The legislature will be recessed until at least March 30. We’ll be working from our homes. There are thousands of people who come down to the Capitol and we need to work to keep them safe. For public safety reasons, due to COVID 19, the Executive Committee of the Legislature met in response to the Governor calling a State of Emergency and approved HJR20-1007 The Joint Resolution allows for a temporary adjournment of the Legislative Session until March 30th. The Resolution was approved by the legislature on Saturday. There is a question if the Constitution restricts the 120 days of session to consecutive days. Therefore, the legislature also approved HJR20-1006 on Saturday. The Joint Resolution sends a request to the Colorado Supreme Court to present an opinion on Section 7 of Article V of the State Constitution. This is the section that limits the General Assembly’s annual Legislative Session to “no more than 120 calendar days”, however, it’s not clear whether or not that means consecutive days. The Supreme Court’s opinion will determine how the legislature proceeds in this matter.
Legislators and partisan staff are all working full-time from home at this time. There will be no legislative proceedings (voting, committee hearings, etc.) and all constituent events are cancelled until next month. There are exceptions to this. The Joint Budget Committee will meet to balance our budget in preparation to presentation to the legislature. The Legislative Audit Committee will meet to approve audits for the “closing of the books” from last year.
The State Capitol Building will be temporarily closed to the public from today until Wednesday, March 18th for cleaning.
The legislature also passed HB20-1359 over the weekend, which was drafted by both Democratic and Republican leadership in a bipartisan effort. The bill allows for county political parties to have more autonomy over their individual state and county assemblies, how they are conducted, and the procedures that they must follow. This includes allowing for changes in location, as well as remote participation for candidates and delegates if they are able to do so.
Jefferson County Dems will be conducting mail-in ballots as the County Assembly due April 4th. If you were elected a delegate at caucus and you have not received an email, contact the county party ASAP. The Colorado State Democratic party will be conducting the State Assembly remotely and have canceled the annual Obama Dinner.
This is certainly uncharted territory for all of us, and we are doing our best to ensure the safety and health of every Coloradan during this State of Emergency. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office at this time for any reason. It is important to stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. Updates and information can be found here.
People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019 can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email them at COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and more.
FEMA guidance for COVID-19 preparedness is available on ready.gov. Helpful information about getting your household ready for coronavirus is available on CDC’s website HERE.