Policy and Legislative Updates
June 19, 2020
The Policy and Legislative Advisory Network (PLAN) is committed to keeping the larger network abreast of policies, legislation, regulations, and rules being implemented across the state and nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updates below include information through 6.19.2020 and were provided by:

Please note: This information is subject to change. In addition, some updates may be sourced from organizations that have read limits or limits on how many articles you can access in a given time period.
The 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth
What Is Juneteenth?
Friday marks the 55th anniversary of Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the abolishment of slavery that takes place every year on June 19. The date refers not to the end of legal slavery in the United States but to the gap in time before everyone heard the news. Many schools don’t teach the history of Juneteenth and it is not recognized as a federal holiday. Read More from The Hill HERE
Calls To Make Juneteenth A Federal Holiday Gain Momentum
Corporate executives and sports officials are joining a growing number of elected officials who want to recognize Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery, as an official U.S. holiday. Juneteenth, which is on June 19, has long been an important holiday in the African American community, a time for celebration rather than mourning and remembrance. Currently 47 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as an official state holiday or observance. Read More from NPR HERE
Local Policy Updates
Coronavirus In Colorado; The Numbers
According to today's data release, in Colorado there have been 270,335 people tested, 30,187 positive cases, 5,318 hospitalized, 1,643 deaths among cases (1,429 deaths due to COVID), 327 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities, 60 of 64 counties with positive cases. In Adams County we have 3,852 cases and 150 deaths. Read More from CDPHE HERE
Coronavirus Has Been In Colorado For More Than 100 Days. How Are We Doing?
As some states across the country see an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Colorado seems to be making tentative strides in containing the virus. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the state have plummeted from a high of 888 cases in mid-April to 151 in the most recent count. At the same time, hospitalizations in neighboring states like Utah and Arizona have been on the rise, with Arizona at an all-time high for the state for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Read More from CPR HERE
State Health Department Releases Amended Public Health Order For Safer-At-Home And In The Vast, Great Outdoors
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released an amended Public Health Order 20-28 for the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors phase. This public health order allows bars to open following updated restaurant guidance and provides updated guidance for higher education, personal services, and manufacturing. It also outlines the steps required to allow residential camps and indoor and outdoor events to resume while minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19. Read More from CDPHE HERE
Economic Forecast Shows Impacts Of COVID-19 Pandemic
The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) released its quarterly economic forecast today. Due to COVID-19, Colorado lost more than 300,000 jobs in March and April, and the unemployment rate rose to 11.3 percent. Despite these dire numbers, the state’s large professional services sector is helping Colorado weather the COVID-19 recession better than most other states. However, other critical industries, such as tourism and energy, have been severely impacted and are expected to face longer recoveries. Read More from Colorado Governor Jared Polis HERE and OSPB HERE
State Revenue Forecast Improves Slightly, Economists Tell JBC
Colorado, prepare for a recovery that is square-root-shaped. That is the economic forecast of the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, which noted a steep drop in economic activity as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders took effect, followed by a similarly rapid upturn as people returned to work. However, from this point on, the state will see a much slower improvement. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
Colorado’s Economic Outlook Is Improving. Here’s Why It Needs ‘A Grain Of Salt’
There are early signs that the recession won’t hurt Colorado’s government finances as badly as expected, but the forecast is uncertain and the state still faces enormous challenges. The state unemployment rate has ticked slightly downward — from 12.2 percent to 10.2 percent — while businesses have shown signs of life. Overall, Colorado has fared better than the national average. Read More from CPR HERE
Colorado Economy Outpacing National Trends In Coronavirus Bounceback
Colorado — and the state’s small-business sector — is bouncing back from the economic disruption of coronavirus restrictions more quickly than the rest of the country, as reports Monday showing it regained during May one in every five jobs that were lost in April. That good news comes with several caveats, however. First, the record 68,800 jobs added to payrolls in May still represented just 20% of all those that were lost and left the state with a 10.2% unemployment rate for the month. Also, while the rebound in revenues from increased economic activity means the Legislature could have $530 million more to spend next year than was allocated in the recently passed budget, it won’t recover to this year’s revenue levels for at least two more years. Read More from Denver Business Journal HERE
