Carol Hedges grew up in Topeka Kansas. Always a self-professed "nerd," she relished trips downtown on the bus where she never failed to visit the State Capitol. Realizing her childhood dream, Carol started her career in the Capitol, working for Governor John Carlin from 1982 to 1986. A bigger Capitol drew her to DC where she worked for the National Governors’ Association. Her time with the Human Resource committee and then directing the Agriculture and Natural Resource committee solidified her commitment to States as the right-sized government unit.
Carol and her family moved from DC to Denver in 1996 when she joined the Romer Administration. Working initially on integrating budget and policy for the administration, she was quickly exposed to the challenges created by a constitutionalized tax code. She served as Governor Romer’s policy director in his third term.
Carol expanded her experience by working for the Denver based Piton Foundation, administering an employment and training program that was part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jobs Initiative.
Carol returned to state policy work when she was part of the original staff at the Bell Policy Center, where she was the primary author of Ten Years of TABOR, a report that articulated the consequences of harsh tax and spending limitations.
In 2005, Colorado joined the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, a partner organization of the State Priorities Partnership, a network of state tax and budget research and advocacy organizations coordinated by the DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
In 2013, Carol and longtime ally, Kathy White created the Colorado Fiscal Institute to focus on making Colorado a place where tax and budget policies support equity and widespread economic prosperity.
Carol is married to John Toaspern and has two children, Will and Lillie. She has a law degree from the University of Kansas and a degree in Public Affairs from Emporia State University.