Governor Hickenlooper delivered his annual State of the State address at the Capitol in Denver Thursday. He said 2013’s wildfires and floods were devastating, but the state is recovering.
"This past year, Colorado has been scorched, Colorado has been flooded, Colorado, once again, endured senseless and inexplicable violence. Yet, despite all of it, we did not let that define us. That is not our story."
Not surprisingly this election year, Hickenlooper touched on personal successes and, how he says he’s worked to make it easier for small businesses to operate in the state. The Governor also touted the decline of the state’s unemployment rate and new business attraction.
Hickenlooper laid out priorities for the 2014 legislative session such as, bringing broadband access to rural parts of the state, increasing money for K-12 schools and higher education, putting more money in reserves for disasters and strengthening penalties for oil and gas companies who break rules.
"We’re committed to holding oil companies to the highest standards to protect Coloradans and our air and water."
Conserving water through a state plan was also discussed. He said mental health needs to be addressed so massacres like the Aurora movie theater shooting can be avoided.
Finally, the Governor discussed the success of Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s new insurance marketplace.
"While other states have struggled with enrollment and implementation, Colorado has outperformed the national exchange in most states. More than 139,000 residents now have health insurance who didn’t have it before."
Hickenlooper’s 45 minute speech was met with a standing ovation by lawmakers at the end. Colorado’s legislative session opened January 6th.
Click here to read: full text of Hickenlooper's State of the State address