Section 15. Adjournment for more than three days. Neither house shall, without the
consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which
the two houses shall be sitting.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39.
Section 16. Privileges of members. The members of the general assembly shall, in all
cases except treason or felony, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions
of their respective houses, or any committees thereof, and in going to and returning from the
same; and for any speech or debate in either house, or any committees thereof, they shall not be
questioned in any other place.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 39. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 449, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 17. No law passed but by bill – amendments. No law shall be passed except by
bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended on its passage through either house as to change
its original purpose.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40.
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Section 18. Enacting clause. The style of the laws of this state shall be: “Be it enacted
by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado”.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40.
Section 19. When laws take effect – introduction of bills. An act of the general
assembly shall take effect on the date stated in the act, or, if no date is stated in the act, then on
its passage. A bill may be introduced at any time during the session unless limited by action of
the general assembly. No bill shall be introduced by title only.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40. L. 1883:
Entire section amended, p. 21. L. 18: Entire section amended, see L. 19, p. 344. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 554.
Section 20. Bills referred to committee – printed. No bill shall be considered or
become a law unless referred to a committee, returned therefrom, and printed for the use of the
members. Every measure referred to a committee of reference of either house shall be considered
by the committee upon its merits, and no rule of either house shall deny the opportunity for
consideration and vote by a committee of reference upon such a measure within appropriate
deadlines. A motion that the committee report the measure favorably to the committee of the
whole, with or without amendments, shall always be in order within appropriate deadlines. Each
measure reported to the committee of the whole shall appear on the appropriate house calendar
in the order in which it was reported out of the committee of reference and within appropriate
deadlines.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40. Initiated 88:
Entire section amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p. 1664, January 3,
1989.
Section 21. Bill to contain but one subject – expressed in title. No bill, except general
appropriation bills, shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly
expressed in its title; but if any subject shall be embraced in any act which shall not be expressed
in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be so expressed.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40.
Cross references: For amendments to the state constitution, see article XIX of this
constitution; for general appropriation bills, see § 32 of this article.
Section 22. Reading and passage of bills. Every bill shall be read by title when
introduced, and at length on two different days in each house; provided, however, any reading at
length may be dispensed with upon unanimous consent of the members present. All substantial
amendments made thereto shall be printed for the use of the members before the final vote is
taken on the bill, and no bill shall become a law except by a vote of the majority of all members
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elected to each house taken on two separate days in each house, nor unless upon its final passage
the vote be taken by ayes and noes and the names of those voting be entered on the journal.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40. L. 1883:
Entire section amended, p. 22. L. 50: Entire section amended, see L. 51, p. 554.
Cross references: For publication of senate and house journals, see § 2-2-310.
Section 22a. Caucus positions prohibited – penalties. (1) No member or members of
the general assembly shall require or commit themselves or any other member or members,
through a vote in a party caucus or any other similar procedure, to vote in favor of or against any
bill, appointment, veto, or other measure or issue pending or proposed to be introduced in the
general assembly.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a member or
members of the general assembly may vote in party caucus on matters directly relating to the
selection of officers of a party caucus and the selection of the leadership of the general assembly.
Source: Initiated 88: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor.
L. 89, p. 1664, January 3, 1989.
Section 22b. Effect of sections 20 and 22a. Any action taken in violation of section 20
or 22a of this constitution shall be null and void.
Source: Initiated 88: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 89, p. 1665, January 3, 1989.
Section 23. Vote on amendments and report of committee. No amendment to any bill
by one house shall be concurred in by the other nor shall the report of any committee of
conference be adopted in either house except by a vote of a majority of the members elected
thereto, taken by ayes and noes, and the names of those voting recorded upon the journal thereof.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40.
Cross references: For the provision that amendments be printed before final vote, see §
22 of this article.
Section 24. Revival, amendment or extension of laws. No law shall be revived, or
amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred by reference to its title only, but so
much thereof as is revived, amended, extended or conferred, shall be re-enacted and published at
length.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 40.
Cross references: For the repeal of a repealing statute, see § 2-4-302.
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Section 25. Special legislation prohibited. The general assembly shall not pass local or
special laws in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say; for granting divorces;
laying out, opening, altering or working roads or highways; vacating roads, town plats, streets,
alleys and public grounds; locating or changing county seats; regulating county or township
affairs; regulating the practice in courts of justice; regulating the jurisdiction and duties of police
magistrates; changing the rules of evidence in any trial or inquiry; providing for changes of
venue in civil or criminal cases; declaring any person of age; for limitation of civil actions or
giving effect to informal or invalid deeds; summoning or impaneling grand or petit juries;
providing for the management of common schools; regulating the rate of interest on money; the
opening or conducting of any election, or designating the place of voting; the sale or mortgage of
real estate belonging to minors or others under disability; the protection of game or fish;
chartering or licensing ferries or toll bridges; remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures; creating,
increasing or decreasing fees, percentage or allowances of public officers; changing the law of
descent; granting to any corporation, association or individual the right to lay down railroad
tracks; granting to any corporation, association or individual any special or exclusive privilege,
immunity or franchise whatever. In all other cases, where a general law can be made applicable
no special law shall be enacted.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 41. L. 2000:
Entire section amended, p. 2775, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391,
December 28, 2000.
Section 25a. Eight-hour employment. (1) The general assembly shall provide by law,
and shall prescribe suitable penalties for the violation thereof, for a period of employment not to
exceed eight (8) hours within any twenty-four (24) hours (except in cases of emergency where
life or property is in imminent danger) for persons employed in underground mines or other
underground workings, blast furnaces, smelters; and any ore reduction works or other branch of
industry or labor that the general assembly may consider injurious or dangerous to health, life or
limb.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, the
general assembly may establish whatever exceptions it deems appropriate to the eight-hour
workday.
Source: L. 01: Entire section added, p. 108. L. 88: Entire section amended, p. 1453,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p. 1657, January 3, 1989.
Cross references: For provisions regulating hours of labor, see article 13 of title 8.
Section 26. Signing of bills. The presiding officer of each house shall sign all bills and
joint resolutions passed by the general assembly, and the fact of signing shall be entered on or
appended to the journal thereof.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 41. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 450, effective January 1, 1975.
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Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 27. Officers and employees – compensation. The general assembly shall
prescribe by law or by joint resolution the number, duties, and compensation of the appointed
officers and employees of each house and of the two houses, and no payment shall be made from
the state treasury, or be in any way authorized to any person except to an officer or employee
appointed and acting pursuant to law or joint resolution.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 41. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 555. L. 74: Entire section amended, p. 450, effective January 1,
1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Cross references: For legislative employees and the compensation thereof, see §§ 2-2-
305, 2-2-307 to 2-2-309, and 2-2-317 to 2-2-319.
Section 28. Extra compensation to officers, employees, or contractors forbidden. No
bill shall be passed giving any extra compensation to any public officer or employee, agent, or
contractor after services have been rendered or contract made nor providing for the payment of
any claim made against the state without previous authority of law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 41. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 450, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Cross references: For provision that salaries of executive officers shall not be increased
during their term, see § 19 of article IV of this constitution.
Section 29. Contracts for facilities and supplies. All stationery, printing, paper, and
fuel used in the legislative and other departments of government shall be furnished; and the
printing and binding and distributing of the laws, journals, department reports, and other printing
and binding; and the repairing and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meeting of the
general assembly and its committees, shall be performed under contract, to be given to the
lowest responsible bidder, below such maximum price and under such regulations as may be
prescribed by law. No member or officer of any department of the government shall be in any
way interested in any such contract; and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the
governor or his designee.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 41. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 450, effective July 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
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Cross references: For the publication of senate and house journals, see § 2-2-310; for
provisions concerning contracts for public printing, see part 2 of article 70 of title 24; for the
publication of the opinions of the supreme court, see § 13-2-122.
Section 30. Salary of governor and judges to be fixed by the legislature – term not to
be extended or salaries increased or decreased. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42. L. 1881:
Entire section amended, p. 63. L. 28: Entire section amended, see L. 29, p. 286. L. 74: Entire
section repealed, p. 450, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 31. Revenue bills. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of
representatives; but the senate may propose amendments, as in the case of other bills.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42.
Section 32. Appropriation bills. The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing
but appropriations for the expense of the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the
state, state institutions, interest on the public debt and for public schools. All other
appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 555.
Cross references: For subjects and titles of appropriation bills, see § 21 of this article.
Section 33. Disbursement of public money. No moneys in the state treasury shall be
disbursed therefrom by the treasurer except upon appropriations made by law, or otherwise
authorized by law, and any amount disbursed shall be substantiated by vouchers signed and
approved in the manner prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42. L. 74: Entire
section R&RE, p. 450, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 34. Appropriations to private institutions forbidden. No appropriation shall
be made for charitable, industrial, educational or benevolent purposes to any person, corporation
or community not under the absolute control of the state, nor to any denominational or sectarian
institution or association.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42.
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Section 35. Delegation of power. The general assembly shall not delegate to any special
commission, private corporation or association, any power to make, supervise or interfere with
any municipal improvement, money, property or effects, whether held in trust or otherwise, or to
levy taxes or perform any municipal function whatever.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42.
Cross references: For distribution of governmental powers, see article III of this
constitution.
Section 36. Laws on investment of trust funds. The general assembly shall, from time
to time, enact laws prescribing types or classes of investments for the investment of funds held
by executors, administrators, guardians, conservators and other trustees, whose power of
investment is not set out in the instrument creating the trust.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 555.
Section 37. Change of venue. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 42. L. 74: Entire
section repealed, p. 451, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 38. No liability exchanged or released. No obligation or liability of any person,
association, or corporation, held or owned by the state, or any municipal corporation therein,
shall ever be exchanged, transferred, remitted, released, or postponed or in any way diminished
by the general assembly, nor shall such liability or obligation be extinguished except by payment
thereof into the proper treasury. This section shall not prohibit the write-off or release of
uncollectible accounts as provided by general law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 43. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 451, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 39. Orders and resolutions presented to governor. Every order, resolution or
vote to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on the question of
adjournment, or relating solely to the transaction of business of the two houses, shall be
presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect, be approved by him, or being
disapproved, shall be re-passed by two-thirds of both houses, according to the rules and
limitations prescribed in case of a bill.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 43.
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Section 40. Bribery and influence in general assembly. If any person elected to either
house of the general assembly shall offer or promise to give his vote or influence in favor of or
against any measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced in the general assembly
in consideration or upon condition that any other person elected to the same general assembly
will give or will promise or assent to give his vote or influence in favor of or against any other
measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced in such general assembly, the
person making such offer or promise, shall be deemed guilty of solicitation of bribery. If any
member of the general assembly shall give his vote or influence for or against any measure or
proposition pending in such general assembly, or offer, promise or assent so to do, upon
condition that any other member will give or will promise or assent to give his vote or influence
in favor of or against any other measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced in
such general assembly, or in consideration that any other member hath given his vote or
influence for or against any other measure or proposition in such general assembly, he shall be
deemed guilty of bribery; and any member of the general assembly, or person elected thereto,
who shall be guilty of either of such offenses shall be expelled, and shall not be thereafter
eligible to the same general assembly; and, on conviction thereof in the civil courts, shall be
liable to such further penalty as may be prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 43.
Cross references: For the crime of bribery, see part 3 of article 8 of title 18.
Section 41. Offering, giving, promising money or other consideration. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 43. L. 74: Entire
section repealed, p. 451, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 42. Corrupt solicitation of members and officers. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 44. L. 74: Entire
section repealed, p. 451, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 43. Member interested shall not vote. A member who has a personal or private
interest in any measure or bill proposed or pending before the general assembly, shall disclose
the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 44.
Congressional and Legislative Apportionments
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Section 44. Representatives in congress – congressional districts – commission
created. (1) Declaration of the people. The people of the state of Colorado find and declare
that:
(a) The practice of political gerrymandering, whereby congressional districts are
purposefully drawn to favor one political party or incumbent politician over another, must end;
(b) The public’s interest in prohibiting political gerrymandering is best achieved by
creating a new and independent commission that is politically balanced, provides representation
to voters not affiliated with either of the state’s two largest parties, and utilizes nonpartisan
legislative staff to draw maps;
(c) The redistricting commission should set district lines by ensuring constitutionally
guaranteed voting rights, including the protection of minority group voting, as well as fair and
effective representation of constituents using politically neutral criteria;
(d) Competitive elections for members of the United States house of representatives
provide voters with a meaningful choice among candidates, promote a healthy democracy, help
ensure that constituents receive fair and effective representation, and contribute to the political
well-being of key communities of interest and political subdivisions;
(e) For years certain political interests opposed competitive districts in Colorado because
they are primarily concerned about maintaining their own political power at the expense of fair
and effective representation; and
(f) Citizens want and deserve an inclusive and meaningful congressional redistricting
process that provides the public with the ability to be heard as redistricting maps are drawn, to be
able to watch the witnesses who deliver testimony and the redistricting commission’s
deliberations, and to have their written comments considered before any proposed map is voted
upon by the commission as the final map.
(2) Congressional districts – commission created. There is hereby created the
independent congressional redistricting commission. The commission shall divide the state into
as many congressional districts as there are representatives in congress apportioned to this state
by the congress of the United States for the election of one representative to congress from each
district. When a new apportionment is made by congress, the commission shall divide the state
into congressional districts accordingly.
(3) Definitions. As used in this section and in sections 44.1 through 44.6 of this article V,
unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) “Commission” means the independent congressional redistricting commission created
in subsection (2) of this section.
(b) (I) “Community of interest” means any group in Colorado that shares one or more
substantial interests that may be the subject of federal legislative action, is composed of a
reasonably proximate population, and thus should be considered for inclusion within a single
district for purposes of ensuring its fair and effective representation.
(II) Such interests include but are not limited to matters reflecting:
(A) Shared public policy concerns of urban, rural, agricultural, industrial, or trade areas;
and
(B) Shared public policy concerns such as education, employment, environment, public
health, transportation, water needs and supplies, and issues of demonstrable regional
significance.
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(III) Groups that may comprise a community of interest include racial, ethnic, and
language minority groups, subject to compliance with subsections (1)(b) and (4)(b) of section
44.3 of this article V, which subsections protect against the denial or abridgement of the right to
vote due to a person’s race or language minority group.
(IV) “Community of interest” does not include relationships with political parties,
incumbents, or political candidates.
(c) “Race” or “racial” means a category of race or ethnic origin documented in the federal
decennial census.
(d) “Redistricting year” means the year following the year in which the federal decennial
census is taken.
(e) “Staff” or “nonpartisan staff” means the staff of the general assembly’s legislative
council and office of legislative legal services, or their successor offices, who are assigned to
assist the commission by the directors of those offices in accordance with section 44.2 of this
article V.
(4) Adjustment of dates. If any date prescribed in sections 44.1 through 44.5 of this
article V falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the date is extended to the next day
that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 44. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 451, effective January 1, 1975. Referred 2018: Entire section amended,
Amendment Y, L. 2018, p. 3082, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19,
2018. See L. 2019, p. 4542.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 44.1. Commission composition and appointment – vacancies. (1) After each
federal decennial census of the United States, the members of the commission shall be appointed
and convened as prescribed in this section.
(2) The commission consists of twelve members who have the following qualifications:
(a) Commissioners must be registered electors who voted in both of the previous two
general elections in Colorado;
(b) Commissioners must either have been unaffiliated with any political party or have
been affiliated with the same political party for a consecutive period of no less than five years at
the time of the application; and
(c) No person may be appointed to or serve on the commission if he or she:
(I) Is or has been a candidate for federal elective office within the last five years
preceding the date on which applications for appointment to the commission are due under
subsection (4) of this section;
(II) Is or has been, within the last three years preceding the date on which applications for
appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4) of this section, compensated by a
member of, or a campaign committee advocating the election of a candidate to, the United States
house of representatives or the United States senate;
(III) Is or has been, within the last three years preceding the date on which applications
for appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4) of this section, an elected public
official at the federal, state, county, or municipal level in Colorado;
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(IV) Is or has been, within the last three years preceding the date on which applications
for appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4) of this section, an elected
political party official above the precinct level in Colorado or an employee of a political party;
(V) Is a member of the commission responsible for dividing the state into senatorial and
representative districts of the general assembly; or
(VI) Is or has been a professional lobbyist registered to lobby with the state of Colorado,
with any municipality in Colorado, or at the federal level within the last three years preceding
the date on which applications for appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4)
of this section.
(3) (a) By August 10 of the year prior to the redistricting year, nonpartisan staff shall,
after holding one or more public hearings, prepare an application form that will allow appointing
authorities to evaluate a person’s experience and qualifications and make such application
available on the general assembly’s website or comparable means of communicating with the
public.
(b) The application form must clearly state the legal obligations and expectations of
potential appointees. Information required of applicants must include, but is not necessarily
limited to, professional background, party affiliation, a description of past political activity, a list
of all political and civic organizations to which the applicant has belonged within the previous
five years, and whether the applicant meets the qualifications stated in subsection (2) of this
section. In addition, the application form must require the applicant to explain why they want to
serve on the commission and afford the applicant an opportunity to make a statement about how
they will promote consensus among commissioners if appointed to the commission. Applicants
may also choose to include up to four letters of recommendation with their application.
(4) By November 10 of the year prior to the redistricting year, any person who seeks to
serve on the commission must submit a completed application to nonpartisan staff. All
applications are public records and must be posted promptly after receipt on the general
assembly’s website or comparable means of communicating with the public.
(5) (a) No later than January 5 of the redistricting year, the chief justice of the Colorado
supreme court shall designate a panel to review the applications. The panel must consist of the
three justices or judges who most recently retired from the Colorado supreme court or the
Colorado court of appeals, appointed sequentially starting with the most recent justice or judge
to retire who has been affiliated with the same political party or unaffiliated with any political
party for the two years prior to appointment; except that no appointee, within two years prior to
appointment, shall have been affiliated with the same political party as a justice or judge already
appointed to the panel. If any of the three justices or judges who most recently retired from the
Colorado supreme court or the Colorado court of appeals is unable or unwilling to serve on the
panel or has been affiliated within two years prior to appointment with a political party already
represented on the panel, then the chief justice shall appoint the next justice or judge who most
recently retired from the Colorado supreme court or the Colorado court of appeals and who has
not been affiliated within two years prior to appointment with the same political party as any
justice or judge already appointed to the panel. If, after considering all justices and judges who
have retired from the Colorado supreme court and the Colorado court of appeals, fewer than
three eligible participants for the panel have been identified who are able and willing to serve,
the chief justice shall appoint the most recently retired district court judge who has not been
affiliated within two years prior to appointment with the same political party as any previous
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appointee to the panel and who accepts such appointment. No justice or judge shall serve both on
this panel and the panel assisting in the process of choosing members of the commission
responsible for dividing the state into state senate and state house of representatives districts.
(b) All decisions of the panel regarding the selection of applicants pursuant to this section
require the affirmative approval of all three members of the panel.
(c) The general assembly shall prescribe by law the compensation of members of the
panel. Nonpartisan staff shall assist the panel in carrying out its duties.
(6) After applications are submitted, nonpartisan staff, with the cooperation and
assistance of the secretary of state, shall make an objective and factual finding based on, to the
extent possible, publicly available information, including information contained in the
application and information contained within the records maintained by the secretary of state,
whether each applicant meets the qualifications specified in subsection (2) of this section. No
later than January 11 of the redistricting year, nonpartisan staff shall make its findings publicly
available and notify the applicants of the staff’s finding. If the staff finds that an applicant is not
eligible, then the staff shall include the reasons in its finding.
(7) By January 18 of the redistricting year, the panel, in a public meeting, shall randomly
select by lot from all of the applicants who were found to meet the qualifications specified in
subsection (2) of this section the names of three hundred applicants who are affiliated with the
state’s largest political party, three hundred applicants who are affiliated with the state’s second
largest political party, and four hundred fifty applicants who are not affiliated with any political
party, or such lesser number as there are total applicants who meet the qualifications specified in
subsection (2) of this section for each of those groups.
(8) (a) In one or more public hearings conducted on or before February 1 of the
redistricting year, after reviewing the applications of the applicants selected in accordance with
subsection (7) of this section, the panel shall identify fifty applicants who are affiliated with the
state’s largest political party, fifty applicants who are affiliated with the state’s second largest
political party, and fifty applicants who are unaffiliated with any political party and who best
demonstrate:
(I) Experience in organizing, representing, advocating for, adjudicating the interests of,
or actively participating in groups, organizations, or associations in Colorado; and
(II) Relevant analytical skills, the ability to be impartial, and the ability to promote
consensus on the commission.
(b) No later than February 1 of the redistricting year, from the applicants identified in
subsection (8)(a) of this section, the panel shall choose by lot six applicants to serve on the
commission as follows:
(I) Two commissioners who are not affiliated with any political party;
(II) Two commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s largest political party; and
(III) Two commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s second largest political party.
(c) In the process of choosing applicants by lot for appointment to the commission, no
applicant whose name is chosen may be appointed if he or she is registered to vote in a
congressional district that is already represented on the commission; except that, when all thenexisting congressional districts in Colorado are represented on the commission, a congressional
district may be represented by a second commissioner. No congressional district may be
represented by more than two commissioners. Any persons whose names are chosen but
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duplicate a congressional district’s representation on the commission and are not appointed to the
commission shall be eligible for appointment pursuant to subsections (9) and (10) of this section.
(9) (a) By February 16 of the redistricting year, the majority leader of the state senate, the
minority leader of the state senate, the majority leader of the state house of representatives, and
the minority leader of the state house of representatives shall each select a pool of ten applicants
who are affiliated with one of the state’s two largest political parties from all applications
submitted to nonpartisan staff and notify the panel of their selections.
(b) As determined by the legislative leaders in selecting their respective pools, the
applicants selected for each pool must meet the qualifications set forth in subsection (2) of this
section and demonstrate the qualities listed in subsection (8)(a) of this section.
(c) For each congressional district not represented by a commissioner appointed pursuant
to subsections (8)(b) and (8)(c) of this section, each pool must consist of at least one applicant
who is registered to vote in that congressional district.
(d) If there is an insufficient number of available applicants that meet the requirements of
subsection (9)(b) of this section to select any complete pool, then the pool must consist of only
those applicants who meet those requirements.
(10) By March 1 of the redistricting year, the panel of judges shall select, in such order as
the panel determines, one commissioner from each legislative leader’s pool of applicants and two
commissioners from those applicants who are not affiliated with any political party and whose
names were randomly selected by lot pursuant to subsection (7) of this section. The panel of
judges must ensure that the commission includes four commissioners who are not affiliated with
any political party, four commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s largest political party,
and four commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s second largest political party. The
panel of judges may interview applicants before making the appointments. In selecting
applicants, the panel shall, in addition to considering applicants’ other qualifications:
(a) To the extent possible, ensure that the commission reflects Colorado’s racial, ethnic,
gender, and geographic diversity;
(b) Ensure that at least one commissioner is registered to vote in each congressional
district but no more than two commissioners are registered to vote in any single congressional
district;
(c) Ensure that at least one commissioner resides west of the continental divide; and
(d) Ensure that all commissioners meet the qualifications set forth in subsection (2) of
this section and demonstrate the qualities listed in subsection (8)(a) of this section.
(11) (a) A commissioner’s position on the commission will be deemed vacant if he or she,
having been appointed as a registered elector who is not affiliated with a political party, affiliates
with a political party before the supreme court has approved a plan pursuant to section 44.5 of
this article V. A commissioner’s position on the commission will also be deemed vacant if he or
she, having been affiliated with one of the state’s two largest political parties at the time of
appointment, affiliates with a different political party or becomes unaffiliated with any political
party before the supreme court has approved a plan pursuant to section 44.5 of this article V.
(b) Any vacancy on the commission, including one that occurs due to death, resignation,
removal, failure to meet the qualifications of appointment, refusal or inability to accept an
appointment, or otherwise, must be filled as soon as possible by the designated appointing
authority from the designated pool of eligible applicants for that commissioner’s position and in
the same manner as the originally chosen commissioner; except that no commissioner chosen to
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fill a vacancy will be bypassed for appointment if all congressional districts are already
represented on the commission.
(12) For purposes of this section, the state’s two largest political parties shall be
determined by the number of registered electors affiliated with each political party in the state
according to voter registration data published by the secretary of state for the earliest day in
January of the redistricting year for which such data is published.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Y, L. 2018, p. 3084, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4542.
Section 44.2. Commission organization – procedures – transparency – voting
requirements. (1) Initial organization, officers, procedures, rules, and transparency. (a) The
governor shall convene the commission no later than March 15 of the redistricting year and
appoint a temporary chairperson from the commission’s members. Upon convening, the
commission shall elect a chair and a vice-chair, who are not members of the same political party,
and other such officers as it determines.
(b) The director of research of the legislative council and the director of the office of
legislative legal services, or the directors of successor nonpartisan offices of the general
assembly, shall appoint nonpartisan staff from their respective offices as needed to assist the
commission and the panel of judges as described in section 44.1 of this article V. Nonpartisan
staff shall acquire and prepare all necessary resources, including computer hardware, software,
and demographic, geographic, and political databases, as far in advance as necessary to enable
the commission to begin its work immediately upon convening.
(c) The commission may retain legal counsel in all actions and proceedings in connection
with the performance of its powers, duties, and functions, including representation of the
commission before any court.
(d) The general assembly shall appropriate sufficient funds for the payment of the
expenses of the commission, the compensation and expenses of nonpartisan staff, and the
compensation and expenses of the panel of judges as described in section 44.1 of this article V.
Members of the commission shall be reimbursed for their reasonable and necessary expenses and
may also receive such per diem allowance as may be established by the general assembly.
Subject to available appropriations, hardware and software necessary for the development of
plans may, at the request of any commissioner, be provided to the commissioner. The
commission and its staff must have access to statistical information compiled by the state and its
political subdivisions as necessary for its duties. State agencies and political subdivisions shall
comply with requests from the commission and its staff for such statistical information.
(e) The commission shall adopt rules to govern its administration and operation. The
commission must provide at least seventy-two hours of advance public notice of all proposed
rules prior to consideration for adoption; except that proposed rules may be amended during
commission deliberations without such advance notice of specific, related amendments. Neither
the commission’s procedural rules nor its mapping decisions are subject to the “State
Administrative Procedure Act”, article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor statute. Rules must
include but need not be limited to the following:
(I) The hearing process and review of maps submitted for its consideration;
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(II) Maintenance of a record of the commission’s activities and proceedings, including a
record of written and oral testimony received, and of the commission’s directions to nonpartisan
staff on proposed changes to any plan and the commission’s rationale for such changes;
(III) The process for removing commissioners for participating in communications
prohibited under this section;
(IV) The process for recommending changes to plans submitted to the commission by
nonpartisan staff; and
(V) The adoption of a statewide meeting and hearing schedule, including the necessary
elements of electronic attendance at a commission hearing.
(2) Voting requirements. A simple majority of the appointed commissioners may
approve rules and procedural decisions. The election of the commission’s chair and vice-chair
requires the affirmative vote of at least eight commissioners, including the affirmative vote of at
least one commissioner who is unaffiliated with any political party. Removal of any
commissioner as provided in this section requires the affirmative vote of at least eight
commissioners, including the affirmative vote of at least two commissioners who are unaffiliated
with any political party. Adoption of the final plan for submission to the supreme court and the
adoption of a revised plan after a plan is returned to the commission from the supreme court
requires the affirmative vote of at least eight commissioners, including the affirmative vote of at
least two commissioners who are unaffiliated with any political party. The commission shall not
vote upon a final plan until at least seventy-two hours after it has been proposed to the
commission in a public meeting or at least seventy-two hours after it has been amended by the
commission in a public meeting, whichever occurs later; except that commissioners may
unanimously waive the seventy-two hour requirement.
(3) Public involvement – hearing process. (a) All Colorado residents, including
individual commissioners, may present proposed redistricting maps or written comments, or
both, for the commission’s consideration.
(b) The commission must, to the maximum extent practicable, provide opportunities for
Colorado residents to present testimony at hearings held throughout the state. The commission
shall not approve a redistricting map until at least three hearings have been held in each
congressional district, including at least one hearing that is held in a location west of the
continental divide and at least one hearing that is held in a location east of the continental divide
and either south of El Paso county’s southern boundary or east of Arapahoe county’s eastern
boundary. No gathering of commissioners can be considered a hearing for this purpose unless it
is attended, in person or electronically, by at least ten commissioners. The commission shall
establish by rule the necessary elements of electronic attendance at a commission hearing.
(c) The commission shall maintain a website or comparable means of communicating
with the public through which any Colorado resident may submit proposed maps or written
comments, or both, without attending a hearing of the commission.
(d) The commission shall publish all written comments pertaining to redistricting on its
website or comparable means of communicating with the public as well as the name of the
Colorado resident submitting such comments. If the commission or nonpartisan staff have a
substantial basis to believe that the person submitting such comments has not truthfully or
accurately identified himself or herself, the commission need not consider and need not publish
such comments but must notify the commenter in writing of this fact. The commission may
withhold comments, in whole or in part, from the website or comparable means of
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communicating with the public that do not relate to redistricting maps, policies, or communities
of interest.
(e) The commission shall provide simultaneous access to the regional hearings by
broadcasting them via its website or comparable means of communicating with the public and
maintain an archive of such hearings for online public review.
(4) Ethical obligations – transparency – lobbyist reporting. (a) Commissioners are
guardians of the public trust and are subject to antibribery and abuse of public office
requirements as provided in parts 3 and 4 of article 8 of title 18, C.R.S., as amended, or any
successor statute.
(b) To ensure transparency in the redistricting process:
(I) (A) The commission and the commissioners are subject to open meetings
requirements as provided in part 4 of article 6 of title 24, C.R.S., as amended, or any successor
statute.
(B) Except as provided in subsection (4)(b)(I)(D) of this section, a commissioner shall
not communicate with nonpartisan staff on the mapping of congressional districts unless the
communication is during a public meeting or hearing of the commission.
(C) Except for public input and comment, nonpartisan staff shall not have any
communications about the content or development of any plan outside of public hearings with
anyone except other staff members. Nonpartisan staff shall report to the commission any attempt
by anyone to exert influence over the staff’s role in the drafting of plans.
(D) One or more nonpartisan staff may be designated to communicate with
commissioners regarding administrative matters, the definition and scope of which shall be
determined by the commission.
(E) Any commissioner who participates in a communication prohibited in this section
must be removed from the commission, and such vacancy must be filled within seven days.
(II) The commission, each commissioner, and nonpartisan staff are subject to open
records requirements as provided in part 1 of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S., as amended, or any
successor statute; except that maps in draft form and not submitted to the commission are not
public records subject to disclosure. Work product and communications among nonpartisan staff
are subject to disclosure once a plan is submitted to the supreme court.
(III) Persons who contract for or receive compensation for advocating to the commission,
to one or more commissioners, or to the nonpartisan staff for the adoption or rejection of any
map, amendment to a map, mapping approach, or manner of compliance with any of the
mapping criteria specified in section 44.3 of this article V are lobbyists who must disclose to the
secretary of state any compensation contracted for, compensation received, and the person or
entity contracting or paying for their lobbying services. Such disclosure must be made no later
than seventy-two hours after the earlier of each instance of such lobbying or any payment of
such compensation. The secretary of state shall publish on the secretary of state’s website or
comparable means of communicating with the public the names of such lobbyists as well as the
compensation received and the persons or entities for whom they work within twenty-four hours
of receiving such information. The secretary of state shall adopt rules to facilitate the complete
and prompt reporting required by this subsection (4)(b)(III) as well as a complaint process to
address any lobbyist’s failure to report a full and accurate disclosure, which complaint must be
heard by an administrative law judge, whose decision may be appealed to the court of appeals.
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Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Y, L. 2018, p. 3088, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4542.
Section 44.3. Criteria for determinations of congressional districts – definition. (1) In
adopting a congressional redistricting plan, the commission shall:
(a) Make a good-faith effort to achieve precise mathematical population equality between
districts, justifying each variance, no matter how small, as required by the constitution of the
United States. Districts must be composed of contiguous geographic areas;
(b) Comply with the federal “Voting Rights Act of 1965”, 52 U.S.C. sec. 50301, as
amended.
(2) (a) As much as is reasonably possible, the commission’s plan must preserve whole
communities of interest and whole political subdivisions, such as counties, cities, and towns.
(b) Districts must be as compact as is reasonably possible.
(3) (a) Thereafter, the commission shall, to the extent possible, maximize the number of
politically competitive districts.
(b) In its hearings in various locations in the state, the commission shall solicit evidence
relevant to competitiveness of elections in Colorado and shall assess such evidence in evaluating
proposed maps.
(c) When the commission approves a plan, or when nonpartisan staff submits a plan in
the absence of the commission’s approval of a plan as provided in section 44.4 of this article V,
the nonpartisan staff shall, within seventy-two hours of such action, make publicly available, and
include in the commission’s record, a report to demonstrate how the plan reflects the evidence
presented to, and the findings concerning, the extent to which competitiveness in district
elections is fostered consistent with the other criteria set forth in this section.
(d) For purposes of this subsection (3), “competitive” means having a reasonable
potential for the party affiliation of the district’s representative to change at least once between
federal decennial censuses. Competitiveness may be measured by factors such as a proposed
district’s past election results, a proposed district’s political party registration data, and evidencebased analyses of proposed districts.
(4) No map may be approved by the commission or given effect by the supreme court if:
(a) It has been drawn for the purpose of protecting one or more incumbent members, or
one or more declared candidates, of the United States house of representatives or any political
party; or
(b) It has been drawn for the purpose of or results in the denial or abridgement of the
right of any citizen to vote on account of that person’s race or membership in a language
minority group, including diluting the impact of that racial or language minority group’s electoral
influence.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Y, L. 2018, p. 3091, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4542.
Section 44.4. Preparation, amendment, and approval of plans – public hearings and
participation. (1) The commission shall begin by considering a plan, created by nonpartisan
staff alone, to be known as the “preliminary plan”. The preliminary plan must be presented and
published no earlier than thirty days and no later than forty-five days after the commission has
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 43 of 204 Uncertified Printout
convened or the necessary census data are available, whichever is later. Within the first twenty
days after the commission has convened, any member of the public and any member of the
commission may submit written comments to nonpartisan staff on the creation of the preliminary
plan and on communities of interest that require representation in one or more specific areas of
the state. Nonpartisan staff shall consider such comments in creating the preliminary plan and
such comments must be part of the record of the commission’s activities and proceedings. At the
first public hearing at which the preliminary plan is presented, nonpartisan staff shall explain
how the plan was created, how the plan addresses the categories of public comments received,
and how the plan complies with the criteria prescribed in section 44.3 of this article V.
(2) By July 7 of the redistricting year, the commission shall complete public hearings on
the preliminary plan in several places throughout the state in accordance with section 44.2 of this
article V.
(3) Subsequent to hearings on the preliminary plan, nonpartisan staff shall prepare,
publish online, and present to the commission no fewer than three plans, except as provided in
subsection (5) of this section. These plans will be known as the “staff plans” and must be named
and numbered sequentially for purposes of subsection (6) of this section. Staff plans must be
prepared, published online, and presented in accordance with a timetable established by the
commission; except that each staff plan must be presented to the commission no fewer than ten
days after the presentation of any previous staff plan and no fewer than twenty-four hours after it
has been published online. If the commission fails to establish a timetable for the presentation of
staff plans within ten days after the completion of hearings on the preliminary plan, nonpartisan
staff shall establish such timetable. Nonpartisan staff shall keep each plan confidential until it is
published online or by a comparable means of communicating with the public using generally
available technologies. The commission may provide direction, if approved by at least eight
commissioners including at least one commissioner unaffiliated with any political party, for the
development of staff plans through the adoption of standards, guidelines, or methodologies to
which nonpartisan staff shall adhere, including standards, guidelines, or methodologies to be
used to evaluate a plan’s competitiveness, consistent with section 44.3 (3)(d) of this article V. In
preparing all staff plans, nonpartisan staff shall also consider public testimony and public
comments received by the commission that are consistent with the criteria specified in section
44.3 of this article V.
(4) Any commissioner or group of commissioners may request nonpartisan staff to
prepare additional plans or amendments to plans. Any such request must be made in a public
hearing of the commission but does not require commission approval. Plans or amendments
developed in response to such requests are separate from staff plans for purposes of subsection
(6) of this section.
(5) (a) The commission may adopt a final plan at any time after presentation of the first
staff plan, in which case nonpartisan staff does not need to prepare or present additional staff
plans.
(b) No later than September 1 of the redistricting year, the commission shall adopt a final
plan, which must then be submitted to the supreme court for its review and determination in
accordance with section 44.5 of this article V.
(c) The commission may adjust the deadlines specified in this section if conditions
outside of the commission’s control require such an adjustment to ensure adopting a final plan as
required by this subsection (5).
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(d) The commission may grant nonpartisan staff the authority to make technical de
minimis adjustments to the adopted plan prior to its submission to the supreme court.
(6) If for any reason the commission does not adopt a final plan by the date specified in
subsection (5) of this section, then nonpartisan staff shall submit the unamended third staff plan
to the supreme court.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Y, L. 2018, p. 3092, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4542.
Section 44.5. Supreme court review. (1) The supreme court shall review the submitted
plan and determine whether the plan complies with the criteria listed in section 44.3 of this
article V. The court’s review and determination shall take precedence over other matters before
the court. The supreme court shall adopt rules for such proceedings and for the production and
presentation of supportive evidence for such plan. Any legal arguments concerning such plan
must be submitted to the supreme court pursuant to the schedule established by the court.
(2) The supreme court shall approve the plan submitted unless it finds that the
commission or nonpartisan staff, in the case of a staff plan submitted in the absence of a
commission-approved plan, abused its discretion in applying or failing to apply the criteria listed
in section 44.3 of this article V, in light of the record before the commission. The supreme court
may consider any maps submitted to the commission in assessing whether the commission or
nonpartisan staff, in the case of a staff plan submitted in the absence of a commission-approved
plan, abused its discretion.
(3) If the supreme court determines that the submitted plan constitutes an abuse of
discretion in applying or failing to apply the criteria listed in section 44.3 of this article V, in
light of the record before the commission, the supreme court shall return the plan to the
commission with the court’s reasons for disapproval.
(4) (a) By November 1 of the redistricting year, the supreme court shall approve the plan
submitted or return the plan to the commission.
(b) If the court returns the plan to the commission, the commission shall have twelve
days to hold a commission hearing that includes public testimony and to return an adopted plan
that resolves the court’s reasons for disapproval.
(c) If the commission fails to adopt and return a plan to the court within twelve days,
nonpartisan staff shall have an additional three days to prepare a plan that resolves the court’s
reasons for disapproval and return it to the court for approval.
(d) The supreme court shall review the revised plan in accordance with subsections (1),
(2), and (3) of this section.
(5) The supreme court shall approve a plan for the redrawing of congressional districts no
later than December 15 of the redistricting year. The court shall order that such plan be filed
with the secretary of state no later than such date.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Y, L. 2018, p. 3094, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4542.
Section 44.6. Severability. If any provision of sections 44.1 through 44.5 of this article
V is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, or if any application of
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these sections is found by such a court to be unconstitutional, such invalidity shall not affect
other provisions or applications of the remaining provisions of these sections that can be given
effect without the invalid provision or application. The provisions of sections 44.1 through 44.5
of this article V are deemed and declared severable.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Y, L. 2018, p. 3094, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4542.
Section 45. General assembly. The general assembly shall consist of not more than
thirty-five members of the senate and of not more than sixty-five members of the house of
representatives, one to be elected from each senatorial and each representative district,
respectively.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 44. Initiated 62:
Entire section R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1045. Initiated 66: Entire section R&RE, see L. 67, p. 11 of
the supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
Historical background of and cases construing “Amendment No. 7”
“Amendment No. 7” consists of the constitutional provisions of sections 45 to 48 of
article V, as amended, November 6, 1962. Prior to this date sections 45 to 47 of article V read as
follows:
Section 45. Census. The general assembly shall provide by law for an enumeration of the
inhabitants of the state, in the year of our Lord 1885, and every tenth year thereafter; and at the
session next following such enumeration, and also at the session next following an enumeration
made by the authority of the United States, shall revise and adjust the apportionment for senators
and representatives, on the basis of such enumeration according to ratios to be fixed by law.
Section 46. Number of members of general assembly. The senate shall consist of not
more than thirty-five and the house of not more than sixty-five members. (As amended
November 7, 1950).
Section 47. Senatorial and representative districts. Senatorial and representative
districts may be altered from time to time, as public convenience may require. When a senatorial
or representative district shall be composed of two or more counties, they shall be contiguous,
and the district as compact as may be. No county shall be divided in the formation of a senatorial
or representative district.
Cases construing “Amendment No. 7”
The case of Lisco v. McNichols, 208 F. Supp. 471 (D. Colo. 1962) was the forerunner
of apportionment cases. While “Amendment No. 7” was not involved, the constitutionality of
apportionment statutes (sections 63-1-2, 63-1-3 and 63-1-6, CRS 53, since repealed), providing
for the number of senators and representatives and fixing for their apportionment, was
questioned on the basis such apportionment was disproportionate and give unequal voting rights.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 46 of 204 Uncertified Printout
The court decided that because of the imminence of the 1962 elections and because two
proposed constitutional amendments (no. 7 and no. 8) concerning apportionment were on the
ballot to be voted on in the 1962 election they would refrain from acting and the case was
continued.
The question next arose in the case of Lisco v. Love, 219 F. Supp. 922 (D. Colo. 1963).
In the 1962 election “Amendment No. 8” was rejected and “Amendment No. 7”, amending
sections 45, 46, 47 and 48 of article V of the constitution was approved. The question before the
court under this case was whether apportionment of the senate under “Amendment No. 7” was
valid. The court held the apportionment comported with the equal protection clause of the U.S.
Constitution and dismissed the case.
This decision was appealed in Lucas v. Forty-fourth Gen. Ass’y, 377 U.S. 713, 84 S.
Ct. 1459, 13 L. Ed. 2d 632 (1964), wherein the U.S. supreme court reversed the district court
and held such apportionment did not comport to the equal protection clause and remanded the
case for further proceedings.
Further proceedings were had in the case of Lucas v. Forty-fourth Gen. Ass’y, 232
F. Supp. 797 (D. Colo. 1964). At this hearing the district court held that “Amendment No. 7”
was not severable and therefore failed in toto and subdistricting was not prohibited by section 47
of article V. Furthermore, the imminence of the 1964 election did not require utilization of the
apportionment provisions of the invalid “Amendment No. 7” as there was sufficient time for the
state to take action to effectuate the U.S. supreme court decision. The matter was set over
pending such state action.
Following this hearing the Governor called a special session and as a result an
apportionment bill (Senate Bill No. 1, L. 64, 2nd Ex. Sess., pp. 27-37) was enacted. This Senate
Bill No. 1 was submitted to the district court which approved it but retained jurisdiction.
The decision was appealed to the U.S. supreme court in the case of Forty-fourth Gen.
Ass’y v. Lucas, 379 U.S. 693, 85 S. Ct. 715, 13 L. Ed. 2d 699 (1964). The supreme court
affirmed all decisions of the federal court relating to federal questions but vacated the decision as
to all other questions and remanded the case, leaving open to the district court the question of
severability of “Amendment No. 7”.
Before the decision on this appeal was handed down there was a supervening case in the
state court, White v. Anderson, 155 Colo. 291, 394 P.2d 333 (1964), wherein the
constitutionality of that portion of section 47 of article V dealing with subdistricting was
questioned. The supreme court held the subdistricting provision was a state question in spite of
retained jurisdiction of the federal district court and determined the subdistricting provision was
invalid but in view of the imminence of the 1964 election, stayed effect of its judgment until the
convening of the 1965 session of the legislature.
The Forty-fifth General Assembly introduced an apportionment bill (House Bill No.
1438, later postponed). During its progress through the House interrogatories were submitted to
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the state supreme court requesting an opinion on the severability of “Amendment No. 7”. The
court held in In re Interrogatories, 157 Colo. 76, 400 P.2d 931 (1965), that such amendment was
not severable and the whole “Amendment No. 7” was invalid and void.
Section 46. Senatorial and representative districts – commission created. (1)
Declaration of the people. The people of the state of Colorado find and declare that:
(a) The practice of political gerrymandering, whereby legislative districts are
purposefully drawn to favor one political party or incumbent politician over another, must end;
(b) The public’s interest in prohibiting political gerrymandering is best achieved by
creating a new and independent commission that is politically balanced, provides representation
to voters not affiliated with either of the state’s two largest parties, and utilizes nonpartisan
legislative staff to draw maps;
(c) The redistricting commission should set district lines by ensuring constitutionally
guaranteed voting rights, including the protection of minority group voting, as well as fair and
effective representation of constituents using politically neutral criteria;
(d) Competitive elections for members of the general assembly provide voters with a
meaningful choice among candidates, promote a healthy democracy, help ensure that
constituents receive fair and effective representation, and contribute to the political well-being of
key communities of interest and political subdivisions;
(e) For years certain political interests opposed competitive districts in Colorado because
they are primarily concerned about maintaining their own political power at the expense of fair
and effective representation; and
(f) Citizens want and deserve an inclusive and meaningful legislative redistricting
process that provides the public with the ability to be heard as redistricting maps are drawn, to be
able to watch the witnesses who deliver testimony and the redistricting commission’s
deliberations, and to have their written comments considered before any proposed map is voted
upon by the commission as the final map.
(2) Legislative districts – commission created. There is hereby created the independent
legislative redistricting commission. The commission shall divide the state into as many
senatorial and representative districts as there are members of the senate and house of
representatives respectively. After each federal decennial census, the senatorial districts and
representative districts shall be established, revised, or altered, and the members of the senate
and the house of representatives apportioned among them, by the independent legislative
redistricting commission.
(3) Definitions. As used in this section and in sections 47 through 48.4 of this article V,
unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) “Commission” means the independent legislative redistricting commission created in
subsection (2) of this section.
(b) (I) “Community of interest” means any group in Colorado that shares one or more
substantial interests that may be the subject of state legislative action, is composed of a
reasonably proximate population, and thus should be considered for inclusion within a single
district for purposes of ensuring its fair and effective representation.
(II) Such interests include but are not limited to matters reflecting:
(A) Shared public policy concerns of urban, rural, agricultural, industrial, or trade areas;
and
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(B) Shared public policy concerns such as education, employment, environment, public
health, transportation, water needs and supplies, and issues of demonstrable regional
significance.
(III) Groups that may comprise a community of interest include racial, ethnic, and
language minority groups, subject to compliance with subsections (1)(b) and (4)(b) of section
48.1 of this article V, which subsections protect against the denial or abridgement of the right to
vote due to a person’s race or language minority group.
(IV) “Community of interest” does not include relationships with political parties,
incumbents, or political candidates.
(c) “Race” or “racial” means a category of race or ethnic origin documented in the federal
decennial census.
(d) “Redistricting year” means the year following the year in which the federal decennial
census is taken.
(e) “Staff” or “nonpartisan staff” means the staff of the general assembly’s legislative
council and office of legislative legal services, or their successor offices, who are assigned to
assist the commission by the directors of those offices in accordance with section 48 of this
article V.
(4) Adjustment of dates. If any date prescribed in sections 47 through 48.3 of this article
V falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the date is extended to the next day that is
not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 44. L. 50: Entire
section amended, see L. 51, p. 555. Initiated 62: Entire section R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1045.
Initiated 66: Entire section R&RE, see L. 67, p. 11 of the supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
L. 74: Entire section amended, p. 451, effective January 1, 1975. Initiated 74: Entire section
was amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974, but does not
appear in the session laws. Referred 2018: Entire section amended, Amendment Z, L. 2018, p.
3096, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p.4543.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date for the 1974 referred measure was
December 20, 1974.
Cross references: For historical background of and cases construing “Amendment No.
7″ in 1962, sections 45 to 48 of this article, see section 45 of this article.
Section 47. Commission composition and appointment – vacancies. (1) After each
federal decennial census of the United States, the members of the commission shall be appointed
and convened as prescribed in this section.
(2) The commission consists of twelve members who have the following qualifications:
(a) Commissioners must be registered electors who voted in both of the previous two
general elections in Colorado;
(b) Commissioners must either have been unaffiliated with any political party or have
been affiliated with the same political party for a consecutive period of no less than five years at
the time of the application; and
(c) No person may be appointed to or serve on the commission if he or she:
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(I) Is or has been a candidate for the general assembly within the last five years preceding
the date on which applications for appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4)
of this section;
(II) Is or has been, within the last three years preceding the date on which applications for
appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4) of this section, compensated by a
member of, or a campaign committee advocating the election of a candidate to, the general
assembly;
(III) Is or has been, within the last three years preceding the date on which applications
for appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4) of this section, an elected public
official at the federal, state, county, or municipal level in Colorado;
(IV) Is or has been, within the last three years preceding the date on which applications
for appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4) of this section, an elected
political party official above the precinct level in Colorado or an employee of a political party;
(V) Is a member of the commission responsible for dividing the state into congressional
districts; or
(VI) Is or has been a professional lobbyist registered to lobby with the state of Colorado,
with any municipality in Colorado, or at the federal level within the last three years preceding
the date on which applications for appointment to the commission are due under subsection (4)
of this section.
(3) (a) By August 10 of the year prior to the redistricting year, nonpartisan staff shall,
after holding one or more public hearings, prepare an application form that will allow appointing
authorities to evaluate a person’s experience and qualifications and make such application
available on the general assembly’s website or comparable means of communicating with the
public.
(b) The application form must clearly state the legal obligations and expectations of
potential appointees. Information required of applicants must include, but is not necessarily
limited to, professional background, party affiliation, a description of past political activity, a list
of all political and civic organizations to which the applicant has belonged within the previous
five years, and whether the applicant meets the qualifications stated in subsection (2) of this
section. In addition, the application form must require the applicant to explain why they want to
serve on the commission and afford the applicant an opportunity to make a statement about how
they will promote consensus among commissioners if appointed to the commission. Applicants
may also choose to include up to four letters of recommendation with their application.
(4) By November 10 of the year prior to the redistricting year, any person who seeks to
serve on the commission must submit a completed application to nonpartisan staff. All
applications are public records and must be posted promptly after receipt on the general
assembly’s website or comparable means of communicating with the public.
(5) (a) No later than January 5 of the redistricting year, the chief justice of the Colorado
supreme court shall designate a panel to review the applications. The panel must consist of the
three justices or judges who most recently retired from the Colorado supreme court or the
Colorado court of appeals, appointed sequentially starting with the most recent justice or judge
to retire who has been affiliated with the same political party or unaffiliated with any political
party for the two years prior to appointment; except that no appointee, within two years prior to
appointment, shall have been affiliated with the same political party as a justice or judge already
appointed to the panel. If any of the three justices or judges who most recently retired from the
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Colorado supreme court or the Colorado court of appeals is unable or unwilling to serve on the
panel or has been affiliated within two years prior to appointment with a political party already
represented on the panel, then the chief justice shall appoint the next justice or judge who most
recently retired from the Colorado supreme court or the Colorado court of appeals and who has
not been affiliated within two years prior to appointment with the same political party as any
justice or judge already appointed to the panel. If, after considering all justices and judges who
have retired from the Colorado supreme court and the Colorado court of appeals, fewer than
three eligible participants for the panel have been identified who are able and willing to serve,
the chief justice shall appoint the most recently retired district court judge who has not been
affiliated within two years prior to appointment with the same political party as any previous
appointee to the panel and who accepts such appointment. No justice or judge shall serve both on
this panel and the panel assisting in the process of choosing members of the commission
responsible for dividing the state into congressional districts.
(b) All decisions of the panel regarding the selection of applicants pursuant to this section
require the affirmative approval of all three members of the panel.
(c) The general assembly shall prescribe by law the compensation of members of the
panel. Nonpartisan staff shall assist the panel in carrying out its duties.
(6) After applications are submitted, nonpartisan staff, with the cooperation and
assistance of the secretary of state, shall make an objective and factual finding based on, to the
extent possible, publicly available information, including information contained in the
application and information contained within the records maintained by the secretary of state,
whether each applicant meets the qualifications specified in subsection (2) of this section. No
later than January 11 of the redistricting year, nonpartisan staff shall make its findings publicly
available, and notify the applicants of the staff’s finding. If the staff finds that an applicant is not
eligible, then the staff shall include the reasons in its finding.
(7) By January 25 of the redistricting year, the panel, in a public meeting, shall randomly
select by lot from all of the applicants who were found to meet the qualifications specified in
subsection (2) of this section the names of three hundred applicants who are affiliated with the
state’s largest political party, three hundred applicants who are affiliated with the state’s second
largest political party, and four hundred fifty applicants who are not affiliated with any political
party, or such lesser number as there are total applicants who meet the qualifications specified in
subsection (2) of this section for each of those groups.
(8) (a) In one or more public hearings conducted on or before February 15 of the
redistricting year, after reviewing the applications of the applicants selected in accordance with
subsection (7) of this section, the panel shall identify fifty applicants who are affiliated with the
state’s largest political party, fifty applicants who are identified with the state’s second largest
political party, and fifty applicants who are unaffiliated with any political party and who best
demonstrate:
(I) Experience in organizing, representing, advocating for, adjudicating the interests of,
or actively participating in groups, organizations, or associations in Colorado; and
(II) Relevant analytical skills, the ability to be impartial, and the ability to promote
consensus on the commission.
(b) No later than February 15 of the redistricting year, from the applicants identified in
subsection (8)(a) of this section, the panel shall choose by lot six applicants to serve on the
commission as follows:
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(I) Two commissioners who are not affiliated with any political party;
(II) Two commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s largest political party; and
(III) Two commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s second largest political party.
(c) In the process of choosing applicants by lot for appointment to the commission, no
applicant whose name is chosen may be appointed if he or she is registered to vote in a
congressional district that is already represented on the commission; except that, when all thenexisting congressional districts in Colorado are represented on the commission, a congressional
district may be represented by a second commissioner. No congressional district may be
represented by more than two commissioners. Any persons whose names are chosen but
duplicate a congressional district’s representation on the commission and are not appointed to the
commission shall be eligible for appointment pursuant to subsections (9) and (10) of this section.
(9) (a) By February 16 of the redistricting year, the majority leader of the state senate, the
minority leader of the state senate, the majority leader of the state house of representatives, and
the minority leader of the state house of representatives shall each select a pool of ten applicants
who are affiliated with one of the state’s two largest political parties from all applications
submitted to nonpartisan staff and notify the panel of their selections.
(b) As determined by the legislative leaders in selecting their respective pools, the
applicants selected for each pool must meet the qualifications set forth in subsection (2) of this
section and demonstrate the qualities listed in subsection (8)(a) of this section.
(c) For each congressional district not represented by a commissioner appointed pursuant
to subsections (8)(b) and (8)(c) of this section, each pool must consist of at least one applicant
who is registered to vote in that congressional district.
(d) If there is an insufficient number of available applicants that meet the requirements of
subsection (9)(b) of this section to select any complete pool, then the pool must consist of only
those applicants who meet those requirements.
(10) By March 16 of the redistricting year, the panel of judges shall select, in such order
as the panel determines, one commissioner from each legislative leader’s pool of applicants and
two commissioners from those applicants who are not affiliated with any political party and
whose names were randomly selected by lot pursuant to subsection (7) of this section. The panel
of judges must ensure that the commission includes four commissioners who are not affiliated
with any political party, four commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s largest political
party, and four commissioners who are affiliated with the state’s second largest political party.
The panel of judges may interview applicants before making the appointments. In selecting
applicants, the panel shall, in addition to considering applicants’ other qualifications:
(a) To the extent possible, ensure that the commission reflects Colorado’s racial, ethnic,
gender, and geographic diversity;
(b) Ensure that at least one commissioner is registered to vote in each congressional
district but no more than two commissioners are registered to vote in any single congressional
district;
(c) Ensure that at least one commissioner resides west of the continental divide; and
(d) Ensure that all commissioners meet the qualifications set forth in subsection (2) of
this section and demonstrate the qualities listed in subsection (8)(a) of this section.
(11) (a) A commissioner’s position on the commission will be deemed vacant if he or she,
having been appointed as a registered elector who is not affiliated with a political party, affiliates
with a political party before the supreme court has approved a plan pursuant to section 48.3 of
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this article V. A commissioner’s position on the commission will also be deemed vacant if he or
she, having been affiliated with one of the state’s two largest political parties at the time of
appointment, affiliates with a different political party or becomes unaffiliated with any political
party before the supreme court has approved a plan pursuant to section 48.3 of this article V.
(b) Any vacancy on the commission, including one that occurs due to death, resignation,
removal, failure to meet the qualifications of appointment, refusal or inability to accept an
appointment, or otherwise, must be filled as soon as possible by the designated appointing
authority from the designated pool of eligible applicants for that commissioner’s position and in
the same manner as the originally chosen commissioner; except that no commissioner chosen to
fill a vacancy will be bypassed for appointment if all congressional districts are already
represented on the commission.
(12) For purposes of this section, the state’s two largest political parties shall be
determined by the number of registered electors affiliated with each political party in the state
according to voter registration data published by the secretary of state for the earliest day in
January of the redistricting year for which such data is published.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 44. Initiated 62:
Entire section R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1045. Initiated 66: Entire section R&RE, see L. 67, p. 11 of
the supplement to the 1967 Session Laws. Initiated 74: Entire section was amended, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974, but does not appear in the session laws.
Referred 2018: Entire section R&RE, Amendment Z, L. 2018, p. 3098, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4543.
Cross references: For historical background of and cases construing “Amendment No.
7″ in 1962, sections 45 to 48 of this article, see section 45 of this article.
Section 48. Commission organization – procedures – transparency – voting
requirements. (1) Initial organization, officers, procedures, rules, and transparency. (a) The
governor shall convene the commission no later than March 30 of the redistricting year and
appoint a temporary chairperson from the commission’s members. Upon convening, the
commission shall elect a chair and a vice-chair, who are not members of the same political party,
and other such officers as it determines.
(b) The director of research of the legislative council and the director of the office of
legislative legal services, or the directors of successor nonpartisan offices of the general
assembly, shall appoint nonpartisan staff from their respective offices as needed to assist the
commission and the panel of judges as described in section 47 of this article V. Nonpartisan staff
shall acquire and prepare all necessary resources, including computer hardware, software, and
demographic, geographic, and political databases, as far in advance as necessary to enable the
commission to begin its work immediately upon convening.
(c) The commission may retain legal counsel in all actions and proceedings in connection
with the performance of its powers, duties, and functions, including representation of the
commission before any court.
(d) The general assembly shall appropriate sufficient funds for the payment of the
expenses of the commission, the compensation and expenses of nonpartisan staff, and the
compensation and expenses of the panel of judges as described in section 47 of this article V.
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Members of the commission shall be reimbursed for their reasonable and necessary expenses and
may also receive such per diem allowance as may be established by the general assembly.
Subject to available appropriations, hardware and software necessary for the development of
plans may, at the request of any commissioner, be provided to the commissioner. The
commission and its staff must have access to statistical information compiled by the state and its
political subdivisions as necessary for its duties. State agencies and political subdivisions shall
comply with requests from the commission and its staff for such statistical information.
(e) The commission shall adopt rules to govern its administration and operation. The
commission must provide at least seventy-two hours of advance public notice of all proposed
rules prior to consideration for adoption; except that proposed rules may be amended during
commission deliberations without such advance notice of specific, related amendments. Neither
the commission’s procedural rules nor its mapping decisions are subject to the “State
Administrative Procedure Act”, article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor statute. Rules must
include but need not be limited to the following:
(I) The hearing process and review of maps submitted for its consideration;
(II) Maintenance of a record of the commission’s activities and proceedings, including a
record of written and oral testimony received, and of the commission’s directions to nonpartisan
staff on proposed changes to any plan and the commission’s rationale for such changes;
(III) The process for removing commissioners for participating in communications
prohibited under this section;
(IV) The process for recommending changes to plans submitted to the commission by
nonpartisan staff; and
(V) The adoption of a statewide meeting and hearing schedule, including the necessary
elements of electronic attendance at a commission hearing.
(2) Voting requirements. A simple majority of the appointed commissioners may
approve rules and procedural decisions. The election of the commission’s chair and vice-chair
requires the affirmative vote of at least eight commissioners, including the affirmative vote of at
least one commissioner who is unaffiliated with any political party. Removal of any
commissioner as provided in this section requires the affirmative vote of at least eight
commissioners, including the affirmative vote of at least two commissioners who are unaffiliated
with any political party. Adoption of the final plan for submission to the supreme court and the
adoption of a revised plan after a plan is returned to the commission from the supreme court
requires the affirmative vote of at least eight commissioners, including the affirmative vote of at
least two commissioners who are unaffiliated with any political party. The commission shall not
vote upon a final plan until at least seventy-two hours after it has been proposed to the
commission in a public meeting or at least seventy-two hours after it has been amended by the
commission in a public meeting, whichever occurs later; except that commissioners may
unanimously waive the seventy-two hour requirement.
(3) Public involvement – hearing process. (a) All Colorado residents, including
individual commissioners, may present proposed redistricting maps or written comments, or
both, for the commission’s consideration.
(b) The commission must, to the maximum extent practicable, provide opportunities for
Colorado residents to present testimony at hearings held throughout the state. The commission
shall not approve a redistricting map until at least three hearings have been held in each
congressional district, including at least one hearing that is held in a location west of the
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 54 of 204 Uncertified Printout
continental divide and at least one hearing that is held in a location east of the continental divide
and either south of El Paso county’s southern boundary or east of Arapahoe county’s eastern
boundary. No gathering of commissioners can be considered a hearing for this purpose unless it
is attended, in person or electronically, by at least ten commissioners. The commission shall
establish by rule the necessary elements of electronic attendance at a commission hearing.
(c) The commission shall maintain a website or comparable means of communicating
with the public through which any Colorado resident may submit proposed maps or written
comments, or both, without attending a hearing of the commission.
(d) The commission shall publish all written comments pertaining to redistricting on its
website or comparable means of communicating with the public as well as the name of the
Colorado resident submitting such comments. If the commission or nonpartisan staff have a
substantial basis to believe that the person submitting such comments has not truthfully or
accurately identified himself or herself, the commission need not consider and need not publish
such comments but must notify the commenter in writing of this fact. The commission may
withhold comments, in whole or in part, from the website or comparable means of
communicating with the public that do not relate to redistricting maps, policies, or communities
of interest.
(e) The commission shall provide simultaneous access to the regional hearings by
broadcasting them via its website or comparable means of communicating with the public and
maintain an archive of such hearings for online public review.
(4) Ethical obligations – transparency – lobbyist reporting. (a) Commissioners are
guardians of the public trust and are subject to antibribery and abuse of public office
requirements as provided in parts 3 and 4 of article 8 of title 18, C.R.S., as amended, or any
successor statute.
(b) To ensure transparency in the redistricting process:
(I) (A) The commission and the commissioners are subject to open meetings
requirements as provided in part 4 of article 6 of title 24, C.R.S., as amended, or any successor
statute.
(B) Except as provided in subsection (4)(b)(I)(D) of this section, a commissioner shall
not communicate with nonpartisan staff on the mapping of legislative districts unless the
communication is during a public meeting or hearing of the commission.
(C) Except for public input and comment, nonpartisan staff shall not have any
communications about the content or development of any plan outside of public hearings with
anyone except other staff members. Nonpartisan staff shall report to the commission any attempt
by anyone to exert influence over the staff’s role in the drafting of plans.
(D) One or more nonpartisan staff may be designated to communicate with
commissioners regarding administrative matters, the definition and scope of which shall be
determined by the commission.
(E) Any commissioner who participates in a communication prohibited in this section
must be removed from the commission, and such vacancy must be filled within seven days.
(II) The commission, each commissioner, and nonpartisan staff are subject to open
records requirements as provided in part 1 of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S., as amended, or any
successor statute; except that maps in draft form and not submitted to the commission are not
public records subject to disclosure. Work product and communications among nonpartisan staff
are subject to disclosure once a plan is submitted to the supreme court.
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(III) Persons who contract for or receive compensation for advocating to the commission,
to one or more commissioners, or to nonpartisan staff for the adoption or rejection of any map,
amendment to a map, mapping approach, or manner of compliance with any of the mapping
criteria specified in section 48.1 of this article V are lobbyists who must disclose to the secretary
of state any compensation contracted for, compensation received, and the person or entity