12 Bills Colorado Lawmakers Passed In 2020 That You Should Know About
During a historic 84-day session interrupted by the pandemic, Colorado lawmakers passed a slew of major legislation — some of it so early on that it might feel like it happened in a different session. Here are a dozen of the most significant bills the General Assembly passed between January and June, with a lengthy pause in between — pre- and post-coronavirus, pre- and post-protests. All have been signed into law or are expected to get Gov. Jared Polis’ signature. Read More from The Denver Post HERE 
Coalition Of 14 Colorado Business Organizations Calls On Polis To Veto 5 Bills
A coalition of 14 Colorado business organizations asked Gov. Jared Polis Friday to veto five bills that passed through the truncated legislative session that ended earlier this week, complaining that each will add financial pressures that delay business reopenings and rehiring of workers. One of the bills for which they are seeking a veto is House Bill 1420, the pared-down measure that still seeks to de-couple state tax code from four federal tax breaks passed in 2017 or earlier this year that primarily benefit wealthier companies. Read More from Denver Business Journal HERE
Governor Polis Extends EO Allowing Alternate Care Sites
Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 107, allowing for the operation of alternate care sites in response to COVID-19. “This Executive Order extends Executive Order D 2020 071 for an additional thirty (30) days from June 18, 2020, to ensure health care facilities have sufficient resources and to ensure the safety and well-being of COVID-19 patients who no longer require inpatient hospitalization but still require some medical care and observation while recovering from COVID-19,” the Executive Order reads. Read More from Governor Jared Polis HERE
In A Bizarre, Broken Session, Colorado Lawmakers Make History
The 71st Colorado General Assembly completed its abbreviated session on Monday, marked by masks, protests outside the building and angst over losing ground on programs and priorities. Budgets were cut, tax breaks were eliminated, regulations were created, and paperwork was assured for parents who don't want to immunize their kids to send to them to public schools. Surprisingly, earned sick leave is here, but paid family leave isn't. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
Here’s How Colorado Is Reacting To The Supreme Court Decision On DACA
In a 5-4 ruling on June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Center for American Progress reports there are roughly 15,000 DACA recipients in Colorado and, for now, they retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States. Republican Sen. Cory Gardner said the decision shows Congress needs to reach “a long-term solution” for Dreamers in Colorado and across the country, including a “pathway to citizenship” Here are some other key reactions from around the state. Read More from CPR HERE
Gov. Polis Provides Update On State Response to COVID-19
Gov. Polis announced that the state is launching a new website that will serve as a one-stop-shop for information about telehealth. The Health at Home Colorado website, available in English and Spanish, is intended to encourage visitors to engage in virtual visits with their provider, through their insurance, or find free resources for accessing virtual care. In addition, the state has also created a toolkit with campaign materials that can be used by community partners to increase the awareness of virtual care. The Governor praised workers at long-term care facilities for their difficult work to protect our state’s most vulnerable. The Governor also applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling protecting DREAMers and encouraged Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform. Read More from Governor Jared Polis HERE
"This Is Crunch Time"- Gov. Polis Says It’s Crucial To Wear Masks To Help Economy Recover
On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis warned that Coloradans must continue to wear masks in public and practice social distancing to prevent “exponential growth” in the number of coronavirus cases. Read More from CBS4 Denver HERE
Gov. Jared Polis Misses Baseball And Used Every Metaphor He Could In Thursday News Briefing
Gov. Jared Polis is a baseball fan who really misses the game. But Thursday, he had an opportunity to use baseball metaphors of all kinds to update the state's response on the COVID-19 pandemic. Polis said in a Thursday news conference that he's growing more concerned about outbreaks in Utah and Arizona. He also cited an outbreak in Boulder, chiefly among CU-Boulder students, that has now risen to more than 100 positive cases. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
Colorado Governor Signs Sweeping Police Accountability Bill Into Law. Here’s How It Will Change Law Enforcement
Gov. Jared Polis on Friday signed Colorado’s sweeping police accountability bill, passed in the wake of George Floyd’s death, into law, calling it a necessary and positive step toward healing the state’s pain and hearing the public’s concerns. Polis said the bill contains “landmark, evidence-based” changes that he hopes will help build trust between communities and law enforcement. But he said that more work must still be done. Colorado is one of the first states to take legislative action in the wake of Floyd’s death and demonstrations across the nation. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
