The second regular session of the 69th Colorado General Assembly came to a close on Wednesday. From our perspective, it was extremely productive and expanded opportunity for a wide range of Coloradans.
A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of TABOR, the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, moved another step forward yesterday.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 6-4 decision, rejected an appeal by Attorney General John Suthers, potentially clearing the way for the case to proceed to trial. The attorney general still has the option of appealing directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
To understand how Colorado finds itself in its current fiscal condition, it is helpful to look back at some critical decisions made by legislators and voters over the last 32 years, and at some of the economic and political factors that drove those decisions. (An update of "The Road to 2007," part of "Looking Forward, Colorado's fiscal prospects after Ref C.")
Economists from both the legislature and the governor's office predict a sound economy and continued growth in state revenues over the next three years.
Last Friday, economists from the Legislative Council Staff (LCS) and the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budget (OSPB) told the legislature's Joint Budget Committee to expect General Fund revenues to grow between 6.5 and 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2014-15 (which begins next Tuesday) and between 5.65 and 5.8 percent the following year (FY 2015-16).
I interviewed many people for the higher-education project in this week's Denver Business Journal print edition going back over a number of years, and I wasn't able to work all of their thoughts – or in some cases, even all of the sources – into the final package.
So, here's a smattering of other important voices on higher education and their thoughts on the state's college and university system.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed three bills that make important investments in Colorado's public schools, with an emphasis on programs to support at-risk students, close the achievement gap and put students on a path to success.
These are important bills for Colorado students and their families and, ultimately, our state and economy. Adequate funding is not the only factor affecting education outcomes, but it is among the most important. These investments follow years of cutbacks during the Great Recession.
Shortly after the 2014 legislative session ended on May 7, we offered our quick take – a post-game analysis, if you will. Today, we are sending an end-of-session Opportunity News with greater detail and more context on key bills and this session's achievements. We're sticking with our initial impression: This was a great year for expanding opportunity for Coloradans.
Shortly after the 2014 legislative session ended on May 7, we offered our quick take – a post-game analysis, if you will. Today, we are publishing an end-of-session Opportunity News with greater detail and more context on key bills and this session's achievements. We're sticking with our initial impression: This was a great year for expanding opportunity for Coloradans.