contracting or paying for their lobbying services. Such disclosure must be made no later than
seventy-two hours after the earlier of each instance of such lobbying or any payment of such
compensation. The secretary of state shall publish on the secretary of state’s website or
comparable means of communicating with the public the names of such lobbyists, as well as the
compensation received and the persons or entities for whom they work within twenty-four hours
of receiving such information. The secretary of state shall adopt rules to facilitate the complete
and prompt reporting required by this subsection (4)(b)(III) as well as a complaint process to
address any lobbyist’s failure to report a full and accurate disclosure, which complaint must be
heard by an administrative law judge, whose decision may be appealed to the court of appeals.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 45. L. 50: Entire
section repealed, see L. 51, p. 555. Initiated 62: Entire section R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1046.
Initiated 66: Entire section R&RE, see L. 67, p. 11 of the supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
L. 74: Entire section amended, p. 451, effective January 1, 1975; Initiated 74: Entire section
was amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974, but does not
appear in the session laws. L. 2000: (1)(b), (1)(d), and (1)(e) amended, p. 2773, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2390, December 28, 2000. Referred 2018: Entire
section R&RE, Amendment Z, L. 2018, p. 3102, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4543.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date for the 1974 referred measure was
December 20, 1974.
Cross references: (1) For historical background of and cases construing “Amendment
No. 7″ in 1962, sections 45 to 48 of this article, see section 45 of this article.
(2) For provisions concerning the reapportionment process, see sections 6 through 11 of
chapter 46, Session Laws of Colorado 1990, sections 6 through 11 of chapter 286, Session Laws
of Colorado 2000, and part 5 of article 2 of title 2; for requirement that senate and representative
districts be apportioned on the basis of population, see § 46 of this article.
Section 48.1. Criteria for determination of legislative districts – definition. (1) In
adopting a legislative redistricting plan, the commission shall:
(a) Make a good-faith effort to achieve mathematical population equality between
districts, as required by the constitution of the United States, but in no event shall there be more
than five percent deviation between the most populous and the least populous district in each
house. Districts must be composed of contiguous geographic areas.
(b) Comply with the federal “Voting Rights Act of 1965”, 52 U.S.C. sec. 50301, as
amended.
(2) (a) As much as is reasonably possible, the commission’s plan must preserve whole
communities of interest and whole political subdivisions, such as counties, cities, and towns. To
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facilitate the efficient and effective provision of governmental services, with regard to any
county, city, city and county, or town whose population is less than a district’s permitted
population, the commission shall presume that such county, city, city and county, or town should
be wholly contained within a district; except that a division of such county, city, city and county,
or town is permitted where, based on a preponderance of the evidence in the record, a
community of interest’s legislative issues are more essential to the fair and effective
representation of residents of the district. When the commission divides a county, city, city and
county, or town, it shall minimize the number of divisions of that county, city, city and county,
or town.
(b) Districts must be as compact as is reasonably possible.
(3) (a) Thereafter, the commission shall, to the extent possible, maximize the number of
politically competitive districts.
(b) In its hearings in various locations in the state, the commission shall solicit evidence
relevant to competitiveness of elections in Colorado and shall assess such evidence in evaluating
proposed maps.
(c) When the commission approves a plan, or when nonpartisan staff submits a plan in
the absence of the commission’s approval of a plan as provided in section 48.2 of this article V,
the nonpartisan staff shall, within seventy-two hours of such action, make publicly available, and
include in the commission’s record, a report to demonstrate how the plan reflects the evidence
presented to, and the findings concerning, the extent to which competitiveness in district
elections is fostered consistent with the other criteria set forth in this section.
(d) For purposes of this subsection (3), “competitive” means having a reasonable
potential for the party affiliation of the district’s representative to change at least once between
federal decennial censuses. Competitiveness may be measured by factors such as a proposed
district’s past election results, a proposed district’s political party registration data, and evidencebased analyses of proposed districts.
(4) No map may be approved by the commission or given effect by the supreme court if:
(a) It has been drawn for the purpose of protecting one or more incumbent members, or
one or more declared candidates, of the senate or house of representatives, or any political party;
or
(b) It has been drawn for the purpose of or results in the denial or abridgement of the
right of any citizen to vote on account of that person’s race or membership in a language
minority group, including diluting the impact of that racial or language minority group’s electoral
influence.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Z, L. 2018, p. 3106, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4543.
Editor’s note: “The Voting Rights Act of 1965” was erroneously referenced in
subsection (1)(b) at 52 U.S.C. sec. 50301, as amended, but can be found at 52 U.S.C. sec. 10301,
as amended.
Section 48.2. Preparation, amendment, and approval of plans – public hearings and
participation. (1) The commission shall begin by considering a plan for the state senate and a
plan for the state house of representatives, created by its nonpartisan staff alone, to be known as
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the “preliminary senate plan” and the “preliminary house plan”. Such plans must be presented
and published no earlier than thirty days and no later than forty-five days after the commission
has convened or the necessary census data are available, whichever is later. Within the first
twenty days after the commission has convened, any member of the public and any member of
the commission may submit written comments to nonpartisan staff on the creation of the
preliminary plans and on communities of interest that require representation in one or more
specific areas of the state. Nonpartisan staff shall consider such comments in creating the
preliminary plans, and such comments shall be part of the record of the commission’s activities
and proceedings. At the first public hearing at which the preliminary plans are presented,
nonpartisan staff shall explain how the plans were created, how the plans address the categories
of public comments received, and how the plans comply with the criteria prescribed in section
48.1 of this article V.
(2) By July 21 of the redistricting year, the commission shall complete public hearings on
the preliminary senate plan and the preliminary house plan in several places throughout the state
in accordance with section 48 of this article V.
(3) Subsequent to hearings on the preliminary senate plan and the preliminary house
plan, nonpartisan staff shall prepare, publish online, and present to the commission no fewer than
three plans for the state senate and three plans for the state house of representatives, except as
provided in subsection (5) of this section. These plans will be known as the “staff plans” and
must be named and numbered sequentially for purposes of subsection (6) of this section. Staff
plans must be prepared, published online, and presented in accordance with a timetable
established by the commission; except that each staff plan must be presented to the commission
no fewer than ten days after the presentation of any previous staff plan, and no fewer than
twenty-four hours after it has been published online. If the commission fails to establish a
timetable for the presentation of staff plans within ten days after the completion of hearings on
the preliminary plan, nonpartisan staff shall establish such timetable. Nonpartisan staff shall
keep each plan confidential until it is published online or by a comparable means of
communicating with the public using generally available technologies. The commission may
provide direction, if approved by at least eight commissioners including at least one
commissioner unaffiliated with any political party, for the development of staff plans through the
adoption of standards, guidelines, or methodologies to which nonpartisan staff shall adhere,
including standards, guidelines, or methodologies to be used to evaluate a plan’s
competitiveness, consistent with subsection (3)(d) of section 48.1 of this article V. In preparing
all staff plans, nonpartisan staff shall also consider public testimony and public comments
received by the commission that are consistent with the criteria specified in section 48.1 of this
article V.
(4) Any commissioner or group of commissioners may request nonpartisan staff to
prepare additional plans or amendments to plans. Any such request must be made in a public
hearing of the commission but does not require commission approval. Plans or amendments
developed in response to such requests are separate from staff plans, for purposes of subsection
(6) of this section.
(5) (a) The commission may adopt a final senate or house plan at any time after
presentation of the first staff plans, in which case nonpartisan staff does not need to prepare or
present additional staff plans for the house for which a map has been adopted.
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(b) No later than September 15 of the redistricting year, the commission shall adopt final
senate and house plans, which must then be submitted to the supreme court for its review and
determination in accordance with section 48.3 of this article V.
(c) The commission may adjust the deadlines specified in this section if conditions
outside of the commission’s control require such an adjustment to ensure adopting a final plan as
required by this subsection (5).
(d) The commission may grant its nonpartisan staff the authority to make technical de
minimis adjustments to the adopted senate and house plans prior to their submission to the
supreme court.
(6) If, for any reason, the commission does not adopt a final plan for both houses of the
general assembly by the date specified in subsection (5) of this section, then nonpartisan staff
shall submit the unamended third staff plan to the supreme court for review pursuant to section
48.3 of this article V. If the commission approves a plan for one house of the general assembly
but not the other house, then the plan for the approved house shall be submitted to the supreme
court as the final plan for that house, and the unamended third staff plan shall be submitted to the
supreme court as the final plan for the house for which the commission did not approve a plan.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Z, L. 2018, p. 3107, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4543.
Section 48.3. Supreme court review. (1) The supreme court shall review the submitted
plans and determine whether the plans comply with the criteria listed in section 48.1 of this
article V. The court’s review and determination shall take precedence over other matters before
the court. The supreme court shall adopt rules for such proceedings and for the production and
presentation of supportive evidence for such plans. Any legal arguments concerning such plans
shall be submitted to the supreme court pursuant to the schedule established by the court.
(2) The supreme court shall approve the plans submitted unless it finds that the
commission or nonpartisan staff, in the case of a staff plan submitted in the absence of a
commission-approved plan, abused its discretion in applying or failing to apply the criteria listed
in section 48.1 of this article V, in light of the record before the commission. The supreme court
may consider any maps submitted to the commission in assessing whether the commission or
nonpartisan staff, in the case of a staff plan submitted in the absence of a commission-approved
plan, abused its discretion.
(3) If the supreme court determines that the submitted state senate plan or the submitted
state house of representatives plan constitutes an abuse of discretion in applying or failing to
apply the criteria listed in section 48.1 of this article V, in light of the record before the
commission, the supreme court shall return the respective plan to the commission with the
court’s reasons for disapproval.
(4) (a) By November 15 of the redistricting year, the supreme court shall approve or
return to the commission the submitted state senate plan and the submitted state house of
representatives plan.
(b) If the court returns a plan to the commission, the commission shall have twelve days
to hold a commission hearing that includes public testimony and to return an adopted plan that
resolves the court’s reasons for disapproval.
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(c) If the commission fails to adopt and return a plan to the court within twelve days,
nonpartisan staff shall have an additional three days to prepare a plan that resolves the court’s
reasons for disapproval and return it to the court for approval.
(d) The supreme court shall review the revised plan in accordance with subsections (1),
(2), and (3) of this section.
(5) The supreme court shall approve plans for the redrawing of state senate districts and
state house of representative districts no later than December 29 of the redistricting year. The
court shall order that such plans be filed with the secretary of state no later than such date.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Z, L. 2018, p. 3108, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4543.
Section 48.4. Severability. If any provision of sections 46 through 48.3 of this article V
is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, or if any application of these
sections is found by such a court to be unconstitutional, such invalidity shall not affect other
provisions or applications of the remaining provisions of these sections that can be given effect
without the invalid provision or application. The provisions of sections 46 through 48.3 of this
article V are deemed and declared severable.
Source: Referred 2018: Entire section added, Amendment Z, L. 2018, p. 3109, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L. 2019, p. 4543.
Section 49. Appointment of state auditor – term – qualifications – duties. (1) The
general assembly, by a majority vote of the members elected to and serving in each house, shall
appoint, without regard to political affiliation, a state auditor, who shall be a certified public
accountant licensed to practice in this state, to serve for a term of five years and until his
successor is appointed and qualified. Except as provided by law, he shall be ineligible for
appointment to any other public office in this state from which compensation is derived while
serving as state auditor. He may be removed for cause at any time by a two-thirds vote of the
members elected to and serving in each house.
(2) It shall be the duty of the state auditor to conduct post audits of all financial
transactions and accounts kept by or for all departments, offices, agencies, and institutions of the
state government, including educational institutions notwithstanding the provisions of section 14
of article IX of this constitution, and to perform similar or related duties with respect to such
political subdivisions of the state as shall from time to time be required of him by law.
(3) Not more than three members of the staff of the state auditor shall be exempt from the
personnel system of this state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 46. L. 50: Entire
section repealed, see L. 51, p. 555. L. 64: Entire section added, p. 839. L. 74: Entire section
amended, p. 452, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: (1) In 1964 the provisions of this section significantly changed from its
original enactment.
(2) The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
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(3) Section 14 of article IX, referenced in subsection (2), was repealed, effective January
11, 1973.
Section 50. Public funding of abortion forbidden. No public funds shall be used by the
State of Colorado, its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or otherwise reimburse, either
directly or indirectly, any person, agency or facility for the performance of any induced abortion,
PROVIDED HOWEVER, that the General Assembly, by specific bill, may authorize and
appropriate funds to be used for those medical services necessary to prevent the death of either a
pregnant woman or her unborn child under circumstances where every reasonable effort is made
to preserve the life of each.
Source: Initiated 84: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 85, p. 1792, January 1, 1985.
Editor’s note: Although this section was not numbered and did not contain a headnote as
it appeared on the ballot, for ease of location it has been numbered as “Section 50”, and the
headnote which appeared in the original submission by the proponents has been added.
Cross references: For statutory provisions concerning the public funding of abortion
under certain circumstances, see § 25.5-4-415.
ARTICLE VI
Judicial Department
Editor’s note: (1) This article was added in 1876, see L. 1877, p. 46. This article was
repealed and reenacted in 1961, resulting in the addition, relocation, or elimination of sections as
well as subject matter. For a detailed comparison of this article as it existed prior to and after the
repeal and reenactment, see C.R.S. 1963, volume 1, pp. 433-468. For amendments to this article
prior to 1961, see the editor’s notes following those sections that were relocated.
(2) For the explanation of the effective dates of this article, see L. 63, p. 1048.
Section 1. Vestment of judicial power. The judicial power of the state shall be vested in
a supreme court, district courts, a probate court in the city and county of Denver, a juvenile court
in the city and county of Denver, county courts, and such other courts or judicial officers with
jurisdiction inferior to the supreme court, as the general assembly may, from time to time
establish; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to restrict or
diminish the powers of home rule cities and towns granted under article XX, section 6 of this
constitution to create municipal and police courts.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1048.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to § 1 as it existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 1885, p. 145, and L. 13, p. 678.
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Cross references: For the supreme court, see article 2 of title 13; for judicial
departments, see article 3 of title 13; for the court of appeals, see article 4 of title 13; for district
courts, see article 5 of title 13; for county courts, see article 6 of title 13; for the juvenile court of
Denver, see article 8 of title 13; for the probate court of Denver, see article 9 of title 13; for
municipal courts, see article 10 of title 13; for distribution of governmental powers, see article
III of this constitution.
Supreme Court
Section 2. Appellate jurisdiction. (1) The supreme court, except as otherwise provided
in this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be coextensive with the
state, and shall have a general superintending control over all inferior courts, under such
regulations and limitations as may be prescribed by law.
(2) Appellate review by the supreme court of every final judgment of the district courts,
the probate court of the city and county of Denver, and the juvenile court of the city and county
of Denver shall be allowed, and the supreme court shall have such other appellate review as may
be provided by law. There shall be no appellate review by the district court of any final judgment
of the probate court of the city and county of Denver or of the juvenile court of the city and
county of Denver.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1049.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 2 as it existed prior to 1961.
Cross references: For supreme court review of judgments by the court of appeals, see §
13-4-108; for determination of jurisdiction, see § 13-4-110; for procedure for review in the
supreme court on writ of certiorari, see C.A.R. 49 to 57.
Section 3. Original jurisdiction – opinions. The supreme court shall have power to issue
writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, injunction, and such other original
and remedial writs as may be provided by rule of court with authority to hear and determine the
same; and each judge of the supreme court shall have like power and authority as to writs of
habeas corpus. The supreme court shall give its opinion upon important questions upon solemn
occasions when required by the governor, the senate, or the house of representatives; and all
such opinions shall be published in connection with the reported decision of said court.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1049.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to § 3 as it existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 1885, p. 145.
Cross references: For procedure in original actions in the supreme court, see C.A.R. 21.;
for writs of habeas corpus, see article 45 of title 13; for certification of questions of law to the
supreme court, see C.A.R. 21.1.
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Section 4. Terms. At least two terms of the supreme court shall be held each year, at the
seat of government.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1049.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 4 as it existed prior to 1961.
Cross references: For terms of the supreme court, see §§ 13-2-101 and 13-2-102.
Section 5. Personnel of court – departments – chief justice. (1) The supreme court shall
consist of not less than seven justices, who may sit en banc or in departments. In case said court
shall sit in departments, each of said departments shall have full power and authority of said
court in the determination of causes, the issuing of writs and the exercise of all powers
authorized by this constitution, or provided by law, subject to the general control of the court
sitting en banc, and such rules and regulations as the court may make, but no decision of any
department shall become judgment of the court unless concurred in by at least three justices, and
no case involving construction of the constitution of this state or of the United States shall be
decided except by the court en banc. Upon request of the supreme court, the number of justices
may be increased to no more than nine members whenever two-thirds of the members of each
house of the general assembly concur therein.
(2) The supreme court shall select a chief justice from its own membership to serve at the
pleasure of a majority of the court, who shall be the executive head of the judicial system.
(3) The supreme court shall appoint a court administrator and such other personnel as the
court may deem necessary to aid the administration of the courts. Whenever the chief justice
deems assignment of a judge necessary to the prompt disposition of judicial business, he may:
(a) Assign any county judge, or retired county judge who consents, temporarily to perform
judicial duties in any county court if otherwise qualified under section 18 of this article, or
assign, as hereafter may be authorized by law, said judge to any other court; or (b) assign any
district, probate, or juvenile judge, or retired justice or district, probate, or juvenile judge who
consents, temporarily to perform judicial duties in any court. For each day of such temporary
service a retired justice or judge shall receive compensation in an amount equal to 1/20 of the
monthly salary then currently applicable to the judicial position in which the temporary service
is rendered.
(4) The chief justice shall appoint from the district judges of each judicial district a chief
judge to serve at the pleasure of the chief justice. A chief judge shall receive no additional salary
by reason of holding such position. Each chief judge shall have and exercise such administrative
powers over all judges of all courts within his district as may be delegated to him by the chief
justice.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1049.
Initiated 66: Entire section amended, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 5 of the
supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to §§ 5 and 8 as they existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to those sections prior to 1961, see L. 03, pp. 148 and 149.
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Cross references: For employees of the supreme court and their compensation, see § 13-
2-111; for provision creating the position of state court administrator, see § 13-3-101.
Section 6. Election of judges. (Repealed)
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1050.
Initiated 66: Entire section repealed, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 6 of the
supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to § 6 as it existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 03, p. 149.
Section 7. Term of office. The full term of office of justices of the supreme court shall
be ten years.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1050.
Initiated 66: Entire section amended, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 6 of the
supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to § 7 as it existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 03, p. 149.
Section 8. Qualifications of justices. No person shall be eligible to the office of justice
of the supreme court unless he shall be a qualified elector of the state of Colorado and shall have
been licensed to practice law in this state for at least five years.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1050.
Editor’s note: (1) Voters approved the measure repealing and reenacting this article on
November 6, 1962. Section 1 of chapter 313, session laws of Colorado 1963, provided that the
enactment of this section takes effect immediately. However, according to section 1(4) of article
V of the state constitution, a measure “shall take effect from and after the date of the official
declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor”.
(2) This section is similar to § 10 as it existed prior to 1961.
(3) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 03, p. 149.
District Courts
Section 9. District courts – jurisdiction. (1) The district courts shall be trial courts of
record with general jurisdiction, and shall have original jurisdiction in all civil, probate, and
criminal cases, except as otherwise provided herein, and shall have such appellate jurisdiction as
may be prescribed by law.
(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2002, p. 3094, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.)
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(3) In the city and county of Denver, exclusive original jurisdiction in all matters of
probate, settlements of estates of deceased persons, appointment of guardians, conservators and
administrators, and settlement of their accounts, the adjudication of the mentally ill, and such
other jurisdiction as may be provided by law shall be vested in a probate court, created by
section 1 of this article.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1050. L.
2002: (2) and (3) amended, p. 3094, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p.
3611, December 20, 2002.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 11 as it existed prior to 1961.
Section 10. Judicial districts – district judges. (1) The state shall be divided into
judicial districts. Such districts shall be formed of compact territory and be bounded by county
lines. The judicial districts as provided by law on the effective date of this amendment shall
constitute the judicial districts of the state until changed. The general assembly may by law,
whenever two-thirds of the members of each house concur therein, change the boundaries of any
district or increase or diminish the number of judicial districts.
(2) In each judicial district there shall be one or more judges of the district court. The full
term of office of a district judge shall be six years.
(3) The number of district judges provided by law for each district on the effective date
of this amendment shall constitute the number of judges for the district until changed. The
general assembly may by law, whenever two-thirds of the members of each house concur
therein, increase or diminish the number of district judges, except that the office of a district
judge may not be abolished until completion of the term for which he was elected or appointed,
but he may be required to serve in a judicial district other than the one for which elected, as long
as such district encompasses his county of residence.
(4) Separate divisions of district courts may be established in districts by law, or in the
absence of any such law, by rule of court.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1051.
Initiated 66: (2) amended, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 6 of the supplement to the
1967 Session Laws.
Editor’s note: (1) The “effective date of this amendment” referred to in subsections (1)
and (3) is January 12, 1965.
(2) This section is similar to §§ 12 and 14 as they existed prior to 1961.
(3) For amendments to those sections prior to 1961, see L. 1885, p. 146.
Cross references: For the establishment of judicial districts, see also part 1 of article 5 of
title 13; for vacancies in judicial office, see § 20 of this article.
Section 11. Qualifications of district judges. No person shall be eligible to the office of
district judge unless he shall be a qualified elector of the judicial district at the time of his
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election or selection and shall have been licensed to practice law in this state for five years. Each
judge of the district court shall be a resident of his district during his term of office.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1051.
Editor’s note: (1) Voters approved the measure repealing and reenacting this article on
November 6, 1962. Section 1 of chapter 313, session laws of Colorado 1963, provided that the
enactment of this section takes effect immediately. However, according to section 1(4) of article
V of the state constitution, a measure “shall take effect from and after the date of the official
declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor”.
(2) This section is similar to §§ 16 and 29 as they existed prior to 1961.
(3) For amendments to those sections prior to 1961, see G.L. § 157.
Section 12. Terms of court. The time of holding courts within the judicial districts shall
be as provided by rule of court, but at least one term of the district court shall be held annually in
each county.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1052.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 17 as it existed prior to 1961.
Cross references: For terms of district courts, see § 13-5-101.
District Attorneys
Section 13. District attorneys – election – term – salary – qualifications. In each
judicial district there shall be a district attorney elected by the electors thereof, whose term of
office shall be four years. District attorneys shall receive such salaries and perform such duties
as provided by law. No person shall be eligible to the office of district attorney who shall not, at
the time of his election possess all the qualifications of district court judges as provided in this
article. All district attorneys holding office on the effective date of this amendment shall
continue in office for the remainder of the respective terms for which they were elected or
appointed.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1052.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to § 21 as it existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 01, p. 110.
(3) The “effective date of this amendment” referred to in this section is January 12, 1965.
Cross references: For limitation on terms of elected government officials, see § 11 of
article XVIII; for the requirement that the governor make appointments to fill a vacancy in the
office of the district attorney, see § 1-12-204; for the salary of district attorneys, see § 20-1-301;
for district attorneys generally, see article 1 of title 20.
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Probate and Juvenile Courts
Section 14. Probate court – jurisdiction – judges – election – term – qualifications. The
probate court of the city and county of Denver shall have such jurisdiction as provided by
section 9, subsection (3) of this article. The judge of the probate court of the city and county of
Denver shall have the same qualifications and term of office as provided in this article for
district judges. Vacancies shall be filled as provided in section 20 of this article. The number of
judges of the probate court of the city and county of Denver may be increased as provided by
law.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1052. L. 2002: Entire section
amended, p. 3094, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20,
2002.
Editor’s note: Voters approved the measure repealing and reenacting this article on
November 6, 1962. Section 1 of chapter 313, session laws of Colorado 1963, provided that the
enactment of this section takes effect immediately. However, according to section 1(4) of article
V of the state constitution, a measure “shall take effect from and after the date of the official
declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor”.
Cross references: For the probate court of Denver, see article 9 of title 13.
Section 15. Juvenile court – jurisdiction – judges – election – term – qualifications.
The juvenile court of the city and county of Denver shall have such jurisdiction as shall be
provided by law. The judge of the juvenile court of the city and county of Denver shall have the
same qualifications and term of office as provided in this article for district judges. Vacancies
shall be filled as provided in section 20 of this article. The number of judges of the juvenile court
of the city and county of Denver may be increased as provided by law.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1052. L. 2002: Entire section
amended, p. 3095, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20,
2002.
Editor’s note: Voters approved the measure repealing and reenacting this article on
November 6, 1962. Section 1 of chapter 313, session laws of Colorado 1963, provided that the
enactment of this section takes effect immediately. However, according to section 1(4) of article
V of the state constitution, a measure “shall take effect from and after the date of the official
declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor”.
Cross references: For the juvenile court of Denver, see article 8 of title 13.
County Courts
Section 16. County judges – terms – qualifications. In each county there shall be one or
more judges of the county court as may be provided by law, whose full term of office shall be
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four years, and whose qualifications shall be prescribed by law. County judges shall be qualified
electors of their counties at the time of their election or appointment.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1052. Initiated 66: Entire section
amended, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 6 of the supplement to the 1967 Session
Laws.
Editor’s note: (1) Voters approved the measure repealing and reenacting this article on
November 6, 1962. Section 1 of chapter 313, session laws of Colorado 1963, provided that the
repeal and reenactment of this section takes effect immediately. However, according to section
1(4) of article V of the state constitution, a measure “shall take effect from and after the date of
the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor”.
(2) This section is similar to § 22 as it existed prior to 1961.
(3) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 01, p. 111.
Cross references: For judges and other personnel, see part 2 of article 6 of title 13.
Section 17. County courts – jurisdiction – appeals. County courts shall have such civil,
criminal, and appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law, provided such courts shall not
have jurisdiction of felonies or in civil cases where the boundaries or title to real property shall
be in question. Appellate review by the supreme court or the district courts of every final
judgment of the county courts shall be as provided by law.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1053.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 23 as it existed prior to 1961.
Cross references: For the jurisdiction of county courts in civil actions, see §§ 13-6-104
and 13-6-105; for the jurisdiction of county courts in criminal actions, see § 13-6-106; for
creation of each county court as a court of record, see § 13-6-102; for the statewide jurisdiction
of county courts, see § 13-6-103; for jurisdictional amount, see § 13-6-104; for appeals from
county courts, see §§ 13-6-310 and 13-6-311.
Miscellaneous
Section 18. Compensation and services. Justices and judges of courts of record shall
receive such compensation as may be provided by law, which may be increased but may not be
decreased during their term of office and shall receive such pension or retirement benefits as
may be provided by law. No justice or judge of a court of record shall accept designation or
nomination for any public office other than judicial without first resigning from his judicial
office, nor shall he hold at any other time any other public office during his term of office, nor
hold office in any political party organization, nor contribute to or campaign for any political
party or candidate for political office. No supreme court justice, judge of any intermediate
appellate court, district court judge, probate judge, or juvenile judge shall engage in the practice
of law. Justices, district judges, probate judges, and juvenile judges when called upon to do so,
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may serve in any state court with full authority as provided by law. Any county judge may serve
in any other county court, or serve, as hereinafter may be authorized by law, in any other court,
if possessing the qualifications prescribed by law for a judge of such county court, or other court,
or as a municipal judge or police magistrate as provided by law, or in the case of home rule cities
as provided by charter and ordinances.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1053.
Initiated 66: Entire section amended, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 6 of the
supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to § 18 as it existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see L. 53, p. 228.
Cross references: For compensation of justices and judges, see article 30 of title 13.
Section 19. Laws relating to courts – uniform. All laws relating to state courts shall be
general and of uniform operation throughout the state, and except as hereafter in this section
specified the organization, jurisdiction, powers, proceedings, and practice of all courts of the
same class, and the force and effect of the proceedings, judgments and decrees of such courts
severally shall be uniform. County courts may be classified or graded as may be provided by
law, and the organization, jurisdiction, powers, proceedings, and practice of county courts within
the same class or grade, and the force and effect of the proceedings, judgments and decrees of
county courts in the same class or grade shall be uniform; provided, however, that the
organization and administration of the county court of the city and county of Denver shall be as
provided in the charter and ordinances of the city and county of Denver.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1053.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 28 as it existed prior to 1961.
Section 20. Vacancies. (1) A vacancy in any judicial office in any court of record shall
be filled by appointment of the governor, from a list of three nominees for the supreme court and
any intermediate appellate court, and from a list of two or three nominees for all other courts of
record, such list to be certified to him by the supreme court nominating commission for a
vacancy in the supreme court or a vacancy in any intermediate appellate court, and by the
judicial district nominating commission for a vacancy in any other court in that district. In case
of more than one vacancy in any such court, the list shall contain not less than two more
nominees than there are vacancies to be filled. The list shall be submitted by the nominating
commission not later than thirty days after the death, retirement, tender of resignation, removal
under section 23, failure of an incumbent to file a declaration under section 25, or certification of
a negative majority vote on the question of retention in office under section 25 hereof. If the
governor shall fail to make the appointment (or all of the appointments in case of multiple
vacancies) from such list within fifteen days from the day it is submitted to him, the appointment
(or the remaining appointments in case of multiple vacancies) shall be made by the chief justice
of the supreme court from the same list within the next fifteen days. A justice or judge appointed
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under the provisions of this section shall hold office for a provisional term of two years and then
until the second Tuesday in January following the next general election. A nominee shall be
under the age of seventy-two years at the time his name is submitted to the governor.
(2) Repealed.
(3) Other vacancies occurring in judicial offices shall be filled as now or hereafter
provided by law.
(4) Vacancies occurring in the office of district attorney shall be filled by appointment of
the governor. District attorneys appointed under the provisions of this section shall hold office
until the next general election and until their successors elected thereat shall be duly qualified.
Such successors shall be elected for the remainder of the unexpired term in which the vacancy
was created.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1054.
Initiated 66: Entire section amended, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 7 of the
supplement to the 1967 Session Laws. L. 2002: (2) repealed, p. 3095, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.
Editor’s note: (1) This section is similar to § 29 as it existed prior to 1961.
(2) For amendments to that section prior to 1961, see G.L. § 157.
Section 21. Rule-making power. The supreme court shall make and promulgate rules
governing the administration of all courts and shall make and promulgate rules governing
practice and procedure in civil and criminal cases, except that the general assembly shall have
the power to provide simplified procedures in county courts for the trial of misdemeanors.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1054. L.
2002: Entire section amended, p. 3095, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p.
3611, December 20, 2002.
Cross references: For general superintending control by supreme court over all inferior
courts, see § 2 of this article.
Section 22. Process – prosecution – in name of people. In all prosecutions for violations
of the laws of Colorado, process shall run in the name of “The People of the State of Colorado”;
all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of “The People of the State
of Colorado”, and conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the same”.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, see L. 63, p. 1055.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 30 as it existed prior to 1961.
Section 23. Retirement and removal of justices and judges. (1) On attaining the age of
seventy-two a justice or judge of a court of record shall retire and his judicial office shall be
vacant, except as otherwise provided in section 20 (2).
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(2) Whenever a justice or judge of any court of this state has been convicted in any court
of this state or of the United States or of any state, of a felony or other offense involving moral
turpitude, the supreme court shall, of its own motion or upon petition filed by any person, and
upon finding that such a conviction was had, enter its order suspending said justice or judge from
office until such time as said judgment of conviction becomes final, and the payment of salary of
said justice or judge shall also be suspended from the date of such order. If said judgment of
conviction becomes final, the supreme court shall enter its order removing said justice or judge
from office and declaring his office vacant and his right to salary shall cease from the date of the
order of suspension. If said judgment of conviction is reversed with directions to enter a
judgment of acquittal or if reversed for a new trial which subsequently results in a judgment of
dismissal or acquittal, the supreme court shall enter its order terminating the suspension of said
justice or judge and said justice or judge shall be entitled to his salary for the period of
suspension. A plea of guilty or nolo contendere to such a charge shall be equivalent to a final
conviction for the purpose of this section.
(3) (a) There shall be a commission on judicial discipline. It shall consist of: Two judges
of district courts and two judges of county courts, each selected by the supreme court; two
citizens admitted to practice law in the courts of this state, neither of whom shall be a justice or
judge, who shall have practiced in this state for at least ten years and who shall be appointed by
the governor, with the consent of the senate; and four citizens, none of whom shall be a justice or
judge, active or retired, nor admitted to practice law in the courts of this state, who shall be
appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate.
(b) Each member shall be appointed to a four-year term; except that one-half of the initial
membership in each category shall be appointed to two-year terms, for the purpose of staggering
terms. Whenever a commission membership prematurely terminates or a member no longer
possesses the specific qualifications for the category from which he was selected, his position
shall be deemed vacant, and his successor shall be appointed in the same manner as the original
appointment for the remainder of his term. A member shall be deemed to have resigned if that
member is absent from three consecutive commission meetings without the commission having
entered an approval for additional absences upon its minutes. If any member of the commission
is disqualified to act in any matter pending before the commission, the commission may appoint
a special member to sit on the commission solely for the purpose of deciding that matter.
(c) No member of the commission shall receive any compensation for his services but
shall be allowed his necessary expenses for travel, board, and lodging and any other expenses
incurred in the performance of his duties, to be paid by the supreme court from its budget to be
appropriated by the general assembly.
(d) A justice or judge of any court of record of this state, in accordance with the
procedure set forth in this subsection (3), may be removed or disciplined for willful misconduct
in office, willful or persistent failure to perform his duties, intemperance, or violation of any
canon of the Colorado code of judicial conduct, or he may be retired for disability interfering
with the performance of his duties which is, or is likely to become, of a permanent character.
(e) The commission may, after such investigation as it deems necessary, order informal
remedial action; order a formal hearing to be held before it concerning the removal, retirement,
suspension, censure, reprimand, or other discipline of a justice or a judge; or request the supreme
court to appoint three special masters, who shall be justices or judges of courts of record, to hear
and take evidence in any such matter and to report thereon to the commission. After a formal
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hearing or after considering the record and report of the masters, if the commission finds good
cause therefor, it may take informal remedial action, or it may recommend to the supreme court
the removal, retirement, suspension, censure, reprimand, or discipline, as the case may be, of the
justice or judge. The commission may also recommend that the costs of its investigation and
hearing be assessed against such justice or judge.
(f) Following receipt of a recommendation from the commission, the supreme court shall
review the record of the proceedings on the law and facts and in its discretion may permit the
introduction of additional evidence and shall order removal, retirement, suspension, censure,
reprimand, or discipline, as it finds just and proper, or wholly reject the recommendation. Upon
an order for retirement, the justice or judge shall thereby be retired with the same rights and
privileges as if he retired pursuant to statute. Upon an order for removal, the justice or judge
shall thereby be removed from office, and his salary shall cease from the date of such order. On
the entry of an order for retirement or for removal of a judge, his office shall be deemed vacant.
(g) Prior to the filing of a recommendation to the supreme court by the commission
against any justice or judge, all papers filed with and proceedings before the commission on
judicial discipline or masters appointed by the supreme court, pursuant to this subsection (3),
shall be confidential, and the filing of papers with and the giving of testimony before the
commission or the masters shall be privileged; but no other publication of such papers or
proceedings shall be privileged in any action for defamation; except that the record filed by the
commission in the supreme court continues privileged and a writing which was privileged prior
to its filing with the commission or the masters does not lose such privilege by such filing.
(h) The supreme court shall by rule provide for procedures before the commission on
judicial discipline, the masters, and the supreme court. The rules shall also provide the standards
and degree of proof to be applied by the commission in its proceedings. A justice or judge who is
a member of the commission or supreme court shall not participate in any proceedings involving
his own removal or retirement.
(i) Nothing contained in this subsection (3) shall be construed to have any effect on
article XIII of this constitution.
(j) Repealed.
Source: L. 61: Entire article R&RE, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p. 1055.
Initiated 66: Entire section amended, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 7 of the
supplement to the 1967 Session Laws. L. 82: (3) R&RE, p. 687, effective July 1, 1983, see L.
83, p. 1674. L. 2002: (3)(j) repealed, p. 3095, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L.
2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.
Editor’s note: This section is similar to § 31 as it existed prior to 1961.
Cross references: For rules concerning the functions, responsibilities, and proceedings
of the commission on judicial discipline, see C.R.J.D. 1 to 40.
Section 24. Judicial nominating commissions. (1) There shall be one judicial
nominating commission for the supreme court and any intermediate appellate court to be called
the supreme court nominating commission and one judicial nominating commission for each
judicial district in the state.
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(2) The supreme court nominating commission shall consist of the chief justice or acting
chief justice of the supreme court, ex officio, who shall act as chairman and shall have no vote,
one citizen admitted to practice law before the courts of this state and one other citizen not
admitted to practice law in the courts of this state residing in each congressional district in the
state, and one additional citizen not admitted to practice law in the courts of this state. No more
than one-half of the commission members plus one, exclusive of the chief justice, shall be
members of the same political party. Three voting members shall serve until December 31, 1967,
three until December 31, 1969, and three until December 31, 1971. Thereafter each voting
member appointed shall serve until the 31st of December of the 6th year following the date of
his appointment.
(3) Each judicial district nominating commission shall consist of a justice of the supreme
court designated by the chief justice, to serve at the will of the chief justice who shall act as
chairman ex officio, and shall have no vote, and seven citizens residing in that judicial district,
no more than four of whom shall be members of the same political party and there shall be at
least one voting member from each county in the district. In all judicial districts having a
population of more than 35,000 inhabitants as determined by the last preceding census taken
under the authority of the United States, the voting members shall consist of three persons
admitted to practice law in the courts of this state and four persons not admitted to practice law
in the courts of this state. In judicial districts having a population of 35,000 inhabitants or less as
determined above, at least four voting members shall be persons not admitted to practice law in
the courts of this state; and it shall be determined by majority vote of the governor, the attorney
general and the chief justice, how many, if any, of the remaining three members shall be persons
admitted to practice law in the courts of this state. Two voting members shall serve until
December 31, 1967, two until December 31, 1969, and three until December 31, 1971.
Thereafter each voting member appointed shall serve until the 31st of December of the 6th year
following the date of his appointment.
(4) Members of each judicial nominating commission selected by reason of their being
citizens admitted to practice law in the courts of this state shall be appointed by majority action
of the governor, the attorney general and the chief justice. All other members shall be appointed
by the governor. No voting member of a judicial nominating commission shall hold any elective
and salaried United States or state public office or any elective political party office and he shall
not be eligible for reappointment to succeed himself on a commission. No voting member of the
supreme court nominating commission shall be eligible for appointment as a justice of the
supreme court or any intermediate appellate court so long as he is a member of that commission
and for a period of three years thereafter; and no voting member of a judicial district nominating
commission shall be eligible for appointment to judicial office in that district while a member of
that commission and for a period of one year thereafter.
Source: Initiated 66: Entire section added, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 9 of
the supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
Section 25. Election of justices and judges. A justice of the supreme court or a judge of
any other court of record, who shall desire to retain his judicial office for another term after the
expiration of his then term of office shall file with the secretary of state, not more than six
months nor less than three months prior to the general election next prior to the expiration of his
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then term of office, a declaration of his intent to run for another term. Failure to file such a
declaration within the time specified shall create a vacancy in that office at the end of his then
term of office. Upon the filing of such a declaration, a question shall be placed on the
appropriate ballot at such general election, as follows:
“Shall Justice (Judge) …. of the Supreme (or other) Court be retained in office?
YES/…./NO/…./.” If a majority of those voting on the question vote “Yes”, the justice or judge is
thereupon elected to a succeeding full term. If a majority of those voting on the question vote
“No”, this will cause a vacancy to exist in that office at the end of his then present term of office.
In the case of a justice of the supreme court or any intermediate appellate court, the
electors of the state at large; in the case of a judge of a district court, the electors of that judicial
district; and in the case of a judge of the county court or other court of record, the electors of that
county; shall vote on the question of retention in office of the justice or judge.
Source: Initiated 66: Entire section added, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 10
of the supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
Section 26. Denver county judges. The provisions of sections 16, 20, 23, 24 and 25
hereof shall not be applicable to judges of the county court of the City and County of Denver.
The number, manner of selection, qualifications, term of office, tenure, and removal of such
judges shall be as provided in the charter and ordinances of the City and County of Denver.
Source: Initiated 66: Entire section added, effective January 17, 1967, see L. 67, p. 10
of the supplement to the 1967 Session Laws.
ARTICLE VII
Suffrage and Elections
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
Section 1. Qualifications of elector. Only a citizen of the United States who has attained
the age of eighteen years, has resided in this state for such time as may be prescribed by law, and
has been duly registered as a voter if required by law shall be qualified to vote at all elections.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 51. L. 01: Entire
section amended, p. 107. L. 62: Entire section amended, see L. 63, p. 1057. L. 88: Entire section
amended, p. 1453, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p. 1657, January 3, 1989.
L. 2004: Entire section amended, p. 2745, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L.
2005, p. 2341, December 1, 2004. Initiated 2020: Entire section amended, Amendment 76,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 31, 2020. See L. 2021, p. 4209.
Editor’s note: This section was amended by Amendment 76, effective upon
proclamation of the governor, December 31, 2020. The vote count for the measure at the general
election held November 3, 2020, was as follows:
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FOR: 1,985,239
AGAINST: 1,171,137
Cross references: For the right of citizens eighteen years or older to vote, see article
XXVI of the constitution of the United States; for the qualifications of electors, see § 1-2-101.
Section 1a. Qualifications of elector – residence on federal land. ( F i r s t
paragraph deleted by amendment, L. 2004, p. 2746, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2005, p. 2341, December 1, 2004.)
Any person who otherwise meets the requirements of law for voting in this state shall not
be denied the right to vote in an election because of residence on land situated within this state
that is under the jurisdiction of the United States.
Source: L. 70: Entire section added, p. 446, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, December 7, 1970. L. 2004: Entire section amended, p. 2746, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2005, p. 2341, December 1, 2004.
Cross references: For qualifications and registration of electors, see parts 1 and 2 of
article 2 of title 1; for residency requirements in municipal elections, see § 31-10-201.
Section 2. Suffrage to women. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 52. L. 88: Entire
section repealed, p. 1454, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p. 1657, January
3, 1989.
Editor’s note: For the law enacted pursuant to the directive set out in this section, see
section 1 of chapter 83, session laws of Colorado 1893, codified as section 2147 of chapter 43,
R.S. 08, which was subsequently repealed in section 268 of chapter 118, session laws of
Colorado 1963.
Section 3. Educational qualifications of elector. (Deleted by amendment.)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 52. L. 90: Entire
section amended, p. 1861, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2033, January
3, 1991.
Section 4. When residence does not change. For the purpose of voting and eligibility to
office, no person shall be deemed to have gained a residence by reason of his or her presence, or
lost it by reason of his or her absence, while in the civil or military service of the state, or of the
United States, nor while a student at any institution of learning, nor while kept at public expense
in any asylum, nor while confined in public prison.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 52. L. 2004:
Entire section amended, p. 2746, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2005, p. 2341,
December 1, 2004.
Cross references: For when residence does not change because of presence in the state
as a student or confinement in a state institution or correctional facility or jail or while in the
civil or military service, see § 1-2-103.
Section 5. Privilege of voters. Voters shall in all cases, except treason, felony or breach
of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and
returning therefrom.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 52.
Section 6. Electors only eligible to office. No person except a qualified elector shall be
elected or appointed to any civil or military office in the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 52.
Cross references: For the requirements for election to office of county commissioner,
see § 1-4-205; for the eligibility requirements making qualified electors in general, primary, and
special elections eligible to hold office, see § 1-4-501; for the eligibility requirements making
qualified electors in municipal elections eligible to hold office, see § 31-10-301.
Section 7. General election. The general election shall be held on such day as may be
prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 52. L. 92: Entire
section amended, p. 2316, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 93, p. 2163, January
14, 1993.
Cross references: For time for holding the general election, see § 1-4-201.
Section 8. Elections by ballot or voting machine. All elections by the people shall be
by ballot, and in case paper ballots are required to be used, no ballots shall be marked in any way
whereby the ballot can be identified as the ballot of the person casting it. The election officers
shall be sworn or affirmed not to inquire or disclose how any elector shall have voted. In all
cases of contested election in which paper ballots are required to be used, the ballots cast may be
counted and compared with the list of voters, and examined under such safeguards and
regulations as may be provided by law. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to
prevent the use of any machine or mechanical contrivance for the purpose of receiving and
registering the votes cast at any election, provided that secrecy in voting is preserved.
When the governing body of any county, city, city and county or town, including the city
and county of Denver, and any city, city and county or town which may be governed by the
provisions of special charter, shall adopt and purchase a voting machine, or voting machines,
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such governing body may provide for the payment therefor by the issuance of interest-bearing
bonds, certificates of indebtedness or other obligations, which shall be a charge upon such city,
city and county, or town; such bonds, certificates or other obligations may be made payable at
such time or times, not exceeding ten years from date of issue, as may be determined, but shall
not be issued or sold at less than par.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 52. L. 05: Entire
section amended, p. 168. L. 46: Entire section amended, see. L. 47, p. 427.
Cross references: For notice and preparation for general, primary, and special elections,
see article 4 of title 1; for notice and preparation for municipal elections, see § 31-10-501; for the
conduct of general, primary, and special elections, see article 7 of title 1; for the conduct of
municipal elections, see part 6 of article 10 of title 31; for the method of voting and use of voting
systems for general, primary, and special elections, see parts 4 and 6 of article 5 of title 1; for use
of voting machines for municipal elections, see part 7 of article 10 of title 31; for contests of
general, primary, and special elections, see part 2 of article 11 of title 1; for contests of
municipal elections, see part 13 of article 10 of title 31.
Section 9. No privilege to witness in election trial. In trials of contested elections, and
for offenses arising under the election law, no person shall be permitted to withhold his
testimony on the ground that it may criminate himself, or subject him to public infamy; but such
testimony shall not be used against him in any judicial proceeding, except for perjury in giving
such testimony.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 53.
Section 10. Disfranchisement during imprisonment. No person while confined in any
public prison shall be entitled to vote; but every such person who was a qualified elector prior to
such imprisonment, and who is released therefrom by virtue of a pardon, or by virtue of having
served out his full term of imprisonment, shall without further action, be invested with all the
rights of citizenship, except as otherwise provided in this constitution.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 53.
Cross references: For disfranchisement of any person confined in a state institution or
correctional facility or jail as to general, primary, and special elections, see § 1-2-103; for
disfranchisement of any person confined in a correctional facility or jail as to municipal
elections, see § 31-10-201.
Section 11. Purity of elections. The general assembly shall pass laws to secure the purity
of elections, and guard against abuses of the elective franchise.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 53.
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Cross references: For offenses committed in relation to general, primary, or special
elections, see article 13 of title 1; for offenses committed in relation to municipal elections, see
part 15 of article 10 of title 31.
Section 12. Election contests – by whom tried. The general assembly shall, by general
law, designate the courts and judges by whom the several classes of election contests, not herein
provided for, shall be tried, and regulate the manner of trial, and all matters incident thereto, but
no such law shall apply to any contest arising out of an election held before its passage.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 53.
Cross references: For regulation of contests of general, primary, and special elections,
see part 2 of article 11 of title 1; for regulation of contests of municipal elections, see part 13 of
article 10 of title 31.
ARTICLE VIII
State Institutions
Section 1. Established and supported by state. Educational, reformatory and penal
institutions, and those for the benefit of insane, blind, deaf and mute, and such other institutions
as the public good may require, shall be established and supported by the state, in such manner
as may be prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 53.
Cross references: For the university of Colorado, see articles 20 and 20.5 of title 23; for
the university of Colorado university hospital, see article 21 of title 23; for the university of
Colorado psychiatric hospital, see article 22 of title 23; for the Colorado children’s diagnostic
center, see article 23 of title 23; for Colorado state university, see article 31 of title 23; for
university of northern Colorado, see article 40 of title 23; for Colorado school of mines, see
article 41 of title 23; for Fort Lewis college, see article 52 of title 23; for state universities, see
articles 51, 53, 54, and 56 of title 23; for Colorado state university – Pueblo, see article 31.5 of
title 23; for community colleges, see article 60 of title 23; for the Colorado mental health
institute at Pueblo, see article 93 of title 27; for the state regional centers for persons with
developmental disabilities, see part 3 of article 10.5 of title 27; for Colorado mental health
institute at Fort Logan, see article 94 of title 27; for state correctional facilities, see § 17-1-104.3;
for the Colorado school for the deaf and the blind, see article 80 of title 22.
Section 2. Seat of government – where located. The general assembly shall have no
power to change or to locate the seat of government of the state, which shall remain at the city
and county of Denver.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 53. L. 88: Entire
section amended, p. 1454, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p. 1657, January
3, 1989.
Section 3. Seat of government – how changed – definitions. (1) When the seat of
government shall have been located in the city and county of Denver as provided in section 2 of
this article, the location thereof shall not thereafter be changed, except by a vote of two-thirds of
all the qualified electors of the state voting on that question, at a general election, at which the
question of location of the seat of government shall have been submitted by the general
assembly.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, if the governor
determines that a disaster emergency exists that substantially affects the ability of the state
government to operate in the city and county of Denver, the governor may issue an executive
order declaring a disaster emergency. After declaring the disaster emergency and after consulting
with the chief justice of the supreme court, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the
house of representatives, the governor may designate a temporary meeting location for the
general assembly.
(3) After the declaration of a disaster emergency by the governor, the general assembly
shall convene at the temporary meeting location, whether during regular session or in a special
session convened by the governor or by written request by two-thirds of the members of each
house. The general assembly, acting by bill, may then designate a temporary location for the seat
of government. The bill shall contain a date on which the temporary location of the seat of
government shall expire.
(4) As used in this section:
(a) “Disaster emergency” means the occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or
severe damage, injury, illness, or loss of life or property resulting from an epidemic or a natural,
man-made, or technological cause.
(b) “Seat of government” means the location of the legislative, executive, and judicial
branches of the state of Colorado.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 54. L. 2010:
Entire section amended, p. 3033, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2011, p. 2263,
December 21, 2010.
Section 4. Appropriation for capitol building. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 54. L. 88: Entire
section repealed, p. 1454, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p. 1657, January
3, 1989.
Section 5. Educational institutions. (1) The following educational institutions are
declared to be state institutions of higher education: The university at Boulder, Colorado
Springs, and Denver; the university at Fort Collins; the school of mines at Golden; and such
other institutions of higher education as now exist or may hereafter be established by law if they
are designated by law as state institutions. The establishment, management, and abolition of the
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state institutions shall be subject to the control of the state, under the provisions of the
constitution and such laws and regulations as the general assembly may provide; except that the
regents of the university at Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver may, whenever in their
judgment the needs of that institution demand such action, establish, maintain, and conduct all or
any part of the schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy of the university, together
with hospitals and supporting facilities and programs related to health, at Denver; and further,
that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent state educational institutions from
giving temporary lecture courses in any part of the state, or conducting class excursions for the
purpose of investigation and study; and provided further, that subject to prior approval by the
general assembly, nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the state institutions of
higher education from hereafter establishing, maintaining, and conducting or discontinuing
centers, medical centers, or branches of such institutions in any part of the state.
(2) The governing boards of the state institutions of higher education, whether
established by this constitution or by law, shall have the general supervision of their respective
institutions and the exclusive control and direction of all funds of and appropriations to their
respective institutions, unless otherwise provided by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 54. L. 09: Entire
section amended, p. 324. L. 22: Entire section amended, effective December 21, 1922, see L. 23,
p. 227. L. 72: Entire section amended, p. 644, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
January 11, 1973.
Cross references: For establishment and support of educational institutions, see § 1 of
this article.
ARTICLE IX
Education
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007); for article, “The Judiciary’s Role in Colorado’s School Finance
System”, see 44 Colo. Law. 51 (Oct. 2015).
Section 1. Supervision of schools – board of education. (1) The general supervision of
the public schools of the state shall be vested in a board of education whose powers and duties
shall be as now or hereafter prescribed by law. Said board shall consist of a member from each
congressional district of the state and, if the total number of such congressional districts is an
even number, one additional member, and said members shall be elected as hereinafter provided.
The members of said board shall be elected by the registered electors of the state, voting at
general elections, in such manner and for such terms as may be by law prescribed; provided, that
provisions may be made by law for election of a member from each congressional district of the
state by the electors of such district; and provided, further, that each member from a
congressional district of the state shall be a qualified elector of such district. If the total number
of congressional districts of the state is an even number, the additional member of said board
shall be elected from the state at large. The members of said board shall serve without
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compensation, but they shall be reimbursed for any necessary expenses incurred by them in
performing their duties as members of said board.
(2) The commissioner of education shall be appointed by the board of education and shall
not be included in the classified civil service of the state.
(3) The qualifications, tenure, compensation, powers, and duties of said commissioner
shall be as prescribed by law, subject to the supervision of said board.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 54. L. 48: Entire
section amended, see L. 49, p. 359. L. 92: Entire section amended, p. 2316, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 93, p. 2163, January 14, 1993.
Cross references: For education generally, see title 22.
Section 2. Establishment and maintenance of public schools. The general assembly
shall, as soon as practicable, provide for the establishment and maintenance of a thorough and
uniform system of free public schools throughout the state, wherein all residents of the state,
between the ages of six and twenty-one years, may be educated gratuitously. One or more public
schools shall be maintained in each school district within the state, at least three months in each
year; any school district failing to have such school shall not be entitled to receive any portion of
the school fund for that year.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 55.
Cross references: For residence of child in school district, see § 22-1-102.
Section 3. School fund inviolate. The public school fund of the state shall, except as
provided in this article IX, forever remain inviolate and intact and the interest and other income
thereon, only, shall be expended in the maintenance of the schools of the state, and shall be
distributed amongst the several counties and school districts of the state, in such manner as may
be prescribed by law. No part of this fund, principal, interest, or other income shall ever be
transferred to any other fund, or used or appropriated, except as provided in this article IX. The
state treasurer shall be the custodian of this fund, and the same shall be securely and profitably
invested as may be by law directed. The state shall supply all losses thereof that may in any
manner occur. In order to assist public schools in the state in providing necessary buildings,
land, and equipment, the general assembly may adopt laws establishing the terms and conditions
upon which the state treasurer may (1) invest the fund in bonds of school districts, (2) use all or
any portion of the fund or the interest or other income thereon to guaranty bonds issued by
school districts, or (3) make loans to school districts. Distributions of interest and other income
for the benefit of public schools provided for in this article IX shall be in addition to and not a
substitute for other moneys appropriated by the general assembly for such purposes.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 55. Initiated 96:
Entire section amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 97, p. 2399, December
26, 1996.
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Cross references: For the public school fund, see article 41 of title 22; for pledging the
credit of a state, county, city, town, or school district, see § 1 of article XI of this constitution.
Section 4. County treasurer to collect and disburse. Each county treasurer shall collect
all school funds belonging to his county, and the several school districts therein, and disburse the
same to the proper districts upon warrants drawn by the county superintendent, or by the proper
district authorities, as may be provided by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 55.
Section 5. Of what school fund consists. The public school fund of the state shall
consist of the proceeds of such land as have heretofore been, or may hereafter, be granted to the
state by the general government for educational purposes; all estates that may escheat to the
state; also all other grants, gifts or devises that may be made to this state for educational purpose.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 55.
Section 6. County superintendent of schools. There may be a county superintendent of
schools in each county, whose term of office shall be four years, and whose duties,
qualifications, and compensation shall be prescribed by law.
The provisions of section 8 of article XIV of this constitution to the contrary
notwithstanding, the office of county superintendent of schools may be abolished by any county
if the question of the abolishment of said office is first submitted, at a general election, to a vote
of the qualified electors of said county and approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon. In
any county so voting in favor of such abolishment, the office of county superintendent of schools
and the term of office of any incumbent in said county shall terminate on June 30 following.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 55. L. 64: Entire
section amended, p. 840.
Editor’s note: Because there are currently no county superintendents of schools, the
requirement that such person be elected was stricken in section 8 of article XIV as obsolete in
senate concurrent resolution 00-005.
Section 7. Aid to private schools, churches, sectarian purpose, forbidden. Neither the
general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other public
corporation, shall ever make any appropriation, or pay from any public fund or moneys
whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian society, or for any sectarian purpose, or to
help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or
scientific institution, controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever; nor shall
any grant or donation of land, money or other personal property, ever be made by the state, or
any such public corporation to any church, or for any sectarian purpose.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 55.
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Cross references: For religious freedom, see § 4 of article II of this constitution; for
prohibition against appropriations to private institutions, see § 34 of article V of this constitution.
Section 8. Religious test and race discrimination forbidden – sectarian tenets. No
religious test or qualification shall ever be required of any person as a condition of admission
into any public educational institution of the state, either as a teacher or student; and no teacher
or student of any such institution shall ever be required to attend or participate in any religious
service whatsoever. No sectarian tenets or doctrines shall ever be taught in the public school, nor
shall any distinction or classification of pupils be made on account of race or color, nor shall any
pupil be assigned or transported to any public educational institution for the purpose of
achieving racial balance.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 56. Initiated 74:
Entire section was amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974,
but does not appear in the session laws.
Cross references: For religious freedom, see § 4 of article II of this constitution.
Section 9. State board of land commissioners. (1) The state board of land
commissioners shall be composed of five persons to be appointed by the governor, with the
consent of the senate, one of whom shall be elected by the board as its president.
(2) The governor shall endeavor to appoint members of the board who reside in different
geographic regions of the state. The board shall be composed of one person with substantial
experience in production agriculture, one person with substantial experience in public primary or
secondary education, one person with substantial experience in local government and land use
planning, one person with substantial experience in natural resource conservation, and one
citizen at large.
(3) The governor shall appoint a new board of land commissioners on or before May 1,
1997. The term of each member shall be for four years; except that of the first board members
appointed under this subsection (3), two members shall be appointed for terms that expire June
30, 1999, and three members shall be appointed for terms that expire June 30, 2001. No member
shall serve more than two consecutive terms. Members of the board shall be subject to removal,
and vacancies on the board shall be filled, as provided in article IV, section 6 of this constitution.
(4) The board shall, pursuant to section 13 of article XII of this constitution, hire a
director with the consent of the governor, and, through the director, a staff, and may contract for
office space, acquire equipment and supplies, and enter into contracts as necessary to accomplish
its duties. Payment for goods, services, and personnel shall be made from the income from the
trust lands. The general assembly shall annually appropriate from the income from the trust
lands, sufficient moneys to enable the board to perform its duties and in that regard shall give
deference to the board’s assessment of its budgetary needs. The members of the board shall not,
by virtue of their appointment, be employees of the state; they may be reimbursed for their
reasonable and necessary expenses and may, in addition, receive such per diem as may be
established by the general assembly, from the income from the trust lands.
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(5) The individual members of the board shall have no personal liability for any action or
failure to act as long as such action or failure to act does not involve willful or intentional
malfeasance or gross negligence.
(6) The board shall serve as the trustee for the lands granted to the state in public trust by
the federal government, lands acquired in lieu thereof, and additional lands held by the board in
public trust. It shall have the duty to manage, control, and dispose of such lands in accordance
with the purposes for which said grants of land were made and section 10 of this article IX, and
subject to such terms and conditions consistent therewith as may be prescribed by law.
(7) The board shall have the authority to undertake nonsimultaneous exchanges of land,
by directing that the proceeds from a particular sale or other disposition be deposited into a
separate account to be established by the state treasurer with the interest thereon to accrue to
such account, and withdrawing therefrom an equal or lesser amount to be used as the purchase
price for other land to be held and managed as provided in this article, provided that the purchase
of lands to complete such an exchange shall be made within two years of the initial sale or
disposition. Any proceeds, and the interest thereon, from a sale or other disposition which are
not expended in completing the exchange shall be transferred by the state treasurer to the public
school fund or such other trust fund maintained by the treasurer for the proceeds of the trust
lands disposed of or sold. Moneys held in the separate account shall not be used for the operating
expenses of the board or for expenses incident to the disposition or acquisition of lands.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 56. L. 09: Entire
section amended, p. 322, effective January 10, 1911. L. 92: Entire section amended, p. 2317,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 93, p. 2163, January 14, 1993. Initiated 96:
Entire section amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 97, p. 2399, December
26, 1996. L. 2004: (3) amended, p. 2746, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2005,
p. 2341, December 1, 2004.
Cross references: For state board of land commissioners, see article 1 of title 36.
Section 10. Selection and management of public trust lands. (1) The people of the
state of Colorado recognize (a) that the state school lands are an endowment of land assets held
in a perpetual, inter-generational public trust for the support of public schools, which should not
be significantly diminished, (b) that the disposition and use of such lands should therefore
benefit public schools including local school districts, and (c) that the economic productivity of
all lands held in public trust is dependent on sound stewardship, including protecting and
enhancing the beauty, natural values, open space and wildlife habitat thereof, for this and future
generations. In recognition of these principles, the board shall be governed by the standards set
forth in this section 10 in the discharge of its fiduciary obligations, in addition to other laws
generally applicable to trustees.
It shall be the duty of the state board of land commissioners to provide for the prudent
management, location, protection, sale, exchange, or other disposition of all the lands heretofore,
or which may hereafter be, held by the board as trustee pursuant to section 9(6) of this article IX,
in order to produce reasonable and consistent income over time. In furtherance thereof, the board
shall:
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(a) Prior to the lease, sale, or exchange of any lands for commercial, residential or
industrial development, determine that the income from the lease, sale, or exchange can
reasonably be anticipated to exceed the fiscal impact of such development on local school
districts and state funding of education from increased school enrollment associated with such
development;
(b) Protect and enhance the long-term productivity and sound stewardship of the trust
lands held by the board, by, among other activities:
(I) Establishing and maintaining a long-term stewardship trust of up to 300,000 acres of
land that the board determines through a statewide public nomination process to be valuable
primarily to preserve long-term benefits and returns to the state; which trust shall be held and
managed to maximize options for continued stewardship, public use, or future disposition, by
permitting only those uses, not necessarily precluding existing uses or management practices,
that will protect and enhance the beauty, natural values, open space, and wildlife habitat thereof;
at least 200,000 acres of which land shall be designated on or before January 1, 1999, and at
least an additional 95,000 acres of which land shall be designated on or before January 1, 2001;
specific parcels of land held in the stewardship trust may be removed from the trust only upon
the affirmative vote of four members of the board and upon the designation or exchange of an
equal or greater amount of additional land into said trust.
(II) Including in agricultural leases terms, incentives, and lease rates that will promote
sound stewardship and land management practices, long-term agricultural productivity, and
community stability;
(III) Managing the development and utilization of natural resources in a manner which
will conserve the long-term value of such resources, as well as existing and future uses, and in
accordance with state and local laws and regulations; and
(IV) Selling or leasing conservation easements, licenses and other similar interests in
land.
(c) Comply with valid local land use regulations and land use plans.
(d) Allow access by public schools without charge for outdoor educational purposes so
long as such access does not conflict with uses previously approved by the board on such lands.
(e) Provide opportunities for the public school districts within which such lands are
located to lease, purchase, or otherwise use such lands or portions thereof as are necessary for
school building sites, at an amount to be determined by the board, which shall not exceed the
appraised fair market value, which amount may be paid over time.
(2) No law shall ever be passed by the general assembly granting any privileges to
persons who may have settled upon any such public trust lands subsequent to the survey thereof
by the general government, by which the amount to be derived by the sale, or other disposition
of such lands, shall be diminished, directly or indirectly.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 56. L. 96: Entire
section amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 97, p. 2401, December 26,
1996.
Cross references: For the sale of state lands, see § 36-1-124.
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Section 11. Compulsory education. The general assembly may require, by law, that
every child of sufficient mental and physical ability, shall attend the public school during the
period between the ages of six and eighteen years, for a time equivalent to three years, unless
educated by other means.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 56.
Section 12. Regents of university. There shall be nine regents of the university of
Colorado who shall be elected in the manner prescribed by law for terms of six years each. Said
regents shall constitute a body corporate to be known by the name and style of “The Regents of
the University of Colorado”. The board of regents shall select from among its members a
chairman who shall conduct the meetings of the board and a vice-chairman who shall assume the
duties of the chairman in case of his absence.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 57. L. 72: Entire
section R&RE, p. 645, effective July 1, 1973.
Cross references: For regents of the university of Colorado, see § 23-20-102; for power
to establish, maintain, and conduct departments of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy of
the university of Colorado, see § 5 of article VIII of this constitution; for control over university
of Colorado university hospital, see part 5 of article 21 of title 23.
Section 13. President of university. The regents of the university shall elect a president
of the university who shall hold his office until removed by the board of regents. He shall be the
principal executive officer of the university, a member of the faculty thereof, and shall carry out
the policies and programs established by the board of regents.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 57. L. 72: Entire
section R&RE, p. 645, effective July 1, 1973.
