Spending in CO for public purposes, such as education, health care, and transportation, is complicated by rules and restraints that have been placed on government; examples are the Gallagher Amentment and TABOR. At the state level there is an on-going battle between funding public priorities, usually championed by Democrats, and imposing austerity measures on government programs, usually supported by Republicans, who want to make sure that there are no new taxes or tax increases and want to "drown" government. The most respected non-partisan voice in CO regarding all of these issues is a non-profit corporation, the Colorado Fiscal Instutute, which provides the "hard facts." Carol Hedges, the Executive Director of the Colorado Fiscal Instutute will speak to the July meeting of the Parker Democrats about the current status of funding for critical government programs in CO, about any progress in solving the standoff between Democrats and Republican in the State Legislature that occurred in the budget generated in the 2017 session, and about the expected result of cuts to federal programs, such as Medicaid, in CO. This is all information that we should try to understand because of the impact on our lives and on the future of our state.