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Economy

CSU video looks into the future of the state budget

April 22, 2014
by Tiana Nelson

The Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University launched a new video explaining the long-term challenges the state faces in paying for government services that go into preserving Colorado's quality of lifeincluding K-12 education, health care, corrections, courts, higher education and a host of others.

The Colorado Futures Center at CSU launched a new video explaining the long-term challenges the state will face in paying for state government services that go into preserving Colorado's quality of life, including K-12 education, health care, corrections, courts, higher education and a host of others.

“This is a very important issue with significant implications for Colorado’s long-term quality of life and state government’s ability to meet the needs and expectations of current and future citizens,” said Colorado Futures Center Director Charles Brown. “The decisions made at the polls and at the Capitol have impacts that stay with us for many years to come, and this video boils the issue down to its simplest form to illustrate the difficulties that are ahead if we stay on the current path and don’t take steps now to change course.”

The video provides a glimpse into the Colorado Futures Center’s Sustainability Study released in December, which analyzes the long-term fiscal health of Colorado government’s main checking account for the decades ahead and builds on the widely-cited, award-winning study first completed in 2011.

The 2013 study looks ahead to 2030, when thestate could experience a structural shortfall of nearly $3 billion. Colorado’s constitution requires a balanced budget every year, so meaningful changes need to happen now in order to head off a worst-case scenario. The new video also lays out some potential solutions for lawmakers and voters to consider.

“Government cannot fix the challenge outlined by our study with across-the-board spending cuts or tax rate increases; it’s going to take a structural approach to fix a structural problem, blending thoughtful and creative solutions to really get at the root issues threatening Colorado’s long-term fiscal health,” Brown said.

Phyllis Resnick, lead economist for the Colorado Futures Center, agreed and noted the importance of having the video relay to the public the impact of waiting to make changes to our state’s fiscal policy.

“The public needs to understand what’s at stake and take an active role in a discussion about Colorado’s future,” Resnick said. “If we don’t make changes now, we will be dealing with the negative impacts to the quality of life that we all love about Colorado. If we ignore this problem, the services that we have become reliant upon will take significant hits into the future.”

The Colorado Futures Center video was possible due to funding from The Colorado Trust.

About the Colorado Futures Center

The Colorado Futures Center at CSU provides vital research and analysis of public policies impacting Colorado’s future and quality of life. The Center delivers independent, nonpartisan and academically grounded input on a broad range of issues related to the economic health of the state of Colorado.

The Colorado Futures Center fits within CSU’s commitment to excellence, setting the standard for public research universities in teaching, research, service and extension for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado, the United States and the world. In support of that mission, the Colorado Futures Center produces research to help Colorado’s citizens and leaders make decisions that strengthen the state’s economy and quality of life.


Contact: Tiana Nelson
E-mail: christiana.nelson@colostate.edu
Phone: 303-376-2613