Section 14. Control of university. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 57. L. 72: Entire
section repealed, p. 645, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, January 11, 1973.
Section 15. School districts – board of education. The general assembly shall, by law,
provide for organization of school districts of convenient size, in each of which shall be
established a board of education, to consist of three or more directors to be elected by the
qualified electors of the district. Said directors shall have control of instruction in the public
schools of their respective districts.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 57.
Cross references: For requirement that one or more public schools be maintained in
each district, see § 2 of this article.
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Section 16. Textbooks in public schools. Neither the general assembly nor the state
board of education shall have power to prescribe textbooks to be used in the public schools.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 57.
Section 17. Education – Funding. (1) Purpose. In state fiscal year 2001-2002 through
state fiscal year 2010-2011, the statewide base per pupil funding, as defined by the Public School
Finance Act of 1994, article 54 of title 22, Colorado Revised Statutes on the effective date of this
section, for public education from preschool through the twelfth grade and total state funding for
all categorical programs shall grow annually at least by the rate of inflation plus an additional
one percentage point. In state fiscal year 2011-2012, and each fiscal year thereafter, the
statewide base per pupil funding for public education from preschool through the twelfth grade
and total state funding for all categorical programs shall grow annually at a rate set by the
general assembly that is at least equal to the rate of inflation.
(2) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(a) “Categorical programs” include transportation programs, English language
proficiency programs, expelled and at-risk student programs, special education programs
(including gifted and talented programs), suspended student programs, vocational education
programs, small attendance centers, comprehensive health education programs, and other current
and future accountable programs specifically identified in statute as a categorical program.
(b) “Inflation” has the same meaning as defined in article X, section 20, subsection (2),
paragraph (f) of the Colorado constitution.
(3) Implementation. In state fiscal year 2001-2002 and each fiscal year thereafter, the
general assembly may annually appropriate, and school districts may annually expend, monies
from the state education fund created in subsection (4) of this section. Such appropriations and
expenditures shall not be subject to the statutory limitation on general fund appropriations
growth, the limitation on fiscal year spending set forth in article X, section 20 of the Colorado
constitution, or any other spending limitation existing in law.
(4) State Education Fund Created. (a) There is hereby created in the department of the
treasury the state education fund. Beginning on the effective date of this measure, all state
revenues collected from a tax of one third of one percent on federal taxable income, as modified
by law, of every individual, estate, trust and corporation, as defined in law, shall be deposited in
the state education fund. Revenues generated from a tax of one third of one percent on federal
taxable income, as modified by law, of every individual, estate, trust and corporation, as defined
in law, shall not be subject to the limitation on fiscal year spending set forth in article X, section
20 of the Colorado constitution. All interest earned on monies in the state education fund shall be
deposited in the state education fund and shall be used before any principal is depleted. Monies
remaining in the state education fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the fund and
not revert to the general fund.
(b) In state fiscal year 2001-2002, and each fiscal year thereafter, the general assembly
may annually appropriate monies from the state education fund. Monies in the state education
fund may only be used to comply with subsection (1) of this section and for accountable
education reform, for accountable programs to meet state academic standards, for class size
reduction, for expanding technology education, for improving student safety, for expanding the
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availability of preschool and kindergarten programs, for performance incentives for teachers, for
accountability reporting, or for public school building capital construction.
(5) Maintenance of Effort. Monies appropriated from the state education fund shall not
be used to supplant the level of general fund appropriations existing on the effective date of this
section for total program education funding under the Public School Finance Act of 1994, article
54 of title 22, Colorado Revised Statutes, and for categorical programs as defined in subsection
(2) of this section. In state fiscal year 2001-2002 through state fiscal year 2010-2011, the general
assembly shall, at a minimum, annually increase the general fund appropriation for total program
under the “Public School Finance Act of 1994,” or any successor act, by an amount not below
five percent of the prior year general fund appropriation for total program under the “Public
School Finance Act of 1994,” or any successor act. This general fund growth requirement shall
not apply in any fiscal year in which Colorado personal income grows less than four and one half
percent between the two previous calendar years.
Source: Initiated 2000: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2001, p. 2387, December 28, 2000.
Editor’s note: The “effective date of this section” and the “effective date of this
measure” referred to in subsections (1), (4)(a), and (5) is December 28, 2000.
ARTICLE X
Revenue
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
Section 1. Fiscal year. The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of October in
each year, unless otherwise provided by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 57.
Editor’s note: The fiscal period begins on July 1 in each year, pursuant to § 24-30-204.
Cross references: For taxation generally, see title 39.
Section 2. Tax provided for state expenses. The general assembly shall provide by law
for an annual tax sufficient, with other resources, to defray the estimated expenses of the state
government for each fiscal year.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 57.
Cross references: For maximum rate of taxation, see § 11 of this article.
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Section 3. Uniform taxation – exemptions. (1) (a) Each property tax levy shall be
uniform upon all real and personal property not exempt from taxation under this article located
within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax. The actual value of all real and
personal property not exempt from taxation under this article shall be determined under general
laws, which shall prescribe such methods and regulations as shall secure just and equalized
valuations for assessments of all real and personal property not exempt from taxation under this
article. Valuations for assessment shall be based on appraisals by assessing officers to determine
the actual value of property in accordance with provisions of law, which laws shall provide that
actual value be determined by appropriate consideration of cost approach, market approach, and
income approach to appraisal. However, the actual value of residential real property shall be
determined solely by consideration of cost approach and market approach to appraisal; and,
however, the actual value of agricultural lands, as defined by law, shall be determined solely by
consideration of the earning or productive capacity of such lands capitalized at a rate as
prescribed by law.
(b) Residential real property, which shall include all residential dwelling units and the
land, as defined by law, on which such units are located, and mobile home parks, but shall not
include hotels and motels, shall be valued for assessment. All other taxable property shall be
valued for assessment. The valuation for assessment for producing mines, as defined by law, and
lands or leaseholds producing oil or gas, as defined by law, shall be a portion of the actual
annual or actual average annual production therefrom, based upon the value of the unprocessed
material, according to procedures prescribed by law for different types of minerals. Nonproducing unpatented mining claims, which are possessory interests in real property by virtue of
leases from the United States of America, shall be exempt from property taxation.
(c) The following classes of personal property, as defined by law, shall be exempt from
property taxation: Household furnishings and personal effects which are not used for the
production of income at any time; inventories of merchandise and materials and supplies which
are held for consumption by a business or are held primarily for sale; livestock; agricultural and
livestock products; and agricultural equipment which is used on the farm or ranch in the
production of agricultural products.
(d) Ditches, canals, and flumes owned and used by individuals or corporations for
irrigating land owned by such individuals or corporations, or the individual members thereof,
shall not be separately taxed so long as they shall be owned and used exclusively for such
purposes.
(2) (a) During each property tax year beginning with the property tax year which
commences January 1, 1983, the general assembly shall cause a valuation for assessment study
to be conducted. Such study shall determine whether or not the assessor of each county has
complied with the property tax provisions of this constitution and of the statutes in valuing
property and has determined the actual value and valuation for assessment of each and every
class of taxable real and personal property consistent with such provisions. Such study shall
sample at least one percent of each and every class of taxable real and personal property in the
county.
(b) (I) If the study conducted during the property tax year which commences January 1,
1983, shows that a county assessor did not comply with the property tax provisions of this
constitution or the statutes or did not determine the actual value or the valuation for assessment
of any class or classes of taxable real and personal property consistent with such provisions, the
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state board of equalization shall, during such year, order such county assessor to reappraise
during the property tax year which commences January 1, 1984, such class or classes for such
year. Such reappraisal shall be performed at the expense of the county.
(II) If the study performed during the property tax year which commences January 1,
1984, shows that the county assessor failed to reappraise such class or classes as ordered or
failed in his reappraisal to meet the objections of the state board of equalization, the state board
of equalization shall cause a reappraisal of such class or classes to be performed in the property
tax year which commences January 1, 1985. The cost of such reappraisal shall be paid by the
state by an appropriation authorized by law. However, if such reappraisal shows that the county
assessor did not value or assess taxable property as prescribed by the provisions of this
constitution or of the statutes, upon certification to the board of county commissioners by the
state board of equalization of the cost thereof, the board of county commissioners shall pay to
the state the cost of such reappraisal.
(III) The reappraisal performed in the property tax year which commences January 1,
1985, shall become the county’s abstract for assessment with regard to such reappraised class or
classes for such year. The state board of equalization shall order the county’s board of county
commissioners to levy, and the board of county commissioners shall levy, in 1985 an additional
property tax on all taxable property in the county in an amount sufficient to repay, and the board
of county commissioners shall repay, the state for any excess payment made by the state to
school districts within the county during the property tax year which commences January 1,
1985.
(c) (I) Beginning with the property tax year which commences January 1, 1985, and
applicable to each property tax year thereafter, the annual study conducted pursuant to paragraph
(a) of this subsection (2) shall, in addition to the requirements set forth in paragraph (a) of this
subsection (2), set forth the aggregate valuation for assessment of each county for the year in
which the study is conducted.
(II) If the valuation for assessment of a county as reflected in its abstract for assessment
is more than five percent below the valuation for assessment for such county as determined by
the study, during the next following year, the state board of equalization shall cause to be
performed, at the expense of the county, a reappraisal of any class or classes of taxable property
which the study shows were not appraised consistent with the property tax provisions of this
constitution or the statutes. The state board of equalization shall cause to be performed during
the next following year, at the expense of the county, a reappraisal of any class or classes of
taxable property which the study shows were not appraised consistent with the property tax
provisions of this constitution or the statutes even though the county’s aggregate valuation for
assessment as reflected in the county’s abstract for assessment was not more than five percent
below the county’s aggregate valuation for assessment as determined by the study. The
reappraisal shall become the county’s valuation for assessment with regard to such reappraised
class or classes for the year in which the reappraisal was performed.
(III) In any case in which a reappraisal is ordered, state equalization payments to school
districts within the county during the year in which the reappraisal is performed shall be based
upon the valuation for assessment as reflected in the county’s abstract for assessment. The state
board of equalization shall also order the board of county commissioners of the county to
impose, and the board of county commissioners shall impose, at the time of imposition of
property taxes during such year an additional property tax on all taxable property within the
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county in an amount sufficient to repay, and the board of county commissioners shall repay, the
state for any excess payments made by the state to school districts within the county during the
year in which such reappraisal was performed plus interest thereon at a rate and for such time as
are prescribed by law.
(IV) If the valuation for assessment of a county as reflected in its abstract for assessment
is more than five percent below the valuation for assessment for such county as determined by
the study and if the state board of equalization fails to order a reappraisal, state equalization
payments to school districts within the county during the year following the year in which the
study was conducted shall be based upon the valuation for assessment for the county as reflected
in the county’s abstract for assessment. The board of county commissioners of such county shall
impose in the year in which such school payments are made an additional property tax on all
taxable property in the county in an amount sufficient to repay, and the board of county
commissioners shall repay, the state for the difference between the amount the state actually paid
in state equalization payments during such year and what the state would have paid during such
year had such state payments been based on the valuation for assessment as determined by the
study.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58. L. 1879:
Entire section amended, p. 31. L. 1891: Entire section amended, p. 89. L. 03: Entire section
amended, p. 152. L. 56: Entire section amended, see L. 57, p. 796. L. 82: Entire section
amended, p. 691, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 83, p. 1682, December 30,
1982. L. 88: (1)(b) amended, p. 1457, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 89, p.
1662, January 3, 1989. L. 2000: (1)(b) amended, p. 2783, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2001, p. 2392, December 28, 2000. Referred 2020: (1)(b) amended, Amendment
B, p. 2421, effective upon proclamation of the Governor issued December 31, 2020. See L.
2021, p. 4213.
Cross references: For provisions concerning property valuation by market approach
only, see § 20 (8)(c) of this article and § 39-1-103 (5)(a); for the performance of labor or making
improvements upon any lode claim or placer claim or for the payment of an annual claim rental
fee, see §§ 30-1-103 (2)(m) and 34-43-114; for property exempt from taxation, see article 3 of
title 39; for valuation and assessment of public utilities, see article 4 of title 39; for valuation of
real and personal property, see part 1 of article 5 of title 39; for valuation of mines, see article 6
of title 39; for valuation of oil and gas leaseholds and lands, see article 7 of title 39.
Section 3.5. Homestead exemption for qualifying senior citizens and disabled
veterans. (1) For property tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2002, fifty percent of the
first two hundred thousand dollars of actual value of residential real property, as defined by law,
that, as of the assessment date, is owner-occupied and is used as the primary residence of the
owner-occupier shall be exempt from property taxation if:
(a) The owner-occupier is sixty-five years of age or older as of the assessment date and
has owned and occupied such residential real property as his or her primary residence for the ten
years immediately preceding the assessment date;
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(b) The owner-occupier is the spouse or surviving spouse of an owner-occupier who
previously qualified for a property tax exemption for the same residential real property under
paragraph (a) of this subsection (1); or
(c) For property tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2007, only, the owneroccupier, as of the assessment date, is a disabled veteran.
(1.3) An owner-occupier may claim only one exemption per property tax year even if the
owner-occupier qualifies for an exemption under both paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this
section and either paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section.
(1.5) For purposes of this section, “disabled veteran” means an individual who has served
on active duty in the United States armed forces, including a member of the Colorado national
guard who has been ordered into the active military service of the United States, has been
separated therefrom under honorable conditions, and has established a service-connected
disability that has been rated by the federal department of veterans affairs as one hundred percent
permanent disability through disability retirement benefits or a pension pursuant to a law or
regulation administered by the department, the department of homeland security, or the
department of the army, navy, or air force.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, section 20 of this
article, or any other constitutional provision, for any property tax year commencing on or after
January 1, 2003, the general assembly may raise or lower by law the maximum amount of actual
value of residential real property of which fifty percent shall be exempt under subsection (1) of
this section.
(3) For any property tax year commencing on or after January 1, 2002, the general
assembly shall compensate each local governmental entity that receives property tax revenues
for the net amount of property tax revenues lost as a result of the property tax exemption
provided for in this section. For purposes of section 20 of article X of this constitution, such
compensation shall not be included in local government fiscal year spending and approval of this
section by the voters statewide shall constitute a voter-approved revenue change to allow the
maximum amount of state fiscal year spending for the 2001-02 state fiscal year to be increased
by forty-four million one hundred twenty-three thousand six hundred four dollars and to include
said amount in state fiscal year spending for said state fiscal year for the purpose of calculating
subsequent state fiscal year spending limits. Payments made from the state general fund to
compensate local governmental entities for property tax revenues lost as a result of the property
tax exemption provided for in this section shall not be subject to any statutory limitation on
general fund appropriations because the enactment of this section by the people of Colorado
constitutes voter approval of a weakening of any such limitation.
Source: L. 2000: Entire section added, p. 2784, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, December 28, 2000. L. 2006: (1) amended and (1.3) and (1.5) added, p. 2953,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2007, p. 2963, December 31, 2006.
Section 4. Public property exempt. The property, real and personal, of the state,
counties, cities, towns and other municipal corporations and public libraries, shall be exempt
from taxation.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58.
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Section 5. Property used for religious worship, schools and charitable purposes
exempt. Property, real and personal, that is used solely and exclusively for religious worship, for
schools or for strictly charitable purposes, also cemeteries not used or held for private or
corporate profit, shall be exempt from taxation, unless otherwise provided by general law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58. L. 36, 2nd Ex.
Sess.: Entire section amended, p. 107, see L. 37, p. 1034.
Section 6. Self-propelled equipment, motor vehicles, and certain other movable
equipment. The general assembly shall enact laws classifying motor vehicles and also wheeled
trailers, semi-trailers, trailer coaches, and mobile and self-propelled construction equipment,
prescribing methods of determining the taxable value of such property, and requiring payment of
a graduated annual specific ownership tax thereon, which tax shall be in lieu of all ad valorem
taxes upon such property; except that such laws shall not exempt from ad valorem taxation any
such property in process of manufacture or held in storage, or which constitutes the inventory of
manufacturers or distributors thereof or dealers therein; and further except that the general
assembly shall provide by law for the taxation of mobile homes.
Such graduated annual specific ownership tax shall be in addition to any state registration
or license fees imposed on such property, shall be payable to a designated county officer at the
same time as any such registration or license fees are payable, and shall be apportioned,
distributed, and paid over to the political subdivisions of the state in such manner as may be
prescribed by law.
All laws exempting from taxation property other than that specified in this article shall be
void.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58. Initiated 36:
Entire section amended, see L. 37, p. 326. L. 66: Entire section R&RE, see L. 67, p. 3 of the
supplement to the 1967 Session Laws. L. 75: Entire section amended, p. 1579.
Cross references: For statutory provisions providing for specific ownership tax, see §§
42-3-101 to 42-3-111.
Section 7. Municipal taxation by general assembly prohibited. The general assembly
shall not impose taxes for the purposes of any county, city, town or other municipal corporation,
but may by law, vest in the corporate authorities thereof respectively, the power to assess and
collect taxes for all purposes of such corporation.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58.
Cross references: For the authority of the general assembly to levy income taxes for the
support of the state, see § 17 of this article; for county and municipal sales or use tax, see article
2 of title 29; for powers of municipalities to levy taxes, see part 1 of article 20 of title 31.
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Section 8. No county, city, town to be released. No county, city, town or other
municipal corporation, the inhabitants thereof, nor the property therein, shall be released or
discharged from their or its proportionate share of taxes to be levied for state purposes.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58.
Section 9. Relinquishment of power to tax corporations forbidden. The power to tax
corporations and corporate property, real and personal, shall never be relinquished or suspended.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58.
Section 10. Corporations subject to tax. All corporations in this state, or doing business
therein, shall be subject to taxation for state, county, school, municipal and other purposes, on
the real and personal property owned or used by them within the territorial limits of the authority
levying the tax.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 58.
Section 11. Maximum rate of taxation. The rate of taxation on property, for state
purposes, shall never exceed four mills on each dollar of valuation; provided, however, that in
the discretion of the general assembly an additional levy of not to exceed one mill on each dollar
of valuation may from time to time be authorized for the erection of additional buildings at, and
for the use, benefit, maintenance, and support of the state educational institutions; provided,
further, that the rate of taxation on property for all state purposes, including the additional levy
herein provided for, shall never exceed five mills on each dollar of valuation, unless otherwise
provided in the constitution.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 59. L. 1891:
Entire section amended, p. 90. Initiated 20: Entire section amended, effective December 4,
1920, see L. 21, p. 179.
Cross references: For limitation of county levy, see part 2 of article 25 of title 30.
Section 12. Public funds – report of state treasurer. (1) The general assembly may
provide by law for the safekeeping and management of the public funds in the custody of the
state treasurer, but, notwithstanding any such provision, the state treasurer and his sureties shall
be responsible therefor.
(2) The state treasurer shall keep adequate records of all moneys coming into his custody
and shall at the end of each quarter of the fiscal year submit a written report to the governor,
signed under oath, showing the condition of the state treasury, the amount of money in the
several funds, and where such money is kept or deposited. Swearing falsely to any such report
shall be deemed perjury.
(3) The governor shall cause every such quarterly report to be promptly published in at
least one newspaper printed at the seat of government, and otherwise as the general assembly
may require.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 59. L. 74: Entire
section R&RE, p. 454, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974.
Section 13. Making profit on public money – felony. The making of profit, directly or
indirectly, out of state, county, city, town or school district money, or using the same for any
purpose not authorized by law, by any public officer, shall be deemed a felony, and shall be
punished as provided by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 59.
Section 14. Private property not taken for public debt. Private property shall not be
taken or sold for the payment of the corporate debt of municipal corporations.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 59.
Section 15. Boards of equalization – duties – property tax administrator. (1) (a) There
shall be in each county of the state a county board of equalization, consisting of the board of
county commissioners of said county. As may be prescribed by law, the county boards of
equalization shall raise, lower, adjust, and equalize valuations for assessment of taxes upon real
and personal property located within their respective counties, subject to review and revision by
the state board of equalization.
(b) There shall be a state board of equalization, consisting of the governor or his
designee, the speaker of the house of representatives or his designee, the president of the senate
or his designee, and two members appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate.
Each of such appointed members shall be a qualified appraiser or a former county assessor or a
person who has knowledge and experience in property taxation. The general assembly shall
provide by law for the political composition of such board and for the compensation of its
members and, with regard to the appointed members, for terms of office, the filling of vacancies,
and removal from office. As may be prescribed by law, the state board of equalization shall
review the valuations determined for assessment of taxes upon the various classes of real and
personal property located in the several counties of the state and shall, upon a majority vote,
raise, lower, and adjust the same to the end that all valuations for assessment of taxes shall be
just and equalized; except that said state board of equalization shall have no power of original
assessment. Whenever a majority vote of the state board of equalization is prescribed by this
constitution or by statute, “majority vote” means an affirmative vote of the majority of the entire
membership of such board.
(c) The state board of equalization and the county boards of equalization shall perform
such other duties as may be prescribed by law.
(2) The state board of equalization shall appoint, by a majority vote, a property tax
administrator who shall serve for a term of five years and until his successor is appointed and
qualified unless removed for cause by a majority vote of the state board of equalization. The
property tax administrator shall have the duty, as provided by law, of administering the property
tax laws and such other duties as may be prescribed by law and shall be subject to the
supervision and control of the state board of equalization. The position of property tax
administrator shall be exempt from the personnel system of this state.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 59. L. 13: Entire
section amended, see L. 15, p.163. L. 62: Entire section amended, see L. 63, p. 1059. L. 82:
Entire section amended, p. 695, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 83, p. 1682,
December 30, 1982.
Cross references: For county boards of equalization, see article 8 of title 39; for the state
board of equalization, see article 9 of title 39.
Section 16. Appropriations not to exceed tax – exceptions. No appropriation shall be
made, nor any expenditure authorized by the general assembly, whereby the expenditure of the
state, during any fiscal year, shall exceed the total tax then provided for by law and applicable
for such appropriation or expenditure, unless the general assembly making such appropriation
shall provide for levying a sufficient tax, not exceeding the rates allowed in section eleven of this
article, to pay such appropriation or expenditure within such fiscal year. This provision shall not
apply to appropriations or expenditures to suppress insurrection, defend the state, or assist in
defending the United States in time of war.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 60.
Cross references: For the maximum rate of taxation on property for state purposes, see §
11 of this article.
Section 17. Income tax. The general assembly may levy income taxes, either graduated
or proportional, or both graduated and proportional, for the support of the state, or any political
subdivision thereof, or for public schools, and may, in the administration of an income tax law,
provide for special classified or limited taxation or the exemption of tangible and intangible
personal property.
Source: L. 36: Entire section added, see L. 37, p. 675.
Cross references: For tax exemptions, see article 3 of title 39; for provisions concerning
income tax, see article 22 of title 39.
Section 18. License fees and excise taxes – use of. On and after July 1, 1935, the
proceeds from the imposition of any license, registration fee, or other charge with respect to the
operation of any motor vehicle upon any public highway in this state and the proceeds from the
imposition of any excise tax on gasoline or other liquid motor fuel except aviation fuel used for
aviation purposes shall, except costs of administration, be used exclusively for the construction,
maintenance, and supervision of the public highways of this state. Any taxes imposed upon
aviation fuel shall be used exclusively for aviation purposes.
Source: Initiated 34: Entire section added, see L. 35, p. 328. L. 74: Entire section
amended, p. 459, effective July 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
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Section 19. State income tax laws by reference to United States tax laws. The general
assembly may by law define the income upon which income taxes may be levied under section
17 of this article by reference to provisions of the laws of the United States in effect from time to
time, whether retrospective or prospective in their operation, and shall in any such law provide
the dollar amount of personal exemptions to be allowed to the taxpayer as a deduction. The
general assembly may in any such law provide for other exceptions or modifications to any of
such provisions of the laws of the United States and for retrospective exceptions or
modifications to those provisions which are retrospective.
Source: L. 62: Entire section added, see L. 63, p. 1061.
Section 20. The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.(1) General provisions. This section takes
effect December 31, 1992 or as stated. Its preferred interpretation shall reasonably restrain most
the growth of government. All provisions are self-executing and severable and supersede
conflicting state constitutional, state statutory, charter, or other state or local provisions. Other
limits on district revenue, spending, and debt may be weakened only by future voter approval.
Individual or class action enforcement suits may be filed and shall have the highest civil priority
of resolution. Successful plaintiffs are allowed costs and reasonable attorney fees, but a district is
not unless a suit against it be ruled frivolous. Revenue collected, kept, or spent illegally since
four full fiscal years before a suit is filed shall be refunded with 10% annual simple interest from
the initial conduct. Subject to judicial review, districts may use any reasonable method for
refunds under this section, including temporary tax credits or rate reductions. Refunds need not
be proportional when prior payments are impractical to identify or return. When annual district
revenue is less than annual payments on general obligation bonds, pensions, and final court
judgments, (4)(a) and (7) shall be suspended to provide for the deficiency.
(2) Term definitions. Within this section:
(a) “Ballot issue” means a non-recall petition or referred measure in an election.
(b) “District” means the state or any local government, excluding enterprises.
(c) “Emergency” excludes economic conditions, revenue shortfalls, or district salary or
fringe benefit increases.
(d) “Enterprise” means a government-owned business authorized to issue its own revenue
bonds and receiving under 10% of annual revenue in grants from all Colorado state and local
governments combined.
(e) “Fiscal year spending” means all district expenditures and reserve increases except, as
to both, those for refunds made in the current or next fiscal year or those from gifts, federal
funds, collections for another government, pension contributions by employees and pension fund
earnings, reserve transfers or expenditures, damage awards, or property sales.
(f) “Inflation” means the percentage change in the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics Consumer Price Index for Denver-Boulder, all items, all urban consumers, or its
successor index.
(g) “Local growth” for a non-school district means a net percentage change in actual
value of all real property in a district from construction of taxable real property improvements,
minus destruction of similar improvements, and additions to, minus deletions from, taxable real
property. For a school district, it means the percentage change in its student enrollment.
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(3) Election provisions. (a) Ballot issues shall be decided in a state general election,
biennial local district election, or on the first Tuesday in November of odd-numbered years.
Except for petitions, bonded debt, or charter or constitutional provisions, districts may
consolidate ballot issues and voters may approve a delay of up to four years in voting on ballot
issues. District actions taken during such a delay shall not extend beyond that period.
(b) At least 30 days before a ballot issue election, districts shall mail at the least cost, and
as a package where districts with ballot issues overlap, a titled notice or set of notices addressed
to “All Registered Voters” at each address of one or more active registered electors. The districts
may coordinate the mailing required by this paragraph (b) with the distribution of the ballot
information booklet required by section 1 (7.5) of article V of this constitution in order to save
mailing costs. Titles shall have this order of preference: “NOTICE OF ELECTION TO
INCREASE TAXES/TO INCREASE DEBT/ON A CITIZEN PETITION/ON A
REFERRED MEASURE.” Except for district voter-approved additions, notices shall include
only:
(i) The election date, hours, ballot title, text, and local election office address and
telephone number.
(ii) For proposed district tax or bonded debt increases, the estimated or actual total of
district fiscal year spending for the current year and each of the past four years, and the overall
percentage and dollar change.
(iii) For the first full fiscal year of each proposed district tax increase, district estimates
of the maximum dollar amount of each increase and of district fiscal year spending without the
increase.
(iv) For proposed district bonded debt, its principal amount and maximum annual and
total district repayment cost, and the principal balance of total current district bonded debt and
its maximum annual and remaining total district repayment cost.
(v) Two summaries, up to 500 words each, one for and one against the proposal, of
written comments filed with the election officer by 45 days before the election. No summary
shall mention names of persons or private groups, nor any endorsements of or resolutions against
the proposal. Petition representatives following these rules shall write this summary for their
petition. The election officer shall maintain and accurately summarize all other relevant written
comments. The provisions of this subparagraph (v) do not apply to a statewide ballot issue,
which is subject to the provisions of section 1 (7.5) of article V of this constitution.
(c) Except by later voter approval, if a tax increase or fiscal year spending exceeds any
estimate in (b)(iii) for the same fiscal year, the tax increase is thereafter reduced up to 100% in
proportion to the combined dollar excess, and the combined excess revenue refunded in the next
fiscal year. District bonded debt shall not issue on terms that could exceed its share of its
maximum repayment costs in (b)(iv). Ballot titles for tax or bonded debt increases shall begin,
“SHALL (DISTRICT) TAXES BE INCREASED (first, or if phased in, final, full fiscal year
dollar increase) ANNUALLY…?” or “SHALL (DISTRICT) DEBT BE INCREASED
(principal amount), WITH A REPAYMENT COST OF (maximum total district cost), …?”
(4) Required elections. Starting November 4, 1992, districts must have voter approval in
advance for:
(a) Unless (1) or (6) applies, any new tax, tax rate increase, mill levy above that for the
prior year, valuation for assessment ratio increase for a property class, or extension of an
expiring tax, or a tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain to any district.
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(b) Except for refinancing district bonded debt at a lower interest rate or adding new
employees to existing district pension plans, creation of any multiple-fiscal year direct or
indirect district debt or other financial obligation whatsoever without adequate present cash
reserves pledged irrevocably and held for payments in all future fiscal years.
(5) Emergency reserves. To use for declared emergencies only, each district shall
reserve for 1993 1% or more, for 1994 2% or more, and for all later years 3% or more of its
fiscal year spending excluding bonded debt service. Unused reserves apply to the next year’s
reserve.
(6) Emergency taxes. This subsection grants no new taxing power. Emergency property
taxes are prohibited. Emergency tax revenue is excluded for purposes of (3)(c) and (7), even if
later ratified by voters. Emergency taxes shall also meet all of the following conditions:
(a) A 2/3 majority of the members of each house of the general assembly or of a local
district board declares the emergency and imposes the tax by separate recorded roll call votes.
(b) Emergency tax revenue shall be spent only after emergency reserves are depleted, and
shall be refunded within 180 days after the emergency ends if not spent on the emergency.
(c) A tax not approved on the next election date 60 days or more after the declaration
shall end with that election month.
(7) Spending limits. (a) The maximum annual percentage change in state fiscal year
spending equals inflation plus the percentage change in state population in the prior calendar
year, adjusted for revenue changes approved by voters after 1991. Population shall be
determined by annual federal census estimates and such number shall be adjusted every decade
to match the federal census.
(b) The maximum annual percentage change in each local district’s fiscal year spending
equals inflation in the prior calendar year plus annual local growth, adjusted for revenue changes
approved by voters after 1991 and (8)(b) and (9) reductions.
(c) The maximum annual percentage change in each district’s property tax revenue equals
inflation in the prior calendar year plus annual local growth, adjusted for property tax revenue
changes approved by voters after 1991 and (8)(b) and (9) reductions.
(d) If revenue from sources not excluded from fiscal year spending exceeds these limits
in dollars for that fiscal year, the excess shall be refunded in the next fiscal year unless voters
approve a revenue change as an offset. Initial district bases are current fiscal year spending and
1991 property tax collected in 1992. Qualification or disqualification as an enterprise shall
change district bases and future year limits. Future creation of district bonded debt shall increase,
and retiring or refinancing district bonded debt shall lower, fiscal year spending and property tax
revenue by the annual debt service so funded. Debt service changes, reductions, (1) and (3)(c)
refunds, and voter-approved revenue changes are dollar amounts that are exceptions to, and not
part of, any district base. Voter-approved revenue changes do not require a tax rate change.
(8) Revenue limits. (a) New or increased transfer tax rates on real property are
prohibited. No new state real property tax or local district income tax shall be imposed. Neither
an income tax rate increase nor a new state definition of taxable income shall apply before the
next tax year. Any income tax law change after July 1, 1992 shall also require all taxable net
income to be taxed at one rate, excluding refund tax credits or voter-approved tax credits, with
no added tax or surcharge.
(b) Each district may enact cumulative uniform exemptions and credits to reduce or end
business personal property taxes.
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(c) Regardless of reassessment frequency, valuation notices shall be mailed annually and
may be appealed annually, with no presumption in favor of any pending valuation. Past or future
sales by a lender or government shall also be considered as comparable market sales and their
sales prices kept as public records. Actual value shall be stated on all property tax bills and
valuation notices and, for residential real property, determined solely by the market approach to
appraisal.
(9) State mandates. Except for public education through grade 12 or as required of a
local district by federal law, a local district may reduce or end its subsidy to any program
delegated to it by the general assembly for administration. For current programs, the state may
require 90 days notice and that the adjustment occur in a maximum of three equal annual
installments.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire section added, effective December 31, 1992, see L. 93, p.
2165. L. 94: (3)(b)(v) amended, p. 2851, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 95, p.
1431, January 19, 1995. L. 95: IP(3)(b) and (3)(b)(v) amended, p. 1425, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 97, p. 2393, December 26, 1996.
Editor’s note: (1) Prior to the TABOR initiative in 1992, this section was originally
enacted in 1972 and contained provisions relating to the 1976 Winter Olympics and was
repealed, effective January 3, 1989. (See L. 1989, p. 1657.)
(2) (a) The Governor’s proclamation date for the 1992 initiated measure (TABOR) was
January 14, 1993.
(b) Subsection (4) of this section provides that the provisions of this section apply to
required elections of state and local governments conducted on or after November 4, 1992.
(3) The consumer price index for Denver-Boulder referenced in subsection (2)(f) became
the consumer price index for Lakewood-Aurora in 2018.
Cross references: For statutory provisions implementing this section, see article 77 of
title 24 (state fiscal policies); §§ 1-1-102, 1-40-125, 1-41-101 to 1-41-103, 29-2-102, and 32-1-
803.5 (elections); §§ 29-1-304.7 and 29-1-304.8 (turnback of programs delegated to local
governments by the general assembly); §§ 43-1-112.5, 43-1-113, 43-4-611, 43-4-612, 43-4-705,
43-4-707, and 43-10-109 (department of transportation revenue and spending limits); §§ 23-1-
104 and 23-1-105 (higher education revenue and spending limits); §§ 24-30-202, 24-82-703, 24-
82-705, and 24-82-801 (multiple fiscal-year obligations); §§ 8-46-101, 8-46-202, 8-77-101, 24-
75-302, and 43-4-201 (provisions relating to individual funds and programs); and § 39-5-121
(property tax valuation notices); and, concerning the establishment of enterprises, §§ 23-1-106,
23-3.1-103.5, 23-3.1-104.5, 23-5-101.5, 23-5-101.7, 23-5-102, 23-5-103, 23-70-107, 23-70-108,
and 23-70-112 (higher education, auxiliary facilities), part 2 of article 35 of title 24 (state
lottery), part 3 of article 3 of title 25 (county hospitals), §§ 26-12-110 and 26-12-113 (state
nursing homes), article 45.1 of title 37 (water activities), § 43-4-502 (public highway
authorities), and § 43-4-805 (state bridge enterprise).
Section 21. Tobacco Taxes for Health Related Purposes. (1) The people of the state of
Colorado hereby find that tobacco addiction is the leading cause of preventable death in
Colorado, that Colorado should deter children and youth from starting smoking, that cigarette
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and tobacco taxes are effective at preventing and reducing tobacco use among children and
youth, and that tobacco tax revenues will be used to expand health care for children and low
income populations, tobacco education programs and the prevention and treatment of cancer and
heart and lung disease.
(2) There are hereby imposed the following additional cigarette and tobacco taxes:
(a) Statewide cigarette tax, on the sale of cigarettes by wholesalers, at the rate of three
and two-tenths cents per cigarette (64 cents per pack of twenty); and
(b) A statewide tobacco products tax, on the sale, use, consumption, handling, or
distribution of tobacco products by distributors, at the rate of twenty percent of the
manufacturer’s list price.
(3) The cigarette and tobacco taxes imposed by this section shall be in addition to any
other cigarette and tobacco taxes existing as of the effective date of this section on the sale or use
of cigarettes by wholesalers and on the sale, use, consumption, handling, or distribution of
tobacco products by distributors. Such existing taxes and their distribution shall not be repealed
or reduced by the general assembly.
(4) All revenues received by operation of subsection (2) shall be excluded from fiscal
year spending, as that term is defined in section 20 of article X of this constitution, and the
corresponding spending limits upon state government and all local governments receiving such
revenues.
(5) The revenues generated by operation of subsection (2) shall be appropriated annually
by the general assembly only in the following proportions and for the following health related
purposes:
(a) Forty-six percent (46%) of such revenues shall be appropriated to increase the number
of children and pregnant women enrolled in the children’s basic health plan above the average
enrollment for state fiscal year 2004, add the parents of enrolled children, and expand eligibility
of low income adults and children who receive medical care through the “Children’s Basic
Health Plan Act”, article 19 of title 26, Colorado Revised Statutes, or any successor act, or
through the “Colorado Medical Assistance Act”, article 4 of title 26, Colorado Revised Statutes,
or any successor act.
(b) Nineteen percent (19%) of such revenues shall be appropriated to fund
comprehensive primary care through any Colorado qualified provider, as defined in the
“Colorado Medical Assistance Act,” article 4 of title 26, Colorado Revised Statutes, or any
successor act, that meets either of the following criteria:
(I) Is a community health center as defined in section 330 of the U.S. public health
services act, or any successor act; or
(II) At least 50% of the patients served by the qualified provider are uninsured or
medically indigent as defined in the “Colorado Medical Assistance Act,” article 4 of title 26,
Colorado Revised Statutes, or any successor act, or are enrolled in the children’s basic health
plan or the Colorado medical assistance program, or successor programs.
Such revenues shall be appropriated to the Colorado department of health care policy and
financing, or successor agency, and shall be distributed annually to all eligible qualified
providers throughout the state proportionate to the number of uninsured or medically indigent
patients served.
(c) Sixteen percent (16%) of such revenues shall be appropriated for school and
community-based and statewide tobacco education programs designed to reduce initiation of
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tobacco use by children and youth, promote cessation of tobacco use among youth and adults,
and reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. Such revenues shall be appropriated through the
“Tobacco Education, Prevention and Cessation Act”, part 8 of article 3.5 of title 25, Colorado
Revised Statutes, or any successor act.
(d) Sixteen percent (16%) of such revenues shall be appropriated for the prevention, early
detection, and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Such revenues
shall be appropriated to the prevention services division of the Colorado department of public
health and environment, or successor agency, and shall be distributed statewide with oversight
and accountability by the Colorado state board of health created by article 1 of title 25, Colorado
Revised Statutes.
(e) Three percent (3%) of such revenues shall be appropriated for health related purposes
to provide revenue for the state’s general fund, old age pension fund, and municipal and county
governments to compensate proportionately for tax revenue reductions attributable to lower
cigarette and tobacco sales resulting from the implementation of this tax.
(6) Revenues appropriated pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of subsection (5) shall
be used to supplement revenues that are appropriated by the general assembly for health related
purposes on the effective date of this section, and shall not be used to supplant those
appropriated revenues.
(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the general assembly may use revenue
generated under this section for any health related purpose and to serve populations enrolled in
the children’s basic health plan and the Colorado medical assistance program at their respective
levels of enrollment on the effective date of this section. Such use of revenue must be preceded
by a declaration of a state fiscal emergency, which shall be adopted only by a joint resolution,
approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of both houses of the general assembly
and the governor. Such declaration shall apply only to a single fiscal year.
(8) Revenues appropriated pursuant to subsections (5) and (7) of this section shall not be
subject to the statutory limitation on general fund appropriations growth or any other spending
limitation existing in law.
(9) This section is effective January 1, 2005.
Source: Initiated 2004: Entire section added, effective January 1, 2005, see L. 2005, p.
2335.
Editor’s note: (1) (a) The “effective date of this section” referred to in subsections (3),
(6), and (7) is January 1, 2005.
(b) For the proclamation of the governor, December 1, 2004, see L. 2005, p. 2335.
(2) The “Colorado Medical Assistance Act” and the “Children’s Basic Health Plan Act”
referenced in subsection (5) were relocated by Senate Bill 06-219 to articles 4 and 8 of title 25.5.
ARTICLE XI
Public Indebtedness
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
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Section 1. Pledging credit of state, county, city, town or school district forbidden.
Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, township or school district shall lend or pledge the
credit or faith thereof, directly or indirectly, in any manner to, or in aid of, any person, company
or corporation, public or private, for any amount, or for any purpose whatever; or become
responsible for any debt, contract or liability of any person, company or corporation, public or
private, in or out of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 60.
Section 2. No aid to corporations – no joint ownership by state, county, city, town, or
school district. Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, township, or school district shall
make any donation or grant to, or in aid of, or become a subscriber to, or shareholder in any
corporation or company or a joint owner with any person, company, or corporation, public or
private, in or out of the state, except as to such ownership as may accrue to the state by escheat,
or by forfeiture, by operation or provision of law; and except as to such ownership as may accrue
to the state, or to any county, city, town, township, or school district, or to either or any of them,
jointly with any person, company, or corporation, by forfeiture or sale of real estate for
nonpayment of taxes, or by donation or devise for public use, or by purchase by or on behalf of
any or either of them, jointly with any or either of them, under execution in cases of fines,
penalties, or forfeiture of recognizance, breach of condition of official bond, or of bond to secure
public moneys, or the performance of any contract in which they or any of them may be jointly
or severally interested. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any city or town
from becoming a subscriber or shareholder in any corporation or company, public or private, or a
joint owner with any person, company, or corporation, public or private, in order to effect the
development of energy resources after discovery, or production, transportation, or transmission
of energy in whole or in part for the benefit of the inhabitants of such city or town.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 60. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 455, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974.
Section 2a. Student loan program. The general assembly may by law provide for a
student loan program to assist students enrolled in educational institutions.
Source: L. 72: Entire section added, p. 643, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, January 11, 1973.
Section 3. Public debt of state – limitations. The state shall not contract any debt by
loan in any form, except to provide for casual deficiencies of revenue, erect public buildings for
the use of the state, suppress insurrection, defend the state, or, in time of war, assist in defending
the United States; and the amount of debt contracted in any one year to provide for deficiencies
of revenue shall not exceed one-fourth of a mill on each dollar of valuation of taxable property
within the state, and the aggregate amount of such debt shall not at any time exceed three-fourths
of a mill on each dollar of said valuation, until the valuation shall equal one hundred millions of
dollars, and thereafter such debt shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars; and the debt
incurred in any one year for erection of public buildings shall not exceed one-half mill on each
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dollar of said valuation; and the aggregate amount of such debt shall never at any time exceed
the sum of fifty thousand dollars (except as provided in section 5 of this article), and in all cases
the valuation in this section mentioned shall be that of the assessment last preceding the creation
of said debt.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 61. L. 09: Entire
section amended, p. 317. L. 20: Entire section amended, effective December 4, 1920, see L. 21,
p. 181. Initiated 22: Entire section amended, see L. 23, p. 234, effective December 21, 1922. L.
92: Entire section amended, p. 2317, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 93: p.
2163, January 14, 1993.
Cross references: For unlimited appropriations for suppression of insurrections to be
raised by direct unlimited tax without intervention of a loan, see § 16 of article X of this
constitution.
Section 4. Law creating debt. In no case shall any debt above mentioned in this article
be created except by a law which shall be irrepealable, until the indebtedness therein provided
for shall have been fully paid or discharged; such law shall specify the purposes to which the
funds so raised shall be applied, and provide for the levy of a tax sufficient to pay the interest on
and extinguish the principal of such debt within the time limited by such law for the payment
thereof, which in the case of debts contracted for the erection of public buildings and supplying
deficiencies of revenue shall not be less than ten nor more than fifteen years, and the funds
arising from the collection of any such tax shall not be applied to any other purpose than that
provided in the law levying the same, and when the debt thereby created shall be paid or
discharged, such tax shall cease and the balance, if any, to the credit of the fund shall
immediately be placed to the credit of the general fund of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 61.
Section 5. Debt for public buildings – how created. A debt for the purpose of erecting
public buildings may be created by law as provided for in section four of this article, not
exceeding in the aggregate three mills on each dollar of said valuation; provided, that before
going into effect, such law shall be ratified by the vote of a majority of such qualified electors of
the state as shall vote thereon at a general election under such regulations as the general
assembly may prescribe.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 62.
Cross references: For limitation on public debt, see § 3 of this article.
Section 6. Local government debt. (1) No political subdivision of the state shall
contract any general obligation debt by loan in any form, whether individually or by contract
pursuant to article XIV, section 18 (2)(a) of this constitution except by adoption of a legislative
measure which shall be irrepealable until the indebtedness therein provided for shall have been
fully paid or discharged, specifying the purposes to which the funds to be raised shall be applied
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and providing for the levy of a tax which together with such other revenue, assets, or funds as
may be pledged shall be sufficient to pay the interest and principal of such debt. Except as may
be otherwise provided by the charter of a home rule city and county, city, or town for debt
incurred by such city and county, city, or town, no such debt shall be created unless the question
of incurring the same be submitted to and approved by a majority of the qualified taxpaying
electors voting thereon, as the term “qualified taxpaying elector” shall be defined by statute.
(2) Except as may be otherwise provided by the charter of a home rule city and county,
city, or town, the general assembly shall establish by statute limitations on the authority of any
political subdivision to incur general obligation indebtedness in any form whether individually
or by contract pursuant to article XIV, section 18 (2)(a) of this constitution.
(3) Debts contracted by a home rule city and county, city, or town, statutory city or town
or service authority for the purposes of supplying water shall be excepted from the operation of
this section.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 62. L. 1887:
Entire section amended, p. 27. L. 69: Entire section R&RE, p. 1251, effective January 1, 1972.
Editor’s note: The United States Supreme Court in Kramer v. Union Free School
District, 395 U.S. 621, 89 S. Ct. 1886, 23 L. Ed. 2d 583 (1969), Cipriano v. Houma, 395 U.S.
701, 89 S. Ct. 1897, 23 L. Ed. 2d 647 (1969), and City of Phoenix v. Kolodziejski, 399 U.S. 204,
90 S. Ct. 1990, 26 L. Ed. 2d 523 (1970) held that it is a violation of the equal protection clause to
limit the right of franchise unless there is a compelling interest to be protected. The Phoenix case
held that elections to authorize general obligation bonds may not be limited to taxpaying electors
only.
Section 7. State and political subdivisions may give assistance to any political
subdivision. No provision of this constitution shall be construed to prevent the state or any
political subdivision from giving direct or indirect financial support to any political subdivision
as may be authorized by general statute.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 62. L. 69: Entire
section R&RE, p. 1251, effective January 1, 1972.
Section 8. City indebtedness; ordinance, tax, water obligations excepted. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 62. L. 69: Entire
section repealed, p. 1251, effective January 1, 1972.
Section 9. This article not to affect prior obligations. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 63. L. 69: Entire
section repealed, p. 1251, effective January 1, 1972.
Section 10. 1976 Winter Olympics. (Deleted by amendment)
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Source: Initiated 72: Entire section was added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, January 11, 1973, but does not appear in the session laws. L. 90: Entire section
amended, p. 1861, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2033, January 3, 1991.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date for the 1972 initiated measure was
January 11, 1973.
ARTICLE XII
Officers
Section 1. When office expires – suspension by law. Every person holding any civil
office under the state or any municipality therein, shall, unless removed according to law,
exercise the duties of such office until his successor is duly qualified; but this shall not apply to
members of the general assembly, nor to members of any board or assembly, two or more of
whom are elected at the same time. The general assembly may, by law, provide for suspending
any officer in his functions pending impeachment or prosecution for misconduct in office.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 63.
Section 2. Personal attention required. No person shall hold any office or employment
of trust or profit, under the laws of the state or any ordinance of any municipality therein,
without devoting his personal attention to the duties of the same.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 64.
Section 3. Defaulting collector disqualified from office. No person who is now or
hereafter may become a collector or receiver of public money, or the deputy or assistant of such
collector or receiver, and who shall have become a defaulter in his office, shall be eligible to or
assume the duties of any office of trust or profit in this state, under the laws thereof, or of any
municipality therein, until he shall have accounted for and paid over all public money for which
he may be accountable.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 64.
Section 4. Disqualifications from holding office of trust or profit. No person hereafter
convicted of embezzlement of public moneys, bribery, perjury, solicitation of bribery, or
subornation of perjury, shall be eligible to the general assembly, or capable of holding any office
of trust or profit in this state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 64.
Section 5. Investigation of state and county treasurers. The district court of each
county shall, at each term thereof, specially give in charge to the grand jury, if there be one, the
laws regulating the accountability of the county treasurer, and shall appoint a committee of such
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grand jury, or of other reputable persons not exceeding five, to investigate the official accounts
and affairs of the treasurer of such county, and report to the court the condition thereof. The
judge of the district court may appoint a like committee in vacation at any time, but not oftener
than once in every three months. The district court of the county wherein the seat of government
may be shall have the like power to appoint committees to investigate the official accounts and
affairs of the state treasurer and the auditor of state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 64.
Section 6. Bribery of officers defined. Any civil officer or member of the general
assembly who shall solicit, demand or receive, or consent to receive, directly or indirectly, for
himself or for another, from any company, corporation or person, any money, office,
appointment, employment, testimonial, reward, thing of value or enjoyment or of personal
advantage or promise thereof, for his vote, official influence or action, or for withholding the
same, or with an understanding that his official influence or action shall be in any way
influenced thereby, or who shall solicit or demand any such money or advantage, matter or thing
aforesaid for another, as the consideration of his vote, official influence or action, or for
withholding the same, or shall give or withhold his vote, official influence or action, in
consideration of the payment or promise of such money, advantage, matter or thing to another,
shall be held guilty of bribery, or solicitation of bribery, as the case may be, within the meaning
of this constitution, and shall incur the disabilities provided thereby for such offense, and such
additional punishment as is or shall be prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 64.
Cross references: For the crime of bribery, see part 3 of article 8 of title 18.
Section 7. Bribery – corrupt solicitation. (1) Any person who directly or indirectly
offers, gives, or promises any money or thing of value or privilege to any member of the general
assembly or to any other public officer in the executive or judicial department of the state
government to influence him in the performance of any of his public or official powers or duties
is guilty of bribery and subject to such punishment therefor as may be prescribed by law.
(2) The offense of corrupt solicitation of members of the general assembly or of public
officers of the state or of any political subdivision thereof and any occupation or practice of
solicitation of such members or officers to influence their official action shall be defined by law
and shall be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 65. L. 74: Entire
section R&RE, p. 452, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 8. Oath of civil officers. Every civil officer, except members of the general
assembly and such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before he enters upon the
duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the
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United States and of the state of Colorado, and to faithfully perform the duties of the office upon
which he shall be about to enter.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 65.
Section 9. Oaths – where filed. Officers of the executive department and judges of the
supreme and district courts, and district attorneys, shall file their oaths of office with the
secretary of state; every other officer shall file his oath of office with the county clerk of the
county wherein he shall have been elected.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 65.
Section 10. Refusal to qualify – vacancy. If any person elected or appointed to any
office shall refuse or neglect to qualify therein within the time prescribed by law, such office
shall be deemed vacant.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 65.
Cross references: For how vacancies in county offices are filled, see § 9 of article XIV
of this constitution.
Section 11. Elected public officers – term – salary – vacancy. No law shall extend the
term of any elected public officer after his election or appointment nor shall the salary of any
elected public officer be increased or decreased during the term of office for which he was
elected. The term of office of any officer elected to fill a vacancy shall terminate at the
expiration of the term during which the vacancy occurred.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 65. L. 74: Entire
section amended, p. 453, effective January 1, 1975.
Editor’s note: The Governor’s proclamation date in 1974 was December 20, 1974.
Section 12. Duel – disqualifies for office. (Deleted by amendment)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 65. L. 90: Entire
section amended, p. 1861, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2033, January
3, 1991.
Section 13. State personnel system – merit system. (1) Appointments and promotions
to offices and employments in the state personnel system shall be made according to merit and
fitness, to be ascertained by a comparative analysis of candidates based on objective criteria
without regard to race, creed, color, or political affiliation. A numerical or nonnumerical method
may be used for the comparative analysis of candidates.
(2) (a) The state personnel system shall comprise all appointive public officers and
employees of the state, except the following:
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(I) Members of the public utilities commission, the industrial commission of Colorado,
the state board of land commissioners, the Colorado tax commission, the state parole board, and
the state personnel board;
(II) Members of any board or commission serving without compensation except for per
diem allowances provided by law and reimbursement of expenses;
(III) The employees in the offices of the governor and the lieutenant governor whose
functions are confined to such offices and whose duties are concerned only with the
administration thereof;
(IV) Appointees to fill vacancies in elective offices;
(V) One deputy of each elective officer other than the governor and lieutenant governor
specified in section 1 of article IV of this constitution;
(VI) Officers otherwise specified in this constitution;
(VII) Faculty members of educational institutions and departments not reformatory or
charitable in character, and such administrators thereof as may be exempt by law;
(VIII) Students and inmates in state educational or other institutions employed therein;
(IX) Attorneys at law serving as assistant attorneys general;
(X) Members, officers, and employees of the legislative and judicial departments of the
state, unless otherwise specifically provided in this constitution;
(XI) Subject to the approval of the state personnel director, the following persons from
each principal department: Deputy department heads, chief financial officers, public information
officers, legislative liaisons, human resource directors, and executive assistants to the department
heads; and
(XII) Subject to the approval of the state personnel director, senior executive service
employees.
(b) The total number of employees exempted from the state personnel system pursuant to
subparagraphs (XI) and (XII) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) shall not exceed an amount
equal to one percent of the total number of persons in the state personnel system.
(3) Officers and employees within the judicial department, other than judges and justices,
may be included within the personnel system of the state upon determination by the supreme
court, sitting en banc, that such would be in the best interests of the state.
(4) Where authorized by law, any political subdivision of this state may contract with the
state personnel board for personnel services.
(5) The person to be appointed to any position under the state personnel system shall be
one of the six persons ranking highest on the eligible list for such position, or such lesser number
as qualify, as determined from the comparative analysis process, subject to limitations set forth
in rules of the state personnel board applicable to multiple appointments from any such list.
(6) (a) Except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this subsection (6), all appointees shall
reside in the state, but applications need not be limited to residents of the state as to those
positions the state personnel board or the state personnel director determines cannot be readily
filled from among residents of this state.
(b) If a position is for work that is to be performed primarily at a location that is within
thirty miles of the state border:
(I) Applications for the position are not limited to residents of the state; and
(II) An appointee to the position is not required to be a resident of the state.
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(7) The head of each principal department shall be the appointing authority for the
employees of his office and for heads of divisions, within the personnel system, ranking next
below the head of such department. Heads of such divisions shall be the appointing authorities
for all positions in the personnel system within their respective divisions. Nothing in this
subsection shall be construed to affect the supreme executive powers of the governor prescribed
in section 2 of article IV of this constitution.
(8) Persons in the personnel system of the state shall hold their respective positions
during efficient service or until reaching retirement age, as provided by law. They shall be
graded and compensated according to standards of efficient service which shall be the same for
all persons having like duties. A person certified to any class or position in the personnel system
may be dismissed, suspended, or otherwise disciplined by the appointing authority upon written
findings of failure to comply with standards of efficient service or competence, or for willful
misconduct, willful failure or inability to perform his duties, or final conviction of a felony or
any other offense which involves moral turpitude, or written charges thereof may be filed by any
person with the appointing authority, which shall be promptly determined. Any action of the
appointing authority taken under this subsection shall be subject to appeal to the state personnel
board, with the right to be heard thereby in person or by counsel, or both.
(9) (a) The state personnel director may authorize the temporary employment of persons,
not to exceed nine months, during which time an eligible list shall be provided for permanent
positions. No other temporary or emergency employment shall be permitted under the state
personnel system.
(b) Nothing in paragraph (a) of this subsection (9) shall be construed as permitting the
appointment of a temporary employee for the purpose of eliminating a permanent position from
the state personnel system.
(10) The state personnel board shall establish probationary periods for all persons
initially appointed, but not to exceed twelve months for any class or position. After satisfactory
completion of any such period, the person shall be certified to such class or position within the
personnel system, but unsatisfactory performance shall be grounds for dismissal by the
appointing authority during such period without right of appeal.
(11) Persons certified to classes and positions under the classified civil service of the
state immediately prior to July 1, 1971, persons having served for six months or more as
provisional or acting provisional employees in such positions immediately prior to such date,
and all persons having served six months or more in positions not within the classified civil
service immediately prior to such date but included in the personnel system by this section, shall
be certified to comparable positions, and grades and classifications, under the personnel system,
and shall not be subject to probationary periods of employment. All other persons in positions
under the personnel system shall be subject to the provisions of this section concerning initial
appointment on or after such date.
Source: Initiated 18: Entire section added, see L. 19, p. 341. L. 69: Entire section
R&RE, p. 1252, effective July 1, 1971. L. 2012: (1), (2), (5), (6), and (9) amended, p. 2323,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2013, p. 3303, January 1, 2013.
Editor’s note: The “Colorado tax commission”, referred to in subsection (2) of this
section, on and after July 1, 1971, is known as the “board of assessment appeals”.
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Section 14. State personnel board – state personnel director. (1) There is hereby
created a state personnel board to consist of five members, three of whom shall be appointed by
the governor with the consent of the senate, and two of whom shall be elected by persons
certified to classes and positions in the state personnel system in the manner prescribed by law.
Each member appointed or elected prior to January 1, 2013, shall serve for a term of five years.
Each member appointed or elected on or after January 1, 2013, shall serve for a term of three
years. No member shall serve more than two terms of office, regardless of whether a term is a
full term or a partial term filling a vacancy. Each member of the board shall be a qualified
elector of the state, but shall not be otherwise an officer or employee of the state or of any state
employee organization, and shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by law.
(2) (a) Two of the appointed members of the state personnel board serve at the pleasure
of the governor. Both elected members of the board and the appointed member specified in
paragraph (b) of this subsection (2) may be removed by the governor for willful misconduct in
office, willful failure or inability to perform his or her duties, final conviction of a felony or of
any other offense involving moral turpitude, or by reason of permanent disability interfering
with the performance of his or her duties, which removal shall be subject to judicial review. Any
vacancy in office shall be filled in the same manner as the selection of the person vacating the
office, and for the unexpired term.
(b) The member of the board who is appointed for a term commencing on July 1, 2013,
and the successors to that position do not serve at the pleasure of the governor.
(3) The state personnel board shall adopt, and may from time to time amend or repeal,
rules to implement the provisions of this section and sections 13 and 15 of this article, as
amended, and laws enacted pursuant thereto, including but not limited to rules concerning
standardization of positions, determination of grades of positions, standards of efficient and
competent service, grievance procedures, appeals from actions by appointing authorities, and
conduct of hearings by hearing officers where authorized by law.
(4) There is hereby created the department of personnel, which shall be one of the
principal departments of the executive department, the head of which shall be the state personnel
director, who shall be appointed under qualifications established by law. The state personnel
director shall be responsible for the administration of the personnel system of the state under this
constitution and laws enacted pursuant thereto and the rules adopted thereunder by the state
personnel board.
(5) Adequate appropriations shall be made to carry out the purposes of this section and
section 13 of this article.
Source: Initiated 44: Entire section added, see L. 45, p. 265. L. 69: Entire section
R&RE, p. 1254, effective July 1, 1971. L. 2012: (1) to (3) amended, p. 2325, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2013, p. 3303, January 1, 2013.
Section 15. Veterans’ preference. (1) (a) (I) The minimum requirements for a candidate
to be placed on an eligible list for a position shall be the same for each candidate for
appointment or employment in the state personnel system or in any comparable civil service or
merit system of any agency or political subdivision of the state, including any municipality
chartered or to be chartered under article XX of this constitution.
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(II) If a numerical method is used for the comparative analysis based on objective
criteria, applicants entitled to preference under this section shall be given preference in
accordance with paragraphs (b) to (e) of this subsection (1). If a nonnumerical method is used,
applicants entitled to preference under this section shall be added to the interview eligible list.
(b) Five points shall be added to the comparative analysis score of each candidate who is
separated under honorable conditions and who, other than for training purposes, (i) served in any
branch of the armed forces of the United States during any period of any declared war or any
undeclared war or other armed hostilities against an armed foreign enemy, or (ii) served on
active duty in any such branch in any campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is
authorized.
(c) Ten points shall be added to the comparative analysis score of any candidate who has
so served, other than for training purposes, and who, because of disability incurred in the line of
duty, is receiving monetary compensation or disability retired benefits by reason of public laws
administered by the department of defense or the veterans administration, or any successor
thereto.
(d) Five points shall be added to the comparative analysis score of any candidate who is
the surviving spouse of any person who was or would have been entitled to additional points
under paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection (1) or of any person who died during such service or
as a result of service-connected cause while on active duty in any such branch, other than for
training purposes.
(e) No more than a total of ten points shall be added to the comparative analysis score of
any such candidate pursuant to this subsection (1).
(2) The certificate of the department of defense or of the veterans administration, or any
successor thereto, shall be conclusive proof of service under honorable conditions or of disability
or death incurred in the line of duty during such service.
(3) (a) When a reduction in the work force of the state or any such political subdivision
thereof becomes necessary because of lack of work or curtailment of funds, employees not
eligible for preference under subsection (1) of this section shall be separated before those so
entitled who have the same or more service in the employment of the state or such political
subdivision, counting both military service for which such preference is given and such
employment with the state or such political subdivision, as the case may be, from which the
employee is to be separated.
(b) In the case of such a person eligible for preference who has completed twenty or more
years of active military service, no military service shall be counted in determining length of
service in respect to such retention rights. In the case of such a person who has completed less
than twenty years of such military service, no more than ten years of service under subsection
(1)(b)(i) and (ii) shall be counted in determining such length of service for such retention rights.
(4) The state personnel board and each comparable supervisory or administrative board
of any such civil service or merit system of any agency of the state or any such political
subdivision thereof shall implement the provisions of this section to assure that all persons
entitled to preference in a comparative analysis and retention shall enjoy their full privileges and
rights granted by this section.
(5) No person shall receive preference pursuant to this section with respect to a
promotional opportunity. Any promotional opportunity that is also open to persons other than
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employees for whom such appointment would be a promotion, shall be considered a promotional
opportunity for the purposes of this section.
(6) Repealed.
(7) This section shall be in full force and effect on and after July 1, 1971, and shall grant
veterans’ preference to all persons who have served in the armed forces of the United States in
any declared or undeclared war, conflict, engagement, expedition, or campaign for which a
campaign badge has been authorized, and who meet the requirements of service or disability, or
both, as provided in this section. This section shall apply to all public employment opportunities,
except as set forth in subsection (5) of this section, conducted on or after such date, and it shall
be in all respects self-executing.
Source: L. 69: Entire section added, p. 1254, effective July 1, 1971. L. 90: (7) amended,
p. 1862, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2033, January 3, 1991. L. 92:
(1)(d) amended, p. 2319, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 93, p. 2163, January
14, 1993. L. 2012: (1), (3) to (5), and (7) amended and (6) repealed, p. 2325, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2013, p. 3303, January 1, 2013.
ARTICLE XIII
Impeachments
Section 1. House impeach – senate try – conviction – when chief justice presides. The
house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. The concurrence of a
majority of all the members shall be necessary to an impeachment. All impeachments shall be
tried by the senate, and when sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or
affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence. When the governor or lieutenantgovernor is on trial, the chief justice of the supreme court shall preside. No person shall be
convicted without a concurrence of two-thirds of the senators elected.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 66.
Section 2. Who liable to impeachment – judgment – no bar to prosecution. The
governor and other state and judicial officers, shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes or
misdemeanors or malfeasance in office, but judgment in such cases shall only extend to removal
from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit in the state. The party,
whether convicted or acquitted, shall, nevertheless, be liable to prosecution, trial, judgment and
punishment according to law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 66. L. 90: Entire
section amended, p. 1862, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2033, January
3, 1991.
Section 3. Officers not subject to impeachment subject to removal. All officers not
liable to impeachment shall be subject to removal for misconduct or malfeasance in office in
such manner as may be provided by law.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 66.
ARTICLE XIV
Counties
Section 1. Counties of state. The several counties of the territory of Colorado as they
now exist, are hereby declared to be counties of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 66.
Cross references: For counties generally, see title 30.
Section 2. Removal of county seats. The general assembly shall have no power to
remove the county seat of any county, but the removal of county seats shall be provided for by
general law, and no county seat shall be removed unless a majority of the registered electors of
the county, voting on the proposition at a general election vote therefor; and no such proposition
shall be submitted oftener than once in four years, and no person shall vote on such proposition
who shall not have resided in the county six months and in the election precinct ninety days next
preceding such election.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 66. L. 84: Entire
section amended, p. 1144, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p. 1791, January
14, 1985.
Cross references: For location and removal of county seats, see article 8 of title 30.
Section 3. Striking off territory – vote. Except as otherwise provided by statute, no part
of the territory of any county shall be stricken off and added to an adjoining county, without first
submitting the question to the registered electors of the county from which the territory is
proposed to be stricken off; nor unless a majority of all the registered electors of said county
voting on the question shall vote therefor.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 66. Initiated 74:
Entire section was amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974,
but does not appear in the session laws. L. 84: Entire section amended, p. 1144, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p. 1791, January 14, 1985.
Cross references: For annexation of part of a county to an adjoining county, see §§ 30-
6-105 to 30-6-109.7.
Section 4. New county shall pay proportion of debt. In all cases of the establishment of
any new county, the new county shall be held to pay its ratable proportion of all then existing
liabilities, of the county or counties from which such new county shall be formed.
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Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 67.
Section 5. Part stricken off – pay proportion of debt. When any part of a county is
stricken off and attached to another county, the part stricken off shall be held to pay its ratable
proportion of all then existing liabilities of the county from which it is taken.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 67.
County Officers
Section 6. County commissioners – election – term. In each county having a population
of less than seventy thousand there shall be elected, for a term of four years each, three county
commissioners who shall hold sessions for the transaction of county business as provided by
law; any two of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Two of said
commissioners shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred and four, and
at the general election every four years thereafter; and the other one of said commissioners shall
be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred and six, and at the general election
every four years thereafter; provided, that when the population of any county shall equal or
exceed seventy thousand, the board of county commissioners may consist of five members, any
three of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Three of said
commissioners in said county shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen
hundred and four, and at the general election every four years thereafter; and the other two of
said commissioners in such county shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen
hundred and six and every four years thereafter; and all of such commissioners shall be elected
for the term of four years.
This section shall govern, except as hereafter otherwise expressly directed or permitted
by constitutional enactment.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 67. L. 01: Entire
section amended, p. 112. L. 2000: Entire section amended, p. 2776, effective upon proclamation
of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391, December 28, 2000.
Cross references: For number of county commissioners in counties having a population
of 70,000 or more, see § 1-4-205 (3); for county commissioners, see part 3 of article 10 of title
30; for powers of board of county commissioners, see § 30-11-107.
Section 7. Officers compensation. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 67. L. 68: Entire
section repealed p. 260.
Section 8. County officers – election – term – salary. There shall be elected in each
county, at the same time at which members of the general assembly are elected, commencing in
the year nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and every four years thereafter, one county clerk, who
shall be ex officio recorder of deeds and clerk of the board of county commissioners; one sheriff;
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one coroner; one treasurer who shall be collector of taxes; one county surveyor; one county