Session Marked By What Didn't Happen
The 2020 legislative is marked as much by what didn't pass as what did. Some of the hottest items on the Democratic majority's Christmas wish list had melted away by the time summer approached. This session, roughly half, or about 300 bills, were scuttled to make room for pandemic relief, a rescue for the state's budget and pet projects lawmakers were wed to, such as new restrictions on school immunization waivers that took up days. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
The Road Map To A Potential Spike In Evictions
Gov. Jared Polis originally placed a moratorium in March when Colorado shut down a lot of its economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the months progressed, Colorado is slowly opening its economy. Still, a lot of people remain out of work and many are still worried about making rent. Colorado’s temporary eviction ban expired last week. Immediately after the expiration, Gov. Jared Polis issued an order to delay all legal proceedings for evictions for another month. Landlords can also begin charging late fees. Here are the key dates to watch out for over the next few months. Read More from CPR HERE
“We Have Nowhere To Go”- Hundreds Of Thousands Of Coloradans At Risk Of Eviction
Colorado renters will get more help with their rent payments and have an extra 20 days before non-payment of rent leads to eviction under an executive order signed this week by Gov. Jared Polis. But housing advocates say the order isn’t enough to keep thousands of people from being forced from their homes. An estimated 16% of Coloradans were considered housing insecure at the beginning of June, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, meaning they either missed last month’s rent or mortgage payment, or have slight or no confidence that their household can pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
Jefferson County Public Health Officials Declare Systemic Racism A Public Health Crisis
Jefferson County public health officials on Tuesday declared systemic racism a public health crisis and passed a resolution that directs the local health agency to take steps to address health inequities. The resolution, which was passed by the Jefferson County Board of Health and Jefferson County Public Health, follows recent demonstrations that have taken place across Colorado and the U.S. calling for racial justice and police use of force reforms. The declaration also comes as the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted racial inequalities with people of color becoming sick at a disproportionately high rate. Read More from The Denver Post HERE
COVID-19 Myths, Misinformation, And Misunderstandings
Join DMNS Monday, June 22 at 8:30 a.m. as they are joined by Steven Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD, Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research and Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Medicine at Stanford University, and Elizabeth Skewes, PhD, Department of Journalism Chair and Associate Professor in the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. They’ll be discussing how COVID-19 misinformation takes hold in the discourse and how we as citizens and the media can apply critical thinking principles to assess what we see. Read More from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Institute for Science & Policy HERE
Voters Will Decide In November Whether All Colorado 4-Year-Olds Can Attend Preschool Starting In 2023
By fall 2023, thousands more Colorado 4-year-olds could be gathering in preschool classrooms for a few hours each week to practice their letters and listen to storytime in preparation for kindergarten. That measure, a result of House Bill 1427, will ask voters to significantly raise taxes on cigarettes and start taxing other products that contain nicotine, including vaping devices and their fuel. It will simply need a majority vote to pass. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
Hickenlooper Tops Gardner, Romanoff In Pre-Primary Fundraising
John Hickenlooper’s latest campaign cash haul is $3.7 million, which leads both his primary opponent and the state’s incumbent senator. The former governor and Denver mayor is competing in the June 30 Democratic primary against former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to be the eventual nominee to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in November. Gardner ‘s campaign raised $2.1 million during the same time period. Romanoff reported $710,000 in his Federal Elections’ Commission campaign filing and reported $792,000 cash on hand. Read More from CPR HERE
CDOT Sets Aside $4.1 Million For COVID-19 Infrastructure Grants
For communities that wish to modify their public infrastructure to promote public health and distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Department of Transportation is offering $4.1 million for project ideas. Calling them “quick-win activities,” CDOT describes projects like converting parking spaces to outdoor dining as fostering economic development during the pandemic. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
CDOT Receives $60.7 Million For I-70 Improvements
