Policy Bits ~ 5 Things to Know & Watch This Week

Nov 2 – 8, 2015 ~ Karly Malpiede Andrus

 I.   CDOT unveils $20M tech program to make roads safer, fasterPolicy Bitsn112.15

  • Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) unveiled their RoadX plan which aims to team with private companies to deploy “comprehensive technology solutions” over the next 10 years. They committed $20M from their $1.4B budget and anticipate similar funding levels going forward to obtain congestion relief and safety improvements. To be clear, this is not new money, CDOT is simply reallocating money already in their budget from funds earmarked for projects for those purposes and their operations & management budget.  http://goo.gl/pHBksP
  • This affects everyone in the state. This is a 21st Century cutting edge way of tackling problems that have plagued us for centuries, it will bring great opportunity but begs many questions of CDOT around equitability of the roll out, resource allocation, safety, accountability of taxpayer resources and ensuring that any PPP is actually a good deal for the taxpayer.

II.  New Online Tools Demonstrates the “Cliff Effect”, CCLP suggests Solutions

  • Colorado Center on Law & Policy (CCLP) worked with the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) to update the Family Resource Simulator & Basic Needs Calculator (FRS/BNBC) for seven Colorado counties. The tools illustrate what benefits low-income families can receive and at what point they lose such benefits. http://goo.gl/AgteZT
  • The “Cliff Effect” happens when a low-wage earner gets a small increase in pay which results in the loss of safety net resources more significant to the family’s overall income. This issue plagues many of our partners and clients but advocates can and should explore solutions. Perhaps a graduate benefits schedule could ensure a helping hand up without creating necessary dependence because current jobs do not pay a gainful wage.

III.  Slow Money’s Beetcoin campaign aims to raise $50k for CO food organizations

  • Boulder based Slow Money encourages investment in small farms & food business and just finished a new online campaign called Beetcoin aimed at people passionate about local, sustainable food but may not have $5,000 to invest. The campaign was open October 1 – 31, 2015, there are six groups vying for the inaugural loans. The top three vote getters will split the proceeds in the form of a three-year, no interest loan that, once paid back, will be recirculated to a similar group. http://goo.gl/6VNVm6
  • We need to think outside the box and identify that local communities need to start investing in and leading solutions they want to see. Further, recognize that access to $20,000 is a game changer for nontraditional, social impact businesses and there is inherent power in community driven wealth building.