Yes! Thanks to the enthusiasm around public education in Colorado, voters are guaranteed a chance to vote for this measure in November. It will appear on every ballot sent to Colorado voters this fall.
Funding in this measure is focused on a four keys areas:
Quite simply, preschool works. It is a proven strategy to set kids on the path to academic and lifelong success and an essential support for working parents. Unfortunately, Colorado provides some of the lowest funding in the country for early childhood education. Consequently, the Colorado Preschool Program only has funding to serve 40% of eligible students. We know quality preschool improves educational, economic, and health outcomes throughout a child’s life, including higher wages, higher graduation rates and less contact with the criminal justice system. For every $1 invested in quality preschool, between $8 and $16 is avoided in societal cost and between $2 and $3 is returned in increased per capita earnings and jobs for state residents.
All funds from Proposition EE are locked into state law and will be audited yearly to ensure all money is going to where voters directed.
First of all, we need your vote on this November’s ballot. If you are not registered to vote, you can register to vote in person by 7:00 p.m. on election night, which is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Click here to find locations to drop off your ballot or to register and vote in-person.
You can also click here to donate to this effort. If you or your organization would like to endorse this measure publicly, click here to submit your endorsement. You can find other ways to engage in the “Join Us” tab at the top of this site.
The funding for public schools, universal pre-k, and other programs is generated by closing the vaping tax loophole and slowly increasing the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Colorado currently does not tax vaping products and has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the country. This measure would slowly increase and standardize taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products through 2027.
Colorado currently does not have a tax on vaping like it does on cigarettes and other tobacco products. This explains why Colorado has among the highest rates of teen vaping in the country.
The research shows that increasing the price of tobacco and nicotine products is good for public health — it helps people to quit smoking and discourages people from ever starting to smoke. Colorado currently does not have a tax on vaping products, which explains why Colorado has among the highest rates of teen vaping in the country. One in four teens in Colorado currently use vaping products. 1 in 10 eight graders vape regularly. Additionally, Colorado’s cigarette taxes are among the lowest in the country and have not been increased in over 15 years.
Price and consumption are closely linked: when prices increase, people quit. Big tobacco and the vape industry are masters at price manipulation – through discounting, coupons and promotions – they intentionally lower the price of products to appeal to younger and lower income consumers.
By setting a minimum price per pack, we’ll prevent the industry from playing games on pricing to attract new users. This is an effective public health strategy that – when paired with higher tobacco taxes – help to reduce tobacco and vape use. This is why 25 states have some sort of minimum pricing law.
It’s true that increased taxes on tobacco and vape products disproportionately burden communities already struggling with the impacts of poverty. Sadly, this is because tobacco and vape use rates are higher as a result of the industry’s predatory marketing practices that have been targeting and exploiting these communities for generations. In fact, there are two times more tobacco and vape retailers in communities experiencing poverty in Denver than in any higher income community. This measure is designed to reinvest new resources in those communities. It supports public schools facing drastic budget cuts, people struggling to afford housing, families unable to afford quality preschool for their children and all of those addicted to nicotine products.
A quality preschool education is a proven way to ensure that kids start on the right path in life. Currently, many kids in our state cannot attend preschool because it is unaffordable for working families and the state cannot provide it to thousands of at-risk kids who need it most. Proposition EE will make preschool more affordable for working families while providing all our children with an opportunity to succeed.
Further,without passage of this referendum, the impacts of COVID will require devastating cuts to K-12 education in Colorado. In the first three fiscal years, the nicotine tax will bring in $375 million for the state education fund, preventing the worst of the cuts. It also provides critical support for affordable housing and eviction assistance for the next few years, helping to support many who are deeply affected by the economic downturn from COVID-19.
If passed, this measure would ensure that all 4 year-olds in Colorado would have access to free pre-k education. This measure also ensures that extra resources for pre-k will be given to low-income families that may otherwise have issues affording pre-k education for their children.
If this measure succeeds, public schools will start to receive additional funding in 2020 and will continue to receive additional funding through 2023. Beginning in the fall of 2023, preschools will begin to receive an estimated $187 million increase in funding. Once the tax is fully phased in by 2027, this measure would provide an estimated $242 million increase in funding per year.