Policy and Legislative Updates
June 26, 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 6.26.2020 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.
Local Policy Updates
Coronavirus In Colorado; The Numbers
According to today's data release, in Colorado there have been 304,759 people tested, 31,796 positive cases, 5,392 hospitalized, 1,673 deaths among cases (1,482 deaths due to COVID), 349 outbreaks at residential and non- hospital health care facilities, 61 of 64 counties with positive cases. In Adams County we have 4,058 cases and 154 deaths. Read More from CDPHE HERE
CDPHE Outlines Terms For Outdoor Visits At Senior Facilities
The state’s health department is permitting scheduled, outdoor visitation at residential care facilities, and has prescribed protocols for interactions with older residents who are most likely to die from coronavirus infection. Staff at facilities are required to greet visitors outside in order to perform temperature checks and ensure that visitors are wearing masks. Employees will also take down the visitors’ information to enable contact tracing, and will escort them to and from the visitation. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
A Last Minute Voter’s Guide To The Colorado 2020 Primary Election
Colorado’s June 30 primary is less than a week away, so if you haven’t turned your ballot in yet, you need to drop it in an election drop box or at your county clerk’s office by 7 p.m. Tuesday. It’s too late to mail it. You can also register and vote in person at a vote center; visit www.GoVoteColorado.com to find one near you. More information can be found here. Still trying to figure out who to vote for — or even what your choices are? Your ballot will depend on where you live and which party you choose. Here are the contested races in and near the Denver metro area. R ead More from The Denver Post HERE
Governor Polis Appoints Special Prosecutor To Investigate The Death Of Elijah McClain
Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order designating Phil Weiser, Attorney General of Colorado, as the State’s prosecutor, to investigate and, if the facts support prosecution, criminally prosecute any individuals whose actions caused the death of Elijah McClain. Read More from Governor Jared Polis HERE 
Colorado Civil War Soldier Statue Torn Down At The Capitol
A monument at the Colorado state Capitol remembering the 1st Colorado Cavalry who fought and died in the Civil War was torn down early Thursday morning. The Colorado State Patrol said it happened around 1:30 a.m. The pedestal that supported the statue of a Union cavalryman was also defaced with graffiti. It's been subject to similar graffiti and defacement in the last few weeks as protests over racism and police brutality took place on the statehouse grounds. Read More from CPR HERE
Statue Honoring Christopher Columbus In Denver’s Civic Center Torn Down Overnight
A statue erected in Denver’s Civic Center in the mid-1970s to honor Christopher Columbus was torn down by protesters overnight, just a day after the state’s Civil War monument — which included a commemoration of the Sand Creek Massacre — met a similar fate. Video tweeted around 12:40 a.m. Friday by a group called the Afro Liberation Front shows a number of people pulling on ropes attached to the 15-foot bronze statue, which sat on a pedestal bearing a plaque with the inscription “In Honor of Christopher Columbus. Read More from The Denver Post HERE
Federal Cash Could Be The Thing That Shifts A Front Range Train From Dream To Reality
Colorado’s fledgling plans for passenger rail up and down the Front Range could get billions from the federal government under two separate proposals. Sal Pace, a member of the state’s Southwest Chief And Front Range Passenger Rail Commission, said he’s been working with Amtrak and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner on bill language that would fund four new rail corridors across the country. He said it would mean more than $2 billion for Colorado. Gardner confirmed that, saying he’s hopeful the language will be included in a future coronavirus stimulus bill. Read More from CPR HERE
With Days Left To Apply For A Paycheck Loan, There’s Still More Than $126 Billion Available To Small Businesses
With four days left to apply, there’s still $126 billion available to small businesses that could benefit from a forgivable loan, or at least a low-interest one, to recover from the havoc of shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic. But are there any more businesses that want one? It’s been crickets at many Colorado banks and lending organizations, which saw applications for federal Paycheck Protection Program loans plummet in popularity since May, shortly after a second round of money was approved by Congress. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
‘No Mask, No Ride’- Bus Drivers Worry RTD Isn’t Ready To Collect Fares Safely
