The 2013 Colorado State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent Government (SMART) Act required all Colorado state agencies to submit annual performance reports to the state legislature as part of the state’s budget process. These reports include: (1) performance measures for the major functions of the department; (2) performance goals for at least the following three years; (3) a description of the strategies necessary to achieve those goals; and (4) a summary of the department’s most recent performance evaluation.
The Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) and the Colorado state legislature passed legislation that aligned evidence definitions, the five-step evidence continuum, that informs budget and spending decisions. OSPB requires agencies to identify the level of evidence and the results of any evaluations of programs as a part of the budget proposal process, “based on the evidence and body of research supporting the program’s effect on desired outcomes and proposed implementation plan.” This guidance is provided in the governor’s budget instructions via an assessment of the data and evidence associated with the requests. The FY21-22 Governor’s budget included 53 requests assessed on the evidence continuum, representing 33% of all requests and an increase from FY20-21 in the number and kind of requests assessed on the continuum.
The Colorado Governor also directed OSPB to evaluate the impact of all budget requests on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) with a goal of advancing equity statewide. In 2021, OSPB has created an EDI team to undertake this work and is working with state departments to incorporate EDI considerations into the state’s budget process.