The Colorado Department of Transportation has received a $60.7 million federal grant to improve Interstate 70 on the west side of Vail Pass, reducing the frequency of accidents and detours. Construction will take place over an approximately 10-mile stretch in Eagle County, and will include an eastbound auxiliary lane, reconstruction of the bridge over Polk Creek, shoulder widening and wildlife crossings. There will also be technological improvements, such as electronic message signs and variable speed limits, plus automated de-icing. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
Colorado Unemployment Claims Tick Up For Second Week
For the second week in a row, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits rose in Colorado, which saw a total of 28,215 filed as the coronavirus pandemic continues to exact its toll on the economy in the state and across the country. The number of initial claims was up from the previous week’s total of 23,082. Read More from The Denver Post HERE
Nearly One-Third Of New Pandemic Unemployment Claims Last Week Were Fake, Colorado’s Labor Department Says; Colorado Blocks Thousands Of Bogus Unemployment Payment Requests
An investigation found that nearly a third of new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims filed last week, or about 5,600, are likely fake. The labor department stopped paying about 2,800 of them, which would have resulted in $34 million in payments because applicants were allowed to claim they had been impacted by the coronavirus since February. The remainder of the questionable claims are still being investigated. If claims are backdated beyond a week, the person filing must now call into the PUA call center and speak to an agent. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE and The Denver Post HERE
Colorado’s Unemployment Rate Improves Slightly To 10.2% In May
Colorado’s unemployment rate was 10.2% in May, a slight improvement over the month before as businesses in the state began reopening after a weeks-long coronavirus shutdown. Colorado’s unemployment rate was 12.2% in April, its highest-ever level since the state began tracking unemployment levels in 1976. The national unemployment rate in May was 13.3%. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
National Policy Updates
Another 1.51 Million Americans File For Unemployment Benefits
A handful of recent economic data pointed toward a quicker-than-expected recovery, and the weekly initial jobless claims report Thursday provided investors with additional clues on the state of the U.S. labor market. Another 1.508 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 13, exceeding consensus expectations for 1.29 million. While last week marked 11 consecutive week of deceleration, more than 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance over the past 13 weeks. Read More from Yahoo Finance HERE
Top Economists Want To Swap Those $600 Unemployment Benefits With Up To $400 A Week
Lawmakers should replace a $600 unemployment supplement for jobless workers with a maximum $400 a week, according to a new proposal issued by a group of powerhouse economists. The proposal comes as Democrats and Republicans debate the merits of extending the $600 weekly enhancement to unemployment checks, which is scheduled to end after July 31. Read More from CNBC HERE
What's Next For Small Businesses
The original rescue program — which delivered more than half a trillion dollars to millions of employers — is on its last legs, and policymakers are worried it won’t be enough of a lifeline. Still others are looking for a longer-term solution: There is emerging bipartisan support for new government-backed lending that would last much longer than lawmakers first envisioned with the Paycheck Protection Program, which was designed to delay mass layoffs in the early days of the pandemic. Read More from Politico HERE
Trade Groups Make Lobbying Push To Be Included In Small Business Loan Program
The group that represents trade associations lobbied this week for professional and advocacy organizations struggling through the coronavirus to be eligible to receive small business loans. The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) hosted a virtual fly-in to call for changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so 501c6 organizations can receive loans. Read More from The Hill HERE
Trump Can’t Immediately End DACA, Supreme Court Rules
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration may not immediately proceed with its plan to end a program protecting about 700,000 young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation. The court’s ruling was a blow to one of President Trump’s central campaign promises — that as president he would “immediately terminate” an executive order by former President Barack Obama that Mr. Trump had called an illegal executive amnesty for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants. Read More from The New York Times HERE
Here’s What Companies Are Promising To Do To Fight Racism
Companies are usually quiet at moments of public upheaval and hesitant to take a political stand for fear of alienating customers. But since Mr. Floyd’s killing late last month, businesses of all kinds have expressed their solidarity with protesters, donated millions of dollars to organizations dedicated to racial justice or vowed to change their office cultures to be more inclusive. But some have gone further, announcing intentions to make concrete changes inside their own institutions or in how they do business. Here is a list of some of the promises made. Read More from The New York Times HERE
Cities Want To Remove Toxic Monuments. But Who Will Take Them?
