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Voter guide set for final sign-off

Legislative leaders will get their say next week on the 2012 voter guide, including info about the proposed $950 million K-12 tax increase.

Legislative staffers have been working all summer on text for the “blue book,” the guide to ballot measures that’s mailed to all registered voters before every election. (The booklet’s cover is a faded blue, hence the name.) This year’s edition will include information on what’s currently called Initiative 22, the education proposal, and a proposal to set taxes on marijuana sales.

The final step in the blue book process is review by Legislative Council, a standing committee of legislative leaders responsible for various administrative functions. The panel meets Tuesday morning at the Capitol to review blue book language, take public testimony and discuss possible changes. It’s possible that partisan divisions over the school tax plan will crop up during the meeting.

Non-partisan legislative staff members take outside comments during their drafting process, and those comments provide an interesting look at the semantic arguments made by supporters and opponents of the measure. Use this link to see both the final draft of the blue book language and the written comments made by various interest groups, from the conservative Independence Institute to the Colorado Association of School Boards and Colorado Commits to Kids, which support the tax hike.