Weekly Policy Update: Governor Polis Delivers the State of the State
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 02/19/2021
On Wednesday, Governor Jared Polis delivered his State of the State address. He started by acknowledging the challenges Colorado and the country have faced over the past year in the midst of a global and economic crisis, and he thanked many of the workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
The governor also outlined some of his top legislative priorities for this year.
- Economic Stimulus: Governor Polis has proposed a $1.3 billion economic stimulus plan to create jobs and get the economy back on track. During his address, he stressed the importance of efforts to improve the economy including tax relief and loans for small business, boosting industries like tourism and renewable energy, and investing in improving transportation infrastructure.
- Affordable Health Care: The governor highlighted his support for two significant health care proposals that will be introduced this legislative session. The first would create a public health insurance option in Colorado, and the second would create a state prescription drug affordability review board, which would review drug prices and set upper payment limits for drug reimbursement. Learn more about CBSA’s concerns.
- Tax cuts and credits: Governor Polis shared proposals for changes to the state tax code. He spoke specifically about eliminating the business personal property tax for small businesses, allowing them to save time and money and focus on what matters. This tax applies to most commercial, industrial, and agricultural property that is used in the production of income for a business. He also called on lawmakers to give more money back to individual taxpayers by doubling its Earned Income Tax Credit, and funding a Colorado Child Tax Credit, giving up to $600 back to certain families. Lastly, Polis called for an end to state taxes on Social Security benefits.
- Expansion of broadband internet access: Governor Polis called for expanded rural broadband access. There will be a bill this legislative session that provides subsidies for families with K-12 students to get broadband and set up state funding for broadband projects.
- Transportation: Governor Polis focused on transportation and stated that his budget request moves forward with vital projects, starting with much needed repairs on road across Colorado.
The governor outlined a lot of big issues that are priorities for his administration this year, but for many of these proposals, the details are not yet clear.
As the legislative session gets moving, CBSA will provide regular updates to our members on all the latest proposals that could impact our life sciences ecosystem.