Jared Polis

As Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic lawmakers wage a war with hospitals over the rising cost of health care in Colorado, many residents like Jamie Harrison are still stuck paying high premiums on the West Slope.

"I think paying $1,700 a month for an insurance policy I don't use is not sustainable," Harrison said last week after finishing a day of skiing in Beaver Creek. "Something has got to give."

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.

Some of the biggest and most contentious laws the state legislature passed this year are going into effect on Wednesday.

Together, the new laws aim to prevent suicides and gun violence, protect hospital patients from unexpected medical bills and give local governments the power to raise their minimum wages higher than the state level.

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.

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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.

In a Denver ballroom filled with red "Make America Great Again" hats and hundreds of conservatives, Ann Howe doesn't appear daunted by the task of gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures to attempt to recall her governor.

Courtesy of Progress Now

ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest progressive group, looked recently at the biggest winners and losers of the 2019 legislative session in Colorado. Executive Director Ian Silverii joined KDNK station manager Gavin Dahl by phone to explain why he counts regular people, local communities, kindergartners and parents, people in need of healthcare, LGBTQ youth, and Mother Earth among this year's winners. Meanwhile, polluters, Internet trolls, the gun lobby, homophobes, and secessionists are among the session's losers. It's a fast-paced conversation, so hold on tight!

Colorado Governor-elect Jared Polis takes office on January 8, 2019. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh asked citizens at a public meeting in Rifle last week what he could do for them or for their part of the state.

Gov.-elect Jared Polis is bringing a former political rival and members of his congressional staff into his new administration.

Cary Kennedy, who finished second behind Polis in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, will serve as a senior fiscal policy advisor for the new governor. Kennedy served as state treasurer from 2007 to 2011.

Governor-elect Jared Polis is Hiring

Nov 24, 2018
AH Marsh photo

Do you have an uncle with a Ph.D running a renewable energy lab? A cousin who is a retired sheriff who might be interested in criminal justice reform?  Governor-elect Jared Polis wants to know. He’s putting his cabinet together and is hiring executive directors for departments of transportation, local affairs, higher education, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & International Trade, the Department of Labor and Employment, Personnel and Administration, the Department of Regulatory Affairs, Revenue, Human Services, Public Health and Environment, Natural Resources, the Colorado Energy Office, the department of Corrections, Higher Education, and more. Already, though, critics have complained that Polis’ education committee is comprised of too many charter school advocates.

You can find information about transition committee members and applications by clicking here

Democrat Jared Polis is the governor-elect. In the 6th Congressional District, Jason Crow takes the win, unseating five-time incumbent Republican Mike Coffman.

Ballot measures were met with mixed support: Transportation measures 109 and 110, along with oil and gas well setback measure Proposition 112 failed, while amendments Y and Z, which address partisan gerrymandering, passed.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders fired up a crowd of Colorado State University students Wednesday night with calls for Medicare for all and free tuition at public universities.

Sanders traveled to Fort Collins to stump with gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis and other Democrats seeking higher office.

Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton squared off Friday morning inside of a barn in Kersey, just east of Greeley. The debate venue was so rustic, the tables in the barn were all equipped with fly swatters.

Here are three things that stuck with us after the debate.

The state's gubernatorial race grew a bit more heated Wednesday night on a debate stage at Colorado State University.

Republican candidate Walker Stapleton ignored the moderators' questions about statewide issues late in the debate as he repeatedly criticized Democrat Jared Polis for an incident that occurred nearly 20 years ago.

Colorado's gubernatorial candidates didn't need to say a single word Friday night on the downtown Denver debate stage to start drawing a contrast with one another.

Democratic candidate Jared Polis walked onto the stage wearing blue tennis shoes, while Republican Walker Stapleton wore shiny black dress shoes.

The two men also clashed at the microphone when the cameras started rolling.

This year's governor's race is like no other in Colorado history -- at least in terms of money. The $29 million contributed so far to candidates shatters prior records. A large chunk of that money comes from millionaires, spending big in hopes of being elected to a job that pays $90,000 a year.

"There actually are no limits to what an individual can contribute to their own campaign," said Steve Bouey, a manager with the elections division of the Secretary of State's Office.

Now that the primary is over Colorado voters can expect a heated election season heading into November. Bente Birkeland talked to fellow statehouse reporters Joey Bunch of Colorado Politics and Jesse Aaron Paul with The Denver Post about this fall's showdown. The candidates are set, except for the Democratic nominee for Attorney General. 

In primary elections held Tuesday, Colorado Democrats and Republicans tapped their picks to replace term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper. Winning the Democratic nod was five-term congressmen Rep. Jared Polis, while State Treasurer Walker Stapleton won the Republican bid.

The four Democratic candidates vying to replace Gov. John Hickenlooper recently discussed everything from transportation and education to fixing the state's budget in a debate this week.

On the eve of Colorado’s first hosting of the Outdoor Retailer Show, Colorado’s Democratic Senator Michael Bennet and Democratic Congressman Jared Polis introduced an act to protect 100,000 acres of land in the National Forest along Colorado’s Continental Divide.