RTD’s bus and light rail operators say the agency isn’t ready to safely begin collecting fares. About three dozen drivers picketed at RTD’s Central Park station Friday morning, just days before fare collection is set to start July 1. Passengers have been boarding most of RTD’s buses from the rear door since April to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Lance Longenbohn, president of the ATU-1001 transit workers union, said RTD should require passengers to wear masks and enforce social distancing on its vehicles. Read More from CPR HERE
Another 20,000 Apply For Jobless Aid In Colorado Amid Economy’s Slow Reopening
More than 20,000 Coloradans filed unemployment claims last week as the steady pace of deep job cuts and income losses for workers continues in the Centennial State amid the COVID-19 pandemic even as the state’s economy reopens. Last week’s claims — 9,882 for traditional unemployment benefits and 10,385 for federal pandemic unemployment assistance, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment — are down significantly from the week prior, which saw more than 28,000 Coloradans file for support. Read More from The Denver Post HERE
Coronavirus Will Add 500,000 People To Colorado’s Medicaid Rolls With Major Consequences For The Health Care System
In the coming months, the state expects to add a half million people to its Medicaid rolls due to coronavirus-related job losses, bringing enrollment in the program to more than 1.8 million people. By December, nearly one out of every three Coloradans will be covered by Medicaid. Combined with the roughly 14% of Coloradans who are on Medicare, it means that, for at least a brief period, nearly half of the state will be covered by a government-run health plan. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
Coronavirus Safety Added To CU Boulder Code Of Conduct
University of Colorado Boulder students who do not wear masks in public, adhere to social distancing or follow public health orders could be disciplined under the campus’ updated code of conduct, including being put on probation or suspended in the worst cases. Read More from The Denver Post HERE 
Despite The Pandemic, The Air Force Academy Welcomes The Next Class Of Cadets
The next class of cadets arrived for basic training at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Thursday, going through a pandemic-altered version of the institution’s traditional “In-processing Day.” The event still served its primary purpose as initiation for the new freshmen: They received Air Force compliant haircuts and physical training clothes; they passed medical and physical standards of the service branch; filled out Academy paperwork and were introduced to their roommates. Yet, the pandemic altered other traditions. Read More from CPR HERE
Masks Required As Part Of DPS In-Person Learning This Fall
The Denver Public School District (DPS), the state's largest school district, announced that masks will be required as students return for full in-person learning in August at all district-run, innovation and charter schools. Read More from 9News HERE
DeGette Sponsors Legislation Granting $25 Billion To Research Disrupted By Pandemic
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has sponsored a bill that would give to the federal agencies that depend on scientific research approximately $25 billion that they can award to research universities and other institutions whose operations the pandemic has disrupted. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
Crow Introduces Bill For Congressional Oversight Over Afghanistan Troop Withdrawals
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow has introduced legislation that would prevent the Trump Administration from stationing fewer than 5,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan without submitting the drawdown operation to congressional oversight. The bill would also trigger oversight if troop levels dip below 8,000. The New York Times reported last week that there were 8,600 soldiers in the country currently, with further withdrawals planned. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
National Policy Updates
Election Results Are Delayed Again. Get Used To It
Kentucky and New York had primaries Tuesday, but the winners of the closest races probably won't be known until next week. What's going on? Get used to it. Slow vote counts and delayed results are a feature of elections during the pandemic and are likely to continue into the general election in November, when many election officials say that, absent a landslide, it won't be clear who won the presidential election for several days. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
U.S. Sets Daily Record For New Coronavirus Cases
With numbers spiking across Southern states, the United States set a daily record for new COVID-19 cases Thursday. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, 39,972 new cases were recorded June 25, surpassing the previous record set April 24, which saw 36,291 new cases. The U.S. continues to lead the world in both reported cases and deaths from the coronavirus. Read More from NPR HERE