The furor over the death of George Floyd has reignited demands to remove dozens of statues and monuments around the country that glorify Confederate generals, advocates for slavery, defenders of segregation and others whose racial views or conduct are now widely reviled. Officials have removed 106 Confederate symbols since 2015. Of those 106 symbols, 64 were monuments, and just four of those were relocated. The vast majority of removed monuments — too large for most museums to accommodate — end up out of sight in storage. Read More from The New York Times HERE 
Permanent Telehealth Changes On The Horizon
All telehealth leaders testifying at Wednesday's HELP hearing gave their support for making pandemic telehealth policy permanent. We could see other telehealth measures in upcoming coronavirus relief packages. During the hearing, Sen. Tammy Baldwin emphasized the need for more funding to help providers access broadband and telehealth software. But there are still some unanswered questions. Read More from Politico HERE
Pandemic Response And Racial Justice Efforts Delay 2021 Spending Process, Increasing Risk Of A Shutdown
The schedule for passing spending bills to avoid a shutdown this fall, already condensed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, was disrupted this week as lawmakers debated which topics the funding measures should address. The Senate Appropriations Committee pushed back its timeline for considering fiscal 2021 spending bills this week after Democrats fought to include amendments on emergency funding for pandemic response, as well as efforts to reform policing. Read More from Government Executive HERE
As U.S. Crime Rates Dropped, Local Police Spending Soared
A Politico analysis of city finance data shows police departments have grown dramatically in size since the mid-1990s, when federal funding first put thousands of new cops on the streets. During the same period, the national homicide rate dropped — a sign to many policymakers that spending on law and order works. But over time, police spending has outpaced the corresponding decreases in crime. Read More from Politico HERE
Election 2020- Klobuchar Withdraws From VP Consideration, Says Biden Should Pick A Woman Of Color
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says she is withdrawing her name from consideration to be Joe Biden's running mate, calling on the former vice president to pick a woman of color. "Since I endorsed the vice president on that joyful night in Dallas, I've never commented on this process at all," she said on MSNBC Thursday night. "But let me tell you this after what I've seen in my state, what I've seen across the country. This is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment." Read More from NPR HERE
Facebook Takes Down Trump Campaign Ads With Symbol Once Used By Nazis
Facebook has taken down an ad from the Trump campaign that went after antifa and leftist groups with a prominent display of an inverted red triangle in a black outline, a symbol the Nazis used for political dissenters. Why it matters: Facebook has given politicians and campaigns wide latitude in what they say on its platform, but this appears to have been a step too far. While rare, it's not unheard of. Read More from Axios HERE 
Tulsa Rescinds Curfew Ahead Of Trump Rally
Officials in Tulsa, Okla., on Friday rescinded a curfew initially put in place in the area around the arena where President Trump is set to hold a campaign rally Saturday evening. The decision marked a reversal, apparently at the president's urging, from less than 24 hours earlier when the mayor declared a civil emergency and imposed a curfew for Friday and Saturday night near the BOK Center, the rally venue, in an effort to deter unruly protests. Read More from The Hill HERE
New Law Directs FBI To Create National Law Enforcement Suicide Database
On Tuesday, President Trump enacted a measure to create a national system to track law enforcement suicides. The “Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act” directs the FBI to establish a new data collection program to better understand and prevent suicides among current and former law enforcement officers at the federal, state, tribal and local levels. The bill was introduced in the House last July and in the Senate last October, and both chambers approved it in May. Read More from Government Executive HERE
Education Dept. Is Making It Harder For Colleges To Boost Student Aid During Crisis
