This is an original proceeding pursuant to section 1-40-102(3), C.R.S. 1973 (1979 Supp.). The Petitioners, Norman N. Pledger, Zelda Bransted, Joe Genova, and Tracy Smith,
Petitioners contend the Board exceeded its jurisdiction in fixing the summary for the proposed initiative on May 8, 1980; that the ballot title for the proposal conflicts with another ballot title previously selected for a similar initiative; that the Board should not have acted because the proponents of the initiative did not have a conference
The people have reserved to themselves the right of initiative in Article V, Section 1, of the Colorado Constitution, and the duties of the Board with respect to initiatives are in sections 1-40-101, et seq., C.R.S. 1973 (and 1979 Supp.). The initiated measure's title as set by the Board must be proper and fair, and must correctly and fairly express the true intent and meaning of the proposed measure. The ballot title and submission clause must be brief, and the summary must be a fair, concise, true and impartial statement of the intent of the proposed measure. The summary may not be an argument for or against the measure, nor can it be likely to create prejudice for or against the measure. The summary is to include an estimate of any fiscal impact upon the state or any of its political subdivisions with an explanation thereof.
The test to be applied by the Court in this case is well-established:
Bauch v. Anderson, 178 Colo. 308, 310, 497 P.2d 698, 699 (1972); In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, Submission Clause and Summary pertaining to the Branch Banking Initiative, Colo., 612 P.2d 96 (1980); In Article XVII, Colo., 611 P.2d 981 (1980); In the Matter of the Proposed Initiative on Transfer of Real Estate to Amend the Colorado Constitution by adding a Section 9 to Article XVII, Colo., 611 P.2d 981 (1980), re An Initiated Constitutional Amendment respecting Rights of the Public to Uninterrupted Service by Public Employees, Colo., 609 P.2d 631 (1980).
Petitioners first contend that the Board exceeded its jurisdiction by fixing the summary for the proposed initiative on May 8, 1980, one day after the statutory date for the last meeting of the Board. Section 1-40-101(2), C.R.S. 1973 (1979 Supp.).
The purpose of the statutory time table for meetings of the Board is to assure that the titles, submission clause, and summary of an initiated measure are considered promptly by the Board well in advance of the date by which the signed petitions must be filed with the Secretary of State.
Section 1-40-101(2), C.R.S. 1973 (1979 Supp.), requires that ballot titles "shall not conflict with those selected for any petition previously filed for the same election . . .." Petitioners contend that the ballot title chosen here conflicts with the ballot title selected for an earlier initiative filed by the proponents concerning the right of the public to uninterrupted service from public employees. The Board fixed the titles, submission clause, and summary of the first initiative, and the Board's denial of a request for rehearing was challenged in Supreme Court No. 80SA207, presently pending before us, by the same petitioners who challenge the second proposal. Because the proponents have advised us they do not intend to circulate the first initiative for signatures, we need not address whether the titles selected conflict.
The first initiative petition has not been submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. Section 1-40-107(1), C.R.S. 1973 (1979 Supp.).
Petitioners maintain that the Board should not have set the titles, submission
The record of the meeting on the Petitioners' request for rehearing indicates that there was a meeting with the directors on the proponents' first initiative. The written comments from that meeting are public. When the proponents filed their second version of essentially the same initiative, the directors told the proponents that a second review and meeting with the directors would not be necessary because they had no comments beyond those made on the first proposal. We agree that there has been substantial compliance with the statutory prerequisites because the proponents are not required to accept any comments made by the directors
Petitioners next contend that the titles and submission clause prepared by the Board are unfair and do not express the true meaning and intent of the proposed amendment. The language to which the Petitioners object declares that the initiative "prohibit[s] public employers from submitting to binding arbitration." A proponent told the Board at its May 7th meeting that one of the reasons for the second initiative was to clarify that the amendment applied to "interest" or "economic" arbitration establishing wages, hours or other terms and conditions of employment, and not to "grievance" arbitration under a contract. The Board justifies the titles and submission clause selected because of the need for brevity,
Petitioners challenge the summary for failing to express the true intent and meaning of the provision of the initiative requiring discharge of employees violating its provisions. The Board considered at length the challenged language at its meeting on the motion for rehearing and concluded that the language of the summary was accurate. Our review of the record confirms that the language chosen by the Board reflects the true meaning and intent of the initiative.
Finally, the Petitioners contend that the statute requires that the fiscal impact of the measure be explained. Section 1-40-101(2), C.R.S. 1973 (1979 Supp.).