assessor; and one county attorney who may be elected or appointed, as shall be provided by law;
and such officers shall be paid such salary or compensation, either from the fees, perquisites and
emoluments of their respective offices, or from the general county fund, as may be provided by
law. The term of office of all such officials shall be four years, and they shall take office on the
second Tuesday in January next following their election, or at such other time as may be
provided by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 67. L. 01: Entire
section amended, p. 113. Initiated 55: Entire section amended, p. 247. L. 2000: Entire section
amended, p. 2776, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391, December 28,
2000.
Cross references: For county officers, see article 10 of title 30; for the county attorney,
see § 30-11-118.
Section 8.5. Sheriff – qualifications. The general assembly shall have the authority to
establish by law qualifications for the office of county sheriff, including but not limited to
training and certification requirements.
Source: L. 96: Entire section added, p. 1889, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 97, p. 2392, December 26, 1996.
Section 8.7. Coroner – qualifications. The general assembly shall have the authority to
establish by law qualifications for the office of county coroner, including but not limited to
training and certification requirements.
Source: L. 2002: Entire section added, p. 3093, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2003, p. 3610, December 20, 2002.
Section 9. Vacancies – how filled. In case of a vacancy occurring in the office of county
commissioner a vacancy committee of the same political party as the vacating commissioner
constituted as provided by law shall, by a majority vote, fill the vacancy by appointment within
ten days after occurrence of the vacancy. If the vacancy committee fails to fill the vacancy
within ten days after occurrence of the vacancy, the governor shall fill the same by appointment
within fifteen days after occurrence of the vacancy. The person appointed to fill a vacancy in the
office of county commissioner shall be a member of the same political party, if any, as the
vacating commissioner. In case of a vacancy in any other county office, or in any precinct office,
the board of county commissioners shall fill the same by appointment. Any person appointed
pursuant to this section shall hold the office until the next general election, or until the vacancy
is filled by election according to law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 67. L. 78: Entire
section amended, p. 527, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 79, p. 1671, December
29, 1978.
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Cross references: For vacancies in office due to refusal or neglect to qualify for such
office, see § 10 of article XII of this constitution.
Section 10. Elector only eligible to county office. No person shall be eligible to any
county office unless he shall be a qualified elector; nor unless he shall have resided in the county
one year preceding his election.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 68.
Section 11. Justices of the peace – constables. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 68. L. 01: Entire
section amended, p. 114. L. 62: Entire section repealed, effective January 12, 1965, see L. 63, p.
1055.
Section 12. Other officers. The general assembly shall provide for the election or
appointment of such other county officers and such municipal officers of statutory cities and
towns as public convenience may require; and their terms of office shall be as prescribed by
statute.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 68. L. 69: Entire
section R&RE, p. 1250, effective January 1, 1972.
Section 13. Classification of cities and towns. The general assembly shall provide, by
general laws, for the organization and classification of cities and towns. The number of such
classes shall not exceed four; and the powers of each class shall be defined by general laws, so
that all municipal corporations of the same class shall possess the same powers and be subject to
the same restrictions.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 68.
Cross references: For classification of municipalities, see § 31-1-201.
Section 14. Existing cities and towns may come under general law. The general
assembly shall also make provision, by general law, whereby any city, town or village,
incorporated by any special or local law, may elect to become subject to and be governed by the
general law relating to such corporations.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 68.
Cross references: For the reorganization of cities or towns incorporated by special
charter, see § 31-2-301.
Section 15. Compensation and fees of county officers. The general assembly shall fix
the compensation of county officers in this state by law, and shall establish scales of fees to be
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charged and collected by such county officers. All such fees shall be paid into the county general
fund.
When fixing the compensation of county officers, the general assembly shall give due
consideration to county variations, including population; the number of persons residing in
unincorporated areas; assessed valuation; motor vehicle registrations; building permits; military
installations; and such other factors as may be necessary to prepare compensation schedules that
reflect variations in the workloads and responsibilities of county officers and in the tax resources
of the several counties.
The compensation of any county officer shall be increased or decreased only when the
compensation of all county officers within the same county, or when the compensation for the
same county officer within the several counties of the state, is increased or decreased.
County officers shall not have their compensation increased or decreased during the
terms of office to which they have been elected or appointed.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 68. L. 68: Entire
section R&RE, p. 260. L. 2000: Entire section amended, p. 2777, effective upon proclamation of
the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391, December 28, 2000.
Cross references: For compensation of county and other officers, see article 2 of title 30.
Section 16. County home rule. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 6, 8, 9,
10, 12, and 15 of this article, the registered electors of each county of the state are hereby vested
with the power to adopt a home rule charter establishing the organization and structure of county
government consistent with this article and statutes enacted pursuant hereto.
(2) The general assembly shall provide by statute procedures under which the registered
electors of any county may adopt, amend, and repeal a county home rule charter. Action to
initiate home rule may be by petition, signed by not less than five percent of the registered
electors of the county in which home rule is sought, or by any other procedure authorized by
statute. No county home rule charter, amendment thereto, or repeal thereof, shall become
effective until approved by a majority of the registered electors of such county voting thereon.
(3) A home rule county shall provide all mandatory county functions, services, and
facilities and shall exercise all mandatory powers as may be required by statute.
(4) A home rule county shall be empowered to provide such permissive functions,
services, and facilities and to exercise such permissive powers as may be authorized by statute
applicable to all home rule counties, except as may be otherwise prohibited or limited by charter
or this constitution.
(5) The provisions of sections 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15 of article XIV of this constitution
shall apply to counties adopting a home rule charter only to such extent as may be provided in
said charter.
Source: L. 69: Entire section added, p. 1247, effective January 1, 1972. L. 84: (1) and
(2) amended, p. 1144, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p. 1791, January 14,
1985.
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Section 17. Service authorities. (1) (a) The general assembly shall provide by statute for
the organization, structure, functions, services, facilities, and powers of service authorities
pursuant to the following requirements:
(b) A service authority may be formed only upon the approval of a majority of the
registered electors voting thereon in the territory to be included.
(c) The territory within a service authority may include all or part of one county or home
rule county or all or part of two or more adjoining counties or home rule counties, but shall not
include only a part of any city and county, home rule city or town, or statutory city or town at the
time of formation of the service authority. No more than one service authority shall be
established in any territory and, in no event, shall a service authority be formed in the
metropolitan area composed of the city and county of Denver, and Adams, Arapahoe, and
Jefferson counties which does not include all of the city and county of Denver and all or portions
of Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties.
(d) The boundaries of any service authority shall not be such as to create any enclave.
(e) No territory shall be included within the boundaries of more than one service
authority.
(2) (a) The general assembly shall also provide by statute for:
(b) The inclusion and exclusion of territory in or from a service authority;
(c) The dissolution of a service authority;
(d) The merger of all or a part of two or more adjacent service authorities, except that
such merger shall require the approval of a majority of the registered electors voting thereon in
each of the affected service authorities; and,
(e) The boundaries of any service authority or any special taxing districts therein or the
method by which such boundaries are to be determined or changed; and
(f) The method for payment of any election expenses.
(3) (a) The general assembly shall designate by statute the functions, services, and
facilities which may be provided by a service authority, and the manner in which the members of
the governing body of any service authority shall be elected from compact districts of
approximately equal population by the registered electors of the authority, including the terms
and qualifications of such members. The general assembly may provide that members of the
governing body may be elected by a vote of each compact district or by an at-large vote or
combination thereof. Notwithstanding any provision in this constitution or the charter of any
home rule city and county, city, town, or county to the contrary, mayors, councilmen, trustees,
and county commissioners may additionally hold elective office with a service authority and
serve therein either with or without compensation, as provided by statute.
(b) A service authority shall provide any function, service, or facility designated by
statute and authorized as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this subsection.
(c) All propositions to provide functions, services, or facilities shall be submitted, either
individually or jointly, to the registered electors in the manner and form prescribed by law.
(d) Each such function, service, or facility shall be authorized if approved by a majority
of the registered electors of the authority voting thereon; but if the service authority includes
territory in more than one county, approval shall also require a majority of the registered electors
of the authority voting thereon in those included portions of each of the affected counties.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this subsection,
where, upon formation of a service authority, any function, service, or facility is already being
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provided in at least four counties or portions thereof by a single special district, regional
planning commission or metropolitan council, or an association of political subdivisions, the
general assembly may provide, without a vote of the registered electors, for assumption by one
or more service authorities of such function, service, or facility.
(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this subsection, a
service authority may contract with any other political subdivision to provide or receive any
function, service, or facility designated by statute; but a service authority shall not be invested
with any taxing power as a consequence of such contract.
(4) (a) A service authority shall be a body corporate and a political subdivision of the
state.
(b) Any other provision of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, any service
authority formed under this article and the statutes pursuant thereto may exercise such powers to
accomplish the purposes and to provide the authorized functions, services, and facilities of such
authority as the general assembly may provide by statute.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of article XX of this constitution, any authorized
function, service, or facility may be provided exclusively by the authority or concurrently with
other jurisdictions as may be prescribed by statute, subject to the provisions of subsections
(3)(c), (3)(d), (3)(e), and (3)(f) of this section.
Source: L. 69: Entire section added, p. 1247, effective January 1, 1972. L. 84: (1)(b),
(2)(d), (3)(a), and (3)(c) to (3)(e) amended, p. 1144, effective upon upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 85, p. 1791, January 14, 1985. L. 2000: (3)(a) amended, p. 2777, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, December 28, 2000. See L. 2001, p. 2391.
Section 18. Intergovernmental relationships. (1) (a) Any other provisions of this
constitution to the contrary notwithstanding:
(b) The general assembly may provide by statute for the terms and conditions under
which one or more service authorities may succeed to the rights, properties, and other assets and
assume the obligations of any other political subdivision included partially or entirely within
such authority, incident to the powers vested in, and the functions, services, and facilities
authorized to be provided by the service authority, whether vested and authorized at the time of
the formation of the service authority or subsequent thereto; and,
(c) The general assembly may provide by statute for the terms and conditions under
which a county, home rule county, city and county, home rule city or town, statutory city or
town, or quasi-municipal corporation, or any combination thereof may succeed to the rights,
properties, and other assets and assume the obligations of any quasi-municipal corporation
located partially or entirely within its boundaries.
(d) The general assembly may provide by statute procedures whereby any county, home
rule county, city and county, home rule city or town, statutory city or town, or service authority
may establish special taxing districts.
(2) (a) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit the state or any of its
political subdivisions from cooperating or contracting with one another or with the government
of the United States to provide any function, service, or facility lawfully authorized to each of
the cooperating or contracting units, including the sharing of costs, the imposition of taxes, or
the incurring of debt.
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(b) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit the authorization by statute
of a separate governmental entity as an instrument to be used through voluntary participation by
cooperating or contracting political subdivisions.
(c) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit any political subdivision of
the state from contracting with private persons, associations, or corporations for the provision of
any legally authorized functions, services, or facilities within or without its boundaries.
(d) Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to prohibit the general assembly from
providing by statute for state imposed and collected taxes to be shared with and distributed to
political subdivisions of the state except that this provision shall not in any way limit the powers
of home rule cities and towns.
Source: L. 69: Entire section added, p. 1249, effective January 1, 1972.
ARTICLE XV
Corporations
Section 1. Unused charters or grants of privilege. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 69. L. 2000:
Entire section repealed, p. 2778, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391,
December 28, 2000.
Section 2. Corporate charters created by general law. No charter of incorporation
shall be granted, extended, changed or amended by special law, except for such municipal,
charitable, educational, penal or reformatory corporations as are or may be under the control of
the state; but the general assembly shall provide by general laws for the organization of
corporations hereafter to be created.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 69.
Cross references: For prohibition of special laws, see § 25 of article V of this
constitution.
Section 3. Power to revoke, alter or annul charter. The general assembly shall have
the power to alter, revoke or annul any charter of incorporation now existing and revocable at the
adoption of this constitution, or any that may hereafter be created, whenever in their opinion it
may be injurious to the citizens of the state, in such manner, however, that no injustice shall be
done to the corporators.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 69.
Section 4. Railroads – common carriers – construction – intersection. All railroads
shall be public highways, and all railroad companies shall be common carriers. Any association
or corporation organized for the purpose, shall have the right to construct and operate a railroad
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between any designated points within this state, and to connect at the state line with railroads of
other states and territories. Every railroad company shall have the right with its road to intersect,
connect with or cross any other railroad.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 69.
Cross references: For provisions regulating railroads, see part 1 of article 20 of title 40.
Section 5. Consolidation of parallel lines forbidden. No railroad corporation, or the
lessees or managers thereof, shall consolidate its stock, property or franchises with any other
railroad corporation owning or having under its control a parallel or competing line.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 69.
Section 6. Equal rights of public to transportation. All individuals, associations and
corporations shall have equal rights to have persons and property transported over any railroad in
this state, and no undue or unreasonable discrimination shall be made in charges or in facilities
for transportation of freight or passengers within the state, and no railroad company, nor any
lessee, manager or employee thereof, shall give any preference to individuals, associations or
corporations in furnishing cars or motive power.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 69.
Cross references: For prohibition against discrimination by public utilities, see §§ 40-3-
105 to 40-3-111.
Section 7. Existing railroads to file acceptance of constitution. (Repealed)
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 69. L. 2000:
Entire section repealed, p. 2778, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391,
December 28, 2000.
Section 8. Eminent domain – police power – not to be abridged. The right of eminent
domain shall never be abridged nor so construed as to prevent the general assembly from taking
the property and franchises of incorporated companies, and subjecting them to public use, the
same as the property of individuals; and the police power of the state shall never be abridged or
so construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such manner as to infringe the
equal rights of individuals or the general well-being of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 70.
Section 9. Fictitious stock, bonds – increase of stock. No corporation shall issue stocks
or bonds, except for labor done, service performed, or money or property actually received, and
all fictitious increase of stock or indebtedness shall be void. The stock of corporations shall not
be increased except in pursuance of general law, nor without the consent of the persons holding a
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majority of the stock, first obtained at a meeting held after at least thirty days’ notice given in
pursuance of law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 70.
Section 10. Foreign corporations – place – agent. No foreign corporation shall do any
business in this state without having one or more known places of business, and an authorized
agent or agents in the same, upon whom process may be served.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 70.
Section 11. Street railroads – consent of municipality. No street railroad shall be
constructed within any city, town, or incorporated village, without the consent of the local
authorities having the control of the street or highway proposed to be occupied by such street
railroad.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 70.
Cross references: For electric and street railroads, see article 24 of title 40.
Section 12. Retrospective laws not to be passed. The general assembly shall pass no
law for the benefit of a railroad or other corporation, or any individual or association of
individuals, retrospective in its operation, or which imposes on the people of any county or
municipal subdivision of the state, a new liability in respect to transactions or considerations
already past.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 70.
Cross references: For ex post facto laws, see § 11 of article II of this constitution.
Section 13. Telegraph lines – consolidation. Any association or corporation, or the
lessees or managers thereof, organized for the purpose, or any individual, shall have the right to
construct and maintain lines of telegraph within this state, and to connect the same with other
lines, and the general assembly shall, by general law, of uniform operation, provide reasonable
regulations to give full effect to this section. No telegraph company shall consolidate with, or
hold a controlling interest in, the stock or bonds of any other telegraph company owning or
having the control of a competing line, or acquire, by purchase or otherwise, any other
competing line of telegraph.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 70.
Cross references: For regulation of rates and charges, see article 3 of title 40.
Section 14. Railroad or telegraph companies – consolidating with foreign companies.
If any railroad, telegraph, express or other corporation organized under any of the laws of this
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state, shall consolidate, by sale or otherwise, with any railroad, telegraph, express or other
corporation organized under any laws of any other state or territory or of the United States, the
same shall not thereby become a foreign corporation, but the courts of this state shall retain
jurisdiction over that part of the corporate property within the limits of the state in all matters
which may arise, as if said consolidation had not taken place.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 71.
Section 15. Contracts with employees releasing from liability – void. It shall be
unlawful for any person, company or corporation to require of its servants or employees, as a
condition of their employment or otherwise, any contract or agreement, whereby such person,
company or corporation shall be released or discharged from liability or responsibility on
account of personal injuries received by such servants or employees while in the service of such
person, company or corporation, by reason of the negligence of such person, company or
corporation, or the agents or employees thereof, and such contracts shall be absolutely null and
void.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 71.
ARTICLE XVI
Mining and Irrigation
Mining
Section 1. Commissioner of mines. There shall be established and maintained the office
of commissioner of mines, the duties and salaries of which shall be prescribed by law. When
said office shall be established, the governor shall, with the advice and consent of the senate,
appoint thereto a person known to be competent, whose term of office shall be four years.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 71.
Cross references: For the designation of the executive director of the department of
natural resources as the commissioner of mines, see § 24-1-124 (1).
Section 2. Ventilation – employment of children. The general assembly shall provide
by law for the proper ventilation of mines, the construction of escapement shafts, and such other
appliances as may be necessary to protect the health and secure the safety of the workmen
therein; and shall prohibit the employment in the mines of children under twelve years of age.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 71.
Cross references: For provisions regulating mines, see articles 20 to 25 of title 34; for
wages generally, see article 4 of title 8; for wage equality regardless of sex, see § 8-5-102; for
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minimum wages of workers, see article 6 of title 8; for the state youth employment opportunity
act, see article 12 of title 8; for eight-hour maximum work day, see article 13 of title 8.
Section 3. Drainage. The general assembly may make such regulations from time to
time, as may be necessary for the proper and equitable drainage of mines.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 71.
Cross references: For mine drainage districts, see article 51 of title 34.
Section 4. Mining, metallurgy, in public institutions. The general assembly may
provide that the science of mining and metallurgy be taught in one or more of the institutions of
learning under the patronage of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 71.
Cross references: For the Colorado school of mines, see article 41 of title 23.
Irrigation
Section 5. Water of streams public property. The water of every natural stream, not
heretofore appropriated, within the state of Colorado, is hereby declared to be the property of the
public, and the same is dedicated to the use of the people of the state, subject to appropriation as
hereinafter provided.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 72.
Cross references: For taking property for public use, see § 15 of article II of this
constitution.
Section 6. Diverting unappropriated water – priority preferred uses. The right to
divert the unappropriated waters of any natural stream to beneficial uses shall never be denied.
Priority of appropriation shall give the better right as between those using the water for the same
purpose; but when the waters of any natural stream are not sufficient for the service of all those
desiring the use of the same, those using the water for domestic purposes shall have the
preference over those claiming for any other purpose, and those using the water for agricultural
purposes shall have preference over those using the same for manufacturing purposes.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 72.
Cross references: For appropriation and use of water, see article 82 of title 37; for taking
property for public use, see § 15 of article II of this constitution; for public ownership of natural
stream waters, see § 5 of this article; for diversion of waters from the state, see article 81 of title
37.
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Section 7. Right-of-way for ditches, flumes. All persons and corporations shall have the
right-of-way across public, private and corporate lands for the construction of ditches, canals and
flumes for the purpose of conveying water for domestic purposes, for the irrigation of
agricultural lands, and for mining and manufacturing purposes, and for drainage, upon payment
of just compensation.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 72.
Cross references: For rights-of-way and ditches, see article 86 of title 37; for taking
private property for private use, see § 14 of article II of this constitution; for public ownership of
natural stream waters, see § 5 of this article; for diverting unappropriated water, see § 6 of this
article; for eminent domain, see articles 1 to 7 of title 38.
Section 8. County commissioners to fix rates for water, when. The general assembly
shall provide by law that the board of county commissioners in their respective counties, shall
have power, when application is made to them by either party interested, to establish reasonable
maximum rates to be charged for the use of water, whether furnished by individuals or
corporations.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 72.
Cross references: For rates of public utilities, see article XXV of this constitution; for
fixing a reasonable maximum rate of compensation for water, see § 37-85-106; for public
ownership of natural stream waters, see § 5 of this article.
ARTICLE XVII
Militia
Section 1. Persons subject to service. The militia of the state shall consist of all ablebodied male residents of the state between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years; except, such
persons as may be exempted by the laws of the United States, or of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 72.
Cross references: For the state defense force, see article 4 of title 28; for the
composition of the state defense force, see § 28-4-104; for the requirement of United States
citizenship, see § 28-4-112.
Section 2. Organization – equipment – discipline. The organization, equipment and
discipline of the militia shall conform as nearly as practicable, to the regulations for the
government of the armies of the United States.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 72.
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Cross references: For rules and regulations dealing with organization, equipment, and
discipline, see § 28-4-105; for the requisition of equipment, see § 28-4-107.
Section 3. Officers – how chosen. The governor shall appoint all general, field and staff
officers and commission them. Each company shall elect its own officers, who shall be
commissioned by the governor; but if any company shall fail to elect such officers within the
time prescribed by law, they may be appointed by the governor.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 73.
Cross references: For oath of officers, see § 28-4-113.
Section 4. Armories. The general assembly shall provide for the safekeeping of the
public arms, military records, relics and banners of the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 73.
Cross references: For the provision of state armories, see § 28-4-107.
Section 5. Exemption in time of peace. No person having conscientious scruples against
bearing arms shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 73. L. 2006:
Entire section amended, p. 2955, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2007, p. 2964,
December 31, 2006.
ARTICLE XVIII
Miscellaneous
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
Section 1. Homestead and exemption laws. The general assembly shall pass liberal
homestead and exemption laws.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 73.
Cross references: For homestead exemptions, see part 2 of article 41 of title 38.
Section 2. Lotteries prohibited – exceptions. (1) The general assembly shall have no
power to authorize lotteries for any purpose; except that the conducting of such games of chance
as provided in subsections (2) to (4) of this section shall be lawful on and after January 1, 1959,
and the conducting of state-supervised lotteries pursuant to subsection (7) of this section shall be
lawful on and after January 1, 1981.
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(2) No game of chance pursuant to this subsection (2) and subsections (3) and (4) of this
section shall be conducted by any person, firm, or organization, unless a license as provided for
in this subsection (2) has been issued to the firm or organization conducting such games of
chance. The secretary of state shall, upon application therefor on such forms as shall be
prescribed by the secretary of state and upon the payment of an annual fee as determined by the
general assembly, issue a license for the conducting of such games of chance to any bona fide
chartered branch or lodge or chapter of a national or state organization or to any bona fide
religious, charitable, labor, fraternal, educational, voluntary firemen’s or veterans’ organization
which operates without profit to its members and which has been in existence continuously for a
period of five years immediately prior to the making of said application for such license and has
had during the entire five-year period a dues-paying membership engaged in carrying out the
objects of said corporation or organization, such license to expire at the end of each calendar
year in which it was issued.
(3) The license issued by the secretary of state shall authorize and permit the licensee to
conduct games of chance, restricted to the selling of rights to participate and the awarding of
prizes in the specific kind of game of chance commonly known as bingo or lotto, in which prizes
are awarded on the basis of designated numbers or symbols on a card conforming to numbers or
symbols selected at random and in the specific game of chance commonly known as raffles,
conducted by the drawing of prizes or by the allotment of prizes by chance.
(4) Such games of chance shall be subject to the following restrictions:
(a) The entire net proceeds of any game shall be exclusively devoted to the lawful
purposes of organizations permitted to conduct such games.
(b) No person except a bona fide member of any organization may participate in the
management or operation of any such game.
(c) No person may receive any remuneration or profit for participating in the
management or operation of any such game.
(5) Subsections (2) to (4) of this section are self-enacting, but laws may be enacted
supplementary to and in pursuance of, but not contrary to, the provisions thereof.
(6) The enforcement of this section shall be under such official or department of
government of the state of Colorado as the general assembly shall provide.
(7) Any provision of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, the general
assembly may establish a state-supervised lottery. Unless otherwise provided by statute, all
proceeds from the lottery, after deduction of prizes and expenses, shall be allocated to the
conservation trust fund of the state for distribution to municipalities and counties for park,
recreation, and open space purposes.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p.73. Initiated 58:
Entire section amended, see L. 59, p. 867. L. 79: Entire section amended, p. 1676, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 81, p. 2054, December 19, 1980.
Cross references: For statutory provisions implementing a state-supervised lottery,
including lotto, see article 40 of title 44; for allocation of proceeds from the state-supervised
lottery, see article XXVII of this constitution.
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Section 3. Arbitration laws. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such
laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by
mutual agreement of the parties to any controversy who may choose that mode of adjustment.
The powers and duties of such arbitrators shall be as prescribed by law.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 73.
Section 4. Felony defined. The term felony, wherever it may occur in this constitution,
or the laws of the state, shall be construed to mean any criminal offense punishable by death or
imprisonment in the penitentiary, and none other.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 73.
Cross references: For classification of felonies, see § 18-1.3-401.
Source: L. 2008: Section 5. Spurious and drugged liquors – laws concerning, repealed
in its entirety, p. 3112, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2009, p. 3384, January
8, 2009.
Section 6. Preservation of forests. The general assembly shall enact laws in order to
prevent the destruction of, and to keep in good preservation, the forests upon the lands of the
state, or upon lands of the public domain, the control of which shall be conferred by congress
upon the state.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 74.
Cross references: For provisions regulating forestry, see article 7 of title 36.
Source: L. 2008: Section 7. Land value increase – arboreal planting exempt, repealed
in its entirety, p. 3113, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2009, p. 3383, January
8, 2009.
Section 8. Publication of laws. The general assembly shall provide for the publication of
the laws passed at each session thereof.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 74. L. 90: Entire
section amended, p. 1862, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 91, p. 2033, January
3, 1991.
Editor’s note: The 1990 amendment to this section deleted language which required that,
until 1900, laws passed at each session of the General Assembly be published in Spanish and
German. For the language of this section prior to the 1990 amendment, see the 1980
Replacement Volume 1A, Colorado Revised Statutes.
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Cross references: For the publication of session laws, see § 24-70-223; for the
publication of Colorado Revised Statutes, see article 5 of title 2.
Section 9. Limited gaming permitted. (1) Any provisions of section 2 of this article
XVIII or any other provisions of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, limited
gaming in the City of Central, the City of Black Hawk, and the City of Cripple Creek shall be
lawful as of October 1, 1991.
(2) The administration and regulation of this section 9 shall be under an appointed
limited gaming control commission, referred to in this section 9 as the commission; said
commission to be created under such official or department of government of the state of
Colorado as the general assembly shall provide by May 1, 1991. Such official or the director of
the department of government shall appoint the commission by July 1, 1991. The commission
shall promulgate all necessary rules and regulations relating to the licensing of limited gaming
by October 1, 1991, in the manner authorized by statute for the promulgation of administrative
rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations shall include the necessary defining of terms
that are not otherwise defined.
(3) Limited gaming shall be subject to the following:
(a) Limited gaming shall take place only in the existing Colorado cities of: the City of
Central, county of Gilpin, the City of Black Hawk, county of Gilpin, and the City of Cripple
Creek, county of Teller. Such limited gaming shall be further confined to the commercial
districts of said cities as said districts are respectively defined in the city ordinances adopted by:
the City of Central on October 7, 1981, the City of Black Hawk on May 4, 1978, and the City of
Cripple Creek on December 3, 1973.
(b) Limited gaming shall only be conducted in structures which conform, as determined
by the respective municipal governing bodies, to the architectural styles and designs that were
common to the areas prior to World War I and which conform to the requirements of applicable
respective city ordinances, regardless of the age of said structures.
(c) No more than thirty-five percent of the square footage of any building and no more
than fifty percent of any one floor of such building, may be used for limited gaming.
(d) Limited gaming operations shall be prohibited between the hours of 2:00 o’clock a.m.
and 8:00 o’clock a.m., unless such hours are revised as provided in subsection (7) of this section.
(e) Limited gaming may occur in establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.
(4) As certain terms are used in regards to limited gaming:
(a) “Adjusted gross proceeds” means the total amount of all wagers made by players on
limited gaming less all payments to players; said payments to players being deemed to include
all payments of cash premiums, merchandise, tokens, redeemable game credits, or any other
thing of value.
(b) “Limited gaming” means the use of slot machines and the card games of blackjack
and poker, each game having a maximum single bet of five dollars, unless such games or single
bets are revised as provided in subsection (7) of this section.
(c) “Slot machine” means any mechanical, electrical, video, electronic, or other device,
contrivance, or machine which, after insertion of a coin, token, or similar object, or upon
payment of any required consideration whatsoever by a player, is available to be played or
operated, and which, whether by reason of the skill of the player or application of the element of
chance, or both, may deliver or entitle the player operating the machine to receive cash
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premiums, merchandise, tokens, redeemable game credits, or any other thing of value other than
unredeemable free games, whether the payoff is made automatically from the machines or in any
other manner.
(5) (a) Up to a maximum of forty percent of the adjusted gross proceeds of limited
gaming shall be paid by each licensee, in addition to any applicable license fees, for the privilege
of conducting limited gaming. Subject to subsection (7) of this section, such percentage shall be
established annually by the commission according to the criteria established by the general
assembly in the implementing legislation to be enacted pursuant to paragraph (c) of this
subsection (5). Such payments shall be made into a limited gaming fund that is hereby created in
the state treasury.
(b) (I) From the moneys in the limited gaming fund, the state treasurer is hereby
authorized to pay all ongoing expenses of the commission and any other state agency, related to
the administration of this section 9. Such payment shall be made upon proper presentation of a
voucher prepared by the commission in accordance with statutes governing payments of
liabilities incurred on behalf of the state. Such payment shall not be conditioned on any
appropriation by the general assembly.
(II) At the end of each state fiscal year, the state treasurer shall distribute the balance
remaining in the limited gaming fund, except for an amount equal to all expenses of the
administration of this section 9 for the preceding two-month period, according to the following
guidelines and subject to the distribution criteria provided in subsection (7) of this section: fifty
percent shall be transferred to the state general fund or such other fund as the general assembly
shall provide; twenty-eight percent shall be transferred to the state historical fund, which fund is
hereby created in the state treasury; twelve percent shall be distributed to the governing bodies of
Gilpin county and Teller county in proportion to the gaming revenues generated in each county;
the remaining ten percent shall be distributed to the governing bodies of the cities of: the City of
Central, the City of Black Hawk, and the City of Cripple Creek in proportion to the gaming
revenues generated in each respective city.
(III) Of the moneys in the state historical fund, from which the state treasurer shall also
make annual distributions, twenty percent shall be used for the preservation and restoration of
the cities of: the City of Central, the City of Black Hawk, and the City of Cripple Creek, and
such moneys shall be distributed, to the governing bodies of the respective cities, according to
the proportion of the gaming revenues generated in each respective city. The remaining eighty
percent in the state historical fund shall be used for the historic preservation and restoration of
historical sites and municipalities throughout the state in a manner to be determined by the
general assembly.
(c) and (d) Repealed.
(e) The general assembly shall enact provisions for the special licensing of qualifying
nonprofit charitable organizations desiring to periodically host charitable gaming activities in
licensed gaming establishments.
(f) If any provision of this section 9 is held invalid, the remainder of this section 9 shall
remain unimpaired.
(6) Local vote on legality of limited gaming – election required. (a) Except as provided
in paragraph (e) of this subsection (6), limited gaming shall not be lawful within any city, town,
or unincorporated portion of a county which has been granted constitutional authority for limited
gaming within its boundaries unless first approved by an affirmative vote of a majority of the
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electors of such city, town, or county voting thereon. The question shall first be submitted to the
electors at a general, regular, or special election held within thirteen months after the effective
date of the amendment which first adds such city, county, or town to those authorized for limited
gaming pursuant to this constitution; and said election shall be conducted pursuant to applicable
state or local government election laws.
(b) If approval of limited gaming is not obtained when the question is first submitted to
the electors, the question may be submitted at subsequent elections held in accordance with
paragraph (d) of this subsection (6); except that, once approval is obtained, limited gaming shall
thereafter be lawful within the said city, town, or unincorporated portion of a county so long as
the city, town, or county remains among those with constitutional authority for limited gaming
within their boundaries.
(c) Nothing contained in this subsection (6) shall be construed to limit the ability of a
city, town, or county to regulate the conduct of limited gaming as otherwise authorized by statute
or by this constitution.
(d) (I) The question submitted to the electors at any election held pursuant to this
subsection (6) shall be phrased in substantially the following form: “Shall limited gaming be
lawful within ____?”
(II) The failure to acquire approval of limited gaming in the unincorporated portion of a
county shall not prevent lawful limited gaming within a city or town located in such county
where such approval is acquired in a city or town election, and failure to acquire such approval
in a city or town election shall not prevent lawful limited gaming within the unincorporated area
of the county in which such city or town is located where such approval is acquired in an
election in the unincorporated area of a county.
(III) If approval of limited gaming is not acquired when the question is first submitted in
accordance with this subsection (6), the question may be submitted at subsequent elections so
long as at least four years have elapsed since any previous election at which the question was
submitted.
(e) Nothing contained in this subsection (6) shall be construed to affect the authority
granted upon the initial adoption of this section at the 1990 general election, or the conduct and
regulation of gaming on Indian reservations pursuant to federal law.
(f) For purposes of this subsection (6), a “city, town, or county” includes all land and
buildings located within, or owned and controlled by, such city, town, or county or any political
subdivision thereof. “City, town, or county” also includes the city and county of Denver.
(7) Local elections to revise limits applicable to gaming – statewide elections to
increase gaming taxes. (a) Through local elections, the voters of the cities of Central, Black
Hawk, and Cripple Creek are authorized to revise limits on gaming that apply to licensees
operating in their city’s gaming district to extend:
(I) Hours of limited gaming operation;
(II) Approved games; and
(III) Single bets.
(b) Limited gaming tax revenues attributable to the operation of this subsection (7) shall
be deposited in the limited gaming fund. The commission shall annually determine the amount
of such revenues generated in each city.
(c) From gaming tax revenues attributable to the operation of this subsection (7), the
treasurer shall pay:
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(I) Those ongoing expenses of the commission and other state agencies that are related to
the administration of this subsection (7);
(II) Annual adjustments, in connection with distributions to limited gaming fund
recipients listed in subsection (5)(b)(II) of this section, to reflect the lesser of six percent of, or
the actual percentage of, annual growth in gaming tax revenues attributable to this subsection
(7); and
(III) Of the remaining gaming tax revenues, distributions in the following proportions:
(A) Seventy-eight percent to the state’s public community colleges, junior colleges, and
local district colleges to supplement existing state funding for student financial aid programs and
classroom instruction programs; provided that such revenue shall be distributed to institutions
that were operating on and after January 1, 2008, in proportion to their respective full-time
equivalent student enrollments in the previous fiscal year;
(B) Ten percent to the governing bodies of the cities of Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple
Creek to address local gaming impacts; provided that such revenue shall be distributed based on
the proportion of gaming tax revenues, attributable to the operation of this subsection (7), that
are paid by licensees operating in each city; and
(C) Twelve percent to the governing bodies of Gilpin and Teller Counties to address local
gaming impacts; provided that such revenue shall be distributed based on the proportion of
gaming tax revenues, attributable to the operation of this subsection (7), that are paid by
licensees operating in each county.
(d) After July 1, 2009, the commission shall implement revisions to limits on gaming as
approved by voters in the cities of Central, Black Hawk, or Cripple Creek. The general assembly
is also authorized to enact, as necessary, legislation that will facilitate the operation of this
subsection (7).
(e) If local voters in one or more cities revise any limits on gaming as provided in
paragraph (a) of this subsection (7), any commission action pursuant to subsection (5) of this
section that increases gaming taxes from the levels imposed as of July 1, 2008, shall be effective
only if approved by voters at a statewide election held under section 20(4)(a) of article X of this
constitution.
(f) Gaming tax revenues attributable to the operation of this subsection (7) shall be
collected and spent as a voter-approved revenue change without regard to any limitation
contained in section 20 of article X of this constitution or any other law.
Source: Initiated 90: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 91, p. 2037, January 3, 1991. L. 92: (6) added, p. 2313, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 93, p. 2158, January 14, 1993. L. 2002: (5)(c) and (5)(d) repealed, p. 3095, § 1,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002. Initiated
2008: (3)(d), (4)(b), (5)(a), and (5)(b)(II) amended and (7) added, effective upon proclamation of
the Governor, L. 2009, p. 3377, January 8, 2009. Initiated 2020: (7)(a)(II) and (7)(a)(III)
amended, Amendment 77, effective May 1, 2021, proclamation of the Governor issued
December 31, 2020. See L. 2021, p. 4210.
Editor’s note: (1) Subsections (7)(a)(II) and (7)(a)(III) were amended by Amendment
77, effective May 1, 2021. The proclamation of the governor was December 31, 2020. The vote
count for the measure at the general election held November 3, 2020, was as follows:
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FOR: 1,854,153
AGAINST: 1,208,414
(2) For the amended statutory sections associated with Amendment 77, see L. 2021, p.
4210.
Cross references: For statutory provisions concerning limited gaming, see articles 30
and 31 of title 44.
Section 9a. U.S. senators and representatives – limitations on terms. (1) In order to
broaden the opportunities for public service and to assure that members of the United States
Congress from Colorado are representative of and responsive to Colorado citizens, no United
States Senator from Colorado shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the United States
Senate, and no United States Representative from Colorado shall serve more than three
consecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives. This limitation on the number
of terms shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1995. Any person
appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in the United States Congress and who serves at least one
half of a term of office shall be considered to have served a term in that office for purposes of
this subsection (1). Terms are considered consecutive unless they are at least four years apart.
(2) The people of Colorado hereby state their support for a nationwide limit of twelve
consecutive years of service in the United States Senate and six consecutive years of service in
the United States House of Representatives and instruct their public officials to use their best
efforts to work for such a limit.
(3) The people of Colorado declare that the provisions of this section shall be deemed
severable from the remainder of this measure and that their intention is that federal officials
elected from Colorado will continue voluntarily to observe the wishes of the people as stated in
this section in the event any provision thereof is held invalid. The severability provisions of
Section 10 of Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution apply to this Section 9a.
Source: Initiated 90: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 91, p. 2036, January 3, 1991. Initiated 94: Entire section amended, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 95, p. 1435, January 19, 1995.
Editor’s note: (1) Although this section was numbered as section 9 as it appeared on the
ballot in 1990, for ease of location, it has numbered as section 9a.
(2) The reference in subsection (3) to “this measure” refers to the initiative adopted by
the people on November 6, 1990, which added this section and amended section 1 of article IV
and section 3 of article V of this constitution.
Section 10. Severability of constitutional provisions. If any provision of any section of
any article in this constitution is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be
unconstitutional, the remaining provisions are valid unless the court holds that the valid
provisions are so essentially and inseparably connected with, and so dependent upon, the void
provision that it cannot be presumed the enactment of the valid provisions would have occurred
without the void one; or unless the court determines that the valid provisions, standing alone, are
incomplete and not capable of being executed.
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Source: L. 92: Entire section added, p. 2314, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 93, p. 2158, January 14, 1993.
Section 11. Elected government officials – limitation on terms. (1) In order to broaden
the opportunities for public service and to assure that elected officials of governments are
responsive to the citizens of those governments, no nonjudicial elected official of any county,
city and county, city, town, school district, service authority, or any other political subdivision of
the State of Colorado, no member of the state board of education, and no elected member of the
governing board of a state institution of higher education shall serve more than two consecutive
terms in office, except that with respect to terms of office which are two years or shorter in
duration, no such elected official shall serve more than three consecutive terms in office. This
limitation on the number of terms shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1,
1995. For purposes of this Section 11, terms are considered consecutive unless they are at least
four years apart.
(2) The voters of any such political subdivision may lengthen, shorten or eliminate the
limitations on terms of office imposed by this Section 11. The voters of the state may lengthen,
shorten, or eliminate the limitations on terms of office for the state board of education or the
governing board of a state institution of higher education imposed by this Section 11.
(3) The provisions of this Section 11 shall apply to every home rule county, home rule
city and county, home rule city and home rule town, notwithstanding any provision of Article
XX, or Sections 16 and 17 of Article XIV, of the Colorado Constitution.
Source: Initiated 94: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 95, p. 1436, January 19, 1995.
Section 12. (Repealed)
Source: Initiated 96: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 97, p. 2395, December 26, 1996. L. 2002: Entire section repealed, p. 3096, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.
Editor’s note: (1) This section was found unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme
Court in Morrissey v. State, 951 P.2d 911 (Colo. 1998).
(2) This section related to congressional term limits.
Section 12a. Congressional Term Limits Declaration. (1) Information for voters about
candidates’ decisions to term limit themselves is more important than party labeling, therefore,
any candidate seeking to be elected to the United States Congress shall be allowed, but not
required, to submit to the secretary of state an executed copy of the Term Limits Declaration set
forth in subsection (2) of this section not later than 15 days prior to the certification of every
congressional election ballot to each county clerk and recorder by the secretary of state. The
secretary of state shall not refuse to place a candidate on any ballot due to the candidate’s
decision not to submit such declaration.
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(2) The language of the Term Limits Declaration shall be as set forth herein and the
secretary of state shall incorporate the applicable language in square brackets “[ ]” for the office
the candidate seeks:
Congressional Term Limits Declaration
Term Limits Declaration One
Part A: I, _______________, voluntarily declare that, if elected, I will not serve in the United
States [House of Representatives more than 3 terms] [Senate more than 2 terms] after the
effective date of the Congressional Term Limits Declaration Act of 1998.
________________________________ _______________________________
Signature by candidate executes Part A Date
Part B: I, _______________, authorize and request that the secretary of state place the
applicable ballot designation, “Signed declaration to limit service to no more than [3 terms] [2
terms]” next to my name on every election ballot and in all government-sponsored voter
education material in which my name appears as a candidate for the office to which Term Limit
Declaration One refers.
________________________________ _______________________________
Signature by candidate executes Part B Date
If the candidate chooses not to execute any or all parts of Term Limits Declaration One, then he
or she may execute and submit to the secretary of state any or all parts of Term Limits
Declaration Two.
Term Limits Declaration Two
Part A: I, _______________, have voluntarily chosen not to sign Term Limits Declaration One.
If I had signed that declaration, I would have voluntarily agreed to limit my service in the United
States [House of Representatives to no more than 3 terms] [Senate to no more than 2 terms] after
the passage of the congressional Term Limits Declaration Amendment of 1998.
________________________________ _______________________________
Signature by candidate executes Part A Date
After executing Part A, a candidate may execute and submit the voluntary statement in Part B.
Part B: I, _______________, authorize and request that the secretary of state place the ballot
designation, “Chose not to sign declaration to limit service to [3 terms] [2 terms]” next to my
name on every official election ballot and in all government-sponsored voter education material
in which my name appears as a candidate for the office to which Term Limits Declaration Two
refers.
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________________________________ _______________________________
Signature by candidate executes Part B Date
(3) In the ballot designations in this section, the secretary of state shall incorporate the
applicable language in brackets for the office the candidate seeks. Terms shall be calculated
without regard to whether the terms were served consecutively.
(4) The secretary of state shall allow any candidate who at any time has submitted an
executed copy of Term Limits Declaration One or Two, to timely submit an executed copy of
Term Limits Declaration One or Two at which time all provisions affecting that Term Limits
Declaration shall apply.
(5) The secretary of state shall place on that part of the official election ballot and in all
government-sponsored voter education material, immediately following the name of each
candidate who has executed and submitted Parts A and B of Term Limits Declaration One, the
words, “Signed declaration to limit service to [3 terms] [2 terms]” unless the candidate has
qualified as a candidate for a term that would exceed the number of terms set forth in Term
Limits Declaration One. The secretary of state shall place on that part of the official election
ballot and in all government-sponsored voter education material, immediately following the
name of each candidate who has executed and submitted Parts A and B of Term Limits
Declaration Two the words, “Chose not to sign declaration to limit service to [3 terms] [2
terms]”.
(6) For the purpose of this section, service in office for more than one-half of a term shall
be deemed as service for a full term.
(7) No candidate shall have more than one declaration and ballot designation in effect for
any office at the same time and a candidate may only execute and submit Part B of a declaration
if Part A of that declaration is or has been executed and submitted.
(8) The secretary of state shall provide candidates with all the declarations in this section
and promulgate regulations as provided by law to facilitate implementation of this section as
long as the regulations do not alter the intent of this section.
(9) If any portion of this section be adjudicated invalid, the remaining portion shall be
severed from the invalid portion to the greatest possible extent and be given the fullest force and
application.
Source: Initiated 98: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 99, p. 2257, December 30, 1998.
Section 12b. Prohibited methods of taking wildlife. (1) It shall be unlawful to take
wildlife with any leghold trap, any instant kill body-gripping design trap, or by poison or snare
in the state of Colorado.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not prohibit:
(a) The taking of wildlife by use of the devices or methods described in subsection (1) of
this section by federal, state, county, or municipal departments of health for the purpose of
protecting human health or safety;
(b) The use of the devices or methods described in subsection (1) of this section for
controlling:
(I) wild or domestic rodents, except for beaver or muskrat, as otherwise authorized by
law; or
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 137 of 204 Uncertified Printout
(II) wild or domestic birds as otherwise authorized by law;
(c) The use of non-lethal snares, traps specifically designed not to kill, or nets to take
wildlife for scientific research projects, for falconry, for relocation, or for medical treatment
pursuant to regulations established by the Colorado wildlife commission; or
(d) The use of traps, poisons or nets by the Colorado division of wildlife to take or
manage fish or other non-mammalian aquatic wildlife.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section 12, the owner or lessee of private
property primarily used for commercial livestock or crop production, or the employees of such
owner or lessee, shall not be prohibited from using the devices or methods described in
subsection (1) of this section on such private property so long as:
(a) such use does not exceed one thirty day period per year; and
(b) the owner or lessee can present on-site evidence to the division of wildlife that
ongoing damage to livestock or crops has not been alleviated by the use of non-lethal or lethal
control methods which are not prohibited.
(4) The provisions of this section 12 shall not apply to the taking of wildlife with
firearms, fishing equipment, archery equipment, or other implements in hand as authorized by
law.
(5) The general assembly shall enact, amend, or repeal such laws as are necessary to
implement the provisions of this section 12, including penalty provisions, no later than May 1,
1997.
(6) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) The term “taking” shall be defined as provided in section 33-1-102 (43), C.R.S., on
the date this section is enacted.
(b) The term “wildlife” shall be defined as provided in section 33-1-102 (51), C.R.S., on
the date this section is enacted.
Source: Initiated 96: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 97, p. 2397, January 15, 1997.
Editor’s note: Although this section was numbered as section 12 as it appeared on the
ballot, for ease of location it has been numbered as section 12b.
Section 14. Medical use of marijuana for persons suffering from debilitating
medical conditions. (1) As used in this section, these terms are defined as follows:
(a) “Debilitating medical condition” means:
(I) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired
immune deficiency syndrome, or treatment for such conditions;
(II) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or treatment for such
conditions, which produces, for a specific patient, one or more of the following, and for which,
in the professional opinion of the patient’s physician, such condition or conditions reasonably
may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana: cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea;
seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms,
including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
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(III) Any other medical condition, or treatment for such condition, approved by the state
health agency, pursuant to its rule making authority or its approval of any petition submitted by a
patient or physician as provided in this section.
(b) “Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, production, use, or transportation of
marijuana or paraphernalia related to the administration of such marijuana to address the
symptoms or effects of a patient’s debilitating medical condition, which may be authorized only
after a diagnosis of the patient’s debilitating medical condition by a physician or physicians, as
provided by this section.
(c) “Parent” means a custodial mother or father of a patient under the age of eighteen
years, any person having custody of a patient under the age of eighteen years, or any person
serving as a legal guardian for a patient under the age of eighteen years.
(d) “Patient” means a person who has a debilitating medical condition.
(e) “Physician” means a doctor of medicine who maintains, in good standing, a license to
practice medicine issued by the state of Colorado.
(f) “Primary care-giver” means a person, other than the patient and the patient’s
physician, who is eighteen years of age or older and has significant responsibility for managing
the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition.
(g) “Registry identification card” means that document, issued by the state health agency,
which identifies a patient authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and such patient’s
primary care-giver, if any has been designated.
(h) “State health agency” means that public health related entity of state government
designated by the governor to establish and maintain a confidential registry of patients
authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and enact rules to administer this program.
(i) “Usable form of marijuana” means the seeds, leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant
(genus) cannabis, and any mixture or preparation thereof, which are appropriate for medical use
as provided in this section, but excludes the plant’s stalks, stems, and roots.
(j) “Written documentation” means a statement signed by a patient’s physician or copies
of the patient’s pertinent medical records.
(2) (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (5), (6), and (8) of this section, a
patient or primary care-giver charged with a violation of the state’s criminal laws related to the
patient’s medical use of marijuana will be deemed to have established an affirmative defense to
such allegation where:
(I) The patient was previously diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical
condition;
(II) The patient was advised by his or her physician, in the context of a bona fide
physician-patient relationship, that the patient might benefit from the medical use of marijuana
in connection with a debilitating medical condition; and
(III) The patient and his or her primary care-giver were collectively in possession of
amounts of marijuana only as permitted under this section.
This affirmative defense shall not exclude the assertion of any other defense where a
patient or primary care-giver is charged with a violation of state law related to the patient’s
medical use of marijuana.
(b) Effective June 1, 1999, it shall be an exception from the state’s criminal laws for any
patient or primary care-giver in lawful possession of a registry identification card to engage or
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 139 of 204 Uncertified Printout
assist in the medical use of marijuana, except as otherwise provided in subsections (5) and (8) of
this section.
(c) It shall be an exception from the state’s criminal laws for any physician to:
(I) Advise a patient whom the physician has diagnosed as having a debilitating medical
condition, about the risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana or that he or she might
benefit from the medical use of marijuana, provided that such advice is based upon the
physician’s contemporaneous assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical
condition and a bona fide physician-patient relationship; or
(II) Provide a patient with written documentation, based upon the physician’s
contemporaneous assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition and a
bona fide physician-patient relationship, stating that the patient has a debilitating medical
condition and might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.
No physician shall be denied any rights or privileges for the acts authorized by this
subsection.
(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person, including a patient or primary
care-giver, shall be entitled to the protection of this section for his or her acquisition, possession,
manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana for
any use other than medical use.
(e) Any property interest that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical
use of marijuana or acts incidental to such use, shall not be harmed, neglected, injured, or
destroyed while in the possession of state or local law enforcement officials where such property
has been seized in connection with the claimed medical use of marijuana. Any such property
interest shall not be forfeited under any provision of state law providing for the forfeiture of
property other than as a sentence imposed after conviction of a criminal offense or entry of a
plea of guilty to such offense. Marijuana and paraphernalia seized by state or local law
enforcement officials from a patient or primary care-giver in connection with the claimed
medical use of marijuana shall be returned immediately upon the determination of the district
attorney or his or her designee that the patient or primary care-giver is entitled to the protection
contained in this section as may be evidenced, for example, by a decision not to prosecute, the
dismissal of charges, or acquittal.
(3) The state health agency shall create and maintain a confidential registry of patients
who have applied for and are entitled to receive a registry identification card according to the
criteria set forth in this subsection, effective June 1, 1999.
(a) No person shall be permitted to gain access to any information about patients in the
state health agency’s confidential registry, or any information otherwise maintained by the state
health agency about physicians and primary care-givers, except for authorized employees of the
state health agency in the course of their official duties and authorized employees of state or
local law enforcement agencies which have stopped or arrested a person who claims to be
engaged in the medical use of marijuana and in possession of a registry identification card or its
functional equivalent, pursuant to paragraph (e) of this subsection (3). Authorized employees of
state or local law enforcement agencies shall be granted access to the information contained
within the state health agency’s confidential registry only for the purpose of verifying that an
individual who has presented a registry identification card to a state or local law enforcement
official is lawfully in possession of such card.
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(b) In order to be placed on the state’s confidential registry for the medical use of
marijuana, a patient must reside in Colorado and submit the completed application form adopted
by the state health agency, including the following information, to the state health agency:
(I) The original or a copy of written documentation stating that the patient has been
diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition and the physician’s conclusion that the patient
might benefit from the medical use of marijuana;
(II) The name, address, date of birth, and social security number of the patient;
(III) The name, address, and telephone number of the patient’s physician; and
(IV) The name and address of the patient’s primary care-giver, if one is designated at the
time of application.
(c) Within thirty days of receiving the information referred to in subparagraphs (3) (b)(I)-
(IV), the state health agency shall verify medical information contained in the patient’s written
documentation. The agency shall notify the applicant that his or her application for a registry
identification card has been denied if the agency’s review of such documentation discloses that:
the information required pursuant to paragraph (3)(b) of this section has not been provided or has
been falsified; the documentation fails to state that the patient has a debilitating medical
condition specified in this section or by state health agency rule; or the physician does not have a
license to practice medicine issued by the state of Colorado. Otherwise, not more than five days
after verifying such information, the state health agency shall issue one serially numbered
registry identification card to the patient, stating:
(I) The patient’s name, address, date of birth, and social security number;
(II) That the patient’s name has been certified to the state health agency as a person who
has a debilitating medical condition, whereby the patient may address such condition with the
medical use of marijuana;
(III) The date of issuance of the registry identification card and the date of expiration of
such card, which shall be one year from the date of issuance; and
(IV) The name and address of the patient’s primary care-giver, if any is designated at the
time of application.
(d) Except for patients applying pursuant to subsection (6) of this section, where the state
health agency, within thirty-five days of receipt of an application, fails to issue a registry
identification card or fails to issue verbal or written notice of denial of such application, the
patient’s application for such card will be deemed to have been approved. Receipt shall be
deemed to have occurred upon delivery to the state health agency, or deposit in the United States
mails. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no application shall be deemed received prior to June 1,
1999. A patient who is questioned by any state or local law enforcement official about his or her
medical use of marijuana shall provide a copy of the application submitted to the state health
agency, including the written documentation and proof of the date of mailing or other
transmission of the written documentation for delivery to the state health agency, which shall be
accorded the same legal effect as a registry identification card, until such time as the patient
receives notice that the application has been denied.
(e) A patient whose application has been denied by the state health agency may not
reapply during the six months following the date of the denial and may not use an application for
a registry identification card as provided in paragraph (3)(d) of this section. The denial of a
registry identification card shall be considered a final agency action. Only the patient whose
application has been denied shall have standing to contest the agency action.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 141 of 204 Uncertified Printout
(f) When there has been a change in the name, address, physician, or primary care- giver
of a patient who has qualified for a registry identification card, that patient must notify the state
health agency of any such change within ten days. A patient who has not designated a primary
care-giver at the time of application to the state health agency may do so in writing at any time
during the effective period of the registry identification card, and the primary care-giver may act
in this capacity after such designation. To maintain an effective registry identification card, a
patient must annually resubmit, at least thirty days prior to the expiration date stated on the
registry identification card, updated written documentation to the state health agency, as well as
the name and address of the patient’s primary care-giver, if any is designated at such time.
(g) Authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies shall immediately
notify the state health agency when any person in possession of a registry identification card has
been determined by a court of law to have willfully violated the provisions of this section or its
implementing legislation, or has pled guilty to such offense.
(h) A patient who no longer has a debilitating medical condition shall return his or her
registry identification card to the state health agency within twenty-four hours of receiving such
diagnosis by his or her physician.
(i) The state health agency may determine and levy reasonable fees to pay for any direct
or indirect administrative costs associated with its role in this program.
(4) (a) A patient may engage in the medical use of marijuana, with no more marijuana
than is medically necessary to address a debilitating medical condition. A patient’s medical use
of marijuana, within the following limits, is lawful:
(I) No more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana; and
(II) No more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering
plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.
(b) For quantities of marijuana in excess of these amounts, a patient or his or her primary
care-giver may raise as an affirmative defense to charges of violation of state law that such
greater amounts were medically necessary to address the patient’s debilitating medical condition.
(5) (a) No patient shall:
(I) Engage in the medical use of marijuana in a way that endangers the health or wellbeing of any person; or
(II) Engage in the medical use of marijuana in plain view of, or in a place open to, the
general public.
(b) In addition to any other penalties provided by law, the state health agency shall
revoke for a period of one year the registry identification card of any patient found to have
willfully violated the provisions of this section or the implementing legislation adopted by the
general assembly.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2)(a) and (3)(d) of this section, no patient under
eighteen years of age shall engage in the medical use of marijuana unless:
(a) Two physicians have diagnosed the patient as having a debilitating medical condition;
(b) One of the physicians referred to in paragraph (6)(a) has explained the possible risks
and benefits of medical use of marijuana to the patient and each of the patient’s parents residing
in Colorado;
(c) The physicians referred to in paragraph (6)(b) has provided the patient with the
written documentation, specified in subparagraph (3)(b)(I);
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(d) Each of the patient’s parents residing in Colorado consent in writing to the state health
agency to permit the patient to engage in the medical use of marijuana;
(e) A parent residing in Colorado consents in writing to serve as a patient’s primary caregiver;
(f) A parent serving as a primary care-giver completes and submits an application for a
registry identification card as provided in subparagraph (3)(b) of this section and the written
consents referred to in paragraph (6)(d) to the state health agency;
(g) The state health agency approves the patient’s application and transmits the patient’s
registry identification card to the parent designated as a primary care-giver;
(h) The patient and primary care-giver collectively possess amounts of marijuana no
greater than those specified in subparagraph (4)(a)(I) and (II); and
(i) The primary care-giver controls the acquisition of such marijuana and the dosage and
frequency of its use by the patient.
(7) Not later than March 1, 1999, the governor shall designate, by executive order, the
state health agency as defined in paragraph (1)(g) of this section.
(8) Not later than April 30, 1999, the General Assembly shall define such terms and enact
such legislation as may be necessary for implementation of this section, as well as determine and
enact criminal penalties for:
(a) Fraudulent representation of a medical condition by a patient to a physician, state
health agency, or state or local law enforcement official for the purpose of falsely obtaining a
registry identification card or avoiding arrest and prosecution;
(b) Fraudulent use or theft of any person’s registry identification card to acquire, possess,
produce, use, sell, distribute, or transport marijuana, including but not limited to cards that are
required to be returned where patients are no longer diagnosed as having a debilitating medical
condition;
(c) Fraudulent production or counterfeiting of, or tampering with, one or more registry
identification cards; or
(d) Breach of confidentiality of information provided to or by the state health agency.
(9) Not later than June 1, 1999, the state health agency shall develop and make available
to residents of Colorado an application form for persons seeking to be listed on the confidential
registry of patients. By such date, the state health agency shall also enact rules of administration,
including but not limited to rules governing the establishment and confidentiality of the registry,
the verification of medical information, the issuance and form of registry identification cards,
communications with law enforcement officials about registry identification cards that have been
suspended where a patient is no longer diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition, and
the manner in which the agency may consider adding debilitating medical conditions to the list
provided in this section. Beginning June 1, 1999, the state health agency shall accept physician
or patient initiated petitions to add debilitating medical conditions to the list provided in this
section and, after such hearing as the state health agency deems appropriate, shall approve or
deny such petitions within one hundred eighty days of submission. The decision to approve or
deny a petition shall be considered a final agency action.
(10) (a) No governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider shall be
required to be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.
(b) Nothing in this section shall require any employer to accommodate the medical use of
marijuana in any work place.
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(11) Unless otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of this section shall become
effective upon official declaration of the vote hereon by proclamation of the governor, pursuant
to article V, section (1)(4), and shall apply to acts or offenses committed on or after that date.
Source: Initiated 2000: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2001, p. 2379, December 28, 2000.
Editor’s note: (1) This section was added by an initiated measure and numbered as
section 14 as it appeared on the ballot, which leaves a gap between sections 12b and 14.
(2) In subsection (7), the reference cited to state health agency as defined in paragraph
(1)(g) of this section should read (1)(h) of this section.
(3) In People v. Crouse, 2017 CO 5, 388 P.3d 39, the Colorado Supreme Court concluded
that subsection (2)(e) of this section requires a law enforcement officer to distribute marijuana in
violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. Requiring a
law enforcement officer to violate federal law creates a positive conflict between state law and
federal law, thus subsection (2)(e) is preempted and void.
Section 15. State minimum wage rate. Effective January 1, 2017, Colorado’s minimum
wage is increased to $9.30 per hour and is increased annually by $0.90 each January 1 until it
reaches $12 per hour effective January 2020, and thereafter is adjusted annually for cost of living
increases, as measured by the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado. This minimum wage
shall be paid to employees who receive the state or federal minimum wage. No more than $3.02
per hour in tip income may be used to offset the minimum wage of employees who regularly
receive tips.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2961, December 31, 2006. Initiated 2016: Entire section amended,
Amendment 70, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2017, p. 2799, December 16,
2016.
Section 16. Personal use and regulation of marijuana.
(1) Purpose and findings.
(a) In the interest of the efficient use of law enforcement resources, enhancing revenue
for public purposes, and individual freedom, the people of the state of Colorado find and declare
that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons twenty-one years of age or older and taxed
in a manner similar to alcohol.
(b) In the interest of the health and public safety of our citizenry, the people of the state
of Colorado further find and declare that marijuana should be regulated in a manner similar to
alcohol so that:
(I) Individuals will have to show proof of age before purchasing marijuana;
(II) Selling, distributing, or transferring marijuana to minors and other individuals under
the age of twenty-one shall remain illegal;
(III) Driving under the influence of marijuana shall remain illegal;
(IV) Legitimate, taxpaying business people, and not criminal actors, will conduct sales of
marijuana; and
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(V) Marijuana sold in this state will be labeled and subject to additional regulations to
ensure that consumers are informed and protected.
(c) In the interest of enacting rational policies for the treatment of all variations of the
cannabis plant, the people of Colorado further find and declare that industrial hemp should be
regulated separately from strains of cannabis with higher delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
concentrations.
(d) The people of the state of Colorado further find and declare that it is necessary to
ensure consistency and fairness in the application of this section throughout the state and that,
therefore, the matters addressed by this section are, except as specified herein, matters of
statewide concern.
(2) Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires,
(a) “Colorado Medical Marijuana Code” means article 43.3 of title 12, Colorado Revised
Statutes.
(b) “Consumer” means a person twenty-one years of age or older who purchases
marijuana or marijuana products for personal use by persons twenty-one years of age or older,
but not for resale to others.
(c) “Department” means the department of revenue or its successor agency.
(d) “Industrial hemp” has the same meaning as it is defined in federal law or as the term
is defined in Colorado statute.
(e) “Locality” means a county, municipality, or city and county.
(f) “Marijuana” or “marihuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis
whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and
every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or
its resin, including marihuana concentrate. “Marijuana” or “marihuana” does not include
industrial hemp, nor does it include fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake made from the
seeds of the plant, sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination, or the weight of
any other ingredient combined with marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food,
drink, or other product.
(g) “Marijuana accessories” means any equipment, products, or materials of any kind
which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating,
growing, harvesting, composting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing,
processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, vaporizing, or
containing marijuana, or for ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the
human body.
(h) “Marijuana cultivation facility” means an entity licensed to cultivate, prepare, and
package marijuana and sell marijuana to retail marijuana stores, to marijuana product
manufacturing facilities, and to other marijuana cultivation facilities, but not to consumers.
(i) “Marijuana establishment” means a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana testing
facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, or a retail marijuana store.
(j) “Marijuana product manufacturing facility” means an entity licensed to purchase
marijuana; manufacture, prepare, and package marijuana products; and sell marijuana and
marijuana products to other marijuana product manufacturing facilities and to retail marijuana
stores, but not to consumers.
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(k) “Marijuana products” means concentrated marijuana products and marijuana products
that are comprised of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption,
such as, but not limited to, edible products, ointments, and tinctures.
(l) “Marijuana testing facility” means an entity licensed to analyze and certify the safety
and potency of marijuana.
(m) “Medical marijuana center” means an entity licensed by a state agency to sell
marijuana and marijuana products pursuant to section 14 of this article and the Colorado Medical
Marijuana Code.
(n) “Retail marijuana store” means an entity licensed to purchase marijuana from
marijuana cultivation facilities and marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana product
manufacturing facilities and to sell marijuana and marijuana products to consumers.
(o) “Unreasonably impracticable” means that the measures necessary to comply with the
regulations require such a high investment of risk, money, time, or any other resource or asset
that the operation of a marijuana establishment is not worthy of being carried out in practice by a
reasonably prudent businessperson.
(3) Personal use of marijuana. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
following acts are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado law or the law of any
locality within Colorado or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under Colorado law for
persons twenty-one years of age or older:
(a) Possessing, using, displaying, purchasing, or transporting marijuana accessories or
one ounce or less of marijuana.
(b) Possessing, growing, processing, or transporting no more than six marijuana plants,
with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants, and possession of the marijuana produced by
the plants on the premises where the plants were grown, provided that the growing takes place in
an enclosed, locked space, is not conducted openly or publicly, and is not made available for
sale.
(c) Transfer of one ounce or less of marijuana without remuneration to a person who is
twenty-one years of age or older.
(d) Consumption of marijuana, provided that nothing in this section shall permit
consumption that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others.
(e) Assisting another person who is twenty-one years of age or older in any of the acts
described in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this subsection.
(4) Lawful operation of marijuana-related facilities. Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, the following acts are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado
law or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under Colorado law for persons twenty-one
years of age or older:
(a) Manufacture, possession, or purchase of marijuana accessories or the sale of
marijuana accessories to a person who is twenty-one years of age or older.
(b) Possessing, displaying, or transporting marijuana or marijuana products; purchase of
marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility; purchase of marijuana or marijuana products
