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With more than 1 million votes counted, Amendment 78 appears headed for defeat. Needing 55% voter approval, it is behind 56.14% to 43.86%.
“I think on Amendment 78, people were reluctant to move the authority from one part of the government to another,” said Michael Fields, leader of the nonprofit Colorado Rising State Action and leading proponent of Amendment 78 and Proposition 120. “People didn’t see that as the best way to provide oversight. I think there was also some concern about what would happen with the disbursement of emergency funds.”
Updated at 8:42 p.m.:
Amendment 78 is facing a long road to victory. It requires 55% approval to pass because it’s an amendment to the Colorado Constitution. It trails 57.11% to 42.89%, with 484,363 votes against and 363,804 for. The amendment is falling far behind in Boulder, Broomfield and Larimer counties. The margin is closer in Weld County, where it trails 52.34% to 47.66%, with 25,360 votes against and 23,093 for.
Updated at 7:27 p.m.:
Amendment 78 is behind at the polls 56.60% to 43.40%, with 376,097 votes against and 288,380 for. It is passing only in Teller, Kit Carson and Elbert counties.
On Tuesday, Colorado voters will decide whether to take oversight of custodial funds — federal grant money, donations and other funding originating from outside sources — out of the state treasurer’s hands and give it to state legislators.
To pass, Amendment 78 needs approval from 55% of Colorado voters.
Currently, custodial funds are not subject to the legislative appropriations process that the Colorado General Assembly uses to determine how state tax revenues are spent. Amendment 78 would change that. It would create the Custodial Fund Transparency Account within the Department of the Treasury. The account would receive custodial funds, which would be appropriated by the general assembly in public hearings with chances for public comment.
Supporters of Amendment 78 argue that it would inject transparency and accountability into a process where money is often spent by unelected administrators without public input.
Opponents claim that the amendment would add unnecessary bureaucracy and delay the release of federal relief funds during disasters, as well as jeopardize Colorado’s competitiveness for grant awards.
BizWest will be covering this amendment and many other issues throughout the evening on Tuesday. Check back early and often for updates.
This content was originally published here.