What They’re Saying About Governor Polis’s State of the State Address

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


DENVER - Today, Governor Polis delivered his 2023 State of the State Address to the Colorado General Assembly, laying out bold goals for the second term, challenging us to envision what we want Colorado to look like at the end of his term and when the state turns 150.  


Here’s what they’re saying:


“Governor Polis and I share a commitment to lowering costs for Coloradans, confronting the housing affordability crisis, and fighting climate change and addressing the harmful effects on our state – from drought to mudslides to wildfires. I look forward to continuing to work with his administration to deliver for Colorado families,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.

“Governor Polis succeeded in the face of difficult challenges in his first term, from the pandemic to wildfires and worsening drought conditions. We now have a stronger, more resilient Colorado, primed to take maximum advantage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, our climate bill and other federal investments. When Colorado works together, we all succeed,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper.


“Governor Polis has been an exceptional and dedicated leader for our great state, leading Colorado with resolve as we together faced multiple challenges — historic wildfires, a global pandemic and more. Today, in his compelling State of the State address, Governor Polis again showcased his steadfast commitment to the people of Colorado and his uplifting, hopeful vision for the future of our state. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Governor as we work together to build a more hopeful future for all Coloradans in the years to come,” said U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse.  


“Today I’m looking forward to hearing Governor Polis speak about his plan to keep lowering costs for hardworking families. As we fight for the future of Colorado, we have to prioritize building an economy that works for everybody,” said U.S. Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo.


“Great to join Colorado leaders at Governor Polis’s State of the State address. Gov. Polis outlined an ambitious vision to address climate, housing, public safety, & reducing costs for Coloradans. I’m excited to work with him to deliver on this vision,” said U.S. Congressman Jason Crow. 


“Governor Polis today expressed what we all know to be true: the State of Colorado is strong. In his address, which laid out a bold agenda for the year ahead, the Governor reaffirmed the partnership he’s built with cities all over our great state, based on justice, opportunity and progress as we build a Colorado for All. I’m especially encouraged by his dedication to expanding affordable housing statewide, including land and funding resources, and look forward to engagement and partnership with local governments to find solutions. Every Coloradan deserves to be able to afford to live where they desire with dignity, and it’s a challenge that cities cannot tackle on their own. Action on housing is key to achieving many of our State’s goals for climate, water, public health and transportation. I also thank the Governor for heeding the call from our states’ mayors to address some of our most pressing public safety challenges, so we can return Colorado to being one of the safest states in the country. We’re proud to continue the collaboration between Denver, Governor Polis’ administration and our state legislators to make the progress we need to make on these state-wide issues,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. 


“I’m appreciative of the Governor’s commitment to making Colorado one of the safest states in our nation and his willingness to be collective with subject matter experts in law enforcement to achieve this goal,” said Sheriff Tyler Brown, Arapahoe County and honored guest of the Governor at today’s state of the state address.


“When I think about Governor Polis, I think about his passion and dedication to early childhood education. I am excited to see the initiative that he and his team have taken to make good on their promises by making preschool and full-day kindergarten free and accessible to all Coloradans. Not only will this benefit my family financially, but I am also confident that my children will have the opportunity to establish a strong pre-academic and social foundation which will benefit them far beyond their preschool years,” said Shar Portillo, parent and honored guest of the Governor at today’s state of the state address. 


“I’m thankful to Governor Polis for inviting me today. My story is one shared by thousands of people with diabetes in Colorado and millions nationwide, and I’m glad to be able to share it and bring a spotlight to these issues,” said Karisa Hunt, an honored guest of the Governor at today’s state of the state address.


“The Boys & Girls Clubs in Colorado are honored to participate in this year's State of the State, as well as partner with the Governor's Office on this important work. The project that the Governor highlighted will help to support thousands of young people across the state. We are grateful for Governor Polis's prioritization of prevention strategies that will positively impact Colorado's youth,” said Kaycee Headrick, Chief Executive Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, and honored guest of the Governor at today’s state of the state address. 


“Access to housing is an economic issue and a top priority for the business community to ensure we have a stable workforce. We applaud Governor Polis’s commitment to addressing this pressing issue that impacts many facets of the business community,” said J.J. Ament president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. 


"Colorado is grappling with dual climate and housing affordability crises, and we look forward to partnering with Governor Polis and the state legislature to develop solutions that tackle both challenges by focusing on housing and job growth in the right places. The benefits of smart growth and compact development are immense, including more affordable housing types closer to jobs and transit, reduced climate and air pollution, more walkable and transit-friendly neighborhoods, less driving, and better protection for open spaces and water supplies,” said Elise Jones, Executive Director of Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. 


