DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado’s new governor is calling for full-day kindergarten by this fall, lowering the state income tax and cutting costs for health care. Jared Polis outlined his plans in his first State of the State address to lawmakers on Thursday.
“Now it’s time for us to finally cross the finish line. Free, full-day kindergarten by fall of 2019. Let’s get it done!”
Polis told the General Assembly where he wanted to take the state but he didn’t say much about how he planned to get there, take his new “Office of Saving People Money on Health Care.”
“’The Office of Saving People Money on Health Care’ will form the beating heart of our efforts to reduce patient costs for hospital stays and expenses, improve price transparency, lower the price of prescription drugs, and make health insurance more affordable.”
How it plans to do all those things is unclear.
The governor’s path to all renewable energy also wanting for detail, “We will lead with policies that support, enable, and accelerate market investment. We will work with stakeholders across Colorado on outcomes-based approaches that promote innovation, and that deliver emissions reductions from all sources, reductions in consumer costs, and sustainable economic growth for communities across Colorado.”
He promised to help energy workers whose jobs will be displaced but also communities opposed to fracking, “It’s time for us to take meaningful action to address the conflicts between oil-and-gas drilling operations and the neighborhoods they impact, and to make sure that all of our communities have clean air and water.”
Time, too, he says to close corporate tax loopholes and lower the income tax rate, “We need a tax code that reflects today’s realities rather than yesterday’s distortions. Let people keep more of their hard-earned money rather than give it away to special interests.”
The governor barely touched on transportation, saying only that lawmakers need to come up with a funding mechanism voters will accept.
Republican Leader of the House Rep. Patrick Neville says the governor needs to explain how he plans to pay for his ambitious agenda.
“He used term “free” quite a bit. As we know nothing in life is free. If you use the term, you’ve got to decide who is paying for all this free stuff,” said Neville.
Democratic Leader of the House Alec Garnett said he was confident they could accomplish many of the governor’s priorities while balancing the budget.
“When it comes to full-day kindergarten, we’ve been working hard with districts and teachers and trying to move forward on that,” said Garnett. “We’ll have to wait for another economic forecast and we need to work with the Joint Budget Committee to see where our resources are.”
The governor reached out to Republicans saying he plans to put problem solving over partisanship. A couple big issues noticeably missing from his address were gun control and affordable housing.