Mar 29, 2021 - News
Colorado Gov. Polis kicks off listening tour on how to spend $3.9B
Gov. Jared Polis at a desk
Gov. Jared Polis. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Gov. Jared Polis started his statewide listening tour Sunday to solicit feedback on how to spend $3.9 billion in federal stimulus funds with two sessions with leaders in Pueblo and western Colorado.

What they're saying: The overarching message from participants — and one that is expected to echo across the state — is this one: We need help now.

  • "I would like to see more equitable funding across the state in general," said Karen Foglesong, the executive director of the Pueblo arts alliance.
  • "I think we should do something for the students who've had a terrible, terrible academic year," said Nick Gradisar, Pueblo's mayor.
  • "Rural Colorado needs all the assistance it can get," said Luis Lopez, a Las Animas County commissioner.

State of play: The state created a website, hired a facilitator and outlined different listening sessions — eight geographic-based and a dozen business-sector specific.

  • Reality check: Polis and the Democratic-led General Assembly have plenty of their own ideas about how to spend the money, so the listening tour is as much about politics as substance.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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