On Thursday, commissioners in Weld County, Colorado announced their plans to secede from Colorado and join with neighboring counties to form a new state of North Colorado. They would be putting the question to ballot in November. According to Weld County commissioners, other counties including Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, Yuma and Kit Carson have expressed their interests in joining the movement for a new state.
Apparently the desire to ask for a new state was in reaction to the recent signing of the S.B. 252 in Colorado, a law that would be changing the way rural energy companies operate.
Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway claimed that agriculture and energy are under attack under the new laws and it would further impoverish rural Colorado. According to Conway, Weld County rarely sees returns from its financial contributions to the state and roads and facilities in the agricultural counties in Colorado continue neglected while Denver continues to have new facilities.
The Tribune reported that Conway and other Weld County Commissioners met with them on Thursday emphasizing the need to craft a ballot initiative for a new state. The commissioners believe that a new state would be quite viable economically and would return balance to the rural areas, while at the same time boosting the major economic drivers of rural Colorado.
Conway also said that the entire board of commissioners was with him. While Weld County is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island, and has a diversified economy, it continues to be neglected due to inequitable laws.
For instance, Conway points out, that while overall tax revenue in Weld County keeps increasing every year, the local schools continue underfunded under an obsolete and inequitable Public School Finance Act.
Challenging the notion that the move would fail because moves for new states have failed over the last 150 years, Conway said, “It hasn’t been tried in a while, but we also didn’t have a Supreme Court decide the presidential election for 100 years,” but the Supreme Court had to decide the presidential election in 2000.
Under existent guidelines, consent is required both from the Colorado General Assembly as well as the U.S. Congress before moving forward with plans for a new state.