Polis waves during state of state address

Gov. Jared Polis waves to the gallery as he wraps up his State of the State address on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in Denver, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

Soaring prices of commodities and spiking criminality took center stage at the state Capitol in Denver on Thursday, when Gov. Jared Polis outlined an ambitious agenda to lift the economic burden on Coloradans, keep them safe from violence and signaled the start of the campaign to pass what could become the state's most expensive spending plan to date.

Here are key takeaways from the governor’s state of the state address:

1) Polis opened his speech by acknowledging the direst crisis Coloradans have endured over the past two years – a shape-shifting virus that has killed more than 10,000 residents – and a host of maladies, notably violence and disasters.

Polis opened his speech by acknowledging the direst crisis Coloradans have endured over the past two years – a shape-shifting virus that has killed more than 10,000 residents – and a host of maladies, notably violence and disasters.

2) Polis pledged to cut taxes, reduce or waive fees, and eliminate government-imposed financial barriers to starting a business.

Polis pledged to cut taxes, reduce or waive fees, and eliminate government-imposed financial barriers to starting a business. “We must double down on our promise to help every business and family succeed. That means taking less of your hard-earned money in fees and taxes, and putting more in your pockets and paychecks,” he told members of the Colorado General Assembly.

3) He strove to inject a sense of optimism as crisis after crisis washed over Colorado, at times invoking the best of humanity and noting that people, instead of turning their backs, have comforted their fellows in moments of calamity and despair.

Polis strove to inject a sense of optimism as crisis after crisis washed over Colorado, at times invoking the best of humanity and noting that people, instead of turning their backs, have comforted their fellows in moments of calamity and despair. “This is the Colorado spirit. These men and women define who we are as a people, and represent the very best of us," he said. "There are so many other stories like theirs, of everyday people doing their best and giving everything to protect our Colorado.”

4) The governor acknowledged the hard realities on the ground, notably rising criminality.

The governor acknowledged the hard realities on the ground, notably rising criminality. "Some Coloradans are most impacted by the health risks of COVID-19, others are most pained by the rising cost of everyday items, disruptions to our children’s education, or the increase of crime in the communities we call home," Polis said, pledging to put forth a public safety plan that "builds on historic legislation of years past, gives much-needed support and funding to local law enforcement, while also investing in community-based approaches and organizations that can help prevent violent crime from occurring in the first place."

5) Promises, promises, promises. 

The governor pledged a slew of programs – from a “historic investment” in K-12 education to stabilizing the healthcare workforce to expanding career paths for all Coloradans to “bigger and bolder solutions to reduce homelessness” – all aimed at advancing the wellbeing of “our Colorado.”

 

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