from a marijuana product manufacturing facility; or sale of marijuana or marijuana products to
consumers, if the person conducting the activities described in this paragraph has obtained a
current, valid license to operate a retail marijuana store or is acting in his or her capacity as an
owner, employee or agent of a licensed retail marijuana store.
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(c) Cultivating, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, displaying, or possessing
marijuana; delivery or transfer of marijuana to a marijuana testing facility; selling marijuana to a
marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, or a retail marijuana
store; or the purchase of marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility, if the person conducting
the activities described in this paragraph has obtained a current, valid license to operate a
marijuana cultivation facility or is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent
of a licensed marijuana cultivation facility.
(d) Packaging, processing, transporting, manufacturing, displaying, or possessing
marijuana or marijuana products; delivery or transfer of marijuana or marijuana products to a
marijuana testing facility; selling marijuana or marijuana products to a retail marijuana store or a
marijuana product manufacturing facility; the purchase of marijuana from a marijuana
cultivation facility; or the purchase of marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana product
manufacturing facility, if the person conducting the activities described in this paragraph has
obtained a current, valid license to operate a marijuana product manufacturing facility or is
acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a licensed marijuana product
manufacturing facility.
(e) Possessing, cultivating, processing, repackaging, storing, transporting, displaying,
transferring or delivering marijuana or marijuana products if the person has obtained a current,
valid license to operate a marijuana testing facility or is acting in his or her capacity as an owner,
employee, or agent of a licensed marijuana testing facility.
(f) Leasing or otherwise allowing the use of property owned, occupied or controlled by
any person, corporation or other entity for any of the activities conducted lawfully in accordance
with paragraphs (a) through (e) of this subsection.
(5) Regulation of marijuana.
(a) Not later than July 1, 2013, the department shall adopt regulations necessary for
implementation of this section. Such regulations shall not prohibit the operation of marijuana
establishments, either expressly or through regulations that make their operation unreasonably
impracticable. Such regulations shall include:
(I) Procedures for the issuance, renewal, suspension, and revocation of a license to
operate a marijuana establishment, with such procedures subject to all requirements of article 4
of title 24 of the Colorado Administrative Procedure Act or any successor provision;
(II) A schedule of application, licensing and renewal fees, provided, application fees shall
not exceed five thousand dollars, with this upper limit adjusted annually for inflation, unless the
department determines a greater fee is necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this
section, and provided further, an entity that is licensed under the Colorado Medical Marijuana
Code to cultivate or sell marijuana or to manufacture marijuana products at the time this section
takes effect and that chooses to apply for a separate marijuana establishment license shall not be
required to pay an application fee greater than five hundred dollars to apply for a license to
operate a marijuana establishment in accordance with the provisions of this section;
(III) Qualifications for licensure that are directly and demonstrably related to the
operation of a marijuana establishment;
(IV) Security requirements for marijuana establishments;
(V) Requirements to prevent the sale or diversion of marijuana and marijuana products to
persons under the age of twenty-one;
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(VI) Labeling requirements for marijuana and marijuana products sold or distributed by a
marijuana establishment;
(VII) Health and safety regulations and standards for the manufacture of marijuana
products and the cultivation of marijuana;
(VIII) Restrictions on the advertising and display of marijuana and marijuana products;
and
(IX) Civil penalties for the failure to comply with regulations made pursuant to this
section.
(b) In order to ensure the most secure, reliable, and accountable system for the
production and distribution of marijuana and marijuana products in accordance with this
subsection, in any competitive application process the department shall have as a primary
consideration whether an applicant:
(I) Has prior experience producing or distributing marijuana or marijuana products
pursuant to section 14 of this article and the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code in the locality in
which the applicant seeks to operate a marijuana establishment; and
(II) Has, during the experience described in subparagraph (I), complied consistently with
section 14 of this article, the provisions of the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code and
conforming regulations.
(c) In order to ensure that individual privacy is protected, notwithstanding paragraph (a),
the department shall not require a consumer to provide a retail marijuana store with personal
information other than government-issued identification to determine the consumer’s age, and a
retail marijuana store shall not be required to acquire and record personal information about
consumers other than information typically acquired in a financial transaction conducted at a
retail liquor store.
(d) The general assembly shall enact an excise tax to be levied upon marijuana sold or
otherwise transferred by a marijuana cultivation facility to a marijuana product manufacturing
facility or to a retail marijuana store at a rate not to exceed fifteen percent prior to January 1,
2017 and at a rate to be determined by the general assembly thereafter, and shall direct the
department to establish procedures for the collection of all taxes levied. Provided, the first forty
million dollars in revenue raised annually from any such excise tax shall be credited to the
Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund created by article 43.7 of title 22, C.R.S., or
any successor fund dedicated to a similar purpose. Provided further, no such excise tax shall be
levied upon marijuana intended for sale at medical marijuana centers pursuant to section 14 of
this article and the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code.
(e) Not later than October 1, 2013, each locality shall enact an ordinance or regulation
specifying the entity within the locality that is responsible for processing applications submitted
for a license to operate a marijuana establishment within the boundaries of the locality and for
the issuance of such licenses should the issuance by the locality become necessary because of a
failure by the department to adopt regulations pursuant to paragraph (a) or because of a failure
by the department to process and issue licenses as required by paragraph (g).
(f) A locality may enact ordinances or regulations, not in conflict with this section or
with regulations or legislation enacted pursuant to this section, governing the time, place,
manner and number of marijuana establishment operations; establishing procedures for the
issuance, suspension, and revocation of a license issued by the locality in accordance with
paragraph (h) or (i), such procedures to be subject to all requirements of article 4 of title 24 of
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the Colorado Administrative Procedure Act or any successor provision; establishing a schedule
of annual operating, licensing, and application fees for marijuana establishments, provided, the
application fee shall only be due if an application is submitted to a locality in accordance with
paragraph (i) and a licensing fee shall only be due if a license is issued by a locality in
accordance with paragraph (h) or (i); and establishing civil penalties for violation of an
ordinance or regulation governing the time, place, and manner of a marijuana establishment that
may operate in such locality. A locality may prohibit the operation of marijuana cultivation
facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, or retail
marijuana stores through the enactment of an ordinance or through an initiated or referred
measure; provided, any initiated or referred measure to prohibit the operation of marijuana
cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, or
retail marijuana stores must appear on a general election ballot during an even numbered year.
(g) Each application for an annual license to operate a marijuana establishment shall be
submitted to the department. The department shall:
(I) Begin accepting and processing applications on October 1, 2013;
(II) Immediately forward a copy of each application and half of the license application
fee to the locality in which the applicant desires to operate the marijuana establishment;
(III) Issue an annual license to the applicant between forty-five and ninety days after
receipt of an application unless the department finds the applicant is not in compliance with
regulations enacted pursuant to paragraph (a) or the department is notified by the relevant
locality that the applicant is not in compliance with ordinances and regulations made pursuant to
paragraph (f) and in effect at the time of application, provided, where a locality has enacted a
numerical limit on the number of marijuana establishments and a greater number of applicants
seek licenses, the department shall solicit and consider input from the locality as to the locality’s
preference or preferences for licensure; and
(IV) Upon denial of an application, notify the applicant in writing of the specific reason
for its denial.
(h) If the department does not issue a license to an applicant within ninety days of receipt
of the application filed in accordance with paragraph (g) and does not notify the applicant of the
specific reason for its denial, in writing and within such time period, or if the department has
adopted regulations pursuant to paragraph (a) and has accepted applications pursuant to
paragraph (g) but has not issued any licenses by January 1, 2014, the applicant may resubmit its
application directly to the locality, pursuant to paragraph (e), and the locality may issue an
annual license to the applicant. A locality issuing a license to an applicant shall do so within
ninety days of receipt of the resubmitted application unless the locality finds and notifies the
applicant that the applicant is not in compliance with ordinances and regulations made pursuant
to paragraph (f) in effect at the time the application is resubmitted and the locality shall notify
the department if an annual license has been issued to the applicant. If an application is
submitted to a locality under this paragraph, the department shall forward to the locality the
application fee paid by the applicant to the department upon request by the locality. A license
issued by a locality in accordance with this paragraph shall have the same force and effect as a
license issued by the department in accordance with paragraph (g) and the holder of such license
shall not be subject to regulation or enforcement by the department during the term of that
license. A subsequent or renewed license may be issued under this paragraph on an annual basis
only upon resubmission to the locality of a new application submitted to the department pursuant
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to paragraph (g). Nothing in this paragraph shall limit such relief as may be available to an
aggrieved party under section 24-4-104, C.R.S., of the Colorado Administrative Procedure Act
or any successor provision.
(i) If the department does not adopt regulations required by paragraph (a), an applicant
may submit an application directly to a locality after October 1, 2013 and the locality may issue
an annual license to the applicant. A locality issuing a license to an applicant shall do so within
ninety days of receipt of the application unless it finds and notifies the applicant that the
applicant is not in compliance with ordinances and regulations made pursuant to paragraph (f) in
effect at the time of application and shall notify the department if an annual license has been
issued to the applicant. A license issued by a locality in accordance with this paragraph shall
have the same force and effect as a license issued by the department in accordance with
paragraph (g) and the holder of such license shall not be subject to regulation or enforcement by
the department during the term of that license. A subsequent or renewed license may be issued
under this paragraph on an annual basis if the department has not adopted regulations required
by paragraph (a) at least ninety days prior to the date upon which such subsequent or renewed
license would be effective or if the department has adopted regulations pursuant to paragraph (a)
but has not, at least ninety days after the adoption of such regulations, issued licenses pursuant to
paragraph (g).
(j) Not later than July 1, 2014, the general assembly shall enact legislation governing the
cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp.
(6) Employers, driving, minors and control of property.
(a) Nothing in this section is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate
the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growing of marijuana
in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of
marijuana by employees.
(b) Nothing in this section is intended to allow driving under the influence of marijuana
or driving while impaired by marijuana or to supersede statutory laws related to driving under
the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by marijuana, nor shall this section prevent
the state from enacting and imposing penalties for driving under the influence of or while
impaired by marijuana.
(c) Nothing in this section is intended to permit the transfer of marijuana, with or without
remuneration, to a person under the age of twenty-one or to allow a person under the age of
twenty-one to purchase, possess, use, transport, grow, or consume marijuana.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a person, employer, school, hospital, detention
facility, corporation or any other entity who occupies, owns or controls a property from
prohibiting or otherwise regulating the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer,
distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property.
(7) Medical marijuana provisions unaffected. Nothing in this section shall be
construed:
(a) To limit any privileges or rights of a medical marijuana patient, primary caregiver, or
licensed entity as provided in section 14 of this article and the Colorado Medical Marijuana
Code;
(b) To permit a medical marijuana center to distribute marijuana to a person who is not a
medical marijuana patient;
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(c) To permit a medical marijuana center to purchase marijuana or marijuana products in
a manner or from a source not authorized under the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code;
(d) To permit any medical marijuana center licensed pursuant to section 14 of this article
and the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code to operate on the same premises as a retail marijuana
store; or
(e) To discharge the department, the Colorado Board of Health, or the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment from their statutory and constitutional duties to
regulate medical marijuana pursuant to section 14 of this article and the Colorado Medical
Marijuana Code.
(8) Self-executing, severability, conflicting provisions. All provisions of this section
are self-executing except as specified herein, are severable, and, except where otherwise
indicated in the text, shall supersede conflicting state statutory, local charter, ordinance, or
resolution, and other state and local provisions.
(9) Effective date. Unless otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of this
section shall become effective upon official declaration of the vote hereon by proclamation of
the governor, pursuant to section 1(4) of article V.
Source: Initiated 2012: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2013, p. 3291, December 10, 2012. Referred 2018: (2)(d) amended, Amendment
X, L. 2018, p. 3081, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 19, 2018. See L.
2019, p. 4541.
Editor’s note: (1) In subsection (4)(c), changed “vaild” to “valid”; in subsection (4)(f),
changed “activites” to “activities”; and, in subsection (5)(b)(II), changed “consistantly” to
“consistently” to correct the misspellings in the 2012 initiative (Amendment 64).
(2) In (5)(a)(II), reference to “at the time this section takes effect” refers to the
proclamation date of the governor, December 10, 2012. In subsection (9), reference to “shall
become effective upon official proclamation of the vote hereon by proclamation of the governor”
is December 10, 2012.
ARTICLE XIX
Amendments
Section 1. Constitutional convention – how called. The general assembly may at any
time by a vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house, recommend to the electors of
the state, to vote at the next general election for or against a convention to revise, alter and
amend this constitution; and if a majority of those voting on the question shall declare in favor of
such convention, the general assembly shall, at its next session, provide for the calling thereof.
The number of members of the convention shall be twice that of the senate and they shall be
elected in the same manner, at the same places, and in the same districts. The general assembly
shall, in the act calling the convention, designate the day, hour and place of its meeting; fix the
pay of its members and officers, and provide for the payment of the same, together with the
necessary expenses of the convention. Before proceeding, the members shall take an oath to
support the constitution of the United States, and of the state of Colorado, and to faithfully
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discharge their duties as members of the convention. The qualifications of members shall be the
same as of members of the senate; and vacancies occurring shall be filled in the manner provided
for filling vacancies in the general assembly. Said convention shall meet within three months
after such election and prepare such revisions, alterations or amendments to the constitution as
may be deemed necessary; which shall be submitted to the electors for their ratification or
rejection at an election appointed by the convention for that purpose, not less than two nor more
than six months after adjournment thereof; and unless so submitted and approved by a majority
of the electors voting at the election, no such revision, alteration or amendment shall take effect.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 74.
Section 2. Amendments to constitution – how adopted. (1) (a) Any amendment or
amendments to this constitution may be proposed in either house of the general assembly, and, if
the same shall be voted for by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, such
proposed amendment or amendments, together with the ayes and noes of each house thereon,
shall be entered in full on their respective journals. The proposed amendment or amendments
shall be published with the laws of that session of the general assembly. At the next general
election for members of the general assembly, the said amendment or amendments shall be
submitted to the registered electors of the state for their approval or rejection, and such as are
approved by a majority of those voting thereon or, if applicable the number of votes required
pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), shall become part of this constitution.
(b) In order to make it more difficult to amend this constitution, a constitutional
amendment shall not become part of this constitution unless the amendment is approved by at
least fifty-five percent of the votes cast thereon; except that this paragraph (b) shall not apply to
a constitutional amendment that is limited to repealing, in whole or in part, any provision of this
constitution.
(2) If more than one amendment be submitted at any general election, each of said
amendments shall be voted upon separately and votes thereon cast shall be separately counted
the same as though but one amendment was submitted; but each general assembly shall have no
power to propose amendments to more than six articles of this constitution.
(3) No measure proposing an amendment or amendments to this constitution shall be
submitted by the general assembly to the registered electors of the state containing more than
one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title; but if any subject shall be embraced in
any measure which shall not be expressed in the title, such measure shall be void only as to so
much thereof as shall not be so expressed.
Source: Entire article added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, p. 75. L. 1899:
Entire section amended, p. 155. L. 79: Entire section amended, p. 1674, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 81, p. 2051, December 19, 1980. L. 93: (3) added, p. 2153,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 95, p. 1428, January 19, 1995. Initiated 2016:
(1) amended, Amendment 71, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2017, p. 2801,
December 28, 2016.
ARTICLE XX
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Home Rule Cities and Towns
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
Section 1. Incorporated. The municipal corporation known as the city of Denver and all
municipal corporations and that part of the quasi-municipal corporation known as the county of
Arapahoe, in the state of Colorado, included within the exterior boundaries of the said city of
Denver as the same shall be bounded when this amendment takes effect, are hereby consolidated
and are hereby declared to be a single body politic and corporate, by the name of the “City and
County of Denver”. By that name said corporation shall have perpetual succession, and shall
own, possess, and hold all property, real and personal, theretofore owned, possessed, or held by
the said city of Denver and by such included municipal corporations, and also all property, real
and personal, theretofore owned, possessed, or held by the said county of Arapahoe, and shall
assume, manage, and dispose of all trusts in any way connected therewith; shall succeed to all
the rights and liabilities, and shall acquire all benefits and shall assume and pay all bonds,
obligations, and indebtedness of said city of Denver and of said included municipal corporations
and of the county of Arapahoe; by that name may sue and defend, plead and be impleaded, in all
courts and places, and in all matters and proceedings; may have and use a common seal and alter
the same at pleasure; may purchase, receive, hold, and enjoy or sell and dispose of, real and
personal property; may receive bequests, gifts, and donations of all kinds of property, in fee
simple, or in trust for public, charitable, or other purposes; and do all things and acts necessary
to carry out the purposes of such gifts, bequests, and donations, with power to manage, sell,
lease, or otherwise dispose of the same in accordance with the terms of the gift, bequest, or trust;
shall have the power, within or without its territorial limits, to construct, condemn and purchase,
purchase, acquire, lease, add to, maintain, conduct, and operate water works, light plants, power
plants, transportation systems, heating plants, and any other public utilities or works or ways
local in use and extent, in whole or in part, and everything required therefore, for the use of said
city and county and the inhabitants thereof, and any such systems, plants, or works or ways, or
any contracts in relation or connection with either, that may exist and which said city and county
may desire to purchase, in whole or in part, the same or any part thereof may be purchased by
said city and county which may enforce such purchase by proceedings at law as in taking land
for public use by right of eminent domain, and shall have the power to issue bonds upon the vote
of the taxpaying electors, at any special or general election, in any amount necessary to carry out
any of said powers or purposes, as may by the charter be provided.
The provisions of section 3 of article XIV of this constitution and the general annexation
and consolidation statutes of the state relating to counties shall apply to the city and county of
Denver. Any contiguous town, city, or territory hereafter annexed to or consolidated with the
city and county of Denver, under any such laws of this state, in whatsoever county the same may
be at the time, shall be detached per se from such other county and become a municipal and
territorial part of the city and county of Denver, together with all property thereunto belonging.
The city and county of Denver shall alone always constitute one judicial district of the
state.
Any other provisions of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding:
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No annexation or consolidation proceeding shall be initiated after the effective date of
this amendment pursuant to the general annexation and consolidation statutes of the state of
Colorado to annex lands to or consolidate lands with the city and county of Denver until such
proposed annexation or consolidation is first approved by a majority vote of a six-member
boundary control commission composed of one commissioner from each of the boards of county
commissioners of Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties, respectively, and three elected
officials of the city and county of Denver to be chosen by the mayor. The commissioners from
each of the said counties shall be appointed by resolution of their respective boards.
No land located in any county other than Adams, Arapahoe, or Jefferson counties shall be
annexed to or consolidated with the city and county of Denver unless such annexation or
consolidation is approved by the unanimous vote of all the members of the board of county
commissioners of the county in which such land is located.
(Paragraph deleted by amendment, L. 2002, p. 3097, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.)
(Paragraph deleted by amendment, L. 2002, p. 3097, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.)
(Paragraph deleted by amendment, L. 2002, p. 3097, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.)
All actions, including actions regarding procedural rules, shall be adopted by the
commission by majority vote. Each commissioner shall have one vote, including the
commissioner who acts as the chairman of the commission. All procedural rules adopted by the
commission shall be filed with the secretary of state.
This amendment shall be self-executing.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 97. Initiated 74: Paragraphs 1-3 were amended by
the people, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974, but do not appear
in the session laws. L. 74: Paragraphs 4-11 added, p. 457, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, December 20, 1974. L. 2002: Paragraphs 7-9 deleted, p. 3097, § 1, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.
Editor’s note: The “effective date of this amendment” referred to in paragraph 5 is
December 20, 1974.
Cross references: For annexation of territory from one county to adjoining county, see §
3 of article XIV of this constitution; for officers of the city and county of Denver, see §§ 2 and 3
of this article; for the control of franchises and the power of taxation, see § 4 of this article; for
amendment of charter or adoption of new charter, see § 5 of this article; for home rule for cities
and towns and powers of home rule cities generally, see § 6 of this article; for power to regulate
rates and service charges of public utilities, see article XXV of this constitution; for statutory
provisions relative to the city of Denver, see part 2 of article 11 of title 30.
Section 2. Officers. The officers of the city and county of Denver shall be such as by
appointment or election may be provided for by the charter; and the jurisdiction, term of office,
duties and qualifications of all such officers shall be such as in the charter may be provided; but
the charter shall designate the officers who shall, respectively, perform the acts and duties
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required of county officers to be done by the constitution or by the general law, as far as
applicable. If any officer of said city and county of Denver shall receive any compensation
whatever, he or she shall receive the same as a stated salary, the amount of which shall be fixed
by the charter, or, in the case of officers not in the classified civil service, by ordinance within
limits fixed by the charter; provided, however, no elected officer shall receive any increase or
decrease in compensation under any ordinance passed during the term for which he was elected.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 99. L. 50: Entire section amended, see L. 51, p.
232. L. 2000: Entire section amended, p. 2778, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L.
2001, p. 2391, December 28, 2000.
Cross references: For the establishment of government civil service regulations, see § 3
of this article.
Section 3. Establishment of government civil service regulations. Immediately upon
the canvass of the vote showing the adoption of this amendment, it shall be the duty of the
governor of the state to issue his proclamation accordingly. Every charter shall provide that the
department of fire and police and the department of public utilities and works shall be under
such civil service regulations as in said charter shall be provided.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 100. L. 2002: Entire section amended, p. 3099,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.
Section 4. First charter. (1) The people of the city and county of Denver are hereby
vested with and they shall always have the exclusive power in making, altering, revising or
amending their charter.
(2) and (3) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 2778, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391, December 28, 2000.)
(4) Any franchise relating to any street, alley, or public place of the said city and county
shall be subject to the initiative and referendum powers reserved to the people under section 1 of
article V of this constitution. Such referendum power shall be guaranteed notwithstanding a
recital in an ordinance granting such franchise that such ordinance is necessary for the
immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. Not more than five percent of the
registered electors of a home rule city shall be required to order such referendum. Nothing in this
section shall preclude a home rule charter provision which requires a lesser number of registered
electors to order such referendum or which requires a franchise to be voted on by the registered
electors. If such a referendum is ordered to be submitted to the registered electors, the grantee of
such franchise shall deposit with the treasurer the expense (to be determined by said treasurer) of
such submission. The council shall have power to fix the rate of taxation on property each year
for city and county purposes.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 101. L. 84: Entire section amended, p. 1145,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p. 1791, January 14, 1985. L. 86: Entire
section amended, p. 1239, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 87, p. 1861,
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December 17, 1986. L. 2000: Entire section amended, p. 2778, effective upon proclamation of
the Governor, L. 2001, p. 2391, December 28, 2000.
Section 5. New charters, amendments or measures. The citizens of the city and county
of Denver shall have the exclusive power to amend their charter or to adopt a new charter, or to
adopt any measure as herein provided;
It shall be competent for qualified electors in number not less than five percent of the
next preceding gubernatorial vote in said city and county to petition the council for any measure,
or charter amendment, or for a charter convention. The council shall submit the same to a vote of
the qualified electors at the next general election not held within thirty days after such petition is
filed; whenever such petition is signed by qualified electors in number not less than ten percent
of the next preceding gubernatorial vote in said city and county, with a request for a special
election, the council shall submit it at a special election to be held not less than thirty nor more
than sixty days from the date of filing the petition; provided, that any question so submitted at a
special election shall not again be submitted at a special election within two years thereafter. In
submitting any such charter, charter amendment or measure, any alternative article or
proposition may be presented for the choice of the voters, and may be voted on separately
without prejudice to others. Whenever the question of a charter convention is carried by a
majority of those voting thereon, a charter convention shall be called through a special election
ordinance as provided in section four (4) hereof, and the same shall be constituted and held and
the proposed charter submitted to a vote of the qualified electors, approved or rejected, and all
expenses paid, as in said section provided.
The clerk of the city and county shall publish, with his official certification, for three
times, a week apart, in the official newspapers, the first publication to be with his call for the
election, general or special, the full text of any charter, charter amendment, measure, or proposal
for a charter convention, or alternative article or proposition, which is to be submitted to the
voters. Within ten days following the vote the said clerk shall publish once in said newspaper the
full text of any charter, charter amendment, measure, or proposal for a charter convention, or
alternative article or proposition, which shall have been approved by majority of those voting
thereon, and he shall file with the secretary of state two copies thereof (with the vote for and
against) officially certified by him, and the same shall go into effect from the date of such filing.
He shall also certify to the secretary of state, with the vote for and against, two copies of every
defeated alternative article or proposition, charter, charter amendment, measure or proposal for a
charter convention. Each charter shall also provide for a reference upon proper petition therefor,
of measures passed by the council to a vote of the qualified electors, and for the initiative by the
qualified electors of such ordinances as they may by petition request.
The signatures to petitions in this amendment mentioned need not all be on one paper.
Nothing herein or elsewhere shall prevent the council, if it sees fit, from adopting automatic vote
registers for use at elections and references.
No charter, charter amendment or measure adopted or defeated under the provisions of
this amendment shall be amended, repealed or revived, except by petition and electoral vote.
And no such charter, charter amendment or measure shall diminish the tax rate for state purposes
fixed by act of the general assembly, or interfere in any wise with the collection of state taxes.
The city council, or board of trustees, or other body in which the legislative powers of
any home rule city or town may then be vested, on its own initiative, may submit any measure,
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charter amendment, or the question whether or not a charter convention shall be called, at any
general or special state or municipal election held not less than 30 days after the effective date of
the ordinance or resolution submitting such question to the voters.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 103. L. 50: Entire section amended, see L. 51, p.
233.
Editor’s note: The reference in the last sentence of the second paragraph to a charter
convention being called through a special election ordinance as provided in section 4 of this
article was deleted by amendment in senate concurrent resolution 00-005. Section 4 of article
XX was amended to delete provisions for the first charter of the city and county of Denver
calling for the adoption of the charter and specifying the procedures to be followed for a special
election since the charter was adopted November 8, 1881. (See L. 2000, p. 2778.)
Cross references: For procedure and requirements for adoption of a home rule charter
by the registered electors of each city and county, city, and town of the state, see § 9 of this
article.
Section 6. Home rule for cities and towns. The people of each city or town of this state,
having a population of two thousand inhabitants as determined by the last preceding census
taken under the authority of the United States, the state of Colorado or said city or town, are
hereby vested with, and they shall always have, power to make, amend, add to or replace the
charter of said city or town, which shall be its organic law and extend to all its local and
municipal matters.
Such charter and the ordinances made pursuant thereto in such matters shall supersede
within the territorial limits and other jurisdiction of said city or town any law of the state in
conflict therewith.
Proposals for charter conventions shall be submitted by the city council or board of
trustees, or other body in which the legislative powers of the city or town shall then be vested, at
special elections, or at general, state or municipal elections, upon petition filed by qualified
electors, all in reasonable conformity with section 5 of this article, and all proceedings thereon or
thereafter shall be in reasonable conformity with sections 4 and 5 of this article.
From and after the certifying to and filing with the secretary of state of a charter framed
and approved in reasonable conformity with the provisions of this article, such city or town, and
the citizens thereof, shall have the powers set out in sections 1, 4 and 5 of this article, and all
other powers necessary, requisite or proper for the government and administration of its local
and municipal matters, including power to legislate upon, provide, regulate, conduct and control:
a. The creation and terms of municipal officers, agencies and employments; the
definition, regulation and alteration of the powers, duties, qualifications and terms or tenure of
all municipal officers, agents and employees;
b. The creation of police courts; the definition and regulation of the jurisdiction, powers
and duties thereof, and the election or appointment of police magistrates therefor;
c. The creation of municipal courts; the definition and regulation of the jurisdiction,
powers and duties thereof, and the election or appointment of the officers thereof;
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d. All matters pertaining to municipal elections in such city or town, and to electoral
votes therein on measures submitted under the charter or ordinances thereof, including the
calling or notice and the date of such election or vote, the registration of voters, nominations,
nomination and election systems, judges and clerks of election, the form of ballots, balloting,
challenging, canvassing, certifying the result, securing the purity of elections, guarding against
abuses of the elective franchise, and tending to make such elections or electoral votes nonpartisan in character;
e. The issuance, refunding and liquidation of all kinds of municipal obligations, including
bonds and other obligations of park, water and local improvement districts;
f. The consolidation and management of park or water districts in such cities or towns or
within the jurisdiction thereof; but no such consolidation shall be effective until approved by the
vote of a majority, in each district to be consolidated, of the qualified electors voting therein
upon the question;
g. The assessment of property in such city or town for municipal taxation and the levy
and collection of taxes thereon for municipal purposes and special assessments for local
improvements; such assessments, levy and collection of taxes and special assessments to be
made by municipal officials or by the county or state officials as may be provided by the charter;
h. The imposition, enforcement and collection of fines and penalties for the violation of
any of the provisions of the charter, or of any ordinance adopted in pursuance of the charter.
It is the intention of this article to grant and confirm to the people of all municipalities
coming within its provisions the full right of self-government in both local and municipal
matters and the enumeration herein of certain powers shall not be construed to deny such cities
and towns, and to the people thereof, any right or power essential or proper to the full exercise of
such right.
The statutes of the state of Colorado, so far as applicable, shall continue to apply to such
cities and towns, except insofar as superseded by the charters of such cities and towns or by
ordinance passed pursuant to such charters.
All provisions of the charters of the city and county of Denver and the cities of Pueblo,
Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, as heretofore certified to and filed with the secretary of
state, and of the charter of any other city heretofore approved by a majority of those voting
thereon and certified to and filed with the secretary of state, which provisions are not in conflict
with this article, and all elections and electoral votes heretofore had under and pursuant thereto,
are hereby ratified, affirmed and validated as of their date.
Any act in violation of the provisions of such charter or of any ordinance thereunder shall
be criminal and punishable as such when so provided by any statute now or hereafter in force.
The provisions of this section 6 shall apply to the city and county of Denver.
This article shall be in all respects self-executing.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 104. Initiated 12: Entire section amended, see L.
13, p. 669, effective January 22, 1913.
Cross references: For powers granted the city and county of Denver, see § 1 of this
article; for amendment of charter or adoption of new charter, see § 5 of this article; for effect of
conflicting constitutional provisions, see § 8 of this article; for power to regulate rates and
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service charges of public utilities in home rule cities, see article XXV; for the prohibition on
appointment of outgoing officers, see § 24-50-402.
Section 7. City and county of Denver single school district – consolidations. The city
and county of Denver shall alone always constitute one school district, to be known as District
No. 1, but its conduct, affairs and business shall be in the hands of a board of education
consisting of such numbers, elected in such manner as the general school laws of the state shall
provide.
The said board of education shall perform all the acts and duties required to be performed
for said district by the general laws of the state. Except as inconsistent with this amendment, the
general school laws of the state shall, unless the context evinces a contrary intent, be held to
extend and apply to the said “District No. 1”.
Upon the annexation of any contiguous municipality which shall include a school district
or districts or any part of a district, said school district or districts or part shall be merged in said
“District No. 1”, which shall then own all the property thereof, real and personal, located within
the boundaries of such annexed municipality, and shall assume and pay all the bonds, obligations
and indebtedness of each of the said included school districts, and a proper proportion of those of
partially included districts.
Provided, however, that the indebtedness, both principal and interest, which any school
district may be under at the time when it becomes a part, by this amendment or by annexation, of
said “District No. 1”, shall be paid by said school district so owing the same by a special tax to
be fixed and certified by the board of education to the council which shall levy the same upon
the property within the boundaries of such district, respectively, as the same existed at the time
such district becomes a part of said “District No. 1”, and in case of partially included districts
such tax shall be equitably apportioned upon the several parts thereof.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 105. L. 12: Entire section was amended but does
not appear in the session laws. L. 2006: Entire section was amended, p. 2955, effective upon
proclamation of the Governor, L. 2007, p. 2964, December 31, 2006.
Section 8. Conflicting constitutional provisions declared inapplicable. Anything in
the constitution of this state in conflict or inconsistent with the provisions of this amendment is
hereby declared to be inapplicable to the matters and things by this amendment covered and
provided for.
Source: L. 01: Entire article added, p. 106.
Section 9. Procedure and requirements for adoption. (1) Notwithstanding any
provision in sections 4, 5, and 6 of this article to the contrary, the registered electors of each city
and county, city, and town of the state are hereby vested with the power to adopt, amend, and
repeal a home rule charter.
(2) The general assembly shall provide by statute procedures under which the registered
electors of any proposed or existing city and county, city, or town may adopt, amend, and repeal
a municipal home rule charter. Action to initiate home rule shall be by petition, signed by not
less than five percent of the registered electors of the proposed or existing city and county, city,
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or town, or by proper ordinance by the city council or board of trustees of a town, submitting the
question of the adoption of a municipal home rule charter to the registered electors of the city
and county, city, or town. No municipal home rule charter, amendment thereto, or repeal thereof,
shall become effective until approved by a majority of the registered electors of such city and
county, city, or town voting thereon. A new city or town may acquire home rule status at the
time of its incorporation.
(3) The provisions of this article as they existed prior to the effective date of this section,
as they relate to procedures for the initial adoption of home rule charters and for the amendment
of existing home rule charters, shall continue to apply until superseded by statute.
(4) It is the purpose of this section to afford to the people of all cities, cities and counties,
and towns the right to home rule regardless of population, period of incorporation, or other
limitation, and for this purpose this section shall be self-executing. It is the further purpose of
this section to facilitate adoption and amendment of home rule through such procedures as may
hereafter be enacted by the general assembly.
Source: L. 69: Entire section added, p. 1250, effective January 1, 1972. L. 84: (1) and
(2) amended, p. 1146, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p. 1791, January 14,
1985.
Editor’s note: The “effective date of this section” referred to in subsection (3) is January
1, 1972.
Cross references: For the power of the citizens of the city and county of Denver
regarding new charters, amendments, or measures, see § 5 of this article.
Section 10. City and county of Broomfield – created. The city of Broomfield is a
preexisting municipal corporation and home rule city of the state of Colorado, physically
situated in parts of Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, and Weld counties. On and after November 15,
2001, all territory in the municipal boundaries of the city of Broomfield shall be detached from
the counties of Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, and Weld and shall be consolidated into a single
county and municipal corporation with the name “The City and County of Broomfield”. Prior to
November 15, 2001, the city of Broomfield shall not extend its boundaries beyond the
annexation boundary map approved by the Broomfield city council on April 28, 1998, as an
amendment to the city of Broomfield 1995 master plan. The existing charter of the said city of
Broomfield shall become the charter of the city and county of Broomfield.
The city and county of Broomfield shall have perpetual succession; shall own, possess,
and hold all real and personal property, including water rights, the right to use water, and
contracts for water, currently owned, possessed, or held by the said city of Broomfield; shall
assume, manage, and dispose of all trusts in any way connected therewith; shall succeed to all
the rights and liabilities of, shall acquire all benefits of, and shall assume and pay all bonds,
obligations, and indebtedness of said city of Broomfield and its proportionate share of the
general obligation indebtedness and, as provided by intergovernmental agreement, its
proportionate share of revenue bond obligations of the counties of Adams, Boulder, Jefferson,
and Weld on and after November 15, 2001.
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The city and county of Broomfield may sue and defend, plead, and be impleaded in all
courts and in all matters and proceedings; may have and use a common seal and alter the same at
pleasure; may grant franchises; may purchase, receive, hold, and enjoy, or sell and dispose of
real and personal property; may receive bequests, gifts, and donations of real and personal
property, or real and personal property in trust for public, charitable, or other purposes, and do
all things and acts necessary to carry out the purposes of such gifts, bequests, donations, and
trusts with power to manage, sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of the same in accordance with the
terms of the gift, bequest, donation, or trust.
The city and county of Broomfield shall have the power within and without its territorial
limits to construct, condemn, purchase, acquire, lease, add to, maintain, conduct, and operate
water works, water supplies, sanitary sewer facilities, storm water facilities, parks, recreation
facilities, open space lands, light plants, power plants, heating plants, electric and other energy
facilities and systems, gas facilities and systems, transportation systems, cable television
systems, telecommunication systems, and other public utilities or works or ways local in use and
extent, in whole or in part, and everything required therefor, for the use of said city and county
and the inhabitants thereof; to purchase in whole or in part any such systems, plants, works,
facilities, or ways, or any contracts in relation or connection thereto that may exist, and may
enforce such purchase by proceedings at law as in taking land for public use by right of eminent
domain; and to issue bonds in accordance with its charter in any amount necessary to carry out
any said powers or purposes, as the charter may provide and limit. The city and county of
Broomfield shall have all of the powers of its charter and shall have all of the powers set out in
section 6 of this article, including the power to make, amend, add to, or replace its charter as set
forth in section 9 of this article. The charter provisions and procedures shall supersede any
constitutional or statutory limitations and procedures regarding financial obligations. The city
and county of Broomfield shall have all powers conferred to home rule municipalities and to
home rule counties by the constitution and general laws of the state of Colorado that are not
inconsistent with the constitutional provisions creating the city and county of Broomfield.
Prior to November 15, 2001, the charter and ordinances of the city of Broomfield shall
govern all local and municipal matters of the city. On and after November 15, 2001, the
constitutional provisions creating and governing the city and county of Broomfield, the city and
county charter adopted in accordance with these constitutional provisions, and the ordinances
existing and adopted from time to time shall govern all local and municipal matters of the city
and county of Broomfield.
On and after November 15, 2001, the requirements of section 3 of article XIV of this
constitution and the general annexation and consolidation statutes of the state relating to counties
shall apply to the city and county of Broomfield. On and after November 15, 2001, any
contiguous territory, together with all property belonging thereto, hereafter annexed to or
consolidated with the city and county of Broomfield under any laws of this state, in whatsoever
county the same may be at the time, shall be detached from such other county and become a
municipal and territorial part of the city and county of Broomfield.
On and after November 15, 2001, no annexation or consolidation proceeding shall be
initiated pursuant to the general annexation and consolidation statutes of the state to annex lands
to or consolidate lands with the city and county of Broomfield until such proposed annexation or
consolidation is first approved by a majority vote of a seven-member boundary control
commission. The boundary control commission shall be composed of one commissioner from
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each of the boards of commissioners of Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, and Weld counties,
respectively, and three elected officials of the city and county of Broomfield. The commissioners
from each of the said counties shall be appointed by resolution of the respective county boards of
commissioners. The three elected officials from the city and county of Broomfield shall be
appointed by the mayor of the city and county of Broomfield. The boundary control commission
shall adopt all actions, including actions regarding procedural rules, by majority vote. Each
member of the boundary control commission shall have one vote, including the commissioner
who acts as chairperson of the commission. The commission shall file all procedural rules
adopted by the commission with the secretary of state.
Source: L. 98: Entire section added, p. 2225, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 99, p. 2269, December 30, 1998.
Section 11. Officers – city and county of Broomfield. The officers of the city and
county of Broomfield shall be as provided for by its charter or ordinances. The jurisdiction, term
of office, and duties of such officers shall commence on November 15, 2001. The qualifications
and duties of all such officers shall be as provided for by the city and county charter and
ordinances, but the ordinances shall designate the officers who shall perform the acts and duties
required of county officers pursuant to this constitution or the general laws of the state of
Colorado, as far as applicable. All compensation for elected officials shall be determined by
ordinance and not by state statute. If any elected officer of the city and county of Broomfield
shall receive any compensation, such officer shall receive the same as a stated salary, the amount
of which shall be fixed by ordinance within limits fixed by the city and county charter or by
resolution approving the city and county budget and paid in equal monthly payments. No elected
officer shall receive any increase or decrease in compensation under any ordinance or resolution
passed during the term for which such officer was elected.
Source: L. 98: Entire section added, p. 2227, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 99, p. 2269, December 30, 1998.
Section 12. Transfer of government. Upon the canvass of the vote showing the
adoption of the constitutional provisions creating and governing the city and county of
Broomfield, the governor shall issue a proclamation accordingly, and, on and after November
15, 2001, the city of Broomfield and those parts of the counties of Adams, Boulder, Jefferson,
and Weld included in the boundaries of said city shall be consolidated into the city and county of
Broomfield. The duties and terms of office of all officers of Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, and
Weld counties shall no longer be applicable to and shall terminate with regard to the city and
county of Broomfield. On and after November 15, 2001, the terms of office of the mayor and
city council of the city of Broomfield shall terminate with regard to the city of Broomfield and
said mayor and city council shall become the mayor and city council of the city and county of
Broomfield. The city council of the city and county of Broomfield, in addition to performing the
duties prescribed in the city and county charter and ordinances, shall perform the duties of a
board of county commissioners or may delegate certain duties to various boards and
commissions appointed by the city council of the city and county of Broomfield. The city and
county of Broomfield shall be a successor district of the city of Broomfield under section 20 of
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article X of this constitution. Any voter approval granted the city of Broomfield under section 20
of article X of this constitution prior to November 15, 2001, shall be considered voter approval
under said section for the city and county of Broomfield. The city and county of Broomfield
shall have the power to continue to impose and collect sales, use, and property taxes that were
imposed by the city of Broomfield and the counties of Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, and Weld
within the areas where said taxes were imposed on November 14, 2001, until the voters of the
city and county of Broomfield approve uniform sales, use, and property taxes within the city and
county of Broomfield or approve increased sales, use, or property taxes within the city and
county of Broomfield. Any violation of any criminal statutes of the state of Colorado occurring
on or before November 14, 2001, shall continue to be prosecuted within the county where the
violation originally occurred.
Source: L. 98: Entire section added, p. 2228, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 99, p. 2269, December 30, 1998.
Section 13. Sections self-executing – appropriations. Sections 10 through 13 of this
article shall be in all respects self-executing and shall be construed so as to supersede any
conflicting constitutional or statutory provision that would otherwise impede the creation of the
city and county of Broomfield or limit any of the provisions of those sections. Except as
otherwise provided in sections 10 through 13, said sections shall be effective on and after
November 15, 2001. After the adoption of the constitutional provisions creating and governing
the city and county of Broomfield, the general assembly may appropriate funds, if necessary, in
cooperation with the city and county of Broomfield to implement these constitutional provisions
at the state level.
Source: L. 98: Entire section added, p. 2228, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 99, p. 2269, December 30, 1998.
ARTICLE XXI
Recall from Office
Cross references: (1) For the legislative declaration and harmonization of statutory
recall election provisions with the recall provisions of this article to reflect the manner in which
contemporary elections are conducted and the aligning of circulator regulation and petition
requirements with initiative and referendum circulator and petition requirements, see Senate Bill
14-158; for definitions relating to the purposes of this article, see §§ 1-12-100.5 and 1-12-114.
(2) For recall of state and county officers, see part 1 of article 12 of title 1; for recall of
municipal officers see part 5 of article 4 of title 31.
Law reviews: For comment, “Recall Me Maybe? The Corrosive Effect of Recall
Elections on State Legislative Politics”, see 86 U. Colo. L. Rev. 307 (2015).
Section 1. State officers may be recalled. Every elective public officer of the state of
Colorado may be recalled from office at any time by the registered electors entitled to vote for a
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successor of such incumbent through the procedure and in the manner herein provided for, which
procedure shall be known as the recall, and shall be in addition to and without excluding any
other method of removal provided by law.
The procedure hereunder to effect the recall of an elective public officer shall be as
follows:
A petition signed by registered electors entitled to vote for a successor of the incumbent
sought to be recalled, equal in number to twenty-five percent of the entire vote cast at the last
preceding election for all candidates for the position which the incumbent sought to be recalled
occupies, demanding an election of the successor to the officer named in said petition, shall be
filed in the office in which petitions for nominations to office held by the incumbent sought to be
recalled are required to be filed; provided, if more than one person is required by law to be
elected to fill the office of which the person sought to be recalled is an incumbent, then the said
petition shall be signed by registered electors entitled to vote for a successor to the incumbent
sought to be recalled equal in number to twenty-five percent of the entire vote cast at the last
preceding general election for all candidates for the office, to which the incumbent sought to be
recalled was elected as one of the officers thereof, said entire vote being divided by the number
of all officers elected to such office, at the last preceding general election; and such petition shall
contain a general statement, in not more than two hundred words, of the ground or grounds on
which such recall is sought, which statement is intended for the information of the registered
electors, and the registered electors shall be the sole and exclusive judges of the legality,
reasonableness and sufficiency of such ground or grounds assigned for such recall, and said
ground or grounds shall not be open to review.
Source: Initiated 12: Entire article added, effective January 22, 1913, see L. 13, p. 672.
L. 84: Entire section amended, p. 1147, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p.
1791, January 14, 1985.
Section 2. Form of recall petition. Any recall petition may be circulated and signed in
sections, provided each section shall contain a full and accurate copy of the title and text of the
petition; and such recall petition shall be filed in the office in which petitions for nominations to
office held by the incumbent sought to be recalled are required to be filed.
The signatures to such recall petition need not all be on one sheet of paper, but each
signer must add to his signature the date of his signing said petition, and his place of residence,
giving his street number, if any, should he reside in a town or city. The person circulating such
sheet must make and subscribe an oath on said sheet that the signatures thereon are genuine, and
a false oath, willfully so made and subscribed by such person, shall be perjury and be punished
as such. All petitions shall be deemed and held to be sufficient if they appear to be signed by the
requisite number of signers, and such signers shall be deemed and held to be registered electors,
unless a protest in writing under oath shall be filed in the office in which such petition has been
filed, by some registered elector, within fifteen days after such petition is filed, setting forth
specifically the grounds of such protest, whereupon the officer with whom such petition is filed
shall forthwith mail a copy of such protest to the person or persons named in such petition as
representing the signers thereof, together with a notice fixing a time for hearing such protest not
less than five nor more than ten days after such notice is mailed. All hearings shall be before the
officer with whom such protest is filed, and all testimony shall be under oath. Such hearings
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shall be summary and not subject to delay, and must be concluded within thirty days after such
petition is filed, and the result thereof shall be forthwith certified to the person or persons
representing the signers of such petition. In case the petition is not sufficient it may be
withdrawn by the person or a majority of the persons representing the signers of such petition,
and may, within fifteen days thereafter, be amended and refiled as an original petition. The
finding as to the sufficiency of any petition may be reviewed by any state court of general
jurisdiction in the county in which such petition is filed, upon application of the person or a
majority of the persons representing the signers of such petition, but such review shall be had
and determined forthwith. The sufficiency, or the determination of the sufficiency, of the petition
referred to in this section shall not be held, or construed, to refer to the ground or grounds
assigned in such petition for the recall of the incumbent sought to be recalled from office
thereby.
When such petition is sufficient, the officer with whom such recall petition was filed,
shall forthwith submit said petition, together with a certificate of its sufficiency to the governor,
who shall thereupon order and fix the date for holding the election not less than thirty days nor
more than sixty days from the date of submission of said petition; provided, if a general election
is to be held within ninety days after the date of submission of said petition, the recall election
shall be held as part of said general election.
Source: Initiated 12: Entire article added, effective January 22, 1913, see L. 13, p. 673.
L. 84: Entire section amended, p. 1148, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p.
1791, January 14, 1985.
Section 3. Resignation – filling vacancy. If such officer shall offer his resignation, it
shall be accepted, and the vacancy caused by such resignation, or from any other cause, shall be
filled as provided by law; but the person appointed to fill such vacancy shall hold his office only
until the person elected at the recall election shall qualify. If such officer shall not resign within
five days after the sufficiency of the recall petition shall have been sustained, the governor shall
make or cause to be made publication of notice for the holding of such election, and officers
charged by law with duties concerning elections shall make all arrangements for such election,
and the same shall be conducted, returned and the result thereof declared in all respects as in the
case of general elections.
On the official ballot at such elections shall be printed in not more than 200 words, the
reasons set forth in the petition for demanding his recall, and in not more than three hundred
words there shall also be printed, if desired by him, the officer’s justification of his course in
office. If such officer shall resign at any time subsequent to the filing thereof, the recall election
shall be called notwithstanding such resignation.
There shall be printed on the official ballot, as to every officer whose recall is to be voted
on, the words, “Shall (name of person against whom the recall petition is filed) be recalled from
the office of (title of the office)?” Following such question shall be the words, “Yes” and “No”,
on separate lines, with a blank space at the right of each, in which the voter shall indicate, by
marking a cross (X), his vote for or against such recall.
On such ballots, under each question, there shall also be printed the names of those
persons who have been nominated as candidates to succeed the person sought to be recalled; but
no vote cast shall be counted for any candidate for such office, unless the voter also voted for or
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against the recall of such person sought to be recalled from said office. The name of the person
against whom the petition is filed shall not appear on the ballot as a candidate for the office.
If a majority of those voting on said question of the recall of any incumbent from office
shall vote “no”, said incumbent shall continue in said office; if a majority shall vote “yes”, such
incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed from such office upon the qualification of his
successor.
If the vote had in such recall elections shall recall the officer then the candidate who has
received the highest number of votes for the office thereby vacated shall be declared elected for
the remainder of the term, and a certificate of election shall be forthwith issued to him by the
canvassing board. In case the person who received the highest number of votes shall fail to
qualify within fifteen days after the issuance of a certificate of election, the office shall be
deemed vacant, and shall be filled according to law.
Candidates for the office may be nominated by petition, as now provided by law, which
petition shall be filed in the office in which petitions for nomination to office are required by law
to be filed not less than fifteen days before such recall election.
Source: Initiated 12: Entire article added, effective January 22, 1913, see L. 13, p. 674.
Editor’s note: In In re Interrogatories Propounded by Governor Hickenlooper, 2013 CO
62, 312 P.3d 153, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the provision permitting a vote for a
successor candidate in a recall election to be counted only if the elector also cast a ballot for or
against the recall issue conflicts with the first and fourteenth amendments to the United States
Constitution.
Section 4. Limitation – municipal corporations may adopt, when. No recall petition
shall be circulated or filed against any officer until he has actually held his office for at least six
months, save and except it may be filed against any member of the state legislature at any time
after five days from the convening and organizing of the legislature after his election.
After one recall petition and election, no further petition shall be filed against the same
officer during the term for which he was elected, unless the petitioners signing said petition shall
equal fifty percent of the votes cast at the last preceding general election for all of the candidates
for the office held by such officer as herein above defined.
In any recall election of a state elective officer, if the incumbent whose recall is sought is
not recalled, he shall be repaid from the state treasury for the expenses of such election in the
manner provided by law. The general assembly may establish procedures for the reimbursement
by a local governmental entity of expenses incurred by an incumbent elective officer of such
governmental entity whose recall is sought but who is not recalled.
If the governor is sought to be recalled under the provisions of this article, the duties
herein imposed upon him shall be performed by the lieutenant-governor; and if the secretary of
state is sought to be recalled, the duties herein imposed upon him, shall be performed by the state
auditor.
The recall may also be exercised by the registered electors of each county, city and
county, city and town of the state, with reference to the elective officers thereof, under such
procedure as shall be provided by law.
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Until otherwise provided by law, the legislative body of any such county, city and
county, city and town may provide for the manner of exercising such recall powers in such
counties, cities and counties, cities and towns, but shall not require any such recall to be signed
by registered electors more in number than twenty-five percent of the entire vote cast at the last
preceding election, as in section 1 hereof more particularly set forth, for all the candidates for
office which the incumbent sought to be recalled occupies, as herein above defined.
Every person having authority to exercise or exercising any public or governmental duty,
power or function, shall be an elective officer, or one appointed, drawn or designated in
accordance with law by an elective officer or officers, or by some board, commission, person or
persons legally appointed by an elective officer or officers, each of which said elective officers
shall be subject to the recall provision of this constitution; provided, that, subject to regulation by
law, any person may, without compensation therefor, file petitions, or complaints in courts
concerning crimes, or do police duty only in cases of immediate danger to person or property.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed as affecting or limiting the present or future
powers of cities and counties or cities having charters adopted under the authority given by the
constitution, except as in the last three preceding paragraphs expressed.
In the submission to the electors of any petition proposed under this article, all officers
shall be guided by the general laws of the state, except as otherwise herein provided.
This article is self-executing, but legislation may be enacted to facilitate its operations,
but in no way limiting or restricting the provisions of this article, or the powers herein reserved.
Source: Initiated 12: Entire article added, effective January 22, 1913, see L. 13, p. 676.
L. 84: Entire section amended, p. 1149, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 85, p.
1791, January 14, 1985. L. 88: Entire section amended, p. 1455, effective upon proclamation of
the Governor, L. 89, p. 1660, January 3, 1989.
Cross references: For recall of state and county officers, see part 1 article 12 of title 1;
for recall of municipal officers, see part 5 of article 4 of title 31; for recall of special district
directors, see § 32-1-906.
Source: L. 2008: ARTICLE XXII. Intoxicating liquors, repealed in its entirety, p.
3112, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2009, p. 3384, January 8, 2009.
Editor’s note: This article was added in 1914. For the text of this article prior to its
repeal in 2009, consult the 2008 Colorado Revised Statutes and the source notes for the history
of amendments to the article.
ARTICLE XXIII
Publication of Legal Advertising
Section 1. Publication of proposed constitutional amendments and initiated and
referred bills. (Repealed)
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Source: L. 17: Entire article added, p. 147. L. 94: Entire section repealed, p. 2852,
effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 95, p. 1431, January 19, 1995.
ARTICLE XXIV
Old Age Pensions
Editor’s note: This article was added in 1937 and was not amended prior to 1957. It was
repealed and reenacted in 1957, resulting in the addition, relocation, or elimination of sections as
well as subject matter. For the text of this article prior to 1957, see volume 1 of Colorado
Revised Statutes 1953.
Section 1. Fund created. A fund to be known as the old age pension fund is hereby
created and established in the treasury of the state of Colorado.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 554.
Section 2. Moneys allocated to fund. There is hereby set aside, allocated and allotted to
the old age pension fund sums and money as follows:
(a) Eighty-five percent of all net revenue accrued or accruing, received or receivable
from any and all excise taxes now or hereafter levied upon sales at retail, or any other purchase
transaction; together with eighty-five percent of the net revenue derived from any excise taxes
now or hereafter levied upon the storage, use, or consumption of any commodity or product;
together with eighty-five percent of all license fees imposed by article 26 of title 39, Colorado
Revised Statutes, and amendments thereto; provided, however, that no part of the revenue
derived from excise taxes now or hereafter levied, for highway purposes, upon gasoline or other
motor fuel, shall be made a part of said old age pension fund.
(b) Eighty-five percent of all net revenue accrued or accruing, received or receivable
from taxes of whatever kind upon all malt, vinous, or spirituous liquor, both intoxicating and
non-intoxicating, and license fees connected therewith.
(c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2006, p. 2956, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2964, December 31, 2006.)
(d) All grants in aid from the federal government for old age assistance.
(e) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2006, p. 2956, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2964, December 31, 2006.)
(f) Such other money as may be allocated to said fund by the general assembly.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 554.
L. 2006: (a) to (c) and (e) amended, p. 2956, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L.
2007, p. 2964, December 31, 2006.
Cross references: For funds allocated to the old age pension fund, see § 26-2-113.
Section 3. Persons entitled to receive pensions. Every citizen of the United States who
has been a resident of the state of Colorado for such period as the general assembly may
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determine, who has attained the age of sixty years or more, and who qualifies under the laws of
Colorado to receive a pension, shall be entitled to receive the same; provided, however, that no
person otherwise qualified shall be denied a pension by reason of the fact that the person is the
owner of real estate occupied by the person as a residence; nor for the reason that relatives may
be financially able to contribute to the person’s support and maintenance; nor shall any person be
denied a pension for the reason that the person owns personal property which by law is exempt
from execution or attachment; nor shall any person be required, in order to receive a pension, to
repay, or promise to repay, the state of Colorado any money paid to the person as an old age
pension.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 555.
L. 2006: Entire section amended, p. 2956, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L.
2007, p. 2964, December 31, 2006.
Cross references: For eligibility for public assistance in the form of old age pensions,
see § 26-2-111 (2).
Section 4. The state board of public welfare to administer fund. The state board of
public welfare, or such other agency as may be authorized by law to administer old age pensions,
shall cause all moneys deposited in the old age pension fund to be paid out as directed by this
article and as required by statutory provisions not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, after
defraying the expense of administering the said fund.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 555.
Cross references: For the state agency authorized to administer or supervise the
administration of public assistance programs, see § 26-2-104.
Section 5. Revenues for old age pension fund continued. The excise tax on sales at
retail, together with all license fees levied by article 26 of title 39, Colorado Revised Statutes,
and amendments thereto, are hereby continued in full force and effect beyond the date on which
said taxes and license fees would otherwise expire, and shall continue until repealed or amended;
provided, however, that no law providing revenue for the old age pension fund shall be repealed,
nor shall any such law be amended so as to reduce the revenue provided for the old age pension
fund, except in the event that at the time of such repeal or amendment, revenue is provided for
the old age pension fund in an amount at least equal to that provided by the measure amended or
repealed during the calendar year immediately preceding the proposed amendment or repeal.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 555.
L. 2006: Entire section amended, p. 2956, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L.
2007, p. 2964, December 31, 2006.
Section 6. Basic minimum award. (a) Beginning on the effective date of this article,
every person entitled to and receiving an old age pension from the state of Colorado under any
former law or constitutional provision shall be entitled to receive the basic minimum award
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hereinafter provided for, without being required to make a new application therefor, and such
basic minimum award shall be paid each month thereafter, so long as he remains qualified, to
each person receiving an old age pension at the time of the adoption of this article, and such
basic minimum award shall likewise be paid to each person who hereafter becomes qualified to
receive an old age pension; subject, however, to the provisions of this article relating to net
income from other sources.
(b) From and after the effective date of this article, the basic minimum award payable to
those persons qualified to receive an old age pension shall be one hundred dollars monthly,
provided, however, that the amount of net income, from whatever source, that any person
qualified to receive a pension may have shall be deducted from the amount of the pension award
unless otherwise provided by law.
(c) The state board of public welfare, or such other agency as may be authorized by law
to administer old age pensions, shall have the power to adjust the basic minimum award above
one hundred dollars per month if, in its discretion, living costs have changed sufficiently to
justify that action.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 556.
Editor’s note: The “effective date of this article” referred to in subsections (a) and (b) is
January 1, 1957.
Section 7. Stabilization fund and health and medical care fund. (a) All the moneys
deposited in the old age pension fund shall be first available for payment of basic minimum
awards to qualified recipients, and no part of said fund shall be transferred to any other fund
until such basic minimum awards shall have been paid.
(b) Any moneys remaining in the old age pension fund after full payment of such basic
minimum awards shall be transferred to a fund to be known as the stabilization fund, which fund
shall be maintained at the amount of five million dollars, and restored to that amount after any
disbursements therefrom. The state board of public welfare, or such other agency as may be
authorized by law to administer old age pensions, shall use the moneys in such fund only to
stabilize payments of basic minimum awards.
(c) Any moneys remaining in the old age pension fund, after full payment of basic
minimum awards and after establishment and maintenance of the stabilization fund in the
amount of five million dollars, shall be transferred to a health and medical care fund. The state
board of public welfare, or such other agency as may be authorized by law to administer old age
pensions, shall establish and promulgate rules and regulations for administration of a program to
provide health and medical care to persons who qualify to receive old age pensions and who are
not patients in an institution for tuberculosis or mental disease; the costs of such program, not to
exceed ten million dollars in any fiscal year, shall be defrayed from such health and medical care
fund; provided, however, all moneys available, accrued or accruing, received or receivable, in
said health and medical care fund, in excess of ten million dollars in any fiscal year shall be
transferred to the general fund of the state to be used pursuant to law.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 556.
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Section 8. Fund to remain inviolate. All moneys deposited in the old age pension fund
shall remain inviolate for the purpose for which created, and no part thereof shall be transferred
to any other fund, or used or appropriated for any other purpose, except as provided for in this
article.
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 557.
Section 9. Effective date. (Repealed)
Source: Initiated 56: Entire article R&RE, effective January 1, 1957, see L. 57, p. 557.
L. 2006: Entire section repealed, p. 2957, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, 2007, p.
2964, December 31, 2006.
ARTICLE XXV
Public Utilities
In addition to the powers now vested in the General Assembly of the State of Colorado,
all power to regulate the facilities, service and rates and charges therefor, including facilities and
service and rates and charges therefor within home rule cities and home rule towns, of every
corporation, individual, or association of individuals, wheresoever situate or operating within the
State of Colorado, whether within or without a home rule city or home rule town, as a public
utility, as presently or as may hereafter be defined as a public utility by the laws of the State of
Colorado, is hereby vested in such agency of the State of Colorado as the General Assembly
shall by law designate.
Until such time as the General Assembly may otherwise designate, said authority shall be
vested in the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Colorado; provided however, nothing
herein shall affect the power of municipalities to exercise reasonable police and licensing
powers, nor their power to grant franchises; and provided, further, that nothing herein shall be
construed to apply to municipally owned utilities.
Source: L. 54: Entire article added, see L. 55, p. 693.
Cross references: For home rule cities and towns, see article XX of this constitution; for
home rule counties, see article 35 of title 30; for home rule municipalities, see part 2 of article 2
of title 31; for public utilities, see title 40.
ARTICLE XXVI
Nuclear Detonations
Section 1. Nuclear detonations prohibited – exceptions. No nuclear explosive device
may be detonated or placed in the ground for the purpose of detonation in this state except in
accordance with this article.
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Source: L. 74: Entire article was added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
December 20, 1974, but does not appear in the session laws.
Section 2. Election required. Before the emplacement of any nuclear explosive device
in the ground in this state, the detonation of that device shall first have been approved by the
voters through enactment of an initiated or referred measure authorizing that detonation, such
measure having been ordered, proposed, submitted to the voters, and approved as provided in
section 1 of article V of this constitution.
Source: L. 74: Entire article was added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
December 20, 1974, but does not appear in the session laws.
Section 3. Certification of indemnification required. Before the detonation or
emplacement for the purpose of detonation of any nuclear explosive device, a competent state
official or agency designated by the governor shall first have certified that sufficient and secure
financial resources exist in the form of applicable insurance, self-insurance, indemnity bonds,
indemnification agreements, or otherwise, without utilizing state funds, to compensate in full all
parties that might foreseeably suffer damage to person or property from ground motion, ionizing
radiation, other pollution, or other hazard attributable to such detonation. Damage is attributable
to such detonation without regard to negligence and without regard to any concurrent or
intervening cause.
Source: L. 74: Entire article was added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
December 20, 1974, but does not appear in the session laws.
Section 4. Article self-executing. This article shall be in all respects self-executing; but,
the general assembly may by law provide for its more effective enforcement and may by law
also impose additional restrictions or conditions upon the emplacement or detonation of any
nuclear explosive device.
Source: L. 74: Entire article was added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
December 20, 1974, but does not appear in the session laws.
Section 5. Severability. If any provision of this article, or its application in any particular
case, is held invalid, the remainder of the article and its application in all other cases shall
remain unimpaired.
Source: L. 74: Entire article was added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
December 20, 1974, but does not appear in the session laws.
ARTICLE XXVII
Great Outdoors Colorado Program
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Cross references: For statutory provisions implementing a state-supervised lottery,
including lotto, see article 40 of title 44.
Section 1. Great Outdoors Colorado Program. (1) The people of the State of Colorado
intend that the net proceeds of every state-supervised lottery game operated under the authority
of Article XVIII, Section 2 shall be guaranteed and permanently dedicated to the preservation,
protection, enhancement and management of the state’s wildlife, park, river, trail and open space
heritage, except as specifically provided in this article. Accordingly, there shall be established
the Great Outdoors Colorado Program to preserve, protect, enhance and manage the state’s
wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage. The Great Outdoors Colorado Program shall
include:
(a) Wildlife program grants which:
(I) Develop wildlife watching opportunities;
(II) Implement educational programs about wildlife and wildlife environment;
(III) Provide appropriate programs for maintaining Colorado’s diverse wildlife heritage;
(IV) Protect crucial wildlife habitats through the acquisition of lands, leases or easements
and restore critical areas;
(b) Outdoor recreation program grants which:
(I) Establish and improve state parks and recreation areas throughout the State of
Colorado;
(II) Develop appropriate public information and environmental education resources on
Colorado’s natural resources at state parks, recreation areas, and other locations throughout the
state;
(III) Acquire, construct and maintain trails and river greenways;
(IV) Provide water for recreational purposes through the acquisition of water rights or
through agreements with holders of water rights, all in accord with applicable state water law;
(c) A program to identify, acquire and manage unique open space and natural areas of
statewide significance through grants to the Colorado Divisions of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
and Wildlife, or municipalities, counties, or other political subdivision of the State, or non-profit
land conservation organizations, and which will encourage cooperative investments by other
public or private entities for these purposes; and
(d) A program for grants to match local investments to acquire, develop and manage
open space, parks, and environmental education facilities, and which will encourage cooperative
investments by other public or private entities for these purposes.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2169, January 14, 1993.
Cross references: For implementation of the great outdoors Colorado program, see
article 60 of title 33.
Section 2. Trust Fund created. A fund to be known as the Great Outdoors Colorado
Trust Fund, referred to in this article as the “Trust Fund,” is hereby created and established in the
Treasury of the State of Colorado.
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Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2170, January 14, 1993.
Section 3. Moneys allocated to Trust Fund. (1) Beginning with the proceeds from the
fourth quarter of the State’s Fiscal Year 1992-1993, all proceeds from all programs, including
Lotto and every other state-supervised lottery game operated under the authority of Article
XVIII, Section 2 of the Colorado Constitution, whether by the Colorado Lottery Commission or
otherwise (such programs defined hereafter in this Article as “Lottery Programs”), net of prizes
and expenses of the state lottery division and after a sufficient amount of money has been
reserved, as of the end of any fiscal quarter, to ensure the operation of the lottery for the ensuing
fiscal quarter (such netted proceeds defined hereafter in this Article as “Net Proceeds”) are set
aside, allocated, allotted, and continuously appropriated as follows, and the Treasurer shall
distribute such proceeds no less frequently than quarterly, as follows:
(a) Repealed.
(b) For each quarter including and after the first quarter of the State’s Fiscal Year 1998-
1999:
(I) Forty percent to the Conservation Trust Fund for distribution to municipalities and
counties and other eligible entities for parks, recreation and open space purposes;
(II) Ten percent to the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for the acquisition,
development and improvement of new and existing state parks, recreation areas and recreational
trails; and
(III) All remaining Net Proceeds in trust to the Board of the Trust Fund, provided,
however, that in any state fiscal year in which the portion of the Net Proceeds which would
otherwise be given in trust to the State Board of the Trust Fund exceeds the amount of $35
million, to be adjusted each year for changes from the 1992 Consumer Price Index-Denver, the
Net Proceeds in excess of such amount or adjusted amount shall be allocated to the General Fund
of the State of Colorado.
(c) to (e) Repealed.
(2) From July 1, 1993, the following sums of money and property, in addition to Net
Proceeds as set forth in Section 3(1) above, are set aside, allocated, allotted, and continuously
appropriated in trust to the Board of the Trust Fund:
(a) All interest derived from moneys held in the Trust Fund;
(b) Any property donated specifically to the State of Colorado for the specific purpose of
benefitting the Trust Fund, including contributions, grants, gifts, bequests, donations, and
federal, state, or local grants; and
