Governor Jared Polis

Gov. Jared Polis struck notes of optimism during his hour-long State of the State address today, Jan. 13, to the Colorado General Assembly.

"The state of our state is just like the people of Colorado — strong, steadfast and, in spite of everything, we are boldly moving forward," he said.

He opened by asking for a moment of silence for all the Coloradans who lost their lives over the past year to the COVID-19 pandemic, to violence and in the recent devastating fire in Boulder County.

He then launched into a litany of accomplishments of his office, working in tandem with legislators, in public health, mental health, law enforcement, education, public lands, the economy, and transportation — for which Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers got a shout out for supporting a transportation bill, which Polis said will allow the state to "finally ... fix the darn roads."

He highlighted a series of measures that have put money back in the pockets of Coloradans via free kindergarten, reduced car registration fees, decreased unemployment tax rates, health care premiums, and reduced income tax rates. Measures already adopted exempt Social Security income from tax taxation, defer from taxes increases in property taxes, and allowing restaurants and bars to retain sales taxes, as well as permanently exempting small businesses from business personal property taxes.

"We promise to use every single tool at our disposal to give Coloradans the money you need to live the life you want," he vowed.

Keying on Paul Simon's song, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," the governor said he'd applied his own lyrics for "50 Ways to Save Colorado Taxpayers Money," which begins, "Cut the tax, Max."

He vowed to address issues in the coming session for stabilizing the work force, securing hospital capacity to avoid future "curve balls" from crises like the pandemic, public safety through crime prevention programs, providing training and equipment to firefighters, treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues, advancing affordable housing, "fighting for clean air," and securing a "sustainable water future."

"We will continue to protect Colorado's water rights under all existing water compacts," he said, also pledging to update the city's water plan.

"In 2021, we began to reclaim what it means to live happy and healthy in Colorado," he said. "This is the year we double down on that. If there’s one thing you take away from today, let it be my optimism in making our state a better place for everyone, because this is our Colorado, and I couldn’t be more proud to be your governor."

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