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Colorado lawmakers criticize Polis for vetoing first-of-its-kind housing bill

The bill’s Democratic sponsors accused the governor of siding with moneyed interests
jared polis january 2022
Posted at 12:06 AM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 02:06:29-04

Gov. Jared Polis vetoed a bill Tuesday that would’ve given local governments first crack at buying for-sale apartment buildings, the latest setback for frustrated housing advocates who questioned how the governor planned to address the affordability crisis in Colorado.

The sponsors of HB23-1190 were told in a Tuesday afternoon meeting with Polis that he intended to veto the bill, which, supporters say, would’ve helped Colorado rebuild public housing within the existing real estate market. The bill was among the most progressive housing proposals to pass the legislature this year, after several others were watered down or killed outright.

In a letter explaining his decision, Polis said he was concerned about title insurance and what he described as ambiguous language in the bill.

“I support local governments’ ability to buy these properties on the open market and preserve low-cost housing opportunities,” he wrote, “but am not supportive of a required right of refusal that adds costs and time to transactions.”

The rejection was the result of a weeks-long pressure campaign by various business groups to kill the bill, who argued the bill would hurt housing availability and infringe on property rights. The veto left supporters, like the bill’s co-sponsor Rep. Andy Boesenecker, feeling burned: Staff from Polis’ office, Boesenecker and others said, had expressed no concerns about the bill before it passed, had received requested amendments and had even helped ensure it had sufficient support in the final days of the session.

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.