Northern Colorado Won’t Become The 51st State

Secession question has mixed results, but it was never going to happen anyway

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Residents from 11 mostly-rural counties in northeastern Colorado voted on a ballot question on Tuesday in what was called the 51st State Question: whether to forge ahead with a plan to secede from Colorado and create a new state. But six of the counties, including the most populous Weld County, voted against the measure, ending for now what had been an uphill constitutional fight that was likely going nowhere even if it passed.

Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway told supporters Tuesday that he would not pursue secession further, the Denver Post reports. “But we will continue to look at the problems of the urban and rural divide in this state,” he said.

Even if the counties agreed to move forward, secession would have to be approved by the state legislature and by Congress. West Virginia was the last state to breakaway, from Virginia — and that was 150 years ago.

The secession movement in Colorado grew out of a bruising legislative session, in which Democrats pushed through initiatives that were unpopular in the more rural parts of the state. In August, when eight counties first decided to move forward with a ballot initiative to to secede and create a new state called Conway told TIME, “The state I grew up in, the state that I’ve come to love, is slowly and surely slipping away to something I don’t recognize. I think that is what’s fueling this movement.”

There were several pieces of new legislation that were unpopular in northeaster Colorado, including new gun laws, but perhaps the most controversial measure was an energy bill that requires doubling the amount of energy from renewable sources by 2020. Republicans argued that the new law would raise energy prices in rural areas.

Six counties did vote to move forward with the secession initiative, but with crucial Weld County voting no, the movement is likely stalled.

For the counties who still hope to leave Colorado, an easier (though almost as unlikely) path would be to propose to leave the state and join another. In theory, the counties of northern Colorado could vote to secede and join neighboring Wyoming or Nebraska. Such a measure would need to be approved by the legislatures of both the losing and gaining states, then be signed by both governors, an implausible event, but one that at least wouldn’t need Washington’s consent.

9 comments
BrianCMcKinley
BrianCMcKinley

I do not understand why anyone would be opposed to a states division. Unless you live in a part of the state leaving. It seems that naysayers and people who oppose the division of a state are the people living in the large urban areas that would remain in said state anyway. Are they mad they would have to buy new U.S. flags? If a portion of a state truly feels they are no longer connected politically, culturally etc to the rest of the state why force them to stay? It is not as if this hasn't happened time and time again in our past. Is someone still sour that Maine broke away from Massachusetts or something? 

JackBurch
JackBurch

More states should do this. How about all rural counties form their own states and let the cities go on their own? Cities rape the rural areas of taxes then use those taxes to fund social welfare and social engineering programs all designed to destroy the way of life which is so prevalent in the rural areas.

janewtodd
janewtodd

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РУССКИЙ_ЧЕЛОВЕК

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fizman
fizman

"But six of the counties, including the most populous Weld County, voted against the measure, ..."
That would be 6 AGAINST.

"Six counties did vote to move forward with the secession initiative, ..."
That would be 6 FOR.

6+6=12 ... but there were only 11 counties voting???

Basic math or basic proof reading, please try at least one.

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

CO voters also made pot one of the most heavily taxed products in the state.

jlane224
jlane224

@fizman The problem started because the Denver Post was reporting one of the counties had approved the measure, when that wasn't the case - and their headline all night and for part of this morning said 6 counties were in favor, and the Post's error was picked up and repeated by other news outlets. 

NikNikkel
NikNikkel

@Fastgirl I am good with that.  one of the key purposes of legalization is to shift money from the cartels to public benefit.

fizman
fizman

@jlane224 @fizman Thank you for your clarification. I guess what annoys me the most about this is that you were able to dig up the facts and a "journalist" for the vaunted TIME MAGAZINE didn't. I read a boatload of articles online and it appears that the concept of proof-reading is completely lost. I'm guessing that speed is more important than accuracy, and that is just plain BAD! How much time does it take to check your article and see that 6 + 6 does not equal 11. Ah, but then you would have to dig deeper and try to find the REAL numbers, and that might take some work. BUT THAT IS WHAT A REAL JOURNALIST DOES! Sorry, rant over. Thanks again for the clarification!


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