Florida Reports Massive Single-Day Increase Of 9,000 Coronavirus Cases
Florida on Friday reported nearly 9,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours totaling 122,960 cases. The state is one of many that are experiencing a fresh surge of infections. The single-day confirmed cases increase was the most for any state since the pandemic began. The record surpassed the Florida's single-day record from this week at 5,511. Deaths in Florida increased 1.2%, reaching 3,366, the report shows. Total hospitalizations in Florida rose 1.5%, to 13,987. Read More from Axios HERE 
As Virus Surges, Younger People Account for ‘Disturbing’ Number of Cases
Younger people are making up a growing percentage of new coronavirus cases in cities and states where the virus is now surging, a trend that has alarmed public health officials and prompted renewed pleas for masks and social distancing. Read More from The New York Times HERE
Texas, Florida Governors Order Bars Closed, Impose New Restrictions As Cases Surge
A pair of GOP governors on Friday moved to impose new mitigation measures in their states amid record numbers of new coronavirus infections, with both Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordering bars closed and Texas placing new restrictions on other businesses the governor said were linked to the virus's resurgence. Texas and Florida are among around a dozen other states that have hit the brakes on reopening their economies amid a resurgence of the virus across the South and West affecting more than half of the states in the country. Read More from Politico HERE
DHS Predicted A Summer Of Violence, Radicalization And Conspiracies
The Homeland Security Department officials warned that if people remained in “extended isolation,” they could face “increased exposure to violent extremists who are using social media, including disinformation spread on social media, to attempt to radicalize others to violence.” They also predicted that people would become more susceptible to disinformation and radicalism and would see more “conspiracy theories and grievances.” Read More from Government Executive HERE
Decoding The Confusing Messages Of The Coronavirus Epidemic In America
On June 21st the World Health Organization announced a record increase in coronavirus cases round the world: 183,000 new cases during the previous 24 hours, more than at the height of the pandemic in April. Five days before, Mike Pence, the vice-president, wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal pouring scorn on “alarm bells over a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus infections”. Such contradictory claims are more than playing with numbers. They reveal a changing pattern of infection which is not only confusing but, in the final analysis, worrying for the future of the pandemic. Read More from The Economist HERE
Another 1.48 Million Americans File For Unemployment Benefits
More than three months into the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S., countless Americans are still unemployed. According to the U.S. Labor Department, weekly initial jobless claims data showed yet another week of claims exceeding 1 million. Another 1.48 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 20, exceeding economists’ expectations for 1.32 million. Read More from Yahoo Finance HERE
Lack Of Childcare Keeping Women Unemployed
One part of the problem is that working parents with kids at home have few options for safe and affordable child care during the coronavirus pandemic. The issue is disproportionately affecting women. In May, the unemployment rate jumped by 7.6 percentage points for men, but nearly 10 percentage points for women. The problem could slow down the recovery even more, and at the same time, erode decades of gains for women in the workplace. Read More from Politico HERE
Dow Tumbles 730 Points As COVID-19 Flare-Ups Force States To Push Back Reopening
Rising coronavirus infections roiled investors on Friday, sending stocks into a sharp decline as big-economy states like Texas and Florida paused their reopening to stop the disease’s spread. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 730 points, about 2.8 percent, to 25,015, The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 2.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 2.6 percent. All three indexes were on track weekly losses. Read More from The Washington Post HERE
Obamacare Must 'Fall,' Trump Administration Tells Supreme Court
In a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Trump administration has reaffirmed its position that the Affordable Care Act in its entirety is illegal because Congress eliminated the individual tax penalty for failing to purchase medical insurance. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the government's chief advocate before the Supreme Court, said in a brief that the other provisions of Obamacare are impossible to separate from the individual mandate and that "it necessarily follows that the rest of the ACA must also fall." Read More from NPR HERE 
