Election Day is right around the corner and by now, you should have received your Colorado Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book) explaining upcoming ballot measures. This election season, the American Heart Association is supporting Proposition II which if passed, will fund statewide early care and education, as well as tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
This initiative is important to the American Heart Association because universal preschool provides children with the ideal setting for building habits that help them grow up healthy by fostering social interactions, physical activity, and nutrition education.
If passed, Proposition II will fix a complicated hiccup from the tobacco tax that voters passed in 2020 with Proposition EE. Because of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) in Colorado, an estimate of taxes collected must be published on ballots.
For the first year of the new tobacco tax, the collected amount was about $23 million over the published estimate. Proposition II asks voters to apply that overage to free universal preschool for Colorado kids, which was an objective of the tobacco tax passed with Proposition EE in 2020. One key point to note that is that this is not a new tax.
However, if Prop II is voted down, not only will the $23 million be returned to tobacco wholesalers and distributors, but it will also result in a permanent 11.53 percent reduction in the tobacco tax. That puts in jeopardy another item the tobacco tax funds, tobacco prevention and cessation. These are important programs, and we certainly don’t want to see money go back into the hands of the tobacco industry.
You can find more information on the campaign website: www.preschoolforallcoloradans.com.