Polis says 'saving Coloradans money' is top priority in state of the state address

(The Center Square) – Gov. Jared Polis touted his administration's work to save Coloradans money during his fourth state of the state address on Thursday.

The governor address, which was delivered in the well of the House floor at the General Assembly, touched on crime, the cost of living, education, and tax reform during the speech.

Polis also imparted a message of bipartisanship as state lawmakers begin their 120-day legislative session.

“Saving Coloradans money and keeping our state affordable is my top priority during this legislative session,” Polis said. “Because it isn’t just dollars and cents back in Coloradans pockets, it’s about peace of mind for our families and that’s priceless.”

One of the priorities Polis laid out for the session is to cut tax rates and fees assessed against individuals and businesses in the state. For example, Polis said he wanted to build on the “historic” legislation the Legislature passed last year that allow property owners to defer property taxes and eliminated certain forms of income from state taxes.

To further these savings, Polis is proposing eliminating fees associated with vehicle registrations, drivers licenses, and professional licenses. He's also proposing reducing unemployment insurance premiums for businesses and providing funding for businesses who want to convert to an employee-owned model.

“My administration will continue to work with both parties to cut taxes and fees where we can, but never at the expense of teachers and law enforcement,” Polis said.

Some Republicans left the address unconvinced of the governor’s plans.

Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown said in a statement that Polis “lied to Coloradans” during his address, citing increased fees and higher crime rates under his watch.

“Let me be clear,” Brown said. “Colorado Republicans are the only Party in our state focused on kitchen table issues that are impacting parents and families across our state. Our Commitment to Colorado is focused on solving the issues that Democrats have created – issues like affordability, high crime, and schools that aren't delivering for all students.”

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, also criticized the the governor for what he said was "the most disingenuous state of the state address that I've seen in my 16 years."

"Essentially what [Gov. Polis] said today in his State of the State is 'we want to repeal everything that the Democrats and the Governor have passed in the last three years' and I am willing to help them do that," he added.

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