Health of Democracy

Letter to Secretary of State Scott Gesser regarding proposed Campaign Finance Regulation 1.12

Type: Commentary & Letters
Published Date: December 14, 2011
Author: Buchanan, Wade

December 14, 2011

The Honorable Scott Gessler
Colorado Secretary of State
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, Colorado 80290

Dear Secretary Gessler:

I am writing to comment on proposed Campaign Finance Regulation 1.12, which would establish a 30% spending threshold to determine whether a group qualifies as an "issue committee." This change would make financing of ballot measures in Colorado much less transparent and would treat groups differently based solely on the size of their total budgets, not the level of involvement on any specific issue.

The Colorado Trust tracks health policy issues online

Type: Press Coverage
Published Date: December 19, 2011
Author: Colorado Springs Business Journal

By Amy Gillentine
The Colorado Springs Business Journal

The Colorado Trust today launched a new section of its website dedicated to tracking public policy issues that could affect the health and well-being of Coloradans.

The new section of the site, at www.coloradotrust.org/healthpolicy, includes information about federal, state and local laws, regulations, bills, judicial decisions and political events.

New thinking, new approaches needed to transform higher ed, Callan says

Type: Email Communications
Published Date: December 15, 2011
Author: Waterous, Frank

In order to meet the challenges of the 21st century, American higher education must redesign itself through a fundamental transformation in policy, practice and financing. But in doing so, it can neither expect nor rely upon a restoration of past approaches or public support. That was the central message delivered by Patrick M. Callan, president of the Higher Education Policy Institute and the featured speaker at the Bell Policy Center's "Voices of Opportunity" program on Dec. 7.

Going upstream: Engaging nonprofits in public policy issues, public policy process

Type: Press Coverage
Published Date: December 12, 2011
Author: Cause Planet

By Rich Jones
The Bell Policy Center

Suppose there is a river with a strong current that washes people downstream if they fall into it. Upstream is an old bridge with broken railings. You could spend a lot of time and effort pulling everyone who falls into the river to shore. Or you could fix the railings so that fewer people fall into the river in the first place.

Bell Policy Center raises concerns over cuts to financial aid programs

Type: Email Communications
Published Date: November 14, 2011
Author: Waterous, Frank

At the most recent meeting of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the Bell Policy Center voiced strong concerns about Gov. John Hickenlooper's proposed $30 million in cuts to the state's need-based and work-study financial aid programs in his FY 2012-13 budget request. Such cuts could reduce post-secondary educational opportunity for many low- and middle-income Coloradans.

Obama, new reports put focus on college costs, student debt burden

Type: Email Communications
Published Date: October 26, 2011
Author: Waterous, Frank

On a cold, snowy day in Denver, we're glad to see attention focused on the "hot topics" of escalating college costs and student loan debt. We've long pointed out that the rising costs of post-secondary education and the amount of debt incurred by many students represent daunting obstacles to opportunity for low- and middle-income Coloradans.

Two annual reports released by the College Board – and a plan by President Obama unveiled during his speech in Denver – address these important issues.

'In Plain Talk' budget video now available in Spanish

Type: Email Communications
Published Date: September 13, 2011
Author: Watt, Joe

When the Bell Policy Center and ProgressNow Colorado teamed up to produce Colorado's Budget: In Plain Talk, we wanted to spark a conversation about the state budget and our fiscal challenges.

Our goal is to get Coloradans talking about the state budget – and that's all Coloradans. That's why we created a Spanish-language version of the video, El Presupuesto de Colorado: En Terminos Sencillos.

Help us make Colorado a state of opportunity for all. Please donate today.

Type: Email Communications
Published Date: September 6, 2011
Author: Buchanan, Wade

Dear Friend:

With Fall comes a noisy, busy season for organizations such as ours – a time that bears witness to our successes and the challenges before all of us. I ask, can you imagine Colorado without the Bell Policy Center?

Spanish-language discussion guide for Colorado's Budget: In Plain Talk

Type: Budget Watch
Published Date: September 1, 2011
Author:

Click on the link for a Spanish-language of the discussion guide to accompany Colorado's Budget: In Plain Talk.

 

Plain talk on Colorado's budget: General Fund goes back to school

Type: Budget Watch
Published Date: August 31, 2011
Author: Buchanan, Wade

Click here for pdf version

It still feels like summer, but most of Colorado's kids are already back at school. General Fund is back at school, too, and working harder than ever just to make the grade.

In previous emails we talked about how General Fund is struggling to keep his obligations to college students, Medicaid patients and other Coloradans while revenues are slipping. And we've discussed how he may have to take on more responsibility for roads and bridges.

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