INTERIM COMMISSION TO STUDY FISCAL STABILITY
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11:08 AM -- Presentation by Phil Hayes on Colorado Working Families
Phil Hayes, Political and Legislative Director of Colorado AFL-CIO, commented on the struggles of Colorado's working families. He also discussed the work of the Economic Policy Institute and referred the commission to the institute's website (www.stateofworkingamerica.org) which has information on the issues working families are facing. He also provided information on trends in income and economic cycles and size of the middle class. He discussed a report provided to Commissioners by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities regarding budget cuts (Attachment G). He explained the various approaches used by other states to deal with budget shortfalls while addressing the needs of working families.
Mr. Hayes had the following recommendations for the commission: (1) the state should work together with the business community to attract more economic opportunities to Colorado; (2) the state should protect its social safety net during the economic downturns; (3) the connection between the public and private sector should be recognized; and (4) the state needs to work with state employees during tough budget times to identify budget solutions. On this last point, Mr. Hayes discussed the report he provided to commissioners with information regarding the state's employees (Attachment H).
Concluding his presentation, Mr. Hayes discussed potential long-term solutions to budget problems, focusing primarily on the need to address TABOR.