Governor Jared Polis

Gov. Jared Polis recently outlined an ambitious agenda for lawmakers in 2020. He vowed to reduce health care costs, find a solution to the state's road funding woes and get more children into preschool. But some of the governor's priorities will prove to be contentious.

Capitol Coverage reporter Scott Franz sat down with the governor after his State of the State address to talk about some of the hot-button issues that are on the table this legislative session.

When Gov. Jared Polis used an executive order to create his new Office of Saving People Money on Health Care eight months ago, he said it was the first office of its kind.

courtesy photo

Colorado legislators including Governor Jared Polis and Senator Cory Gardner have been using Leadership PACs to raise money outside of their campaign committees. For this week’s News Brief, KDNK’s Lucas Turner spoke with Sandra Fish, whose story on how Leadership PACs work and what they pay for was published in the Colorado Sun last week.

The sight of dozens of plastic tubs being unloaded from a white truck in front of the state Capitol on Friday morning attracted a crowd of curious out-of-state tourists and political activists.

The tubs contained recall petitions targeting Gov. Jared Polis, and the crowd gathered around them quickly learned the groups trying to remove the governor from office failed to get the 631,000 signatures they needed to put Polis' fate on the ballot.

When Gov. Jared Polis walked into the Stedman Elementary School auditorium behind a marching band on Tuesday afternoon, with dozens of supporters waving signs and cheering, the signing ceremony for the full-day kindergarten bill felt more like a pep rally.

“Today, we celebrate the fact that this fall, kids from across our state will be able to go to free fullday kindergarten,” Polis said to loud cheers before he signed the bill.

From a robot voice that became the sound of fierce partisanship to a crucial debate over the future of oil and gas held in the middle of a blizzard, there was plenty of drama at the state Capitol this year.

Here’s a recap of some of the biggest moments of the session from its start to its final week.

Three weeks ago, Gov. Jared Polis stood outside Denver Health’s downtown hospital and made a long list of promises about improving health care.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle stood next to him and cheered him on, while a glossy, 10-page road map to lowering health care costs circulated through the crowd.

Mark Duggan

Colorado lawmakers are working on a bipartisan set of proposals that would seek to lower insurance premiums and the costs of prescription drugs. According to Gov. Jared Polis, it will bring particular relief to rural and mountain areas, where health care costs are some of the highest in the nation.

Colorado Introduces New State Logo

Mar 27, 2019
Scott Franz

The new logo, complete with mountains, an evergreen tree and the letter C centering the state flag, replaces one that was introduced in 2013.

Mark Duggan

Voters in Colorado and other western states continue to support conservation policies for publicly owned lands, putting them at odds with the Trump administration's energy dominance agenda, according to the ninth annual Conservation in the West Poll from Colorado College.

Sen. Chris Holbert is adapting to life in Colorado's legislative minority.

"We will have our say but not our way," he said in a speech on Jan. 4, the opening day of the session. "We have the voice, but not the votes."

So how does a lawmaker without the votes approach his job? Here are three takeaways from KUNC's interview with the Republican minority leader the day before the session gaveled in.

Cheers from environmental groups drowned out nearby construction noise in downtown Denver Thursday morning after Gov. Jared Polis announced an executive order that aims to bring more electric vehicles to Colorado.

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

State lawmakers are weighing in on Gov. Jared Polis’ budget proposal. Among other priorities, he’s seeking $227 million for full-day kindergarten. KDNK's Capitol Coverage reporter Scott Franz has more.

Gov. Jared Polis wants to leverage Colorado's stronger than expected revenue projections to pay for full-day kindergarten next school year.

He's asking lawmakers to approve $227 million in the budget for the kindergarten classes.

Polis says the spending will allow 30,000 families to stop paying tuition.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Jared Polis addressed lawmakers for the first time as Colorado Governor Thursday. His State of the State Address, delivered before a Democratic majority of legislators, lasted about 55 minutes. In it, he said the state of Colorado is solid, strong, and successful. But he also said it was time to address education and the high cost of living and health care, particularly in mountain communities. Hear the State of the State Address in its entirety.

Democrats applauded as Gov. Jared Polis outlined his administration's priorities in his first State of the State Thursday. He touched on topics from full-day kindergarten funding to paid family leave and oil and gas development.

But the governor's address was criticized by Republicans for its lack of specifics on where all the money for his agenda will come from.