"Undeniably, Colorado is growing. The needs of our population are getting more diverse, and too many people cannot find a home where they want to live or can afford. The status quo isn't working, and it's time for a statewide solution so all communities, including Adams County, can live and work where they choose without having to commute long distances. I applaud the Governor for making this a priority and understanding that we need reform to help end Colorado's housing shortage crisis,” said Eva Henry, Adams County Commissioner. 


“CEO’s consistently tell us that they are very concerned about the lack of housing options available to Colorado workers. Clearly, there’s a supply shortage, and government hurdles and delays drive prices even higher.” said Mike Kopp, CEO of Colorado Concern.


The Colorado Housing Affordability Project (CHAP) was founded to research, educate, and advocate around solutions to Colorado’s housing affordability crisis.  Our research has consistently demonstrated that a lack of housing supply—and particularly a supply of our most affordable forms of housing—are one of the primary causes of our state’s current crisis.  We need to provide more land for housing construction, and need to modify our planning and zoning regulations to legalize more affordable forms of housing, such as duplexes, triplexes, and small multi-family structures.  We also need to provide incentives for builders to construct affordable housing. CHAP looks forward to working with Governor Polis and the legislature to realize a vision for more affordable housing across Colorado,” said Brian J. Connolly, the Colorado Housing Affordability Project.


"We are ecstatic to hear Governor Polis wishes to place a large emphasis on housing in the 2023 legislative session. Our members look forward to supporting legislation that will not only help bring an end to Colorado’s housing shortage, but will help to address Colorado’s air quality and climate goals, make our communities stronger and more resilient, and protect and preserve Colorado’s natural beauty and natural resources. Everyone who wants to pursue opportunity in our great state should be able to do so. Everyone is welcome, no one should have to leave. Colorado is not full,” said Ryan Keeney, Denver President, Chris Conley, Fort Collins Lead, and Kate Conley, Fort Collins Lead, YIMBY. 


"We applaud the Governor’s focus on housing and transportation in his State of the State. In Boulder, home ownership is beyond the means of more than 60% of our residents. The remainder of Colorado isn’t far behind with housing prices skyrocketing. If our businesses want to continue to attract a diverse, competitive workforce, we need innovative solutions that create the kind of housing they can afford. Gov. Polis’ integrative approach of connecting transportation and housing needs is overdue. With over 60,000 in-commuters to the city of Boulder every workday, we know that our infrastructure is overtaxed and our air less breathable. There are nearly 110 days left for lawmakers to craft a solution this year, it’s time to get all hands on deck,” said John Tayer, President & CEO, Boulder Chamber. 


“Thank you, Governor Polis, for putting a spotlight on the connections between climate change, transportation, water, and affordable housing. Everyone deserves housing they can afford in communities with less traffic and pollution,” said Kelly Nordini, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado. 


"Your home is the foundation of your health. The simple fact is that Colorado is suffering from a housing shortage. The number and type of homes available does not match up with what Coloradans need. They should have the opportunity to live in the community where they work, or have a family where they grew up. People should have the freedom to build and purchase the types of homes that are reasonably affordable. We applaud the Governor for making housing a top priority this legislative session, because we need a forward-thinking solution to building houses that will help solve the housing crisis we've been experiencing for decades," said Jake Williams, CEO of Healthier Colorado.


“Increasing prosperity and opportunity for all Colorado families is our main focus at Centennial State Prosperity, and that includes being able to access a healthy, safe and affordable home. Too many Coloradans are struggling to afford housing and our members are thrilled that Governor Polis is taking action to lower housing costs. We look forward to working together with Governor Polis, legislators, and other advocates lifting up the voices of hardworking Coloradans to make Colorado more affordable and help working families get ahead,” said Austin Blumenfeld, Executive Director of Centennial State Prosperity.


"The shortage of homes that Colorado needs to house our residents and families has been a growing crisis. People need options that allow them to buy or rent a home that allows them to live close to work without communicating long distances. This kind of thoughtful planning and building not only increases the availability and affordability of homes but it helps cut down on pollution from traffic and reduces water waste. Thank you to Governor Polis for your willingness to reenvision how we build to put people and our environment first," said Sabrina Pacha, Senior Director, Healthy Air and Water Colorado. 


“Every Coloradan requires a safe and affordable home to pursue happiness. Governor Polis’s bold and inspiring statewide housing plan marks the beginning of a new Coloradan housing renaissance,” said Peter LiFari, Chief Executive Officer of Maiker Housing Partners.