The Board correctly found that the fiscal impact of the proposed amendment cannot be determined because of the many variables involved. In re An Initiated Constitutional Amendment respecting Rights of the Public to Uninterrupted Service by Public Employees, supra. The Board determined that the Petitioners' requested explanation would be an argument for or against the proposal and would create prejudice for or against the proposal in violation of section 1-40-101(2), C.R.S. 1973 (1979 Supp.). The Board's decision not to supply an explanation of its inability to determine fiscal impact is supported by the record. Therefore, we will not disturb the action taken by the Board.
Accordingly, we affirm the ruling of the Initiative Title Setting Review Board denying the Petitioner's motion for rehearing.
PROPOSED INITIATIVE ON UNINTERRUPTED SERVICES BY PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
Adopted Title, Ballot Title, Submission Clause, and Summary
The title as designated and fixed by the Board is as follows:
AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE XII OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF COLORADO PROHIBITING STRIKES, WORK STOPPAGES, SLOWDOWNS, OR OTHER INTERRUPTION OF SERVICES BY STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC EMPLOYEES; DIRECTING THE DISCHARGE, PURSUANT TO PROCEDURES APPLICABLE IN THE JURISDICTION INVOLVED, OF A PUBLIC EMPLOYEE FOUND TO HAVE ENGAGED IN SUCH PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES; PROHIBITING PUBLIC EMPLOYERS FROM SUBMITTING TO BINDING ARBITRATION; AND PROVIDING THAT NO PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO JOIN OR TO PAY DUES TO ANY EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION AS A CONDITION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT.
The ballot title and submission clause as designated and fixed by the Board is as follows:
SHALL ARTICLE XII OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF COLORADO BE AMENDED TO PROHIBIT STRIKES, WORK STOPPAGES, SLOWDOWNS, OR OTHER INTERRUPTION OF SERVICES BY STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC EMPLOYEES; TO DIRECT THE DISCHARGE, PURSUANT TO PROCEDURES APPLICABLE IN THE JURISDICTION INVOLVED OF A PUBLIC EMPLOYEE FOUND TO HAVE ENGAGED IN SUCH PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES; TO PROHIBIT PUBLIC EMPLOYERS FROM SUBMITTING TO BINDING ARBITRATION; AND TO PROVIDE THAT NO PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO JOIN OR TO PAY DUES TO ANY EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION AS A CONDITION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT?
The summary as prepared by the Board is as follows:
The proposed amendment would prohibit strikes by public employees, as well as work stoppages, slowdowns, or interruptions of service. Public employees means employees of the state or any political subdivision thereof, or any agency of either, including but not limited to, employees of school districts, special districts, authorities, cities and counties, home rule and statutory counties, cities, and towns, and territorial charter cities.
The amendment would provide for the immediate discharge, pursuant to procedures applicable in the jurisdiction involved, of any employee found by a court or by an appropriate entity of the public employer to have engaged in any activities prohibited by the amendment.
The amendment would prohibit a public employer from submitting to binding arbitration as to establishment of wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment
The amendment would permit the general assembly to enact laws in furtherance of the policy expressed in the amendment, but not laws restricting the prohibitions or penalties of the amendment.
The fiscal impact of this proposed amendment cannot be determined because of the many variables involved.
The proposed initiative AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF COLORADO (of which the foregoing title is hereby made or constituted a part) is as follows:
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado:
Article XII of the Constitution of the State of Colorado is amended by the addition of a new section to read:
Section 16. Rights of the public to uninterrupted services by public employees. (1) It is hereby declared to be against the public interest and welfare, and in violation of the rights of the citizens of this state, for public employees to interrupt services rendered to the citizens of this state. Public employees in this state are prohibited from engaging in any work stoppage, slowdown, or strike, or from engaging in any interruption of services. For the purpose of this section, the term "public employer" means the state or any political subdivision thereof, or any agency of either, including, but not limited to, school districts, special districts, authorities, cities and counties, home rule and statutory counties, cities, and towns, and territorial charter cities, and the term "public employee" means any nonelective officer or employee of a public employer.
(2) Upon determination by any court having jurisdiction or by the individual, board, or agency having the duty to act on behalf of a public employer in the employment of public employees that any public employee has engaged in activity prohibited by this section 16, such employee shall be deemed to have abandoned his employment and shall be immediately discharged from his employment pursuant to procedures applicable to employees of the jurisdiction involved.
(3) No public employer shall submit to binding arbitration establishing the wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment of public employees.
(4) No public employee shall be required to join or pay dues to any employee organization as a condition of his employment with a public employer.
(5) The general assembly may enact laws in furtherance of the policy of this section 16, but may not restrict its prohibitions or its penalties.
(6) This section is to be construed liberally to prevent actions by public employees which deny, interrupt or diminish services to the public.
This section is in all respects self-executing.
The first Wednesday in May, 1980 was May 7th.