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Less than a week after his inauguration, Governor John Hickenlooper set off on an eight-city tour of the state to chat up residents about the economy. In Pueblo, about 100 business and community leaders from around southern Colorado gathered for a stop on Hick’s Bottom-Up Economic Development Tour. “We have to change the culture and become relentlessly pro-business,” he told the crowd (via the Pueblo Chieftain). But that doesn’t mean compromising ethical or environmental standards. Colorado, he added, must find the best balance between “regulations and red tape.”
During another meeting in Colorado Springs, the new guv acknowledged that the state is nearly broke and that residents are in no mood for tax hikes, writes the Gazette. He listened to a range of concerns, some advocating for fewer restrictions on the energy industry, while others hoped for more financial backing for start-up companies. Still others wanted to see more investment in mass transit along the Front Range in order to give workers more options. Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation, was impressed: “There is no doubt he will step up. He has promised us that, when necessary, if he needs to jump on a plane and go somewhere to help create jobs in this state, he’ll do it.”
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Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia has been hearing a lot about how a lack of high-speed Internet and consistent cell coverage in parts of the state are impeding business options, notes 9News.