The 2020 Legislative Session was certainly unlike any other session before it. We went into the 2020 session ready to continue updating Colorado’s laws and passing serious legislation. In March, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic turned into a global health emergency that created serious budget consequences, then just this month, we saw the build-up from a centuries-long struggle for justice take place both inside and outside of the Capitol building. Despite these tough circumstances, the legislature continued working hard and prevailed. We introduced 427 bills in the House and 224 bills in the Senate; however, 88 of those bills were introduced in the last 16 days of the session due to the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to COVID-19, the legislature passed legislation that provided $270 million in grants and loans to small businesses, channeled tens of millions towards housing assistance, utilities support and behavioral health care, created access to critical paid sick leave for Colorado workers and expanded unemployment benefits to help our hardworking communities make ends meet during these difficult and uncertain times.
After the murder of George Floyd sparked protests addressing generations of racial injustice in America, the legislature stepped up to the plate and passed a historic piece of legislation with bipartisan support to reform law enforcement by enhancing accountability, integrity, and transparency in departments.
There were also a few important fiscal measures that passed in the last 16 days: in November, Coloradans will vote on a ballot measure on whether to repeal the Gallagher Amendment, which controls the assessment rates for residential and commercial properties, as well as whether or not to increase taxes on nicotine products to began raising millions of dollars that is earmarked for education and affordable housing measures.
My legislation this year included continuing the Sales & Use Tax Simplification Task Force, allocating funds from the CARES Act to behavioral health services, updating interior design statutes, and implementing a Secure Savings Program that provides access to retirement savings programs for all Coloradans. Part of our COVID-19 response work on making thousands of calls to older folks and vulnerable populations in the district to offer assistance in the form of resources, grocery & errand runs, etc., included over 30 volunteers from the district.
Thank you to my House District 29 community for all you have done to make this so meaningful over the past eight years.