On Thursday morning Governor Jared Polis gave his first State of the State address in which he outlined his legislative priorities.
Listen to the entire State of the State Address:
He touched on themes that were a major component of his campaign including offering free all day kindergarten to all children in Colorado and expanding early childhood education.
In terms of his plans for healthcare in the state, he announced the formation of a new department dedicated to the issue.
“Another step we’re taking to save money on healthcare is the creation of the first ever Office of Saving People Money on Healthcare. Now we don’t want to give this office a bureaucratic or fancy name to make it sound important, we want to give it a simple name because it is important.”
Governor Polis addressed the opioid epidemic and spoke about the need to create sustainable funding for the implantation of the Colorado Water Plan, a Hickenlooper-era project which aims to tackle the state’s worsening water shortage.
Polis, who was heavily criticized by many grass roots environmental groups for coming out in opposition to Prop 112 in the November election spoke about the need to address climate change, increase renewable energy and ensure clean air for the state.
“We will work to make sure that every community has clean air and clean water and this is a vital quality of life issue for Colorado families.”
Many state republicans expressed skepticism at the State of the State address questioning where the money would come from to fund many of the proposals. Other groups welcomed many of the proposals. Carol Hedges, Executive Director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute said the address was filled with proposals to help improve equity and widespread prosperity for Colorado.