From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):
Organizers said that, as of this week, they were able to collect about 30,000 signatures, with about 86,000 needed for ballot certification. With an Aug. 6 deadline looming, the backers said they didn’t think there was enough time left to gather the needed support.
The state’s entrenched water establishment, and even most environmental organizations, opposed the measures, and exaggerated potential impacts of the public trust doctrine, claiming the changes would threaten Colorado’s antiquated water appropriation scheme.
Backers of the measures claimed that a 100-[day] delay by the Colorado Supreme Court in approving the initiatives cost them precious time needed to gather the signatures. The delay came after the state’s water establishment filed a procedural lawsuit, challenging the sufficiency of the ballot titles. The Supreme Court dragged its feet on a relatively minor naming issue, initially taking the case January 19, but not issuing a ruling until April 16.
“That DELAY of ca.100 days of “decision rendering time” by the Colorado Supreme Court was the fatal element in the defeat of this petition collecting process . . . for, after the Supreme Court ruled, the initiative petition forms then needed to be approved by the Secretary of State’s staff (required by statute) – a process that took another two weeks – and then, the petitions could be printed for circulation,” backer Richard Hamilton wrote in an email announcing the decision to withdraw the initiatives.
More Initiatives 3 and 45 coverage here.