(c) Such other moneys as may be allocated to the Trust Fund by the General Assembly.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2170, January 14, 1993. L. 2002: (1)(a) and (1)(c) to (1)(e) repealed, p. 3099, effective
upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2003, p. 3611, December 20, 2002.
Section 4. Fund to remain inviolate. All moneys deposited in the Trust Fund shall
remain in trust for the purposes set forth in this article, and no part thereof shall be used or
appropriated for any other purpose, nor made subject to any other tax, charge, fee or restriction.
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Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2172, January 14, 1993.
Section 5. Trust Fund expenditures. (1) (a) Expenditures from the Trust Fund shall be
made in furtherance of the Great Outdoors Colorado Program, and shall commence in State
Fiscal Year 1993-94. The Board of the Trust Fund shall have the duty to assure that expenditures
are made for the purposes set forth in this section and in section 6, and that the amounts
expended for each of the following purposes over a period of years be substantially equal:
(I) Investments in the wildlife resources of Colorado through the Colorado Division of
Wildlife, including the protection and restoration of crucial wildlife habitats, appropriate
programs for maintaining Colorado’s diverse wildlife heritage, wildlife watching, and
educational programs about wildlife and wildlife environment, consistent with the purposes set
forth in Section 1(1)(a) of this article;
(II) Investments in the outdoor recreation resources of Colorado through the Colorado
Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, including the State Parks System, trails, public
information and environmental education resources, and water for recreational facilities,
consistent with the purposes set forth in Section 1(1)(b) of this article;
(III) Competitive grants to the Colorado Divisions of Parks and Outdoor Recreation and
Wildlife, and to counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state, or non-profit
land conservation organizations, to identify, acquire and manage open space and natural areas of
statewide significance, consistent with the purposes set forth in Section 1(1)(c) of this article;
and
(IV) Competitive matching grants to local governments or other entities which are
eligible for distributions from the conservation trust fund, to acquire, develop or manage open
lands and parks, consistent with the purposes set forth in Section 1(1)(d) of this article;
(b) Provided, however, that the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund
shall have the discretion (a) to direct that any portion of available revenues be reinvested in the
Trust Fund and not expended in any particular year, (b) to make other expenditures which it
considers necessary and proper to the accomplishment of the purposes of this amendment.
(2) All funds provided to state agencies from the Trust Fund shall be deemed to be
custodial in nature, and the expenditure of those funds shall not be subject to legislative
appropriation or restriction.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2172, January 14, 1993.
Section 6. The State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund. (1) There
shall be established a State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund. The Board shall
consist of two members of the public from each congressional district, a representative
designated by the State Board of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, a representative designated by
the Colorado Wildlife Commission, and the Executive Director of the Department of Natural
Resources. The public members of the Board shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to the
consent of the Senate, for terms of four years – provided, however, that when the first such
members are appointed, one of the public members from each congressional district shall be
appointed for a two-year term, to assure staggered terms of office thereafter. At least two
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members shall reside west of the Continental Divide. At least one member shall represent
agricultural interests. The public members of the board shall be entitled to a reasonable per diem
compensation to be determined by the Board plus their actual expenses for each meeting of the
Board or a committee of the Board. The Board’s composition shall reflect, to the extent practical,
Colorado’s gender, ethnic and racial diversity, and no two of the representatives of any one
congressional district shall be members of the same political party. Members of the Board shall
be subject to removal as provided in Article IV, Section 6 of this constitution.
(2) The Board shall be responsible for, and shall have the power to undertake the
following actions:
(a) To direct the Treasurer to disburse expendable income from the Trust Fund as the
Board may determine by resolution, and otherwise to administer the Trust Fund, provided,
however, that the Board shall not have the power to acquire any interest in real property other
than (I) temporarily to hold real property donated to it and (II) to acquire leased office space;
(b) To promulgate rules and regulations as are necessary or expedient for the conduct of
its affairs and its meetings and of meetings of any committees and generally for the
administration of this article, provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall give the
public an opportunity to comment on the general policies of the Board and upon specific grant
proposals before the Board;
(c) To cause to be published and distributed an annual report, including a financial report,
to the citizens, the Governor and the General Assembly of Colorado, which will set out the
Board’s progress in administering the funds appropriated to it, and the Board’s objectives and its
budget for the forthcoming year, and to consult with the General Assembly from time to time
concerning its objectives and its budget;
(d) To administer the distribution of grants pursuant to Sections 1(1)(c), 1(1)(d),
5(1)(a)(III), and 5(1)(a)(IV) of this article, with the expense of administering said grants to be
defrayed from the funds made available to the program elements of said sections;
(e) Commencing July 1, 1993, to determine what portions, if any, of moneys allocated to
the Trust Fund should be invested in an interest-bearing Trust Fund account by the Treasurer of
the State of Colorado, to remain in the Trust Fund and available for expenditure in future years;
(f) To employ such staff and to contract for such office space and acquire such equipment
and supplies and enter into such other contracts as it may consider necessary from time to time to
accomplish its purposes, and to pay the cost thereof from the funds appropriated to the Board
under this article, provided, however, that to the extent it is reasonably feasible to do so the
Board shall (I) contract with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources or other state
agency for necessary administrative support and (II) endeavor to keep the level of administrative
expense as low as may be practicable in comparison with its expenditures for the purposes set
forth in Section 1 of this article, and the Board may contract with the State Personnel Board or
any successor thereof for personnel services.
(3) The Board shall be a political subdivision of the state, and shall have all the duties,
privileges, immunities, rights, liabilities and disabilities of a political subdivision of the state,
provided, however, that its organization, powers, revenues and expenses shall not be affected by
any order or resolution of the general assembly, except as provided in this constitution. It shall
not be an agency of state government, nor shall it be subject to administrative direction by any
department, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state, except to the extent provided in
this constitution. The Board shall be subject to annual audit by the state auditor, whose report
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shall be a public document. The Board shall adopt rules permitting public access to its meetings
and records which are no less restrictive than state laws applicable to state agencies, as such laws
may be amended from time to time. The Board members, officers and directors of the Board
shall have no personal liability for any actions or refusal to act by the Board as long as such
action or refusal to act did not involve willful or intentional malfeasance or gross negligence.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2173, January 14, 1993.
Section 7. No effect on Colorado water law. Nothing in this article shall affect in any
way whatsoever any of the provisions under Article XVI of the State Constitution of Colorado,
including those provisions related to water, nor any of the statutory provisions related to the
appropriation of water in Colorado.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2175, January 14, 1993.
Section 8. No substitution allowed. The people intend that the allocation of lottery
funds required by this article of the constitution be in addition to and not a substitute for funds
otherwise appropriated from the General Assembly to the Colorado Department of Natural
Resources and its divisions.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2175, January 14, 1993.
Section 9. Eminent domain. No moneys received by any state agency pursuant to this
article shall be used to acquire real property by condemnation through the power of eminent
domain.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2175, January 14, 1993.
Section 10. Payment in lieu of taxes. Any acquisitions of real property made by a state
agency pursuant to this article shall be subject to payments in lieu of taxes to counties in which
said acquisitions are made. Such payments shall be made from moneys made available by the
Trust Fund, and shall not exceed the rate of taxation for comparable property classifications.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2175, January 14, 1993.
Section 11. Effective date. This article shall become effective upon proclamation by the
governor, and shall be self-implementing. This article shall apply to each distribution of net
proceeds from the programs operated under the authority of Article XVIII, Section 2 of the
Colorado Constitution, whether by the Colorado Lottery Commission or otherwise, made after
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July 1, 1993 and shall supersede any provision to the contrary in Article XVIII, Section 2 or any
other provision of law.
Source: Initiated 92: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor,
L. 93, p. 2175, January 14, 1993.
ARTICLE XXVIII
Campaign and Political Finance
Editor’s note: (1) Section 1(4) of article V of the state constitution provides that initiated
and referred measures shall take effect from and after the official declaration of the vote thereon
by the proclamation of the Governor. The Governor’s proclamation on Amendment 27
implementing this article was issued on December 20, 2002; however, § 13 of this article
provides that the effective date of this article is December 6, 2002. (See L. 2003, p. 3609.)
(2) (a) In 2008, Amendment 54 amended § 13 of this article creating an exception to the
effective date stating that the provisions of this article amended or added by Amendment 54
concerning sole source government contracts are effective December 31, 2008; however, the
Governor’s proclamation date on Amendment 54 was January 8, 2009.
(b) In the case of Dallman v. Ritter, the Denver District Court declared Amendment 54,
which amended certain provisions of this article, unconstitutional and issued a preliminary
injunction enjoining the enforcement of Amendment 54 (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610
(Colo. 2010)). The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling (see Dallman v.
Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)).
(3) In the case of In re Interrogatories by Ritter, the Colorado Supreme Court declared §§
3(4) and 6(2) of this article unconstitutional in light of Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission, 558 U.S. 310, 130 S. Ct. 876, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753 (2010).
Cross references: For the “Fair Campaign Practices Act”, see article 45 of title 1.
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007).
Section 1. Purposes and findings. The people of the state of Colorado hereby find and
declare that large campaign contributions to political candidates create the potential for
corruption and the appearance of corruption; that large campaign contributions made to
influence election outcomes allow wealthy individuals, corporations, and special interest groups
to exercise a disproportionate level of influence over the political process; that the rising costs of
campaigning for political office prevent qualified citizens from running for political office; that
because of the use of early voting in Colorado timely notice of independent expenditures is
essential for informing the electorate; that in recent years the advent of significant spending on
electioneering communications, as defined herein, has frustrated the purpose of existing
campaign finance requirements; that independent research has demonstrated that the vast
majority of televised electioneering communications goes beyond issue discussion to express
electoral advocacy; that political contributions from corporate treasuries are not an indication of
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 178 of 204 Uncertified Printout
popular support for the corporation’s political ideas and can unfairly influence the outcome of
Colorado elections; and that the interests of the public are best served by limiting campaign
contributions, establishing campaign spending limits, providing for full and timely disclosure of
campaign contributions, independent expenditures, and funding of electioneering
communications, and strong enforcement of campaign finance requirements.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3597. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading. Initiated 2012: Entire section
amended, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2013, p. 3301, January 1, 2013.
Section 2. Definitions. For the purpose of this article and any statutory provisions
pertaining to campaign finance, including provisions pertaining to disclosure:
(1) “Appropriate officer” means the individual with whom a candidate, candidate
committee, political committee, small donor committee, or issue committee must file pursuant to
section 1-45-109 (1), C.R.S., or any successor section.
(2) “Candidate” means any person who seeks nomination or election to any state or local
public office that is to be voted on in this state at any primary election, general election, school
district election, special district election, or municipal election. “Candidate” also includes a judge
or justice of any court of record who seeks to be retained in office pursuant to the provisions of
section 25 of article VI. A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced
an intention to seek election to public office or retention of a judicial office and thereafter has
received a contribution or made an expenditure in support of the candidacy. A person remains a
candidate for purposes of this article so long as the candidate maintains a registered candidate
committee. A person who maintains a candidate committee after an election cycle, but who has
not publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office in the next or any
subsequent election cycle, is a candidate for purposes of this article.
(3) “Candidate committee” means a person, including the candidate, or persons with the
common purpose of receiving contributions or making expenditures under the authority of a
candidate. A contribution to a candidate shall be deemed a contribution to the candidate’s
candidate committee. A candidate shall have only one candidate committee. A candidate
committee shall be considered open and active until affirmatively closed by the candidate or by
action of the secretary of state.
(4) “Conduit” means a person who transmits contributions from more than one person,
directly to a candidate committee. “Conduit” does not include the contributor’s immediate family
members, the candidate or campaign treasurer of the candidate committee receiving the
contribution, a volunteer fund raiser hosting an event for a candidate committee, or a
professional fund raiser if the fund raiser is compensated at the usual and customary rate.
(4.5) “Contract holder” means any non-governmental party to a sole source government
contract, including persons that control ten percent or more shares or interest in that party; or that
party’s officers, directors or trustees; or, in the case of collective bargaining agreements, the
labor organization and any political committees created or controlled by the labor organization;
Editor’s note: Subsection (4.5) was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note
following this section).
(5) (a) “Contribution” means:
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(I) The payment, loan, pledge, gift, or advance of money, or guarantee of a loan, made to
any candidate committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee, or
political party;
(II) Any payment made to a third party for the benefit of any candidate committee, issue
committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political party;
(III) The fair market value of any gift or loan of property made to any candidate
committee, issue committee, political committee, small donor committee or political party;
(IV) Anything of value given, directly or indirectly, to a candidate for the purpose of
promoting the candidate’s nomination, retention, recall, or election.
(b) “Contribution” does not include services provided without compensation by
individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, candidate committee, political
committee, small donor committee, issue committee, or political party; a transfer by a
membership organization of a portion of a member’s dues to a small donor committee or political
committee sponsored by such membership organization; or payments by a corporation or labor
organization for the costs of establishing, administering, and soliciting funds from its own
employees or members for a political committee or small donor committee.
(6) “Election cycle” means either:
(a) The period of time beginning thirty-one days following a general election for the
particular office and ending thirty days following the next general election for that office;
(b) The period of time beginning thirty-one days following a general election for the
particular office and ending thirty days following the special legislative election for that office;
or
(c) The period of time beginning thirty-one days following the special legislative election
for the particular office and ending thirty days following the next general election for that office.
(7) (a) “Electioneering communication” means any communication broadcasted by
television or radio, printed in a newspaper or on a billboard, directly mailed or delivered by hand
to personal residences or otherwise distributed that:
(I) Unambiguously refers to any candidate; and
(II) Is broadcasted, printed, mailed, delivered, or distributed within thirty days before a
primary election or sixty days before a general election; and
(III) Is broadcasted to, printed in a newspaper distributed to, mailed to, delivered by hand
to, or otherwise distributed to an audience that includes members of the electorate for such
public office.
(b) “Electioneering communication” does not include:
(I) Any news articles, editorial endorsements, opinion or commentary writings, or letters
to the editor printed in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical not owned or controlled by a
candidate or political party;
(II) Any editorial endorsements or opinions aired by a broadcast facility not owned or
controlled by a candidate or political party;
(III) Any communication by persons made in the regular course and scope of their
business or any communication made by a membership organization solely to members of such
organization and their families;
(IV) Any communication that refers to any candidate only as part of the popular name of
a bill or statute.
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(8) (a) “Expenditure” means any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit,
or gift of money by any person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a
candidate or supporting or opposing a ballot issue or ballot question. An expenditure is made
when the actual spending occurs or when there is a contractual agreement requiring such
spending and the amount is determined.
(b) “Expenditure” does not include:
(I) Any news articles, editorial endorsements, opinion or commentary writings, or letters
to the editor printed in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical not owned or controlled by a
candidate or political party;
(II) Any editorial endorsements or opinions aired by a broadcast facility not owned or
controlled by a candidate or political party;
(III) Spending by persons, other than political parties, political committees and small
donor committees, in the regular course and scope of their business or payments by a
membership organization for any communication solely to members and their families;
(IV) Any transfer by a membership organization of a portion of a member’s dues to a
small donor committee or political committee sponsored by such membership organization; or
payments made by a corporation or labor organization for the costs of establishing,
administering, or soliciting funds from its own employees or members for a political committee
or small donor committee.
(8.5) “Immediate family member” means any spouse, child, spouse’s child, son-in- law,
daughter-in-law, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, stepbrother, stepsister, stepparent,
parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, niece, nephew, guardian, or domestic partner;
Editor’s note: Subsection (8.5) was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note
following this section).
(9) “Independent expenditure” means an expenditure that is not controlled by or
coordinated with any candidate or agent of such candidate. Expenditures that are controlled by or
coordinated with a candidate or candidate’s agent are deemed to be both contributions by the
maker of the expenditures, and expenditures by the candidate committee.
(10) (a) “Issue committee” means any person, other than a natural person, or any group of
two or more persons, including natural persons:
(I) That has a major purpose of supporting or opposing any ballot issue or ballot
question; or
(II) That has accepted or made contributions or expenditures in excess of two hundred
dollars to support or oppose any ballot issue or ballot question.
(b) “Issue committee” does not include political parties, political committees, small donor
committees, or candidate committees as otherwise defined in this section.
(c) An issue committee shall be considered open and active until affirmatively closed by
such committee or by action of the appropriate authority.
(11) “Person” means any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation,
labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons.
(12) (a) “Political committee” means any person, other than a natural person, or any
group of two or more persons, including natural persons that have accepted or made
contributions or expenditures in excess of $200 to support or oppose the nomination or election
of one or more candidates.
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(b) “Political committee” does not include political parties, issue committees, or
candidate committees as otherwise defined in this section.
(c) For the purposes of this article, the following are treated as a single political
committee:
(I) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a single
corporation or its subsidiaries;
(II) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a single
labor organization; except that, any political committee established, financed, maintained, or
controlled by a local unit of the labor organization which has the authority to make a decision
independently of the state and national units as to which candidates to support or oppose shall be
deemed separate from the political committee of the state and national unit;
(III) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the same
political party;
(IV) All political committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by
substantially the same group of persons.
(13) “Political party” means any group of registered electors who, by petition or
assembly, nominate candidates for the official general election ballot. “Political party” includes
affiliated party organizations at the state, county, and election district levels, and all such
affiliates are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of this article, except as otherwise
provided in section 7.
(14) (a) “Small donor committee” means any political committee that has accepted
contributions only from natural persons who each contributed no more than fifty dollars in the
aggregate per year. For purposes of this section, dues transferred by a membership organization
to a small donor committee sponsored by such organization shall be treated as pro-rata
contributions from individual members.
(b) “Small donor committee” does not include political parties, political committees,
issue committees, or candidate committees as otherwise defined in this section.
(c) For the purposes of this article, the following are treated as a single small donor
committee:
(I) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a
single corporation or its subsidiaries;
(II) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a
single labor organization; except that, any small donor committee established, financed,
maintained, or controlled by a local unit of the labor organization which has the authority to
make a decision independently of the state and national units as to which candidates to support
or oppose shall be deemed separate from the small donor committee of the state and national
unit;
(III) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the
same political party;
(IV) All small donor committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by
substantially the same group of persons.
(14.4) “Sole source government contract” means any government contract that does not
use a public and competitive bidding process soliciting at least three bids prior to awarding the
contract. This provision applies only to government contracts awarded by the state or any of its
political subdivisions for amounts greater than one hundred thousand dollars indexed for
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inflation per the United States bureau of labor statistics consumer price index for DenverBoulder-Greeley after the year 2012, adjusted every four years, beginning January 1, 2012, to the
nearest lowest twenty five dollars. This amount is cumulative and includes all sole source
government contracts with any and all governmental entities involving the contract holder during
a calendar year. A sole source government contract includes collective bargaining agreements
with a labor organization representing employees, but not employment contracts with individual
employees. Collective bargaining agreements qualify as sole source government contracts if the
contract confers an exclusive representative status to bind all employees to accept the terms and
conditions of the contract;
Editor’s note: Subsection (14.4) was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note
following this section).
(14.6) “State or any of its political subdivisions” means the state of Colorado and its
agencies or departments, as well as the political subdivisions within this state including counties,
municipalities, school districts, special districts, and any public or quasi-public body that
receives a majority of its funding from the taxpayers of the state of Colorado.
Editor’s note: Subsection (14.6) was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note
following this section).
(15) “Unexpended campaign contributions” means the balance of funds on hand in any
candidate committee at the end of an election cycle, less the amount of all unpaid monetary
obligations incurred prior to the election in furtherance of such candidacy.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3597. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading. Initiated 2008: (4.5), (8.5), (14.4),
and (14.6) added, effective December 31, 2008, see L. 2009, p. 3381.
Editor’s note: (1) In 2008, Amendment 54 amended § 13 of this article creating an
exception to the effective date stating that the provisions of this article amended or added by
Amendment 54 concerning sole source government contracts are effective December 31, 2008;
however the Governor’s proclamation date on Amendment 54 was January 8, 2009.
(2) In the case of Dallman v. Ritter, the Denver District Court declared the provisions of
subsections (4.5), (8.5), (14.4), and (14.6) unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction
enjoining the enforcement of Amendment 54 (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)).
The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d
610 (Colo. 2010)).
Cross references: For the definition of “major purpose”, as used in subsection (10)(a)(I),
see § 1-45-103 (12)(b).
Section 3. Contribution limits. (1) Except as described in subsections (2), (3), and (4) of
this section, no person, including a political committee, shall make to a candidate committee,
and no candidate committee shall accept from any one person, aggregate contributions for a
primary or a general election in excess of the following amounts:
(a) Five hundred dollars to any one:
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(I) Governor candidate committee for the primary election, and governor and lieutenant
governor candidate committee, as joint candidates under 1-1-104, C.R.S., or any successor
section, for the general election;
(II) Secretary of state, state treasurer, or attorney general candidate committee; and
(b) Two hundred dollars to any one state senate, state house of representatives, state
board of education, regent of the university of Colorado, or district attorney candidate
committee.
(2) No small donor committee shall make to a candidate committee, and no candidate
committee shall accept from any one small donor committee, aggregate contributions for a
primary or a general election in excess of the following amounts:
(a) Five thousand dollars to any one:
(I) Governor candidate committee for the primary election, and governor and lieutenant
governor candidate committee, as joint candidates under 1-1-104, C.R.S., or any successor
section, for the general election;
(II) Secretary of state, state treasurer, or attorney general candidate committee; and
(b) Two thousand dollars to any one state senate, state house of representatives, state
board of education, regent of the university of Colorado, or district attorney candidate
committee.
(3) (a) No political party shall accept aggregate contributions from any person, other than
a small donor committee as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), that exceed three
thousand dollars per year at the state, county, district, and local level combined, and of such
amount no more than twenty-five hundred dollars per year at the state level;
(b) No political party shall accept aggregate contributions from any small donor
committee that exceed fifteen thousand dollars per year at the state, county, district, and local
level combined, and of such amount no more than twelve thousand, five hundred dollars at the
state level;
(c) No political party shall accept contributions that are intended, or in any way
designated, to be passed through the party to a specific candidate’s candidate committee;
(d) In the applicable election cycle, no political party shall contribute to any candidate
committee more than twenty percent of the applicable spending limit set forth in section 4 of this
article.
(e) Any unexpended campaign contributions retained by a candidate committee for use in
a subsequent election cycle shall be counted and reported as contributions from a political party
in any subsequent election for purposes of paragraph (d) of this subsection (3);
(4) (a) It shall be unlawful for a corporation or labor organization to make contributions
to a candidate committee or a political party, and to make expenditures expressly advocating the
election or defeat of a candidate; except that a corporation or labor organization may establish a
political committee or small donor committee which may accept contributions or dues from
employees, officeholders, shareholders, or members.
(b) The prohibition contained in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4) shall not apply to a
corporation that:
(I) Is formed for the purpose of promoting political ideas and cannot engage in business
activities; and
(II) Has no shareholders or other persons with a claim on its assets or income; and
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(III) Was not established by and does not accept contributions from business corporations
or labor organizations.
Editor’s note: Subsection (4) was declared unconstitutional (see editor’s note following
this section).
(5) No political committee shall accept aggregate contributions or pro-rata dues from any
person in excess of five hundred dollars per house of representatives election cycle.
(6) No candidate’s candidate committee shall accept contributions from, or make
contributions to, another candidate committee, including any candidate committee, or equivalent
entity, established under federal law.
(7) No person shall act as a conduit for a contribution to a candidate committee.
(8) Notwithstanding any other section of this article to the contrary, a candidate’s
candidate committee may receive a loan from a financial institution organized under state or
federal law if the loan bears the usual and customary interest rate, is made on a basis that assures
repayment, is evidenced by a written instrument, and is subject to a due date or amortization
schedule. The contribution limits described in this section shall not apply to a loan as described
in this subsection (8).
(9) All contributions received by a candidate committee, issue committee, political
committee, small donor committee, or political party shall be deposited in a financial institution
in a separate account whose title shall include the name of the committee or political party. All
records pertaining to such accounts shall be maintained by the committee or political party for
one-hundred eighty days following any general election in which the committee or party
received contributions unless a complaint is filed, in which case they shall be maintained until
final disposition of the complaint and any consequent litigation. Such records shall be subject to
inspection at any hearing held pursuant to this article.
(10) No candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, issue
committee, or political party shall accept a contribution, or make an expenditure, in currency or
coin exceeding one hundred dollars.
(11) No person shall make a contribution to a candidate committee, issue committee,
political committee, small donor committee, or political party with the expectation that some or
all of the amounts of such contribution will be reimbursed by another person. No person shall be
reimbursed for a contribution made to any candidate committee, issue committee, political
committee, small donor committee, or political party, nor shall any person make such
reimbursement except as provided in subsection (8) of this section.
(12) No candidate committee, political committee, small donor committee, or political
party shall knowingly accept contributions from:
(a) Any natural person who is not a citizen of the United States;
(b) A foreign government; or
(c) Any foreign corporation that does not have the authority to transact business in this
state pursuant to article 115 of title 7, C.R.S., or any successor section.
(13) Each limit on contributions described in subsections (1), (2), (3)(a), (3)(b) and (5) of
this section, and subsection (14) of section 2, shall be adjusted by an amount based upon the
percentage change over a four year period in the United States bureau of labor statistics
consumer price index for Denver- Boulder-Greeley, all items, all consumers, or its successor
index, rounded to the nearest lowest twenty-five dollars. The first adjustment shall be done in the
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first quarter of 2007 and then every four years thereafter. The secretary of state shall calculate
such an adjustment in each limit and specify the limits in rules promulgated in accordance with
article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3601. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Editor’s note: In the case of In re Interrogatories by Ritter, the Colorado Supreme Court
declared subsection (4) of this section unconstitutional in light of Citizens United v. Federal
Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310, 130 S. Ct. 876, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753 (2010).
Section 4. Voluntary campaign spending limits. (1) Candidates may certify to the
secretary of state that the candidate’s candidate committee shall not exceed the following
spending limits for the applicable election cycle:
(a) Two and one-half million dollars combined for a candidate for governor and governor
and lieutenant governor as joint candidates under 1-1-104, C.R.S., or any successor section;
(b) Five hundred thousand dollars for a candidate for secretary of state, attorney general,
or treasurer;
(c) Ninety thousand dollars for a candidate for the state senate;
(d) Sixty-five thousand dollars for a candidate for the state house of representatives, state
board of education, regent of the university of Colorado, or district attorney.
(2) Candidates accepting the campaign spending limits set forth above shall also agree
that their personal contributions to their own campaign shall be counted as political party
contributions and subject to the aggregate limit on such contributions set forth in section 3 of this
article.
(3) Each candidate who chooses to accept the applicable voluntary spending limit shall
file a statement to that effect with the secretary of state at the time that the candidate files a
candidate affidavit as currently set forth in section 1-45-110(1), C.R.S., or any successor section.
Acceptance of the applicable voluntary spending limit shall be irrevocable except as set forth in
subsection (4) of this section and shall subject the candidate to the penalties set forth in section
10 of this article for exceeding the limit.
(4) If a candidate accepts the applicable spending limit and another candidate for the
same office refuses to accept the spending limit, the accepting candidate shall have ten days in
which to withdraw acceptance. The accepting candidate shall have this option of withdrawing
acceptance after each additional non-accepting candidate for the same office enters the race.
(5) The applicable contribution limits set forth in section 3 of this article shall double for
any candidate who has accepted the applicable voluntary spending limit if:
(a) Another candidate in the race for the same office has not accepted the voluntary
spending limit; and
(b) The non-accepting candidate has raised more than ten percent of the applicable
voluntary spending limit.
(6) Only those candidates who have agreed to abide by the applicable voluntary spending
limit may advertise their compliance. All other candidates are prohibited from advertising, or in
any way implying, their acceptance of voluntary spending limits.
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(7) Each spending limit described in subsection (1) of this section shall be adjusted by an
amount based upon the percentage change over a four year period in the United States bureau of
labor statistics consumer price index for Denver-Boulder-Greeley, all items, all consumers, or its
successor index, rounded to the nearest lowest twenty-five dollars. The first adjustment shall be
done in the first quarter of 2007 and then every four years thereafter. The secretary of state shall
calculate such an adjustment in each limit and specify the limits in rules promulgated in
accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3604. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 5. Independent expenditures. (1) Any person making an independent
expenditure in excess of one thousand dollars per calendar year shall deliver notice in writing to
the secretary of state of such independent expenditure, as well as the amount of such
expenditure, and a detailed description of the use of such independent expenditure. The notice
shall specifically state the name of the candidate whom the independent expenditure is intended
to support or oppose. Each independent expenditure in excess of one-thousand dollars shall
require the delivery of a new notice. Any person making an independent expenditure within
thirty days of a primary or general election shall deliver such notice within forty-eight hours
after obligating funds for such expenditure.
(2) Any person making an independent expenditure in excess of one thousand dollars
shall disclose, in the communication produced by the expenditure, the name of the person
making the expenditure and the specific statement that the advertisement of material is not
authorized by any candidate. Such disclosure shall be prominently featured in the
communication.
(3) Expenditures by any person on behalf of a candidate for public office that are
coordinated with or controlled by the candidate or the candidate’s agent, or political party shall
be considered a contribution to the candidate’s candidate committee, or the political party,
respectively.
(4) This section 5 applies only to independent expenditures made for the purpose of
expressly advocating the defeat or election of any candidate.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3605. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 6. Electioneering communications. (1) Any person who expends one thousand
dollars or more per calendar year on electioneering communications shall submit reports to the
secretary of state in accordance with the schedule currently set forth in 1-45-108 (2), C.R.S., or
any successor section. Such reports shall include spending on such electioneering
communications, and the name, and address, of any person that contributes more than two
hundred and fifty dollars per year to such person described in this section for an electioneering
communication. In the case where the person is a natural person, such reports shall also include
the occupation and employer of such natural person. The last such report shall be filed thirty
days after the applicable election.
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(2) Notwithstanding any section to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for a corporation or
labor organization to provide funding for an electioneering communication; except that any
political committee or small donor committee established by such corporation or labor
organization may provide funding for an electioneering communication.
Editor’s note: Subsection (2) was declared unconstitutional (see editor’s note following
this section).
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3605. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Editor’s note: In the case of In re Interrogatories by Ritter, the Colorado Supreme Court
declared subsection (2) of this section unconstitutional in light of Citizens United v. Federal
Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310, 130 S. Ct. 876, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753 (2010).
Section 7. Disclosure. The disclosure requirements relevant to candidate committees,
political committees, issue committees, and political parties, that are currently set forth in section
1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, shall be extended to include small donor committees.
The disclosure requirements of section 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor section, shall be
extended to require disclosure of the occupation and employer of each person who has made a
contribution of one hundred dollars or more to a candidate committee, political committee, issue
committee, or political party. For purposes of this section and 1-45-108, C.R.S., or any successor
section, a political party shall be treated as separate entities at the state, county, district, and local
levels.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3606. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 8. Filing – where to file – timeliness. The secretary of state shall promulgate
rules relating to filing in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section.
The rules promulgated pursuant to this section shall extend section 1-45-109, C.R.S., or any
successor section to apply to small donor committees.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3606. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 9. Duties of the secretary of state – enforcement. (1) The secretary of state
shall:
(a) Prepare forms and instructions to assist candidates and the public in complying with
the reporting requirements of this article and make such forms and instructions available to the
public, municipal clerks, and county clerk and recorders free of charge;
(b) Promulgate such rules, in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., or any
successor section, as may be necessary to administer and enforce any provision of this article;
(c) Prepare forms for candidates to declare their voluntary acceptance of the campaign
spending limits set forth in section 4 of this article. Such forms shall include an acknowledgment
that the candidate voluntarily accepts the applicable spending limit and that the candidate swears
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 188 of 204 Uncertified Printout
to abide by those spending limits. These forms shall be signed by the candidate under oath,
notarized, filed with the secretary of state, and available to the public upon request;
(c) [Editor’s note: For information concerning this subsection (1)(c), see editor’s note
following this section.] Maintain a filing and indexing system consistent with the purposes of
this article;
(e) Make the reports and statements filed with the secretary of state’s office available
immediately for public inspection and copying. The secretary of state may charge a reasonable
fee for providing copies of reports. No information copied from such reports shall be sold or
used by any person for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for any commercial purpose;
(f) Refer any complaints filed against any candidate for the office of secretary of state to
the attorney general. Any administrative law judge employed pursuant to this section shall be
appointed pursuant to part 10 of article 30 of title 24, C.R.S., or any successor section. Any
hearing conducted by an administrative law judge employed pursuant to subsection (2) of this
section shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 24-4-105, C.R.S., or any
successor section.
(2) (a) Any person who believes that a violation of section 3, section 4, section 5, section
6, section 7, or section 9 (1)(e), of this article, or of sections 1-45-108, 1-45-114, 1-45-115, or 1-
45-117 C.R.S., or any successor sections, has occurred may file a written complaint with the
secretary of state no later than one hundred eighty days after the date of the alleged violation.
The secretary of state shall refer the complaint to an administrative law judge within three days
of the filing of the complaint. The administrative law judge shall hold a hearing within fifteen
days of the referral of the complaint, and shall render a decision within fifteen days of the
hearing. The defendant shall be granted an extension of up to thirty days upon defendant’s
motion, or longer upon a showing of good cause. If the administrative law judge determines that
such violation has occurred, such decision shall include any appropriate order, sanction, or relief
authorized by this article. The decision of the administrative law judge shall be final and subject
to review by the court of appeals, pursuant to section 24-4-106 (11), C.R.S., or any successor
section. The secretary of state and the administrative law judge are not necessary parties to the
review. The decision may be enforced by the secretary of state, or, if the secretary of state does
not file an enforcement action within thirty days of the decision, in a private cause of action by
the person filing the complaint. Any private action brought under this section shall be brought
within one year of the date of the violation in state district court. The prevailing party in a private
enforcement action shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys fees and costs.
(b) The attorney general shall investigate complaints made against any candidate for the
office of secretary of state using the same procedures set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection
(2). Complainant shall have the same private right of action as under paragraph (a) of this
subsection (2).
(c) A subpoena issued by an administrative law judge requiring the production of
documents by an issue committee shall be limited to documents pertaining to contributions to, or
expenditures from, the committee’s separate account established pursuant to section 3(9) of this
article to support or oppose a ballot issue or ballot question. A subpoena shall not be limited in
this manner where such issue committee fails to form a separate account through which a ballot
issue or ballot question is supported or opposed.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 189 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3606. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Editor’s note: In subsection (1) of this section, it appears that the fourth paragraph
should have been lettered as paragraph (d) instead of (c); however, the original document filed
with the secretary of state contains the lettering reflected in this section.
Section 10. Sanctions. (1) Any person who violates any provision of this article relating
to contribution or voluntary spending limits shall be subject to a civil penalty of at least double
and up to five times the amount contributed, received, or spent in violation of the applicable
provision of this article. Candidates shall be personally liable for penalties imposed upon the
candidate’s committee.
(2) (a) The appropriate officer shall impose a penalty of fifty dollars per day for each day
that a statement or other information required to be filed pursuant to section 5, section 6, or
section 7 of this article, or sections 1-45-108, 1-45-109 or 1-45-110, C.R.S., or any successor
sections, is not filed by the close of business on the day due. Upon imposition of a penalty
pursuant to this subsection (2), the appropriate officer shall send the person upon whom the
penalty is being imposed proper notification by certified mail of the imposition of the penalty. If
an electronic mail address is on file with the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall also
provide such notification by electronic mail. Revenues collected from fees and penalties assessed
by the secretary of state or revenues collected in the form of payment of the secretary of state’s
attorney fees and costs pursuant to this article shall be deposited in the department of state cash
fund created in section 24-21-104 (3), C.R.S., or any successor section.
(b) (I) Any person required to file a report with the secretary of state and upon whom a
penalty has been imposed pursuant to this subsection (2) may appeal such penalty by filing a
written appeal with the secretary of state no later than thirty days after the date on which
notification of the imposition of the penalty was mailed to such person’s last known address in
accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection (2). Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this
subsection (2), the secretary shall refer the appeal to an administrative law judge. Any hearing
conducted by an administrative law judge pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be conducted in
accordance with the provisions of section 24-4-105, C.R.S., or any successor section. The
administrative law judge shall set aside or reduce the penalty upon a showing of good cause, and
the person filing the appeal shall bear the burden of proof. The decision of the administrative law
judge shall be final and subject to review by the court of appeals pursuant to section 24-4-106
(11), C.R.S., or any successor section.
(II) If the administrative law judge finds that the filing of an appeal brought pursuant to
subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) was frivolous, groundless, or vexatious, the administrative
law judge shall order the person filing the appeal to pay reasonable attorney fees and costs of the
secretary of state in connection with such proceeding.
(c) Upon receipt by the secretary of state of an appeal pursuant to paragraph (b) of this
subsection (2), the secretary shall set aside or reduce the penalty upon a showing of good cause.
(d) Any unpaid debt owing to the state resulting from a penalty imposed pursuant to this
subsection (2) shall be collected by the state in accordance with the requirements of section 24-
30-202.4, C.R.S., or any successor section.
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(3) Failure to comply with the provisions of this article shall have no effect on the
validity of any election.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3608. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 11. Conflicting provisions declared inapplicable. Any provisions in the
statutes of this state in conflict or inconsistent with this article are hereby declared to be
inapplicable to the matters covered and provided for in this article.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3609. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 12. Repeal of conflicting statutory provisions. Sections 1-45-103, 1-45-105.3,
1-45-107, 1-45-111, and 1-45-113 are repealed.
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3609. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 13. APPLICABILITY AND EFFECTIVE DATE. The provisions of this
article shall take effect on December 6, 2002, and be applicable for all elections thereafter,
except that the provisions of this article concerning sole source government contracts shall take
effect on December 31, 2008. Legislation may be enacted to facilitate its operation, but in no
way limiting or restricting the provisions of this article or the powers herein granted.
Editor’s note: This section was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note following
this section).
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3609. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading. Initiated 2008: Entire section
amended, effective December 31, 2008, see L. 2009, p. 3381.
Editor’s note: (1) In 2008, Amendment 54 amended § 13 of this article creating an
exception to the effective date stating that the provisions of this article amended or added by
Amendment 54 concerning sole source government contracts are effective December 31, 2008;
however the Governor’s proclamation date on Amendment 54 was January 8, 2009.
(2) In the case of Dallman v. Ritter, the Denver District Court declared the provisions of
this section unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of
Amendment 54 (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)). The Colorado Supreme
Court affirmed the district court’s ruling (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)).
Section 14. Severability. If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any
person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or
applications of the article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application,
and to this end the provisions of this article are declared to be severable.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 191 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Source: Initiated 2002: Entire article added, L. 2003, p. 3609. For the effective date of
this article, see the editor’s note following the article heading.
Section 15. Because of a presumption of impropriety between contributions to any
campaign and sole source government contracts, contract holders shall contractually agree, for
the duration of the contract and for two years thereafter, to cease making, causing to be made, or
inducing by any means, a contribution, directly or indirectly, on behalf of the contract holder or
on behalf of his or her immediate family member and for the benefit of any political party or for
the benefit of any candidate for any elected office of the state or any of its political subdivisions.
Editor’s note: This section was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note following
this section).
Source: Initiated 2008: Entire section added, effective December 31, 2008, see L. 2009,
p. 3380.
Editor’s note: (1) In 2008, Amendment 54 amended § 13 of this article creating an
exception to the effective date stating that the provisions of this article amended or added by
Amendment 54 concerning sole source government contracts are effective December 31, 2008;
however the Governor’s proclamation date on Amendment 54 was January 8, 2009.
(2) In the case of Dallman v. Ritter, the Denver District Court declared the provisions of
this section unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of
Amendment 54 (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)). The Colorado Supreme
Court affirmed the district court’s ruling (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)).
(3) This section did not contain a headnote as it appeared on the ballot.
Section 16. To aid in enforcement of this measure concerning sole source contracts, the
executive director of the department of personnel shall promptly publish and maintain a
summary of each sole source government contract issued. Any contract holder of a sole source
government contract shall promptly prepare and deliver to the executive director of the
department of personnel a true and correct “Government Contract Summary,” in digital format as
prescribed by that office, which shall identify the names and addresses of the contract holders
and all other parties to the government contract, briefly describe the nature of the contract and
goods or services performed, disclose the start and end date of the contract, disclose the
contract’s estimated amount or rate of payment, disclose the sources of payment, and disclose
other information as determined by the executive director of the department of personnel which
is not in violation of federal law, trade secrets or intellectual property rights. The executive
director of the department of personnel is hereby given authority to promulgate rules to facilitate
this section.
Editor’s note: This section was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note following
this section).
Source: Initiated 2008: Entire section added, effective December 31, 2008, see L. 2009,
p. 3380.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 192 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Editor’s note: (1) In 2008, Amendment 54 amended § 13 of this article creating an
exception to the effective date stating that the provisions of this article amended or added by
Amendment 54 concerning sole source government contracts are effective December 31, 2008;
however the Governor’s proclamation date on Amendment 54 was January 8, 2009.
(2) In the case of Dallman v. Ritter, the Denver District Court declared the provisions of
this section unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of
Amendment 54 (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)). The Colorado Supreme
Court affirmed the district court’s ruling (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)).
(3) This section did not contain a headnote as it appeared on the ballot.
Section 17. (1) Every sole source government contract by the state or any of its political
subdivisions shall incorporate article XXVIII, section 15, into the contract. Any person who
intentionally accepts contributions on behalf of a candidate committee, political committee,
small donor committee, political party, or other entity, in violation of section 15 has engaged in
corrupt misconduct and shall pay restitution to the general treasury of the contracting
governmental entity to compensate the governmental entity for all costs and expenses associated
with the breach, including costs and losses involved in securing a new contract if that becomes
necessary. If a person responsible for the bookkeeping of an entity that has a sole source contract
with a governmental entity, or if a person acting on behalf of the governmental entity, obtains
knowledge of a contribution made or accepted in violation of section 15, and that person
intentionally fails to notify the secretary of state or appropriate government officer about the
violation in writing within ten business days of learning of such contribution, then that person
may be contractually liable in an amount up to the above restitution.
(2) Any person who makes or causes to be made any contribution intended to promote or
influence the result of an election on a ballot issue shall not be qualified to enter into a sole
source government contract relating to that particular ballot issue.
(3) The parties shall agree that if a contract holder intentionally violates section 15 or
section 17 (2), as contractual damages that contract holder shall be ineligible to hold any sole
source government contract, or public employment with the state or any of its political
subdivisions, for three years. The governor may temporarily suspend any remedy under this
section during a declared state of emergency.
(4) Knowing violation of section 15 or section 17 (2) by an elected or appointed official
is grounds for removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit
in the state, and shall constitute misconduct or malfeasance.
(5) A registered voter of the state may enforce section 15 or section 17 (2) by filing a
complaint for injunctive or declaratory relief or for civil damages and remedies, if appropriate, in
the district court.
Editor’s note: This section was declared unconstitutional (see the editor’s note following
this section).
Source: Initiated 2008: Entire section added, effective December 31, 2008, see L. 2009,
p. 3380.
Editor’s note: (1) In 2008, Amendment 54 amended § 13 of this article creating an
exception to the effective date stating that the provisions of this article amended or added by
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 193 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Amendment 54 concerning sole source government contracts are effective December 31, 2008;
however the Governor’s proclamation date on Amendment 54 was January 8, 2009.
(2) In the case of Dallman v. Ritter, the Denver District Court declared the provisions of
this section unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of
Amendment 54 (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)). The Colorado Supreme
Court affirmed the district court’s ruling (see Dallman v. Ritter, 225 P.3d 610 (Colo. 2010)).
(3) This section did not contain a headnote as it appeared on the ballot.
ARTICLE XXIX
Ethics in Government
Law reviews: For article, “The Colorado Constitution in the New Century”, see 78 U.
Colo. L. Rev. 1265 (2007); for article, “The Practitioner’s Guide to Amendment 41 and the
Colorado Independent Ethics Commission”, see 38 Colo. Law. 37 (Oct. 2009); for article,
“Amendment 41: Ethics in Government”, see 39 Colo. Law. 29 (Dec. 2010); for article,
“Lawyers Who Lobby: Cautions and Considerations”, see 45 Colo. Law. 41 (April 2016).
Section 1. Purposes and findings. (1) The people of the state of Colorado hereby find
and declare that:
(a) The conduct of public officers, members of the general assembly, local government
officials, and government employees must hold the respect and confidence of the people;
(b) They shall carry out their duties for the benefit of the people of the state;
(c) They shall, therefore, avoid conduct that is in violation of their public trust or that
creates a justifiable impression among members of the public that such trust is being violated;
(d) Any effort to realize personal financial gain through public office other than
compensation provided by law is a violation of that trust; and
(e) To ensure propriety and to preserve public confidence, they must have the benefit of
specific standards to guide their conduct, and of a penalty mechanism to enforce those standards.
(2) The people of the state of Colorado also find and declare that there are certain costs
associated with holding public office and that to ensure the integrity of the office, such costs of a
reasonable and necessary nature should be born by the state or local government.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2955, December 31, 2006.
Section 2. Definitions. As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Government employee” means any employee, including independent contractors, of
the state executive branch, the state legislative branch, a state agency, a public institution of
higher education, or any local government, except a member of the general assembly or a public
officer.
(2) “Local government” means county or municipality.
(3) “Local government official” means an elected or appointed official of a local
government but does not include an employee of a local government.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 194 of 204 Uncertified Printout
(4) “Person” means any individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, limited
liability company, partnership, labor organization, association, political party, committee, or
other legal entity.
(5) “Professional lobbyist” means any individual who engages himself or herself or is
engaged by any other person for pay or for any consideration for lobbying. “Professional
lobbyist” does not include any volunteer lobbyist, any state official or employee acting in his or
her official capacity, except those designated as lobbyists as provided by law, any elected public
official acting in his or her official capacity, or any individual who appears as counsel or advisor
in an adjudicatory proceeding.
(6) “Public officer” means any elected officer, including all statewide elected
officeholders, the head of any department of the executive branch, and elected and appointed
members of state boards and commissions. “Public officer” does not include a member of the
general assembly, a member of the judiciary, any local government official, or any member of a
board, commission, council or committee who receives no compensation other than a per diem
allowance or necessary and reasonable expenses.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2955, December 31, 2006.
Section 3. Gift ban. (1) No public officer, member of the general assembly, local
government official, or government employee shall accept or receive any money, forbearance, or
forgiveness of indebtedness from any person, without such person receiving lawful consideration
of equal or greater value in return from the public officer, member of the general assembly, local
government official, or government employee who accepted or received the money, forbearance
or forgiveness of indebtedness.
(2) No public officer, member of the general assembly, local government official, or
government employee, either directly or indirectly as the beneficiary of a gift or thing of value
given to such person’s spouse or dependent child, shall solicit, accept or receive any gift or other
thing of value having either a fair market value or aggregate actual cost greater than fifty dollars
($50) in any calendar year, including but not limited to, gifts, loans, rewards, promises or
negotiations of future employment, favors or services, honoraria, travel, entertainment, or special
discounts, from a person, without the person receiving lawful consideration of equal or greater
value in return from the public officer, member of the general assembly, local government
official, or government employee who solicited, accepted or received the gift or other thing of
value.
(3) The prohibitions in subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply if the gift or
thing of value is:
(a) A campaign contribution as defined by law;
(b) An unsolicited item of trivial value less than fifty dollars ($50), such as a pen,
calendar, plant, book, note pad or other similar item;
(c) An unsolicited token or award of appreciation in the form of a plaque, trophy, desk
item, wall memento, or similar item;
(d) Unsolicited informational material, publications, or subscriptions related to the
recipient’s performance of official duties;
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 195 of 204 Uncertified Printout
(e) Admission to, and the cost of food or beverages consumed at, a reception, meal or
meeting by an organization before whom the recipient appears to speak or to answer questions as
part of a scheduled program;
(f) Reasonable expenses paid by a nonprofit organization or other state or local
government for attendance at a convention, fact-finding mission or trip, or other meeting if the
person is scheduled to deliver a speech, make a presentation, participate on a panel, or represent
the state or local government, provided that the non-profit organization receives less than five
percent (5%) of its funding from for-profit organizations or entities;
(g) Given by an individual who is a relative or personal friend of the recipient on a
special occasion.
(h) A component of the compensation paid or other incentive given to the recipient in the
normal course of employment.
(4) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section to the contrary, and excepting
campaign contributions as defined by law, no professional lobbyist, personally or on behalf of
any other person or entity, shall knowingly offer, give, or arrange to give, to any public officer,
member of the general assembly, local government official, or government employee, or to a
member of such person’s immediate family, any gift or thing of value, of any kind or nature, nor
knowingly pay for any meal, beverage, or other item to be consumed by such public officer,
member of the general assembly, local government official or government employee, whether or
not such gift or meal, beverage or other item to be consumed is offered, given or paid for in the
course of such lobbyist’s business or in connection with a personal or social event; provided,
however, that a professional lobbyist shall not be prohibited from offering or giving to a public
officer, member of the general assembly, local government official or government employee
who is a member of his or her immediate family any such gift, thing of value, meal, beverage or
other item.
(5) The general assembly shall make any conforming amendments to the reporting and
disclosure requirements for public officers, members of the general assembly and professional
lobbyists, as provided by law, to comply with the requirements set forth in this section.
(6) The fifty-dollar ($50) limit set forth in subsection (2) of this section shall be adjusted
by an amount based upon the percentage change over a four-year period in the United States
bureau of labor statistics consumer price index for Denver- Boulder-Greeley, all items, all
consumers, or its successor index, rounded to the nearest lowest dollar. The first adjustment shall
be done in the first quarter of 2011 and then every four years thereafter.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2956, December 31, 2006.
Editor’s note: In accordance with § 3(6), the Independent Ethics Commission issued
Position Statement 15-01 on March 9, 2015, increasing the gift-ban limit to fifty-nine dollars
($59), effective until the first quarter of 2019. For previous adjustments of the gift-ban limit in
accordance with § 3(6), see III. of the Annotations below.
Section 4. Restrictions on representation after leaving office. No statewide elected
officeholder or member of the general assembly shall personally represent another person or
entity for compensation before any other statewide elected officeholder or member of the general
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 196 of 204 Uncertified Printout
assembly, for a period of two years following vacation of office. Further restrictions on public
officers or members of the general assembly and similar restrictions on other public officers,
local government officials or government employees may be established by law.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2958, December 31, 2006.
Section 5. Independent ethics commission. (1) There is hereby created an independent
ethics commission to be composed of five members. The purpose of the independent ethics
commission shall be to hear complaints, issue findings, and assess penalties, and also to issue
advisory opinions, on ethics issues arising under this article and under any other standards of
conduct and reporting requirements as provided by law. The independent ethics commission
shall have authority to adopt such reasonable rules as may be necessary for the purpose of
administering and enforcing the provisions of this article and any other standards of conduct and
reporting requirements as provided by law. The general assembly shall appropriate reasonable
and necessary funds to cover staff and administrative expenses to allow the independent ethics
commission to carry out its duties pursuant to this article. Members of the commission shall
receive no compensation for their services on the commission.
(2) (a) Members of the independent ethics commission shall be appointed in the
following manner and order:
(I) One member shall be appointed by the Colorado senate;
(II) One member shall be appointed by the Colorado house of representatives;
(III) One member shall be appointed by the governor of the state of Colorado;
(IV) One member shall be appointed by the chief justice of the Colorado supreme court;
and
(V) One member shall be either a local government official or a local government
employee appointed by the affirmative vote of at least three of the four members appointed
pursuant to subparagraphs (I) to (IV) of this paragraph (a).
(b) No more than two members shall be affiliated with the same political party.
(c) Each of the five members shall be registered Colorado voters and shall have been
continuously registered with the same political party, or continuously unaffiliated with any
political party, for at least two years prior to appointment to the commission.
(d) Members of the independent ethics commission shall be appointed to terms of four
years; except that, the first member appointed by the Colorado senate and the first member
appointed by the governor of the state of Colorado shall initially serve two year terms to achieve
staggered ending dates.
(e) If a member is appointed to fill an unexpired term, that member’s term shall end at the
same time as the term of the person being replaced.
(f) Each member shall continue to serve until a successor has been appointed, except that
if a member is unable or unwilling to continue to serve until a successor has been appointed, the
original appointing authority as described in this subsection shall fill the vacancy promptly.
(3) (a) Any person may file a written complaint with the independent ethics commission
asking whether a public officer, member of the general assembly, local government official, or
government employee has failed to comply with this article or any other standards of conduct or
reporting requirements as provided by law within the preceding twelve months.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 197 of 204 Uncertified Printout
(b) The commission may dismiss frivolous complaints without conducting a public
hearing. Complaints dismissed as frivolous shall be maintained confidential by the commission.
(c) The commission shall conduct an investigation, hold a public hearing, and render
findings on each non-frivolous complaint pursuant to written rules adopted by the commission.
(d) The commission may assess penalties for violations as prescribed by this article and
provided by law.
(e) There is hereby established a presumption that the findings shall be based on a
preponderance of evidence unless the commission determines that the circumstances warrant a
heightened standard.
(4) Members of the independent ethics commission shall have the power to subpoena
documents and to subpoena witnesses to make statements and produce documents.
(5) Any public officer, member of the general assembly, local government official, or
government employee may submit a written request to the independent ethics commission for an
advisory opinion on whether any conduct by that person would constitute a violation of this
article, or any other standards of conduct or reporting requirements as provided by law. The
commission shall render an advisory opinion pursuant to written rules adopted by the
commission.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2958, December 31, 2006.
Editor’s note: In accordance with § 3(6) of this article, the Independent Ethics
Commission issued Position Statement 15-01 on March 9, 2015, increasing the gift-ban limit to
sixty-five dollars ($65), effective until the first quarter of 2019. For previous adjustments of the
gift-ban limit in accordance with § 3(6) of this article, see III. of the Annotations under that
section.
Section 6. Penalty. Any public officer, member of the general assembly, local
government official or government employee who breaches the public trust for private gain and
any person or entity inducing such breach shall be liable to the state or local jurisdiction for
double the amount of the financial equivalent of any benefits obtained by such actions. The
manner of recovery and additional penalties may be provided by law.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2960, December 31, 2006.
Section 7. Counties and municipalities. Any county or municipality may adopt
ordinances or charter provisions with respect to ethics matters that are more stringent than any of
the provisions contained in this article. The requirements of this article shall not apply to home
rule counties or home rule municipalities that have adopted charters, ordinances, or resolutions
that address the matters covered by this article.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2960, December 31, 2006.
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Section 8. Conflicting provisions declared inapplicable. Any provisions in the statutes
of this state in conflict or inconsistent with this article are hereby declared to be preempted by
this article and inapplicable to the matters covered by and provided for in this article.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2960, December 31, 2006.
Section 9. Legislation to facilitate article. Legislation may be enacted to facilitate the
operation of this article, but in no way shall such legislation limit or restrict the provisions of this
article or the powers herein granted.
Source: Initiated 2006: Entire article added, effective upon proclamation of the
Governor, L. 2007, p. 2960, December 31, 2006.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 199 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Schedule
Editor’s note: The entire schedule was added, effective August 1, 1876, see L. 1877, pp.
75 through 85.
That no inconvenience may arise by reason of the change in the form of government, it is
hereby ordained and declared:
Section 1. All laws remain till repealed. That all laws in force at the adoption of this
constitution shall, so far as not inconsistent therewith, remain of the same force as if this
constitution had not been adopted, until they expire by their own limitation or are altered or
repealed by the general assembly; and all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims and contracts of
the territory of Colorado, counties, individuals or bodies corporate (not inconsistent therewith)
shall continue as if the form of government had not been changed and this constitution adopted.
Section 2. Contracts – recognizances – indictments. That all recognizances, obligations
and all other instruments entered into or executed before the admission of the state, to the
territory of Colorado, or to any county, school district or other municipality therein, or any
officer thereof, and all fines, taxes, penalties and forfeitures due or owing to the territory of
Colorado, or any such county, school district or municipality, or officer; and all writs,
prosecutions, actions and causes of action, except as herein otherwise provided, shall continue
and remain unaffected by the change of the form of government. All indictments which shall
have been found, or may hereafter be found, and all informations which shall have been filed, or
may hereafter be filed, for any crime or offense committed before this constitution takes effect,
may be proceeded upon as if no change had taken place, except as otherwise provided in the
constitution.
Cross references: See the preceding section and the notes thereto.
Section 3. Territorial property vests in state. That all property, real and personal, and
all moneys, credits, claims and choses in action, belonging to the territory of Colorado at the
adoption of this constitution, shall be vested in and become the property of the state of Colorado.
Section 4. Duty of general assembly. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary
to carry into effect the provisions of this constitution.
Section 5. Supreme and district courts – transition. Whenever any two of the judges of
the supreme court of the state elected or appointed under the provisions of this constitution shall
have qualified in their office, the causes theretofore pending in the supreme court of the territory,
and the papers, records and proceedings of said court, and the seal and other property pertaining
thereto, shall pass into the jurisdiction and possession of the supreme court of the state; and until
so superseded the supreme court of the territory and the judges thereof shall continue with like
powers and jurisdiction as if this constitution had not been adopted. Whenever the judge of the
district court of any district elected or appointed under the provisions of this constitution, shall
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 200 of 204 Uncertified Printout
have qualified in his office, the several causes theretofore pending in the district court of the
territory, within any county in such district, and the records, papers and proceedings of said
district court, and the seal and other property pertaining thereto shall pass into the jurisdiction
and possession of the district court of the state, for such county, and until the district courts of
the territory shall be superseded in manner aforesaid, the said district courts and the judges
thereof shall continue with the same jurisdiction and powers to be exercised in the same judicial
districts respectively as heretofore constituted under the laws of the territory.
Section 6. Judges – district attorneys – term commence on filing oath. The terms of
office of the several judges of the supreme and district courts and the district attorneys of the
several judicial districts first elected under this constitution, shall commence from the day of
filing their respective oaths of office in the office of the secretary of state.
Section 7. Seals of supreme and district courts. Until otherwise provided by law, the
seals now in use in the supreme and district courts of this territory are hereby declared to be the
seals of the supreme and district courts respectively of the state.
Section 8. Probate court – county court. Whenever this constitution shall go into effect,
the books, records, papers and proceedings of the probate court in each county, and all causes
and matters of administration pending therein, shall pass into the jurisdiction and possession of
the county court of the same county, and the said county court shall proceed to final decree or
judgment, order or other determination, in the said several matters and causes, as the said
probate court might have done if this constitution had not been adopted. And until the election of
the county judges provided for in this constitution, the probate judges shall act as judges of the
county courts within their respective counties, and the seal of the probate court in each county
shall be the seal of the county court therein until the said court shall have procured a proper seal.
Section 9. Terms probate court, probate judge, apply to county court, county judge.
The terms “Probate Court” or “Probate Judge”, whenever occurring in the statutes of Colorado
territory, shall, after the adoption of this constitution, be held to apply to the county court or
county judge, and all laws specially applicable to the probate court in any county, shall be
construed to apply to and be in force as to the county court in the same county, until repealed.
Section 10. County and precinct officers. All county and precinct officers, who may be
in office at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall hold their respective offices for the
full time for which they may have been elected, and until such time as their successors may be
elected and qualified in accordance with the provisions of this constitution, and the official
bonds of all such officers shall continue in full force and effect as though this constitution had
not been adopted.
Section 11. Vacancies in county offices. All county offices that may become vacant
during the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six by the expiration of the term of the persons
elected to said offices, shall be filled at the general election on the first Tuesday in October in the
year eighteen hundred and seventy-six, and, except county commissioners, the persons so elected
shall hold their respective offices for the term of one year.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 201 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Section 12. Constitution takes effect on president’s proclamation. The provisions of
this constitution shall be in force from the day on which the president of the United States shall
issue his proclamation declaring the state of Colorado admitted into the Union; and the governor,
secretary, treasurer, auditor and superintendent of public instruction of the territory of Colorado
shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices after the admission of the state
into the Union, until the qualification of the officers elected or appointed under the state
government; and said officers, for the time they may serve, shall receive the same compensation
as the state officers shall by law be paid for like services.
Editor’s note: The proclamation declaring the state of Colorado admitted into the United
States of America was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on August 1, 1876. See General
Laws of Colorado, November 1877, pages 85 and 86.
Section 13. First election, contest. In case of a contest of election between candidates, at
the first general election under this constitution, for judges of the supreme, district or county
courts, or district attorneys, the evidence shall be taken in the manner prescribed by territorial
law; and the testimony so taken shall be certified to the secretary of state, and said officer,
together with the governor and attorney-general, shall review the testimony and determine who
is entitled to the certificate of election.
Section 14. First election – canvass. The votes at the first general election under this
constitution for the several officers provided for in this constitution who are to be elected at the
first election shall be canvassed in the manner prescribed by the territorial law for canvassing
votes for like officers. The votes cast for the judges of the supreme and district courts and district
attorneys shall be canvassed by the county canvassing board in the manner prescribed by the
territorial law for canvassing the votes for members of the general assembly; and the county
clerk shall transmit the abstracts of votes to the secretary of the territory acting as secretary of
state, under the same regulations as are prescribed by law for sending the abstracts of votes for
territorial officers; and the aforesaid acting secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, or any two of
them, in the presence of the governor, shall proceed to canvass the votes, under the regulations
of sections thirty-five and thirty-six of chapter twenty-eight of the Revised Statutes of Colorado
Territory.
Section 15. Senators – representatives – districts. Senators and members of the house
of representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the several senatorial and
representative districts as established in this constitution until such districts shall be changed by
law; and thereafter by the qualified electors of the several districts as the same shall be
established by law.
Section 16. Congressional election – canvass. The votes cast for representatives in
congress at the first election held under this constitution shall be canvassed and the result
determined in the manner provided by the laws of the territory for the canvass of votes for
delegate in congress.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 202 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Section 17. General assembly, first session – restrictions removed. The provision of
the constitution that no bill, except the general appropriation bill introduced in either house after
the first twenty-five days of the session shall become a law, shall not apply to the first session of
the general assembly; but no bill introduced in either house at the first session of the general
assembly after the first fifty days thereof shall become a law.
Section 18. First general election – canvass. A copy of the abstracts of the votes cast at
the first general election held under this constitution shall by the county clerks of the several
counties be returned to the secretary of the territory immediately after the canvass of said votes
in their several counties; and the secretary, auditor and treasurer of the territory, or any two of
them, shall on the twenty-fifth day after the election, meet at the seat of government and proceed
to canvass the votes cast for members of the general assembly and determine the result thereof.
Section 19. Presidential electors, 1876. The general assembly shall, at their first session,
immediately after the organization of the two houses and after the canvass of the votes for
officers of the executive department, and before proceeding to other business, provide by act or
joint resolution for the appointment by said general assembly of electors in the electoral college,
and such joint resolution or the bill for such enactment may be passed without being printed or
referred to any committee, or read on more than one day in either house, and shall take effect
immediately after the concurrence of the two houses therein, and the approval of the governor
thereto shall not be necessary.
Section 20. Presidential electors after 1876. The general assembly shall provide that
after the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six the electors of the electoral college shall be
chosen by direct vote of the people.
Section 21. Expenses of convention. The general assembly shall have power at their
first session to provide for the payment of the expenses of this convention if any there be then
remaining unpaid.
Section 22. Recognizances, bonds, payable to people continue. All recognizances, bail
bonds, official bonds and other obligations or undertakings, which have been, or at any time
before the admission of the state shall be made or entered into, and expressed to be payable to
the people of the territory of Colorado, shall continue in full force notwithstanding the change in
the form of government, and any breach thereof, whenever occurring, may after the admission of
the state be prosecuted, in the name of the people of the state.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 203 of 204 Uncertified Printout
Done in Convention at the city of Denver, Colorado, this fourteenth day of March in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, and of the Independence of the United
States the one hundredth.
In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names.
J. C. WILSON, President.
H.P.H. BROMWELL, WM. R. KENNEDY,
CASIMIRO BARELA, WM. LEE,
GEORGE BOYLES, ALVIN MARSH,
W.E. BECK, WM. H. MEYER,
BYRON L. CARR, S.J. PLUMB,
WM. H. CUSHMAN, GEO. PEASE,
WILLIAM M. CLARK, ROBERT A. QUILLIAN,
A.D. COOPER, LEWIS C. ROCKWELL,
HENRY R. CROSBY, WILBUR F. STONE,
ROBERT DOUGLAS, WILLIAM C. STOVER,
LEWIS C. ELLSWORTH, HENRY C. THATCHER,
CLARENCE P. ELDER, AGAPITO VIGIL,
F.J. EBERT, W.W. WEBSTER,
WILLARD B. FELTON, GEORGE G. WHITE,
JESUS Ma GARCIA, EBENEZER T. WELLS,
DANIEL HURD, P.P. WILCOX,
JOHN S. HOUGH, JOHN S. WHEELER,
LAFAYETTE HEAD, J.W. WIDERFIELD,
WM. H. JAMES, ABRAM KNOX YOUNT.
Attest:
W.W. COULSON, Secretary.
HERBERT STANLEY, 1st Assistant Secretary.
H.A. TERPENNING, 2nd Assistant Secretary.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2021 Page 204 of 204 Uncertified Printout

