By John Aguilar, Camera Staff Writer
Amendment to constitution would pose direct challenge to pre-emptive powers of state law
Draft of language for proposed ballot measure”As all political power is vested in and derived from the people, and as all government of right originates from the people, the people have an inherent and inalienable right to local self-government, including in each county, city, town, and any other municipal subdivision or other local community within the State. That right shall include, without limitation: (a) the power to enact local laws recognizing the fundamental rights of people, communities, and the natural environment, and securing those rights using prohibitions and other means; (b) the power to enact local laws for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of people, their communities, and the natural environment; and (c) the power to enact local laws establishing, defining, altering, or eliminating the rights, powers, and duties of for-profit business entities, operating or seeking to operate in the community, to prevent such rights and powers from usurping or otherwise conflicting with the fundamental rights of people, their communities, and the natural environment.”
A movement is under way to put a ballot measure before Colorado voters in November that would give local governments across the state the power to protect the health and safety of residents by banning or restricting oil and gas drilling and other industrial activities now permitted by state law.
The effort, which would be an amendment to the state constitution known as the “Right to Local Self-Government Act,” is being pushed by the nascent Colorado Community Rights Network.