COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- During his State of the State address for the Pikes Peak business community Thursday, Governor Jared Polis outlined initiatives to help boost economic recovery.
"We are rapidly approaching the end of the pandemic and crisis," Polis said.
The Governor told local business owners he's optimistic that a reduction in restrictions are on the way, based on Colorado's current vaccination rate and COVID-19 case trends.
"I certainly think we'll be back to relative normal by May or June."
He also highlighted a shift in how some businesses might begin operating moving forward.
"Before the crisis, we were about 1% telecommuting. We went up to about 70 percent telecommuting."
Polis estimated a permanent change for some of the state's workforce ahead.
"For many state employees, that means being able to work from home two days a week, if they choose."
In an effort to reduce costs for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic, Polis said he plans to expand state child tax credits to $600 per child and eliminate the business personal property tax.
"That would reduce paperwork, obviously save them money on taxes themselves. But, even more importantly, the cost preparing that filing and the onerous tax requirements."
However, Polis said the biggest opportunity for improvement is regarding transportation.
"Colorado Springs was recently named the most desirable city to live in America by 'U.S. News and World Report.' I think that secret is out and that leads to an even bigger backlog of transportation projects and obviously, it's our very success that threatens our quality of life."
In addition to addressing current traffic and road congestion needs, Polis said it's critical that Colorado find a way to modernize the way road projects are funded.
He's proposing a major transportation legislative package, which would include ways to prevent a deterioration in funding over time.
He said current trends are particularly concerning for businesses, noting the average Coloradan paid $600 last year in lost productivity due to time stuck in traffic.
Polis said another goal is to reduce vehicle registration fees for drivers.