Hickenlooper highlights transportation, immigration, and rural areas in last State of the State address

Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper delivered his final State of the State speech in Colorado Springs at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel on Feb. 2. The two-term governor charmed the audience of over 550, starting his speech by praising the Springs. While it once lagged behind the rest of the state, he said, “For the last few years, I go to other cities and say, ‘Here’s what Colorado Springs did.’” Hickenlooper listed the city’s selling points: a broader-based economy, good schools, easy commutes, low crime, good employment numbers, and our own utility company, along with bright spots like the new Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the National Cybersecurity Center.

But he said that while Front Range cities have improved, rural areas have fallen behind, citing such issues as broadband access and the need for better water plans.

During a question-and-answer session, Hickenlooper said he is interested in further solutions to the state’s transportation problems, but understands that a sales tax could burden Springs taxpayers who already pay a tax for roads. He added that the state must take action on affordable housing and said that he also planned to pump more funding into combating black-and gray-market marijuana.

Hickenlooper told the Indy that he was very concerned with the plight of Dreamers, those who came to the country illegally as children whose protected status is threatened, but he said there was little the state could do to protect the young people