Q&A with Gov. Polis: King Soopers strike, fee increases, state of the pandemic

Politics

DENVER (KDVR) — Following the State of the State, FOX31 sat down with Gov. Jared Polis, asking him some of the tough questions many of you have been seeking answers to.

Polis has maintained he wants to make Colorado more affordable but with election season just around the corner, some are wondering why he is talking about making things less expensive now.

FOX31: “Do you think last year, when you put forth the increase in gas fees, do you think that was a bit overzealous and do you regret doing that?”

Polis: “No, there’s a fee which means the fee you pay on gas will go up slowly with inflation over time. What we want to say this year is now is not the time for that; don’t have to go up this year.”

Saving people money is a focal point of his agenda but he is standing by an increase in fees for things like gas, food and online deliveries meant to help improve transportation, saying he just wants them to take effect later.

Polis: “Over time, you know if you want roads, you’ve got to make sure it doesn’t get eroded by inflation over 10 or 20 years. That’s reasonable, it’s good policy, everybody wants roads to drive on, less traffic but now is not the time so let’s avoid that fee increase, you know, for the next year or two.”

Polis did acknowledge times are hard for businesses and workers but did not specifically detail if he would do anything in the fight between the workers and their employer.

FOX31: “Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are standing behind King Soopers workers that are out there striking right now for higher wages, but you are their governor. What do you say to those workers and do you plan on helping get the higher wages they are seeking?”

Polis: “Well look, I think we all love to see people compensated better for their work. As governor, my main thing, desire would be that people are able to shop again. And if you’ve been in a grocery store recently, you’ve seen the shelves picked pretty bare anyway. So I just hope the company and the employees figure this out quickly.”

Last month, the governor said the emergency phase of the pandemic was over but hospitals are back under crisis standards of care and cases are the highest they’ve ever been. So we asked the governor if he still feels that way.

Polis: “It’s still very tight, it’s still very tough but I think we’ll be through the worst of it in the next few weeks. I think over the last few years, we’ve learned to live with this. We know it is or will be an endemic. We are probably still again in a pandemic stage. With more than 1,000 people hospitalized, people should be careful.”

The governor also weighed in on whether or not community investments will be enough to stop high crimes. He says that’ll be combined with other measures like reexamining loopholes in bonds that help bad actors reoffend.

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