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The Latest: Colorado’s Polis delivers State of State speech

January 10, 2019

DENVER (AP) — The Latest on Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ State of the State speech (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

Colorado’s new governor is calling for a lower state income tax for families and small businesses he says have been hurt in part by President Donald Trump’s tax law last year.

Polis said Thursday many of the changes in Trump’s tax law benefited large corporations and the wealthy.

He’s calling for reduced rates for Colorado small businesses and families.

Colorado’s state income tax is a flat 4.63 percent rate.

Polis says his proposal asks “the largest, most influential corporations (to) pay their fair share” to permit lower rates for families and small firms.

Polis made his remarks in his first State of the State address.

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11:55 a.m.

Gov. Jared Polis is reiterating his commitment to promote renewable energy in Colorado.

The Democrat said in his first State of the State speech Thursday that climate change poses a real threat to farming and Colorado’s outdoors industry.

Polis cited his campaign pledges to pursue a 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2040. He promises help for workers who may lose their jobs in coal and other fossil fuels.

He says local municipalities will have a greater role in state regulation of the oil and gas industry — a sore point for energy firms seeking universal standards for drilling and other activity.

Polis says declining prices and technology advances are behind the surge in renewable energy — and that Colorado and its workers must capitalize on that.

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11:40 a.m.

Colorado’s new governor is creating a state office to help manage his attempts to extend health care coverage and bring down its costs.

He says Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, a longtime health advocate, will lead the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care.

Polis says he will create a reinsurance program to support health insurers in Colorado’s marketplace.

He’s also calling for lowering the cost of prescription drugs by seeking imports from Canada, where many drugs are much cheaper than in the U.S.

Polis emphasizes his ultimate goal is to bring universal health care to Colorado.

Polis is delivering his first State of the State address Thursday.

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11:35 a.m.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is calling for paid parental leave for state employees — and is seeking the same for private sector workers.

Polis made his proposals Thursday in his first State of the State address to lawmakers.

Polis and fellow Democrats are working on a bill to create a paid family and medical leave law allowing workers to take time to tend to family.

Republicans and many businesses oppose the idea, saying it will raise the costs of doing business.

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11:20 a.m.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is outlining his first-term priorities to a Legislature controlled by fellow Democrats.

Polis is calling of full-day paid kindergarten as his administration’s first goal in a State of the State speech to lawmakers Thursday. He says Colorado, which now funds half-day kindergarten, has the funds to do it.

Polis has long insisted early childhood education is key to students staying in school in later years and to maintaining a strong economy.

The governor says he’ll pursue paid preschool as well.