Meet Chris Courtwright

Chris Courtwright has most recently served as a member of Governor Kelly’s Council on Tax Reform.  He retired as Chief Economist for the Kansas Legislature in 2020 after serving that branch of government for 35 years.  During that time, he oversaw the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, which provides baseline forecasts that policymakers are required by law to utilize; staffed all tax study commissions since the mid 1980s; and played a major role in quantifying and analyzing multiple policy options during all state tax debates.  The author of Kansas Tax Facts and a former columnist for State Tax Notes magazine, he received the prestigious President's Award from the Government Finance Officers' Association in acknowledgment of his role as a top public sector economist.  A recognized authority, Chris was keynote speaker at the 2013, 2016 and 2018 Kansas Economic Policy Conference and has presented at other major events, including the Federal Reserve Regional Economic Roundtable; and the Journal of Policy History Conference.  Since retiring in 2020, he has continued to serve as an informal consultant to politicians in both parties - especially relating to matters involving the state budget and tax policy - and has continued to give speeches around the state.  He has published oft-cited op eds in recent years, and his contacts at the Statehouse remain extensive in both the legislative and executive branches, as well as with the press corps and numerous members of the lobbying community.  He brings all of those networks and contacts as well as his experience and institutional memory to the table as a critical component to support and implement the mission of Kansans First.  His expertise in understanding how certain political messaging plays with different constituencies and in specific legislative districts will be needed to help recapture and reenergize the center of the political spectrum where most Kansans indeed prefer to operate.