NewsDenver7 | Investigates


Fact-checking Gov. Jared Polis' 2024 State of the State address

Where the governor was right, and where some context was needed. We dig into statements made by Gov. Jared Polis during Thursday's address.
state of the state address_polis 2023.jpg
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 20:57:46-05

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis spoke for nearly an hour Thursday, delivering his sixth State of the State address in the House Chamber of the Colorado State Capitol.

He focused on a variety of topics ranging from housing cost to public safety to healthcare.

Gov. Jared Polis delivers 2024 State of the State address

Denver7 Investigates dug into some of the governor’s statements to fact-check what Polis said on Thursday.

In his first big moment, Polis spoke of the U.S. Space Command, stating: “At long last, Colorado is the rightful permanent home of U.S. Space Command, ensuring our national security in the increasingly important space domain.”

Fact Check: Accurate

Polis received his first of — by Denver7 Investigates’ count — 21 standing ovations after this statement, and it is all true. Keeping Space Command in Colorado is a major victory for the state and the country.

Later, the governor turned to public safety and noted a decrease in 2023 in the number of stolen vehicles across the state.

“As of September of last year, Colorado has seen a 21% year-over-year reduction in stolen vehicles,” Polis said.

Fact Check: Accurate, but needs context

While it is true that auto thefts decreased in 2023 compared to 2022, this followed three consecutive years of significant increases in car theft, according to the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority.

Between 2019 and 2022, auto thefts increased by more than 10% each year, including 40% between 2019 and 2020, and 31% between 2020 and 2021.

Polis also spoke of a new law dedicating $23.7 million to preschools to expand hours for children.

“We are so excited that in its very first year nearly 40,000 children are enrolled in preschool, saving each family more than $6,000 per year,” Polis said.

Fact Check: Accurate, but needs context

It is true that Proposition II’s passage will help 40,000 families, but it comes on the heels of some economic shortfalls that tightened eligibility requirements for preschool students with risk factors, according to reporting from Chalkbeat Colorado.

Next, Polis spoke of property taxes and lauded the state’s Assembly for reconvening for a special session to lower property tax rates.

“Let me take a moment to commend the general assembly for your hard work … to reduce property tax rates,” he said.

Fact Check: Accurate, but needs context

While it is true that the property tax rate took a small haircut, most Coloradans will pay more in property taxes this year due to a sharp rise in the assessment of home values across the state in 2023.

The governor also had some light moments in his speech, including a few jabs at the Colorado Rockies. Polis announced he would try out for the Rockies this year, stating he would trade legislation for home runs in 2024, and noted that the Rockies, who lost 103 games in 2023, could use the help.

Denver7 Investigates reached out to the Rockies to ask if they would extend a Spring Training invite to the governor. As of yet, no response.

Got a tip? Send it to the Denver7 Investigates team
Use the form below to send us a comment or story idea you'd like the Denver7 Investigates team to check out. You can also email or call our newsroom at 303-832-0200.