Testimony to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee
Robert Semro, policy analyst
February 9, 2012
My name is Robert Semro, and I am a policy analyst with the Bell Policy Center. The Bell is a non-partisan, non-profit research and policy organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for all Coloradans.
It's a serious subject, but we still tried to have some fun this summer telling you about General Fund and his mounting problems. We hope our Plain Talk series made some dry topics more interesting and understandable. And it didn't hurt to have General Fund himself illustrate our points.
This week, just about everyone who is anyone in health care policy in Colorado is hanging out at the Colorado Health Foundation's annual symposium in Keystone. One patient we hope they take some time to examine is General Fund, who is in poor health these days.
Two weeks ago, we introduced you to General Fund and told you about the critical role he plays. Last week, we told you he is shrinking – in terms of real purchasing power per Coloradan, he's 25% smaller than he was just eleven years ago.
In our last email, we introduced you to General Fund and told you about the critical role he plays in making sure we have an educated workforce, health care for low-income and disabled Coloradans, courts and prisons to keep us safe and an effective safety net for low-income and vulnerable populations.
Lawmakers received good news on the economic and budget fronts this morning.
State economists now estimate that the Colorado economy will continue to grow, albeit slowly, and generate enough revenue to maintain a balanced General Fund budget this year and next. This is a change from recent years, when the legislature and governor faced declining revenues and the need to make budget cuts.