Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This WeekPolicy Bits12516
January 25-31, 2016 ~ Karly Malpiede Andrus


I.   Divide over Colorado Transportation Funding Possible

  • The Colorado Legislature is mired in an ideological traffic jam over budget issues. Bi-partisan stakeholder meetings are starting to look at funding options given there is no general fund line item for transportation. Democrats want to reclassify the $750 million hospital provider fee, which could allow them to circumvent the TABOR requirement for taxpayer refunds. However, a Legislative Council memo called that move unconstitutional. Republicans want to take out some debt to pay for roads backlog. Although, CDOT’s director, Shailen Bhatt, recently advocated for raising the state gas tax. http://goo.gl/PIV49R
  • CDOT estimates a $900M backlog of road maintenance and bridge-repair projects, which does not include new projects or transit. This issue affects the whole state, and we need to find a sustainable, equitable way to fund these projects.

II.  Grant for Strengthening Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnerships to Promote Community Living

  • Transit Planning for All recently announced availability of funds for community-based demonstration programs. The purpose is to encourage development of an inclusive coordinated transportation system in which people with disabilities and older adults actively participate in both advisory and decision-making capacities. A further goal is to ensure identifiable and measurable changes in the transportation system that responds to the needs and preferences of older adults and people with disabilities. http://goo.gl/LJ6UPn
  • There is great value in discussion and planning goals but the rubber hits the road when we discuss accountability to progress of tangible benefits from that talk.

III. CO a Trailblazer New Remediation model to Get more Students Through College

  • Colorado utilizes the “corequisite remediation” model which has students enroll in remedial and college-level courses in the same subject at the same time, and offers them targeted support in both classes. The Colorado Community College System started requiring this model in fall 2014 and success rates more than doubled from 31% to 64%. This drastically improves workforce readiness because many new jobs don’t require a 4 year degree but do require more than a high school degree. Hopefully this tactic can target middle skill jobs. http://goo.gl/9M0Xlu
  • This tale from the field shows how partnerships and ideas can emerge to find the best solutions, which sometimes are just not that complicated. Also, numbers matter because they allow us to measure – reliable, replicable data models are key to verifying the effectiveness of our work in the field. Finding a balance between investment in solutions and documenting conditions to proving out those solutions, will be key to impactful work.