C.R.S. 1-1-202
COLORADO REVISED STATUTES
*** Titles 1 through 11, 13 to 17, 19 through 21, 23, 25 through 38, and 40 through 43 of the Colorado Statutes have been updated and are current through all laws passed during the 2016 Legislative Session, subject to final review by the Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services. The remainder of the titles are current through all laws passed during the 2015 Legislative Session and are in the process of being updated. ***
TITLE 1. ELECTIONS
GENERAL, PRIMARY, RECALL, AND CONGRESSIONAL VACANCY ELECTIONS
ARTICLE 1.ELECTIONS GENERALLY
PART 2. TERMS OF OFFICE
C.R.S. 1-1-202 (2016)
1-1-202. Commencement of terms – nonpartisan officers
C.R.C.P. 30

COLORADO COURT RULES
Copyright (c) 2016 by Matthew Bender & Company Inc.
All rights reserved
*** This document reflects changes received through April 14, 2016 ***
COLORADO RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 4 DISCLOSURE AND DISCOVERY
C.R.C.P. 30 (2016)
Rule 30. Depositions Upon Oral Examination.

(a) When Depositions May Be Taken. (1) Subject to the provisions of C.R.C.P. Rules 26(b)(2)(A) and 26(d), a party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon oral examination without leave of court except as provided in paragraph (2) of this section. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by subpoena as provided in C.R.C.P. 45.

