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Innovation in Government Pays Off

Tags: Forum for Civic Advancement

Sabrina Ragaller

Earlier this year, El Pomar’s Forum for Civic Advancement invited Dr. Phyllis Resnick to speak to the community about the fiscal sustainability of  state government in Colorado.

Resnick’s presentation on the research of the University of Denver’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future was thought provoking. It demonstrated why economics has become known as the “dismal science” considering the state budget will be facing an over $3 billion gap between General Fund revenues and spending by 2024.

Managing the state budget is going to be quite the challenge in the years to come and policymakers will have to evaluate and reevaluate what the government will be able to achieve. With limited dollars to go around and important policies in education, healthcare, and human services to fund, it’s easy to see how financing innovation could be low on the priority list.

However, one need only look to the city of Colorado Springs to see that innovation may be worth the investment. Established in August 2011, the city’s Office of Innovation and Sustainability is on the leading edge of implementing new ideas that have significant cost-cutting impact. In a short amount of time the Office has achieved one very gratifying accomplishment: it has already paid for itself. Furthermore, according to a recent post highlighting the Office, it is well on its way to paying for its second year.

Of course, offices like this one are not a panacea for future financial problems that government is likely to face on all levels, but they could help. We can help, too, by learning about and supporting the work of civic innovators like Nick Kittle, who manages the Office of Innovation and Sustainability and will be speaking at the next Forum event on June 19.

Interested in attending? Click here to RSVP.