At the Buechner Breakfast First Friday on Sept. 2, 2016, a panel of experts will address the question: Do we need to fix the state budget?
Colorado’s budget continues to be complex and challenging. Despite relatively low financial support for prominent state activities like transportation and road maintenance, K12 and higher education, taxpayers may still receive TABOR tax refunds next year. This past spring legislation was introduced to remove the hospital provider fee from TABOR restrictions in an effort to ease budget shortfalls, but it failed.
An outside group, Building a Better Colorado, held a long statewide conversation on the budget and developed a ballot initiative for a “TABOR timeout” from 2016-26. The active initiative was pulled off the ballot in July 2016. While these changes have not moved forward, many believe that the conflicting state constitutional budget requirements can create a budget crisis in the next few years.
With a contentious election coming in November, including a possibile party control change in both chambers of the state legislature, how should we think about the state budget? Why was the ballot initiative pulled back? What happens if no changes are made to the hospital provider fee or to TABOR? What will happen if/when the state faces an economic downturn, after several years of a strong boom in jobs and taxes?
To address these questions, we have assembled a panel of experts, with different perspectives and points of view.
- Henry Sobanet, Director, Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting
- Phyllis Resnick, Lead Economist, Colorado Futures Center, Colorado State University
- Lisa Weil, Director, Great Education Colorado
- Linda Gorman, Director, Health Care Policy Institute, Independence Institute
Moderator: Paul Teske, Dean, CU Denver School of Public Affairs