Taxes are always a hot topic at the Colorado legislature, but this year, with a new Democratic majority under pressure to spend tax dollars to fulfill campaign promises, the fiscal flames at the Capitol will surely burn hotter.

So a one-day conference in Denver next week, focusing on “how tax and fiscal policies can bring widespread prosperity for every Coloradan,” seems particularly timely.

The Colorado Fiscal Institute’s Jan. 11 “Fiscal Forum” will feature experts on Colorado’s state budget and economy.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Pavlina Tcherneva, who’s best known as the professor behind the income inequality chart referenced repeatedly U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

One workshop, moderated by Carol Hedges, who directs the progressive
Colorado Fiscal Institute, will look at the failed ballot initiative that would have increased public education funding in Colorado.

Panelists include Lisa Weil, Executive Director of Great Education Colorado; Ken Delay, Executive Director of the Colorado Association of School Boards; and Chris Keating, President and Founder of Keating Research.

The Fiscal Institute’s forum comes as Colorado’s budget debate hits new territory.

State budget shortages, created in part by intersecting constitutional roadblocks, have repeatedly stymied efforts by Democratic lawmakers to spend tax dollars to ease economic hardships for Coloradans who need help.

Colorado Republicans have generally opposed such programs.

But the Democratic majority that will take over the Capitol this week will face budget shortfalls that will likely hold back some of their favored legislation.

The event, which costs $100, takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., at History Colorado, 1200 Broadway.