The U.S. Department of Education is making it harder for colleges to reconsider — and potentially increase — financial aid for students who have lost jobs or family income in the current economic crisis. The department has shelved guidance that once encouraged colleges to do more to help students affected by a downturn. The guidance, a pair of letters published by the Obama administration in April and May of 2009, was written in response to the Great Recession. It allowed colleges to fast-track reconsideration of financial aid for students who had lost jobs, and it encouraged unemployed Americans to consider enrolling in postsecondary education and applying for aid. Read More from NPR HERE
House Democrats' Surface Transportation Bill Ready For $1.5T Infrastructure Plan
Almost exactly 36 hours after the markup began, the House Transportation Committee voted on Thursday to advance a five-year, $494 billion surface transportation reauthorization. The bill will form part of a broader $1.5 trillion infrastructure package for everything from roads to education, housing, clean water and broadband. House Democrats announced the plan during an interruption in the two-day markup. Read More from Politico HERE
The Cost Of Racial Disparities In Clinical Trials
Black Americans are consistently underrepresented in clinical trials for diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease to different cancers, despite being disproportionately affected by many of them. The current COVID-19 pandemic is taking an unequal toll on underrepresented communities. As researchers race to develop treatments, having diverse trial participants is key to creating safe and effective drugs and to understanding how socioeconomic and environmental factors influence diagnosis, treatment and outcome. Read More from Axios HERE
Race And Gender Gaps In COVID-19 Deaths
On this week's Brookings Podcast, Senior Fellow Richard Reeves discusses his analysis of data on COVID-19 deaths and why a disproportionate number of men, and Black people, are dying. Also, Molly Reynolds explains what actions Congress is taking in response to the protests against police misconduct, and why it matters that many of these proposals are being sponsored by Black members of Congress. Read More from Brookings HERE
Nextdoor Ends Its Program For Forwarding Suspicions To Police
Nextdoor.com Inc., the neighborhood social networking app, is discontinuing a feature that allowed users to forward their posts directly to local police departments. The move comes as Nextdoor faces scrutiny over its role as a platform for racial profiling, its increasingly cozy partnerships with law enforcement, and after reports that some of its community moderators were removing posts that mentioned Black Lives Matter. But the company is retaining other features that facilitate communication with police through the app, including one that allows direct messages to law enforcement. Read More from CityLab HERE
WHO Says Coronavirus Enters ‘New And Dangerous Phase’ As Daily Cases Hit Record High
The coronavirus pandemic has entered a “new and dangerous phase” as daily Covid-19 cases hit record highs. The number of new cases reported Thursday “were the most in a single day so far” at 150,000. Almost half of the total cases were reported from the Americas, with a large number coming from Southern Asia and the Middle East. Read More from CNBC HERE
Arizona, Texas, Florida Again Report Record-High COVID-19 Cases
Arizona, Texas and Florida are all reporting record-high single-day increases in COVID-19 cases, surpassing previous records set just a few days ago. Arizona reported 3,246 new COVID-19 cases Friday morning, surpassing the record-high of 2,519 new cases reported the day before. Texas reported 3,516 new COVID cases Thursday evening, an increase from the previous record-high of 3,129, which was reported Wednesday. In Florida, 3,822 new cases were reported Friday, the highest single-day increase for the state, beating a record set Thursday of 3,207 new cases. Read More from The Hill HERE
Why More Testing Doesn't Explain The Rise In COVID-19 In Several New U.S. Hotspots
Almost since COVID-19 was first recognized by public health experts, teams have done heroic work to gather and harmonize information from dozens of sources every day in order to make sense of the pandemic’s spread. Despite their best efforts, these numbers were not a certainty. That led many to speculate that the actual number of infections was much higher than it seemed on paper. Fast-forward to the present, and the U.S. public still feels uncertain about whether reported case and fatality rates are accurate. However, today, these uncertainties are driven primarily by obfuscation—purposeful or accidental—by politicians as they attempt to justify the U.S.’s failure to reduce COVID-19 rates over the past few weeks. Read More from Time HERE
