The 51st State Initiative, a group determined to bring a bigger rural voice to the state legislature, says their proposal to assign a senator from every Colorado county has been defeated along party lines. The group isn’t finished though. The Phillips County proposal, also known as the Sonnenberg proposal after sponsor Jerry Sonnenberg, will likely appear on the statewide ballot. Two Phillips County citizens are preparing a statewide initiative that would accomplish what rural lawmakers couldn’t in the legislature. The two will have to gather 120,000 signatures of registered voters statewide to get the measure on the ballot. The proposal is a result of rural residents and lawmakers feeling neglected at the State Capitol. Two Democratic lawmakers were recalled, and another resigned in the face of a recall, as a result of energy and gun legislation being pushed through last year’s session by urban lawmakers. Petitions will start circulating soon.