The Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) continues to make evidence an integral part of the budget process. Since 2016, OSPB has mandated evidence information in budget requests for the Governor’s annual proposal. OSPB provides annual guidance to state departments, stressing the use of data and evidence in the budget process, promoting transparency and informed decision-making. OSPB’s guidance includes the use of a five-step “evidence continuum”, which measures budget requests on the level of evidence gathered and assessed. Pew researchers have also conducted an analysis and summarization of Colorado’s evidence continuum.
By applying the evidence continuum, Colorado is investing in programs and projects that promote the use of evidence-based and informed practices like wraparound services for 500 Medicaid members, drawing from learnings from a Denver housing social impact bond project and a pilot Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) program, an evidence-based fall prevention program that will serve 400 aging residents; and funding the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and for training and education for health-care, behavioral health-care, and public health-care professionals, to further promote the use of evidence-based models of care for treatment of pain and substance use disorders. These specific programs have a focus on promoting equitable outcomes, which state agencies are instructed to analyze and speak upon in their request as detailed in the FY 24-25 budget guidance on EDI and evidence-based policy created by OSPB.
In the 2022 legislative session, OSPB and the Colorado Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee began implementing HB21-284, Evidence-based Evaluations for Budget, which codified requirements to use a consistent evidence framework to assist the legislature’s budget decisions. The Governor’s budget includes assessments of the evidence for each proposal in accordance with HB21-284, and Joint Budget Committee staff review the Governor’s Office characterization of the evidence (e.g., reviewing and critiquing studies cited in the proposal) and also may perform their own independent assessment of the evidence.