March 27, 2014
In 2010, a small group of industry-diverse business and civic leaders embarked upon an experiment to start the Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR). We pledged to have a constructive and engaging presence in Colorado’s most important public policy debates. Our mission has been to cultivate jobs and the economy in Colorado and do this with intellectual integrity. After these three short years, we believe our experiment has been a success.
Last year was a marquee year for CSPR. Since inception, we promised to construct a dynamic econometric model unique to the state of Colorado. We are pleased to say that was accomplished in 2013. We purchased and built a Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) in partnership with the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Denver South Economic Development Partnership. A unique feature of this consortium was the development of a partnership with University of Colorado’s Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business. The consortium meets bimonthly to establish research priorities. Our first research project was to determine the economic impact of Amendment 66, a proposed tax increase for public education funding. The REMI model is intended to be a central resource for policy makers, stakeholders and the Colorado community.
CSPR is now at a turning point. Having sustained steady growth over the past three years, conducted a plethora of research publications on jobs and the economy, and educated Coloradans on numerous public policy debates—it is now critical that we expand upon our successes.
In the short-term, building off of our work in 2014, the Common Sense Policy Roundtable is excited to embark on various public policy endeavors in 2014. We have arranged for two major studies using the REMI Model. We have already begun an energy study using REMI that should be released early in 2014. Colorado has an abundant natural resources that literally and figuratively fuel the Colorado economy. Colorado economy. The estimated value of oil, gas, and carbon dioxide totals more than $11.9 billion in 2013, representing year-over-year growth driven by gains in both production and price. The industry accounted for more than 29,000 direct jobs in drilling, extraction, and support activities in 2012 in Colorado, represented by nearly 1,400 firms. The industry pays higher-than-average wages in Colorado, and is the source of a significant public revenue stream that impacts federal, state, and local coffers.
A recent movement has established to quell or cease oil and gas development in the state. Longmont City Council moved to impose a fracing moratorium, which is currently in litigation after being challenged by both the State and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. In 2013, voters in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Lafayette approved fracing bans, and a ban is pending recount in Broomfield. There is an indication that such a ban could be presented to voters statewide in 2014. Our study will serve to understand the economic impacts of such a ban.
The second study in 2014 will evaluate the economic condition and infrastructure needs of the state regarding the financial crisis that is looming for Colorado. The aging of Colorado’s population along with new added Medicaid coverage is forcing Colorado into a significant budgetary deficit, forecasted to hit between 2018 and 2020. Our study will aim to determine the anticipated size of the state deficit what policy alternatives are available to help close any fiscal gap and even explore the creation of a reserve or rainy day fund for down economic times.
With our current resources: 1) REMI dynamic model, 2) Our strategic partnerships, and 3) Our board of directors and staff, in the long-term we look to become the premier conservative fiscal policy think tank in the Western region.
This plan is intended to help us remain centered in our mission-driven activities and articulate a clear purpose that will drive our activities to build a stronger, more effective organization…