January 4th, 2011
DENVER - Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper announced today Henry Sobanet will be Director of the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting.
Sobanet is now President of Colorado Strategies LLC, a private consulting firm that specializes in economics, Colorado budget issues, legislative affairs and strategic management. The firm has provided consulting and research services to a wide range of public, private and non-profit groups. Sobanet is a frequent speaker on the economy and tax policy and has been an instructor at the University of Denver and the University of Colorado.
"There is no secret pot of money to help solve the state's well-documented budget shortfalls," Hickenlooper said. "Henry Sobanet knows his way around the state budget and will be an important part of our team as we work to recover from this historic economic downturn."
Sobanet worked for the Office of State Planning Budgeting as Deputy Director from 1999 to 2004, when former Gov. Bill Owens appointed him to be Director of the office. In 2005, Sobanet was the lead negotiator and researcher for the Governor's Office in reaching a compromise with the legislature on the State's budget shortfall. This effort resulted in Referendum C, which was adopted by voters in November 2005. In 2006, Sobanet helped develop and negotiate an innovative plan to address the state's then-$11.3 billion pension shortfall.
"It is an honor for me to be chosen by Gov.-elect Hickenlooper to serve again as budget director," Sobanet said. "The idea that I have the opportunity to serve two different Governors is still sinking in. My door is open to anyone with a good idea to help balance the state's budget."
Sobanet earlier worked as an economist for five years at the Colorado Legislative Council, the nonpartisan research office for the state legislature. He has served on a number of boards and commissions, most recently as the District 1 (Denver) representative on the Colorado Transportation Commission. He is now a member of the Second Judicial District Nominating Commission.
Sobanet, a Denver native, attended Regis Jesuit High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in the same subject from the University of Colorado at Denver.