As we near the year’s midpoint, we take time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and discuss where we go from here. It has been a busy year for Common Sense Institute, which means there is plenty of fertile ground to cover as we discuss the legislative session, touch on our studies and reports, and look ahead to election season and beyond.

Host and Chairman Earl Wright welcomes 2023 Mike A. Leprino Fellow Lang Sias, 2023 CSI Owens-Early Criminal Justice Fellow, and Kelly Caufield, Executive Director of Common Sense Institute for a spirited and wide-ranging conversation about an abundance of topics. Some of the issues touched on include crime (with a particular focus on auto theft and sentencing), housing, economic development, competitiveness and workforce, education, TABOR, the “fair work week,” PERA, and many others. This episode is loaded and our panel of experts dive deep into the issues most directly affecting Coloradans.

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Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver

Lang Sias is the 2023 CSI Mike A. Leprino Fellow is a former Colorado State legislator, attorney and Navy and Air National Guard fighter pilot. As a Colorado State Representative from 2015-2019, Lang represented House District 27 in Jefferson County. The ranking member on the business committee, Lang also served on the education, public health and health exchange oversight committees, and was a member of the legislative tax simplification task force and the JeffCo school safety task force. Over 85% of the bills Lang sponsored were bipartisan. He focused on solving problems in the areas of education, health care and small business, and on government transparency and accountability. He played major roles in passing legislation expanding public school choice, increasing healthcare transparency and reforming the public pension system to benefit retirees and taxpayers. Lang currently serves on the legislative subcommittee that oversees Colorado’s state pension fund. He was the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2018 and State Treasurer in 2022.

George Brauchler is the 2023 CSI Owens-Early Criminal Justice Fellow, and served as the elected District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District (JD), Colorado’s most populous district, which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties, from 2013-2021. As a state prosecutor, he handled the felony cases from the Columbine High School mass shooting case, the Aurora Theater (Batman) mass shooting case, and recently, the STEM Academy school mass shooting case.

Kelly Caufield is the Executive Director of Common Sense Institute. In this role, Kelly is the key management leader of CSI and oversees the administration, strategic plan, and programming for the organization. Kelly brings nearly 20 years of policy, research, and advocacy experience to CSI.