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Hickenlooper, Ritter and Owens to roll out personnel reform measure

DENVER – As if Colorado voters, already besieged by a steady barrage of attack ads in the presidential race, don’t have enough to focus on, they’re about to be introduced to another statewide ballot measure they’ll find at the bottom of their ballot.

Amendment S seeks to modernize the state’s personnel system and help veterans find jobs — and a trio of Colorado governors is hoping to bring some attention to it Wednesday during a high-profile roll-out.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and his two predecessors, former Govs. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, and Bill Owens, a Republican, will ask voters to say “Yes on S” during a press conference Wednesday morning in downtown Denver.

“We haven’t updated the way we run state government in more than 40 years,” said George Merritt, a strategist with OnSight Public Affairs who’s working on the public campaign. “Governors Hickenlooper, Owens and Ritter are coming together to say ‘a yes on S vote is our opportunity to modernize state government with no costs to taxpayers. In this contentious election year, Amendment S is one thing we can all agree on.”

The amendment looks to ease a permitting and licensing backlog, which has slowed hiring at the state level. It also would create a permanent preference for veterans, who would be given top consideration for state jobs under the new ordinance.

The campaign already has a website up and running: voteyesons.com