(2) Leave of court must be obtained pursuant to C.R.C.P. Rules 16(b)(1) and 26(b) if:

(A) A proposed deposition, if taken, would result in more depositions than set forth in the Case Management Order;

(B) The person to be examined already has been deposed in the case;

(C) A party seeks to take a deposition before the time specified in C.R.C.P. 26(d) unless the notice contains a certification, with supporting facts, that the person to be examined is expected to leave the state and be unavailable for examination within the state if the person’s deposition is not taken before the expiration of such time period; or

(D) The person to be examined is confined in prison.

(b) Notice of Examination: General Requirements; Method of Recording; Production of Documents and Things; Deposition of Organization; Deposition by Telephone. (1) Consistent with C.R.C.P. 121, sec. 1-12, a party desiring to take the deposition of any person upon oral examination shall give reasonable notice in writing to every other party to the action. The notice shall state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, and, if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced as set forth in the subpoena shall be attached to or included in the notice.

(2) The party taking the deposition shall state in the notice the method by which the testimony shall be recorded, which, unless the court otherwise orders, may be by sound, sound-and-visual, or stenographic means. Unless the court otherwise orders, the party taking the deposition shall bear the cost of the recording.

(3) Any party may provide for a transcription to be made from the recording of a deposition taken by non-stenographic means. With reasonable prior notice to the deponent and other parties, any party may designate another method of recording the testimony of the deponent in addition to the method specified by the person taking the deposition. Unless the court otherwise orders, each party designating an additional method of recording the testimony of a deponent shall bear the cost thereof.

(4) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, a deposition shall be conducted before an officer appointed or designated pursuant to C.R.C.P. 28 and shall begin with a statement on the record by the officer that includes (a) the officer’s name and business address; (b) the date, time, and place of the deposition; (c) the name of the deponent; (d) the administration of the oath or affirmation to the deponent; and (e) an identification of all persons present. If the deposition is recorded other than stenographically, items (a) through (c) shall be repeated at the beginning of each unit of recorded tape or other recording medium. The appearance or demeanor of deponents or attorneys shall not be distorted by the use of camera or sound-recording techniques. At the conclusion of the deposition, the officer shall state on the record that the deposition is complete and shall set forth any stipulations made by counsel concerning the custody of the transcript or recording, the exhibits, or other pertinent matters.

(5) The notice to a party deponent may be accompanied by a request made in compliance with Rule 34 for the production of documents and tangible things at the taking of the deposition. The procedure of Rule 34 shall apply to the request.

(6) A party may in his notice name as the deponent a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency and designate with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. The organization so named shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which he will testify. The persons so designated shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization. This subsection (b)(6) does not preclude taking a deposition by any other procedure authorized in these rules.

(7) The parties may stipulate in writing or the court may upon motion order that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote electronic means. For the purposes of this rule and C.R.C.P. Rules 28(a)37(a)(1), and 37(b)(1), a deposition taken by telephone or other remote electronic means is taken at the place where the deponent is to answer questions propounded to the deponent. The stipulation or order shall include the manner of recording the proceeding.

(c) Examination and Cross-Examination; Record of Examination; Oath; Objections. Examination and cross-examination of witnesses may proceed as permitted at the trial under the provisions of the Colorado Rules of Evidence except CRE 103. The witness shall be put under oath or affirmation and the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall personally, or by someone acting under the officer’s direction and in the officer’s presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically or recorded by any other method authorized by subsection (b)(2) of this Rule.

All objections made at the time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, to the manner of taking it, to the evidence presented, to the conduct of any party, or in any other respect to the proceedings shall be noted by the officer upon the record of the deposition. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections. In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party taking the deposition and the party taking the deposition shall transmit them to the officer, who shall propound them to the witness and record the answers verbatim.

(d) Schedule and Duration; Motion to Terminate or Limit Examination. (1) Any objection during a deposition shall be stated concisely and in a non-argumentative and non-suggestive manner. An instruction not to answer may be made during a deposition only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation directed by the court, or to present a motion pursuant to subsection (d)(3) of this Rule.

(2) (A) Unless otherwise authorized by the court or stipulated by the parties, a deposition of a person other than a retained expert disclosed pursuant to C.R.C.P. 26(a)(2)(B)(I) whose opinions may be offered at trial is limited to one day of 6 hours. Upon the motion of any party, the court may limit the time permitted for the conduct of a deposition to less than 6 hours, or may allow additional time if needed for a fair examination of the deponent and consistent with C.R.C.P. 26(b)(2), or if the deponent or another person impedes or delays the examination, or if other circumstances warrant. If the court finds such an impediment, delay, or other conduct that frustrates the fair examination of the deponent, it may impose upon the person responsible therefor an appropriate sanction, including the reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred by any parties as a result thereof.

(B) Depositions of a retained expert disclosed pursuant to C.R.C.P. 26(a)(2)(B)(I) whose opinions may be offered at trial are governed by C.R.C.P. 26(b)(4).

(3) At any time during the taking of the deposition, on motion of any party or of the deponent and upon a showing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the deponent or party, the court in which the action is pending or the court in the district where the deposition is being taken may order the officer conducting the examination to cease forthwith from taking the deposition, or may limit the scope and manner of the taking of the deposition as provided in C.R.C.P. 26(c). If the order made terminates the examination, it may be resumed thereafter only upon the order of the court in which the action is pending. Upon demand of the objecting party or deponent, the taking of the deposition shall be suspended for the time necessary to make a motion for an order. The provisions of C.R.C.P. 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.

(e) Review by Witness; Changes; Signing. If requested by the deponent or a party before completion of the deposition, the deponent shall be notified by the officer that the transcript or recording is available. Within 35 days of receipt of such notification the deponent shall review the transcript or recording and, if the deponent makes changes in the form or substance of the deposition, shall sign a statement reciting such changes and the deponent’s reasons for making them and send such statement to the officer. The officer shall indicate in the certificate prescribed by subsection (f)(1) of this rule whether any review was requested and, if so, shall append any changes made by the deponent.

(f) Certification and Filing by Officer; Exhibits; Copies; Notice of Filing. (1) The officer shall certify that the witness was duly sworn and that the deposition is a true record of the testimony given by the witness. This certificate shall be set forth in writing and accompany the record of the deposition. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the officer shall securely seal the deposition in an envelope or package endorsed with the title of the action and marked “deposition of (here insert name of witness)” and shall promptly transmit it to the attorney who arranged for the transcript or recording. The receiving attorney shall store the deposition under conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, tampering, or deterioration.

Documents and things produced for inspection during the examination of the witness shall, upon the request of a party, be marked for identification and annexed to and returned with the deposition and may be inspected and copied by any party, except that: if the person producing the materials desires to retain the originals, the person may

(A) offer copies to be marked for identification and annexed to the deposition and to serve thereafter as originals if the person affords to all parties fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparison with the originals, or

(B) offer the originals to be marked for identification, after giving each party an opportunity to inspect and copy them, in which event the materials may then be used in the same manner as if annexed to the deposition. Any party may move for an order that the original be annexed to and returned with the deposition to the court, pending final disposition of the case.

(2) Unless otherwise ordered by the court or agreed by the parties, the officer shall retain stenographic notes of any deposition taken stenographically or a copy of the recording of any deposition taken by another method. Upon payment of reasonable charges therefor, the officer shall furnish a copy of the transcript or other recording of the deposition to any party or to the deponent.

(g) Failure to Attend or to Serve Subpoena; Expenses. (1) If the party giving the notice of the taking of a deposition fails to attend and proceed therewith and another party attends in person or by attorney pursuant to the notice, the court may order the party giving the notice to pay to such other party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred by him and his attorney in so attending, including reasonable attorney’s fees.

(2) If the party giving the notice of the taking of a deposition of a witness fails to serve a subpoena upon him and the witness because of such failure does not attend, and if another party attends in person or by attorney because he expects the deposition of that witness to be taken, the court may order the party giving the notice to pay to such other party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred by him and his attorney in so attending, including reasonable attorney’s fees.

HISTORY: Source: (a), (b)(1) to (b)(4), (b)(7), (c), (d), (e), and (f) amended and adopted April 14, 1994, effective January 1, 1995, for all cases filed on or after that date; committee comment approved June 10, 1994; (a)(1) corrected and effective January 9, 1995; entire rule corrected and effective June 4, 2001; (d) amended and adopted November 15, 2001, effective January 1, 2002; (e) amended and adopted December 14, 2011, effective January 1, 2012, for all cases pending on or filed on or after January 1, 2012, pursuant to C.R.C.P. 1(b); (d)(2) and comments amended and adopted May 28, 2015, effective July 1, 2015, for cases filed on or after July 1, 2015.

Cross references: For service of process, see C.R.C.P. 4; for subpoena for depositions, see C.R.C.P. 45(e); for sanctions for failing to make disclosure or cooperate in discovery, see C.R.C.P. 37; for production of documents and things, see C.R.C.P. 34; for protective orders, see C.R.C.P. 26(c); for award of expenses of motion, see C.R.C.P. 37(a)(4); for effect of errors and irregularities in depositions concerning completion and return thereof, see C.R.C.P. 32(d)(4).

COMMENTS

1995

[1] Revised C.R.C.P. 30 is patterned in part after Fed.R.Civ.P. 30 as amended in 1993 and now interrelates with the differential case management features of C.R.C.P. 16 and C.R.C.P. 26. Because of mandatory disclosure, substantially less discovery is needed.

[2] A discovery schedule for the case is required by C.R.C.P. 16(b)(1)(IV). Under the requirements of that Rule, the parties must set forth in the Case Management Order the timing and number of depositions and the basis for the necessity of such discovery with attention to the presumptive limitation and standards set forth in C.R.C.P. 26(b)(2). There is also the requirement that counsel certify they have advised their clients of the estimated expenses and fees involved in the discovery. Discovery is thus tailored to the particular case. The parties in the first instance and ultimately the Court are responsible for setting reasonable limits and preventing abuse.

[3] Language in C.R.C.P. 30(c) and C.R.C.P. 30(f)(1) differs slightly from the language of Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(f)(1) to facilitate the taking of telephone depositions by eliminating the requirement that the officer recording the deposition be the person who administers the oath or affirmation.

2015

[4] Rule 30 is amended to reduce the time for ordinary depositions from 7 to 6 hours, so that they can be more easily accomplished in a normal business day.

ANNOTATION

I. General Consideration.
II. When May be Taken.
III. Notice.
IV. Motion to Terminate or Limit.
V. Submission to Witness.
VI. Certification and Filing.

I. GENERAL CONSIDERATION. Law reviews. For article, “Depositions of Parties on Oral Interrogatories, Within the State of Colorado”, see 10 Dicta 256 (1933). For article, “Use of Summary Judgments and the Discovery Procedure”, see 24 Dicta 193 (1947). For article, “Notes on Proposed Amendments to Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure”, see 27 Dicta 165 (1950). For article, “Amendments to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure”, see 28 Dicta 242 (1951). For article, “Depositions and Discovery, Rules 26 to 37”, see 28 Dicta 375 (1951). For article, “Depositions and Discovery: Rules 26-37”, see 23 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 562 (1951). For article, “One Year Review of Civil Procedure and Appeals”, see 39 Dicta 133 (1962). For article, “Plaintiff’s Advantageous Use of Discovery, Pre-Trial and Summary Judgment”, see 40 Den. L. Ctr. J. 192 (1963). For article, “A Deposition Primer, Part I: Setting Up the Deposition”, see 11 Colo. Law. 938 (1982). For article, “A Deposition Primer, Part II: At the Deposition”, see 11 Colo. Law. 1215 (1982). For article, “Securing the Attendance of a Witness at a Deposition”, see 15 Colo. Law. 2000 (1986). For article, “Alternative Depositions: Practice and Procedure”, see 19 Colo. Law. 57 (1990). For formal opinion of the Colorado Bar Association on Use of Subpoenas in Civil Proceedings, see 19 Colo. Law. 1556 (1990). For article, “Organizational Avatars: Preparing CRCP 30(b)(6) Deposition Witnesses”, see 43 Colo. Law. 39 (December 2014).

C.R.C.P. 26 to 37 must be construed together along with the requirement that plaintiff establish a prima facie case for punitive damages, as a condition precedent to the plaintiff’s right to discovery of defendant’s financial information. Leidholt v. District Court, 619 P.2d 768 (Colo. 1980).

Rules of civil procedure sanction use of all discovery methods and the frequency of use of these methods should not be limited unless there is a showing of good cause based on the particular circumstances of the case. Sanchez v. District Court, 624 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1981).

Civil discovery rules inapplicable to release hearings. Based on §§16-8-115 to 16-8-117 and on the special nonadversary nature of a release inquiry, the participants in release proceedings do not have the broad right of discovery as provided in the rules of civil procedure. People v. District Court, 192 Colo. 225, 557 P.2d 414 (1976).

Under C.R.C.P. 81(a), the procedure in release hearings under § 16-8-115 is so inconsistent and in conflict with the rules of civil procedure as to make civil discovery rules inapplicable to release hearings. People v. District Court, 192 Colo. 225, 557 P.2d 414 (1976).

It is in the trial court’s discretion whether a video deposition will be ordered absent agreement between the parties. Such a deposition, while it may be desirable under certain circumstances, is a luxury not a necessity. Cherry Creek Sch. Dist. v. Voelker, 859 P.2d 805 (Colo. 1993).

When choosing a subsection (b)(6) designee, companies have a duty to make a conscientious, good-faith effort to designate knowledgeable persons and to prepare them to fully and unevasively answer questions about the designated subject matter. The company should, if necessary, prepare deponents by having them review prior fact witness deposition testimony as well as documents and deposition exhibits. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. D&S Landscaping, LLC, 215 P.3d 1163 (Colo. App. 2008).

Allowing a company to designate a witness under subsection (b)(6) who is unprepared or not knowledgeable would simply defeat the purpose of the rule and sandbag the opposition. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. D&S Landscaping, LLC, 215 P.3d 1163 (Colo. App. 2008).

Where a corporation designates a deponent pursuant to subsection (b)(6) who is unable to answer all the questions specified in the notice, a court may issue sanctions for failure to appear under C.R.C.P. 37. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. D&S Landscaping, LLC, 215 P.3d 1163 (Colo. App. 2008).

Nothing in the rule or its interpretation suggests that persons who are designated and testify under subsection (b)(6) will not bind their corporate principal. Nothing in the rule precludes a principal from offering contrary or clarifying evidence where its designee has made an error or has no knowledge of a matter. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. D&S Landscaping, LLC, 215 P.3d 1163 (Colo. App. 2008).

A corporation should be excused from sanctions and granted a protective order where it had no means available to prepare a subsection (b)(6) designee. D.R. Horton, Inc. v. D&S Landscaping, LLC, 215 P.3d 1163 (Colo. App. 2008).

Not being listed under section (b)(6) does not disqualify a person from testifying, but rather being listed under section (b)(6) mandates that the witness’s testimony include certain subject matter and knowledge. Where county produced undesignated witnesses who were knowledgeable both as to the facts regarding the county and as to those at issue at trial, and defendant was aware of the witnesses and deposed them, trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing their testimony. Camp Bird Colo., Inc. v. Bd. of County Comm’rs of Ouray, 215 P.3d 1277 (Colo. App. 2009).

Applied in Seymour v. District Court, 196 Colo. 102, 581 P.2d 302 (1978); Peoples Natural Gas Div. v. Pub. Utils. Comm’n, 626 P.2d 159 (Colo. 1981); Ricci v. Davis, 627 P.2d 1111 (Colo. 1981); Falzon v. Home Ins. Co., 661 P.2d 696 (Colo. App. 1982); Black ex rel. Bayless v. Cullar, 665 P.2d 1029 (Colo. App. 1983).

II. WHEN MAY BE TAKEN. While this rule allows the taking of the deposition of “any person”, a court in a “habeas corpus” matter may properly restrict the taking of a deposition where its use relates not to the narrow issues of habeas corpus, but to broad range issues not relevant in a habeas corpus determination. Hithe v. Nelson, 172 Colo. 179, 471 P.2d 596 (1970).

III. NOTICE. Law reviews. For article, “In Defense of H.B. 109 — Re-serving Notice Before a Witness’s Deposition May Be Taken”, see 22 Dicta 152 (1945).

Section (b)(4) is identical to its federal counterpart F.R.C.P. 30(b)(4). Sanchez v. District Court, 624 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1981).

Purpose of section (b)(4) is to facilitate less expensive procedures as an alternative to the high cost of stenographic recording. Sanchez v. District Court, 624 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1981).

Motion and notice for which provision is made in this rule must be made and served prior to the time specified in the notice for the taking of the deposition. Reserve Life Ins. Co. v. District Court, 126 Colo. 217, 247 P.2d 903 (1952).

There was no “reasonable notice” within the meaning of this rule where the record disclosed that the party was given three days notice that the depositions were to be taken, the notice was served in Colorado, and the depositions were taken in Los Angeles. Nielsen v. Nielsen, 111 Colo. 344, 141 P.2d 415 (1943).

If, for good cause, a deposition should be taken in some place other than that mentioned in the notice, this matter should be called to the attention of the trial court by a motion filed and service thereof seasonably made on opposing counsel; otherwise, such objection is waived, and the place designated in the notice is definitely and finally fixed. Reserve Life Ins. Co. v. District Court, 126 Colo. 217, 247 P.2d 903 (1952).

Service of notice to take deposition on a party’s attorney is sufficient notice pursuant to C.R.C.P. 5(b)(1). Reserve Life Ins. Co. v. District Court, 126 Colo. 217, 247 P.2d 903 (1952).

A party is not entitled to a subpoena nor to a per diem allowance or mileage when he is noticed to appear for the taking of his deposition. Reserve Life Ins. Co. v. District Court, 126 Colo. 217, 247 P.2d 903 (1952).

Court has discretion in determining assessment of stenographic expense as cost. There is no provision authorizing the assessment, as costs, of stenographic expense incurred in the taking of a deposition for purposes of discovery, but if the testimony of the person whose deposition is taken is not available at the trial, and the deposition is offered in lieu thereof, then the court would have discretion in determining whether the expense of procuring the deposition should be assessed as costs against the losing party. Morris v. Redak, 124 Colo. 27, 234 P.2d 908 (1951).

Governmental officials of foreign state cannot be compelled to appear in Colorado to take depositions. Where the attorney general and tax commissioner of another state had been ordered to appear in Colorado for the purpose of taking depositions, the court could not compel them to so appear, and this fact is true even though the foreign state had brought the action in which defendant sought these depositions, inasmuch as no state court or government has authority beyond its own borders, each state being sovereign as to its own territory and those residing therein; such recognition as is given Colorado laws or court orders by other states must be based solely upon full faith and credit, comity, contract due to uniform acts, or compact. Minnesota ex rel. Minnesota Att’y Gen. v. District Court, 155 Colo. 521, 395 P.2d 601 (1964).

Showing of indigency unnecessary for application of section (b)(4) to inexpensive mode of deposition discovery. Application of section (b)(4) of this rule to an inexpensive mode of deposition discovery should not be conditioned on a showing of indigency, a showing of financial need, or economic disparity between the parties. Sanchez v. District Court, 624 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1981).

Exercise of discretion in ruling on discovery motion for tape recorded depositions should be limited to considerations of accuracy and trustworthiness with respect to the procedures and conditions to be followed in the recording, transcription, and filing of the depositions. Sanchez v. District Court, 624 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1981).

Trial judge may properly deny motion for tape recorded depositions where the objecting party shows that there exists a potential for abuse or harassment of a witness or party or where the objecting party otherwise establishes a bona fide claim for protective orders under C.R.C.P. 26(c). Sanchez v. District Court, 624 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1981).

IV. MOTION TO TERMINATE OR LIMIT. The taking of a deposition is not precluded by an application for writ of prohibition where an order to show cause is issued pursuant thereto by the supreme court; rather, only proceedings in the trial court are suspended by such an order, and not those in preparation of trial. And where the case is still pending and undetermined, an application for a writ of prohibition against the taking of a deposition would be denied as premature. Cox v. District Court, 129 Colo. 99, 267 P.2d 656 (1954).

Party desiring to protect trade secrets entitled to protective order. Taken together, section (d) of this rule and C.R.C.P. 26 establish that a party desiring to protect trade secrets is entitled to a protective order upon a showing of good cause. Curtis, Inc. v. District Court, 186 Colo. 226, 526 P.2d 1335 (1974).

V. SUBMISSION TO WITNESS. Annotator’s note. Since section (e) of this rule is similar to § 378 of the former Code of Civil Procedure, which was supplanted by the Rules of Civil Procedure in 1941, relevant cases construing this section have been included in the annotations to this rule.

Purpose of section (e), which requires submission of the deposition to the witness for examination, correction, and signature, is to provide verification of the deposition’s content in order that the writing may be introduced as evidence of the witness’s own words. Transamerica Ins. Co. v. Pueblo Gas & Fuel Co., 33 Colo. App. 92, 519 P.2d 1201 (1973).

Object of reading deposition to witness is to give opportunity to correct. The object of the requirement that the interrogatories and answers submitted to the witness on the taking of his deposition should be first carefully read to him before he signed is that the witness might know what the scrivener had written down, and he might, before his deposition is complete, have an opportunity to correct any errors or inaccuracies of statement which might have occurred. Cheney v. Woodworth, 13 Colo. App. 176, 56 P. 979 (1899).

The requirement that deposition be signed by witness can be waived by stipulation of counsel. Chipley v. Green, 7 Colo. App. 25, 42 P. 493 (1895).

Where parties stipulated with respect to the taking of a deposition that “the caption and all formalities are expressly waived”, it was held that an irregularity as to the signature was waived by this stipulation. Chipley v. Green, 7 Colo. App. 25, 42 P. 493 (1895).

Section (e) inapplicable. Where proof of a contradictory statement was elicited from the mouth of the witness and not by introduction of the deposition into evidence, the safeguards for accuracy of the deposition as evidence, which are embodied in section (e), were inapplicable. Transamerica Ins. Co. v. Pueblo Gas & Fuel Co., 33 Colo. App. 92, 519 P.2d 1201 (1973).

VI. CERTIFICATION AND FILING. This rule sets forth the mechanics applicable to certifying and filing depositions. Appelhans v. Kirkwood, 148 Colo. 92, 365 P.2d 233 (1961).

After correction of the deposition and after it is signed, or following a refusal to sign it, the deposition is to be delivered to the officer who seals it promptly and files it with the court in which the action is pending. Appelhans v. Kirkwood, 148 Colo. 92, 365 P.2d 233 (1961).

Officer’s certificate is not required to state that deposition was “carefully” read to witness before signing. The requirement that in taking depositions the interrogatories and answers should be carefully read to the witness before signing does not require the certificate of the officer to state that they were “carefully” read to the witness before signing. A certificate that certified simply that the deposition was read to the witness before signing is sufficient, as it would be presumed that it was read with that care required. Cheney v. Woodworth, 13 Colo. App. 176, 56 P. 979 (1899) (decided under § 378 of the former code of civil procedure, which was replaced by rules of civil procedure in 1941).

Sham affidavit doctrine permits a court under certain circumstances to disregard an affidavit submitted by a party in response to a summary judgment motion where that affidavit contradicts the party’s previous sworn deposition testimony. Luttgen v. Fischer, 107 P.3d 1152 (Colo. App. 2005).

Contradictory affidavits should be considered in light of totality of the circumstances test. Affidavit that directly contradicts affiant’s own earlier deposition testimony can be rejected as sham affidavit only if it fails to include an explanation for the contradiction that could be found credible by a reasonable jury. This determination cannot be limited to any set of factors, but must be considered in light of the totality of the circumstances, and such determination is a matter of law to be reviewed de novo. Andersen v. Lindenbaum, 160 P.3d 237 (Colo. 2007).

Where deposition was taken but not subscribed, certified, or filed pursuant to this rule, and was for that reason suppressed by the trial court notwithstanding agreement of counsel that it might be admitted for a limited purpose, such ruling, while erroneous, was not prejudicial. Appelhans v. Kirkwood, 148 Colo. 92, 365 P.2d 233 (1961).

The regular terms of office of all nonpartisan officers elected at regular elections shall commence at the next meeting of the governing body following the date of the election, but no later than thirty days following the survey of returns and upon the signing of an oath and posting of a bond, where required, unless otherwise provided by law. If the election is cancelled in whole or in part pursuant to section 1-5-208 (1.5), then the regular term of office of a nonpartisan officer shall commence at the next meeting of the governing body following the date of the regular election, but no later than thirty days following the date of the regular election and upon the signing of an oath and posting of a bond, where required, unless otherwise provided by law.

HISTORY: Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 636, § 1, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: Entire section amended, p. 1397, § 11, effective July 1.L. 94: Entire section amended, p. 1151, § 5, effective July 1.L. 2001: Entire section amended, p. 1001, § 1, effective August 8.

The Hippocratic Oath:

History:

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards. Of historic and traditional value, the oath is considered a rite of passage for practitioners of medicine in many countries, although nowadays various modernized versions are often used.


Modern Version of Hippocratic Oath:

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:…I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

            -—- Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today. -—-


Traditional Version of Hippocratic Oath:

I swear by Apollo The Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the Gods and Goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.

To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the physician’s oath, but to nobody else.

I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.

Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets.

Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I transgress it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.

-—- Hippocrates of Cos (1923). “The Oath”Loeb Classical Library147: 298–299. doi:10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-oath.1923. Retrieved 6 October 2015. -—-




 

Oath Poem:

Citizen of Constitutions and keeper of wonders perfect in power that reveals the lights; the Citizen of all perfection in the whole world is here.

Its force or power is entire (soul) if it be converted into earth; its power is perfected (mind) if it is turned in to earth; its power is whole (memory) if it can be turned into earth; its power is complete (will) if it can be turned into earth.