Letter from the President & CEO
As we mark our first decade, we share the success of our first ten years with you and thank you for your support and generosity. I am proud to report that 2019 not only capped our first decade but was also a tremendously successful year for Common Sense Policy Roundtable. As a non-profit free-enterprise think tank dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy, our mission is to research and promote common-sense solutions for the most pressing public policy issues facing Colorado. In 2019 we significantly increased our research, delivering sound fiscal analysis on all the top public policy issues facing our state. Our research topics covered the most pressing legislative topics and ballot issues, including the Colorado budget, education, energy, climate change, homelessness, health care, growth, a proposed state-run family leave plan, and taxes. To meet the growing number of policy demands, CSPR added three new fellows in 2019. Dr. Brenda Bautsch Dickhoner joined CSPR as Education Fellow, Sumaiya Nehla Saif was selected as the Women in Economics Fellow, and Simon Lomax was named Energy Resources Fellow. The addition of fellows added to the insight and precision of our modeling and improved the depth of our research. Perhaps as important to our mission as our data and analysis, is our ability to reach Coloradans. In 2019, CSPR participated in dozens of events with chambers of commerce, trade associations, media outlets, and business organizations across Colorado to disseminate information. We grew our impact on social media and worked with local outlets to educate and inform Coloradans. In addition to our research, CSPR provides regular commentary and analysis of public policies in its bi-monthly e-newsletter, The Common Sense Digest, Common Sense Policy Roundtable also regularly hosts a quarterly forum called Eggs & the Economy with some of the leading voices on issues ranging from transportation to healthcare to energy and everything in between. We know our work is making a difference. The proof comes in improved policy outcomes—a stronger Colorado economy and more individual opportunity for all Coloradans. If the last ten years have taught us anything, it is that policy matters. By many counts, our politics have become a circus. Too often, we focus on personalities and celebrity and all of the drama associated with the political arena. The truth of the matter is the only reason politics matters at all is – policy. In 2010, CSPR was founded by a visionary and concerned group of business and civic leaders that understood this phenomenon and saw divisive partisanship was overwhelming the issues. Objective economic analysis was not being presented to lawmakers and voters empowering them to make fact-based and common-sense decisions. CSPR fills that void and we look forward to celebrating our 10- year anniversary in 2020. We embark on the next decade with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to provide Coloradans with fact-based research and policy insight. — KRISTIN STROHM
Denver Initiative 300: Impacts on the Homeless and Society by Granting Unimpeded Access to Public Space
PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 2019
Data on successful exits from homelessness are clear; the longer people are unsheltered, the more challenging rehousing. Strategies to improve rapid rehousing, early intervention and supportive housing are the path forward as they mitigate the risks to the individual and society of long-term homelessness…
- The City and County of Denver spends $50 million annually on services for the homeless.
- In addition to expenditures by the City, just the few organizations whose budgets could be determined, metro area charitable organizations spend over an additional $90 million annually. For comparison, in 2017, CDOT spent $89.6 million statewide on roadway expansion projects.
- The combination of City and charitable expenditures equates to approximately $26,000 per homeless individual. For comparison the current spending per-pupil in Denver Public Schools is $17,365.
Senate Bill 181: The statewide cost of prohibitions, restrictions and regulatory uncertainty in Colorado’s energy sector
PUBLISHED: MARCH 2019
Given the uncertainty surrounding the bill, concerned Coloradans questioned the economic risk of open-ended policy concerning oil and gas development. The full report projected the dynamic fiscal and economic impacts for 7 scenarios.
Here are summary results for one of the seven economic impact scenarios included in the report.
If SB-181 shuts down 50% of new oil and gas production, the impacts by 2030 include:
- 120,000 fewer jobs across all sectors
- Over $8 billion in lost state and local tax revenue from 2020 through 2030
- Over $158 billion in lost GDP from 2020 through 2030
Senate Bill 188: Analysis of the cost and risk of financial insolvency for a Colorado Paid Leave Program
PUBLISHED: APRIL 2019
To successfully create a new government program, policymakers need a clear understanding of how much it will cost and how it will be funded over time.
This report examines the assumptions behind SB-188, a bill to create a state-run Family Medical Leave Insurance Program in Colorado. While the intentions behind the program may be good, the assumptions that support the measure are questionable, raising the risk of a costly failure of the program.
Colorado Emissions Reduction Calculator
PUBLISHED: MAY 2019
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Colorado: Can You Comply?
CSPR has created a simple calculator to give you the chance to test alternative ways to comply with Colorado’s new greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions targets.
During the 2019 legislative session, several climate and energy-related bills passed that attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the state. The sectors impacted range from electricity production to transportation to the construction of new buildings. Under HB19-1261, the state’s air quality regulatory authority has a new mandate to reduce total state greenhouse gas emissions as a percent of 2005 levels by 2025, 2030 and 2050.
Building Gated Cities Policy Brief
PUBLISHED: JUNE 2019
Historical data from Colorado shows growth caps have real and lasting impacts on housing markets. Reducing the supply of housing, especially affordable housing, puts upward pressure on the cost of housing, including rents and property taxes.
Dollars & Data: A look at K-12 Education Funding in Colorado
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 2019
This study analyzes trends in K-12 revenues and spending at the state level and by region to build a common understanding of how public education is funded in Colorado. The study also looks at teacher salaries and turnover rates and considers how both factors differ across the state. The goal is to provide baseline data and analysis to ground ongoing discussions about public education funding in facts.
Anticipating a State Option for Health Care: Will Business Face Higher Costs or Will Quality and Access be Cut?
PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 2019
This study analyzes the potential effects of a state option on providers, insurers, markets, and the Colorado economy.
Government price controls needed to facilitate below-market premiums likely do not cover the full costs of care, and therefore the reduced medical revenue to health care providers could range from -$494 million up to -$1.4 billion. Access to care, quality of care, and the stability of the broader health insurance market may be adversely affected, and healthcare providers will find recovering unpaid costs much more difficult.
Proposition CC: Critical Questions Answered
PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 2019
The Budget Then & Now
PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 2019
This report and online animation tool summarizes the big picture changes within the Colorado state budget over the past 20 years.
Colorado Budget: Then and Now
How much does the state government spend on average per Coloradan:
Inflation Adjusted Appropriations Per Coloradan
The Local Revenue Impacts of Near-Term Oil and Gas Development
PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 2019
The total revenue across the 5 Colorado municipalities over the next 10 years of new oil and gas production is estimated to be between $1.39 billion and $1.85 billion.
EXPANDING OUR REACH
Eggs & the Economy
Eggs and the Economy is a quarterly symposium featuring guest speakers on a variety of public policy issues. At each event, CSPR highlights the most pressing issues Colorado is currently facing. This is an opportunity for CSPR to share current research, as well as hear from dignitaries and the experts working on them. The purpose of this event is to inform lawmakers and Coloradans so that they can make informed decisions with fact-based research.
Common Sense Digest
CSPR started the Common Sense Digest, a bi-weekly newsletter that educates and informs Coloradans on the latest policy happenings. Subscribe online at our website: https://commonsenseinstituteco.org/contact/subscribe/
In Media: Over 100 pieces of coverage
Redesign of Website
Connect with Us:
Common Sense Policy Roundtable
Common Sense Policy Roundtable
Launched YouTube Channel
OUTREACH & EVENTS
In 2019, CSPR staff and fellows shared research and presented at events hosted by the following organizations:
CSPR presented keynote addresses at the Denver Business Journal Health Care Forum and the NCLA Regional Issues Summit
A partnership of public and private organizations announced in July 2013 the formation of a collaboration to provide Colorado lawmakers, policymakers, and business leaders with greater insight into the economic impact of public policy decisions that face the state. The 2018 partners included the Common Sense Policy Roundtable, The Colorado Association of REALTORS, Colorado Bankers Association, Denver South Economic Development Partnership, and Colorado Concern.
To determine the effectiveness in delivering its mission, CSPR engaged QREM, an independent research and evaluation group to perform a systematic and rigorous evaluation on five research activities CSPR conducted in 2018. The five researched issue areas were: Amendment 73, Initiative 66, PERA Reform, Proposition 112, What if Colorado Schools Were #1?
“The overall impact was also strong on Amendment 73. Across the nation and within Colorado, most education initiatives [similar to Amendment 73] passed in November 2018. Only Colorado and Hawaii did not pass their initiatives.
The strongest impact for CSPR was on Proposition 112. Initially, Proposition 112 was framed as being a health and environment concern. Through its research, CSPR was able to help reframe the debate around 112 to be about jobs and the economy.”
FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM LAUNCH
To meet the growing number of policy demands, this year CSPR added three new re-search fellows. Dr. Brenda Bautsch Dickhoner joined CSPR as Education Fellow. Dr. Dickhoner has an extensive background in education and policy research. She most recently served as the Principal Consultant & Accountability Policy Specialist for the Colorado Department of Education. She graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy from the University of Colorado Denver.
CSPR also named Sumaiya Nehla Saif as the Women in Economics Fellow. Saif received her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Asian University for Women (AUW), Bangladesh. She recently completed her graduate degree in Economics from the University of Denver, where she received the Edmund Barbour Award for Outstanding Achievement and Satish Raichur Award for Excellence of a Graduate Student in the Study of Political Economy.
Simon Lomax joined CSPR as an Energy Resources Fellow. Lomax has spent more than 20 years working in journalism, government and public affairs. He started as a research assistant at the Queensland Department of Transportation in Brisbane, Australia. He later became a journalist, reporting for newspapers, trade publications and financial news wires in Australia, the Deep South and in Washington, D.C. Since 2012, Simon has worked with think tanks, trade associations and business groups to advocate for limited government and free-enterprise approaches to public policy.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CEO & CHAIRMAN
AMG NATIONAL TRUST BANK
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO
KOELBEL & COMPANY
EVP AND CEO
COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF MECHANICAL & PLUMBING CONTRACTORS
CAMP BOW WOW
TWO TREE PARTNERS
FORT COLLINS, CO
PRESIDENT & CEO
GE JOHNSON HOLDINGS, INC.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
T. Scott Martin
RIVERCREST CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
OWNER & CEO
NEXGEN RESOURCES CORPORATION
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO
SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS
PRESIDENT & CEO
STAFF & FELLOWS
PRESIDENT & CEO
DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND RESEARCH
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE SERVICES
POLICY AND RESEARCH FELLOWS
Dr. Brenda Bautsch Dickhoner
Sumaiya Nehla Saif
WOMEN IN ECONOMICS FELLOW
ENERGY RESOURCES FELLOW
Terry J. Stevinson Fellows
ANNOUNCED EARLY 2020 – HENRY SOBANET & BEN STEIN
This fellowship was established in honor of Terry J. Stevinson, a founding board member of CSPR. Thanks to Mr. Stevinson’s continuing dedication to free enterprise these fellowships have been named in his honor. The Fellow is awarded to two individuals with different political perspectives to research key public policy issues facing the state of Colorado.