4:00pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Politics

51st State Discussions Intensify Across Colorado

Voters in 11 counties will decide Nov. 5 if they want county commissioners to continue pursuing the possibility of creating a 51st state. In advance of that vote, supporters of the new state movement continue to pursue the discussion.

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Weld, Logan and other northeastern counties would make up the new state while Moffat County on the Western Slope has also been discussing breaking away from Colorado and petitioning to join the state of Wyoming.

As recently reported by I-News, the proposed new state would be the least populous state behind Wyoming, and politically, Republicans would be the dominate party with the 5th highest ratio to Democrats in the U.S.

The new state was also discussed recently on Colorado State of Mind, where I was a guest along with Dr. Derek Everett, an adjunct professor of history at Colorado State University and Metropolitan State University. He says while the actual chances of the counties actually succeeding to break away from Colorado are incredibly thin, the movement is allowing those who feel a rural/urban divide at the Colorado State House to speak with one voice.

The push for the 51st State initiative started in Weld County, where the commissioners have thrown their full weight behind it. In a statement last month, the commissioners said “few people outside of rural Colorado truly understand the frustration Coloradans are experiencing with regard to the state Legislature and Colorado’s Governor.”

They’re releasing a series of editorials presenting a unified dialogue about their reasons for continuing their secession movement. The most recent editorial penned by Commissioner Conway highlights the concern over water rights in a 51st state. Conway says water rights are private property, and as such cannot be taken away if the owner lives in a newly created state.

“Many water rights throughout Colorado are currently owned by individuals and entities who do not reside in the state of Colorado. Under the constitution, any private property that might be attempted to be seized would be called a “taking” and has been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconstitutional.”

You can read the most recent editorial below.

Last month, Weld County Commissioner Doug Rademacher also penned an editorial on the impact rural counties have on the economic vitality of the state including Weld county's booming oil, gas and agricultural sectors.