A Step Toward Permanent Telehealth Policy
Regulations giving home health agencies more flexibility to use telehealth during the pandemic would be extended permanently under a proposed rule released by the agency Thursday afternoon. The proposal was released alongside a routine update of the Home Health Prospective Payment System for 2021, which will boost Medicare payments to home health agencies by $540 million, a 2.6 percent increase over current levels, according to CMS. Read More from Politico HERE
How The United States' Massive Failure To Close The Digital Divide Got Exposed By Coronavirus
Three out of every four Americans who lack broadband access have the infrastructure in their neighborhood but haven’t connected to it. Most just don’t have the money. Unlike in other wealthy nations, the federal government has imposed no cost controls to make broadband more affordable. The result: massive inequality in one of the modern world’s most basic utilities. Read More from Government Executive HERE
Treasury Updates the Coronavirus Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Treasury has updated its guidance on the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for state, territorial, local, and tribal governments. Through the CRF, the CARES Act provides payments to state, local, and tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More from US Treasury HERE
Federal Regulators Weaken Wall Street Rules
Venture capital funds soon will be eligible for a huge new pot of Wall Street money, after federal regulators yesterday weakened rules that were put in place after the financial crisis. Many banks had been banned from balance sheet investing in venture capital funds due to the Volcker Rule, which was part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform package passed in 2010. That prohibition will now expire on Oct. 1, based on an announcement from a group of agencies that included the SEC and FDIC. Read More from Axios HERE
Trump To Sign Executive Order To Overhaul The Federal Hiring Process
President Trump on Friday will sign an executive order to overhaul requirements federal agencies use when evaluating job candidates, seeking to downplay the importance of college degrees. The order will require agencies to increase the use of skill assessments and interviews with subject matter experts to determine an applicant's qualifications, rather than simply looking at educational achievements. Degree requirements will not go away entirely, and certain positions—such as those in medical, legal and certain technical fields—will still require advanced degrees. Read More from Government Executive HERE
The Lasting Normal For The Post-Pandemic City
Two images of the post-pandemic city have emerged. One is the urbanist’s utopia of widened sidewalks, ample bike lanes, parking lots converted to green spaces and extended networks of pedestrianized boulevards. The other is a dystopia of empty streets and boarded-up shops, a barren cultural landscape in which the diversity, energy, and pageantry of Barcelona’s La Rambla, Paris’s Champs Elysees, London’s Piccadilly Circus, and New York’s Times Square have been replaced by a tableau of socially-distanced and masked citizens, scurrying quickly between their jobs and their homes. Read More from CityLab HERE
Gentrification And Disinvestment 2020
COVID-19 exposed deep economic and social fault lines nationwide, with profound implications for how we attract investment to our poorest communities and the impact that investment has on low- and moderate-income (LMI) and minority populations. The pandemic also made clear what was already going on before it: While a small number of cities were booming, most were not. NCRC’s 2019 report on gentrification and cultural displacement identified a small group of boomtowns that experienced large scale gentrification and notable displacement of longtime minority communities. But they were rare. Read More from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition HERE
Facebook Will Label Violating Posts From Public Figures Going Forward
Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will start labeling posts it deems newsworthy but that also violates its policies, marking a major about-turn from the company’s previous hands-off stance. In a town hall that was streamed live Friday, Zuckerberg said the company will also remove content that incites violence or attempts to suppress voting — no matter who says it. Read More from The Washington Post HERE
Politicians Ignore Far-Out Risks- They Need To Up Their Game
Low-probability, high-impact events are a fact of life. Individual humans look for protection from them to governments and, if they can afford it, insurers. Humanity, at least as represented by the world’s governments, reveals instead a preference to ignore them until forced to react—even when foresight’s price-tag is small. It is an abdication of responsibility and a betrayal of the future. Read More from The Economist 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.