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Measure Details

Temporary Location for the State Seat of Government

Colorado Ballot Measure - Amendment Q

Election: Nov. 2, 2010 (General)
Outcome: Passed

Legislative Branch
Government Operations


Argument For


Argument Against


    Amendment Q proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

    * establish a process for moving the state seat of government to a temporary location during a declared disaster emergency.

    Summary and Analysis

    Since statehood, the Colorado Constitution has designated Denver as the state seat of government. The legislature is prohibited from moving the seat of government out of Denver unless it refers a constitutional amendment to the voters at a general election. The state constitution requires that an amendment to move the state seat of government be approved by at least two-thirds of those voting on the issue.

    Amendment Q creates a process for temporarily moving the seat of government if a disaster emergency affects the ability of state government to operate in Denver. It defines a disaster emergency as the occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, illness, or loss of life or property resulting from an epidemic or a natural, man-made, or technological event. For the purpose of addressing such emergencies, it also defines the seat of government as the location of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the state of Colorado.

    After declaring a disaster emergency, and after consulting with the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Governor may designate a temporary meeting location for the state legislature. The legislature must meet at that location and decide whether to pass a bill designating a temporary location for the seat of government outside of Denver. Such legislation must include a date when the temporary location of the seat of government expires. Amendment Q does not change the process for permanently moving the state seat of government. Currently, 36 other states have created a legal process to temporarily move the state seat of government in an emergency.

    Estimate of Fiscal Impact

    Amendment Q is not expected to affect state or local government revenue or spending.

    Measure Text

    Shall there be an amendment to section 3 of article VIII of the constitution of the state of Colorado, concerning a process for temporarily moving the seat of government in a disaster emergency that substantially affects the ability of the state government to operate in the city and county of Denver, and, in connection therewith, requiring the general assembly to convene in a temporary meeting location designated by the governor and authorizing the general assembly to determine by law a temporary location for the seat of government of the state?

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