In Countries Keeping The Coronavirus At Bay, Experts Watch U.S. Case Numbers With Alarm
As coronavirus cases surge in the U.S. South and West, health experts in countries with falling case numbers are watching with a growing sense of alarm and disbelief, with many wondering why virus-stricken U.S. states continue to reopen and why the advice of scientists is often ignored. Read More from The Washington Post HERE 
Six Small Launch Companies To Receive DoD Contracts Under Defense Production Act
Six space launch companies were selected to receive Defense Department contracts funded under the Defense Production Act to shore up domestic industries financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aevum, Astra, X-Bow, Rocket Lab, Space Vector and VOX Space each will receive noncompetitive contracts to launch two rideshare missions for government customers over the next 24 months. Read More from SpaceNews HERE
How Space Could Unlock The Economic Recovery
Is space the key to economic recovery? That’s the view of retired Air Force Col. Michael “Coyote” Smith, a professor of strategic space studies at the Air Command and Staff College at the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. And he sees a major role for the Space Force — but only if it evolves beyond the “narrow vision” of Pentagon leaders. Read More from Politico HERE
New NASA Human Spaceflight Leader Acknowledges Challenge Of 2024 Lunar Landing
The new head of NASA’s human spaceflight programs says she’s excited by the opportunity to lead efforts to return astronauts to the moon, but cautioned she could not guarantee that could be accomplished by the end of 2024. The highest profile activity in that mission directorate is the Artemis program, with the goal established by the White House last year to land humans on the moon by the end of 2024. Read More from SpaceNews HERE 
How The Coronavirus Will Reshape World Trade
When the global economy finally gets beyond the pandemic, expect it to be less globalized than before. Governments, including many longtime advocates of global trade, are using the crisis to erect barriers to commerce and bring manufacturing home. From semiconductor makers to surgical-gown producers, companies are reassessing far-flung, multinational production networks that have proven vulnerable to disruption. Read More from The Wall Street Journal HERE
Pandemic Travel Patterns Hint At Our Urban Future
The lessons of the great transportation freeze of 2020 could guide future policies as many cities reopen and attempt to build a healthier future. Nearly six months on, snapshots of global data paint a picture of where, how, and why cities stopped moving, and what the future may hold as the coronavirus travel freeze begins to thaw. Read More from CityLab HERE
Revenge Of The Suburbs
From The Atlantic, "U.S. cities have been growing at their edges for a century and a half. After World War II, mass-developed subdivisions followed, compelled by a housing crisis and emboldened by racist government-housing subsidies, white flight, and the sheer size of the North American continent. Like pornography, you know a suburb when you see it: large expanses of low-slung buildings, where residences are separated from commerce, where industry is mostly absent, where family life thrives inside detached homes that stipple meandering streets flanked by lawns and dotted with mailboxes. More than half of Americans, 175 million of us, live in communities like these now, most for the same reasons as our forebears." Read More from The Atlantic HERE
About Rocky Mountain Cradle to Career Partnership (RMC2C)
The Rocky Mountain Cradle to Career Partnership (RMC2C) Backbone team is working to support network partners in their efforts to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Backbone continues to be in a position to bring people together to work collectively, specifically around emergency response and recovery related to COVID-19.

Previously, RMC2C has exclusively focused on supporting youth from Cradle to Career. However, in light of the crisis our community currently faces, there is an immediate need to provide the Backbone's expertise, skills, and resources to the larger community.