In 1988, the voters in my home state of Colorado became increasingly dissatisfied with the hyper-partisan culture of the Colorado General Assembly. For example, in the State House of Representatives, bills would be introduced, assigned to the respective committee of jurisdiction, and then the committee chairman/chairwoman, from the majority party, would decide when and if the bill would be scheduled for a vote. If the Chair didn’t like a bill, it was simple, it was never put on the calendar for a vote and it automatically died at the end of the legislative session.
In 1988, all that changed due to the passage of a constitutional amendment, placed on the ballot as an initiative, called ‘Give A Vote to Every Legislator’ (GAVEL). What GAVEL said was that the General Assembly could uniformly limit the number of bills that each legislator could introduce but once a bill was introduced; it had to be given a hearing and a vote.