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Gov. Jared Polis makes bleak observation about the state of housing in Colorado in his State of the State

Gov. Polis makes bleak observation about the state of housing in Colorado in State of the State
Gov. Polis makes bleak observation about the state of housing in Colorado in State of the State 02:35

Gov. Jared Polis says the state of our state is strong. That was his message during his yearly address but, while such speeches are usually rosy in nature, he also shared a jarring perspective on housing in Colorado.

"In our state, there's a sense of hopelessness and despair around housing that's on par in some ways with how people feel about the divisiveness of our national politics," he said. 

The sobering observation by Polis was a not-so-veiled call to action for state lawmakers.

Watch Colorado 2024 State of the State speech by Gov. Jared Polis 56:58

Polis says he's open to their ideas.

"If it reduces the cost of housing I'm for it. If it raises the cost of housing, I'm against it," he said. 

But he's not giving up on his ideas either, including giving homeowners the right to build accessory dwelling units, getting rid of occupancy limits, and building more housing around transit hubs, as well as investing in more transit.

"So, I think you'll start seeing the benefits of more housing near job centers in the short to medium term, that means in next year, two years we're going to start moving in the right direction, rather than the wrong direction within these important reforms," he said. 

He also called for more investment in workforce training including apprenticeships, saying there are two job openings for every unemployed Coloradan. 

Based on a survey by the Colorado Chamber, businesses' second biggest impediment to expanding is a lack of skilled workers. 

Their top impediment is regulations and Polis hinted there are more of those to come this legislative session, especially around air quality. 


"We need to have balance in the state between this green ideology and what is affordable for our Colorado citizens," said Republican House Minority Leader Mike Lynch. 

He criticized Polis for going too far on clean energy and not far enough on criminal justice reform. Lynch will bring a bill to felonize possession of any amount of fentanyl.

He also applauded Polis' call for tax cuts but questioned his spending plan.

"He wants us to keep our hard earned money, however, and then lays out an agenda that takes a lot of it away," Lynch said. 

Polis focused on policy in his speech, but touched on politics too, as tensions over the war in Gaza and the 2024 election mount.

"We share the same goals for a strong Colorado. So let's use these next four months to really work together, to disagree better, to show the nation how it's done, the Colorado way," he said.

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