State Treasurer Dave Young Visits RMHS to Discuss Colorado’s Budget and Financing
Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young virtually visited Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) this month, drawing upon his decades of public service and state budget knowledge to discuss with employees the fiscal difficulties caused by conflicting mandates in the Colorado constitution.
RMHS was honored to welcome Treasurer Young to our Lunch & Learn, an event we hold periodically as for employee enrichment purposes.
He took a wide angle look at the Colorado economy, drawing historic connections between periodic recessions and resulting ballot initiatives intended to address financial repercussions.
What we’re left with, he said, is a collection of revenue restrictions and spending dictates that leave Colorado’s state budget unable to adequately meet important needs, such services and supports for people RMHS supports.
He discussed the implications of TABOR, the state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1992. Among its tenets, it requires a vote to increase taxes, and it restricts revenues for all levels of government – state, local and schools.
“That constitutional amendment tied the hands of the legislature,” he said.
Treasurer Young is a Colorado native. He spent 35 years as an educator teaching math, science and technology. He served nearly eight years as a state legislator, including four years on the Joint Budget Committee. He became State Treasurer in 2019.
Treasurer Young never expected to get into politics, although he was always politically active. He was motivated to join because he saw some gaps in the system for individuals like his sister who is challenged with significant disabilities. Treasurer Young ran for office to make the system a better place for her and others like her.
“We were really struggling to get the services she needed,” Treasurer Young said. “She went through 20 residential placements in a year.”
He noticed there were other families struggling with Medicaid and found out funding was the problem. He joined the JBC to focus on funding for Medicaid, education and economic development.
“We need to build the system to be responsive to the people, not the other way around,” Treasurer Young said.