Policy and Legislative Updates
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 7.27.2020 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 497,265 people tested, 44,565 positive cases, 6,271 hospitalized, 1,799 deaths among cases (1,668 deaths due to COVID), 457 outbreaks at residential and non- hospital health care facilities, 63 of 64 counties with positive cases. In Adams County we have 5,626 cases and 167 deaths. Read More from CDPHE HERE
Governor Polis Takes Action To Address COVID-19
Governor Jared Polis extended Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor signed an Executive Order directing the Colorado Department of Human Services to access federal funds for child care services. The Governor also signed Executive Order D 2020 146, extending the ability for Coloradans to continue getting marriage licenses while clerk and recorder offices are closed. He also extended orders suspending certain regulatory statutes due to COVID-19, and concerning petition collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates. Read More from Governor Jared Polis HERE 
Colorado Workers Infected With Coronavirus Face Uphill Battle To Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers across Colorado are facing an uphill battle to claim workers’ compensation benefits on the grounds they were infected with the novel coronavirus at work. State law places the burden on the worker to show that they were infected on the job and not somewhere else — and that can be tricky to prove in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. Read More from The Denver Post HERE
Coloradans Brace For Fiscal Fallout As Federal $600 Weekly Unemployment Aid Ends
Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans will keep getting their standard unemployment benefit from the state. But the extra $600 that has helped people pay the bills, cover the rent or mortgage and buy groceries ended on Saturday. Even if lawmakers resolve their differences soon over new spending and additional federal help for people out of work, there will be a lag while state labor departments reprogram their systems. Read More from The Denver Post HERE
A Busy Summer Is Pulling Colorado’s Resort Communities Out Of The Coronavirus Downturn. But Will It Last?
High-country resort communities that rely on spending from visitors are seeing a rebound in sales tax collections in June and July, but it’s not likely the crowds will be enough to erase losses in March and April. The declines in March and April were devastating, with most ski-resort anchored communities enduring 50% drops in sales tax harvests as resorts closed and visitation evaporated. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
Colorado's Outdoor-Exploration Businesses See Boom Even During Summer Of Travel-Industry Bust
Shortly after the onset of coronavirus, it appeared that 2020 would be the year from hell for travel-industry companies — and for many, from hotels to group travel guides, it is proving to be just that. But for a particular segment — namely, those companies that facilitate individuals getting out into uncrowded natural areas — this summer has instead proved to be an unexpected gold mine. Companies that sell RVs, rent multi-day camping vehicles and even plot hiking and biking courses off the beaten path are seeing booming interest and increased sales. Read More from Denver Business Journal HERE
Rogue County Meets Rogue Event, Or How Thousands Showed Up For A Concert And No Masks Required
On Sunday, on a private farm in southeast Weld County near Hudson, thousands gathered for a concert and Mexican bull-riding competition, no masks or social distancing required. And no permit required, either. Unlike Jefferson County, which ordered Bandimere Speedway to obey county orders for event sizes, or Teller County, where a recent cease-and-desist order was issued by the Attorney General for a four-day event, Weld County is taking little interest in what’s going on at this County Road 37 farm. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
Cases Quadruple In Six Weeks Amid New Event Concerns
According to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, COVID-19 cases in the state have more than quadrupled in less than six weeks. Meanwhile, a rodeo and concert in Weld County on Sunday, July 26, at which mask use and social distancing were rare commodities, highlighted continuing concerns about large events and the conflicts between Governor Jared Polis and local officials with differing views about balancing safety and personal freedom. Read More from Westword HERE
Coronavirus Makes New US Citizens Trade Courthouse Ceremony For Parking Lot
Shutdowns and furloughs at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services mean longer wait times for applicants looking to become citizens. Immigration lawyer Beatriz Lynch said her clients’ progress through the immigration system is taking two to three times longer these days, she said. The USCIS Denver Field office is open after being closed for almost three months due to the pandemic. Dozens of naturalization ceremonies were postponed. Now, those ceremonies look much different. Read More from CPR HERE
RTD Updates Policy On Symptom Screenings In Wake Of Health Department Visit
The Regional Transportation District has formalized a policy for employees to self-assess and report any COVID-19 symptoms prior to reporting to work. The change came nearly two weeks after a Denver health investigator found no evidence that RTD was following state guidelines at one of its facilities. “If employees experience any symptoms, they are to avoid the workplace, contact their manager and request advice from their health provider. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
Colorado Resort Towns See Flood Of Second-Home Buyers, Burst In School Enrollment
Urbanites fleeing cities for homes in the hills are pulling mountain resort real estate out of a pandemic slump. Inventories are dwindling, prices are soaring and resort-town schools are seeing enrollment climb as second-home owners and newcomers settle in places like Steamboat Springs, Vail, Crested Butte, Telluride and Aspen. The booming mountain market reflects a national trend showing a huge spike in sales in June, snapping a three-month decline. Read More from The Colorado Sun HERE
Douglas County Schools Plan On Hybrid Schedule To Reopen Amid Rising Cases of Coronavirus
Colorado’s third-largest school district is planning to start the year on a hybrid schedule. The nearly 68,000 Douglas County School District RE-1 students will spend two days at the school for in-person learning and three days at home for remote learning. Under the hybrid schedule, students will be organized into rotating cohorts, which would keep a group of students and staff together throughout the school year. The goal is to limit exposure to other students and staff -- and help officials track any potential spread of the virus and if there is an outbreak. Read More from CPR HERE
What Does Colorado’s Mask Requirement Mean For Your Next Workout?
A week after Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide mask order in hopes of tamping down a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued guidance Thursday intended to clarify how it applies to working out in gyms. The only reference to gyms in the mask mandate that was issued July 16 came in a line that exempted “individuals who are exercising alone or with others from the individual’s household and a face covering would interfere with the activity.” Read More from The Denver Post HERE
Denver International Airport CFO To Resign Aug. 10
Denver International Airport’s chief financial officer will step down next month, airport officials confirmed Monday. Gisela Shanahan is resigning on Aug. 10 “for personal reasons and to spend more time with her grandchildren,” DIA spokesperson Alex Renteria wrote in an email. Details regarding Shanahan’s interim replacement and the process to replace her permanently have not yet been disclosed. Read More from Colorado Politics HERE
National Policy Updates
Washington Bids Farewell To Civil Rights Icon John Lewis
Capitol Hill said goodbye to the Conscience of the Congress on Monday. Rep. John Lewis arrived for a final time Monday afternoon at the Capitol, where he will lie in state for two days, one of the last stops for the civil rights icon who long ago transcended politics to become an American hero. Lewis, who died July 17 at age 80 after being diagnosed with cancer, will lie in state in the Georgia Capitol on Wednesday before being buried in a private funeral in Atlanta on Thursday. Read More from Politico HERE and The Washington Post HERE
Stimulus Negotiations- GOP's $1 Trillion Opening Bid Would Cut Unemployment Benefits
Senate Republicans will propose cutting weekly emergency unemployment benefits from $600 to $200 until states can bring a more complicated program online. The proposal will come as part of a broader $1 trillion relief bill aimed at dealing with the economic fallout caused by the novel coronavirus. Republicans plan to release the legislation later on Monday and start negotiations with Democrats. The $600 weekly jobless benefit expires in a few days, and House Democrats have proposed extending it until January because the unemployment rate remains very high. Read More from The Washington Post HERE and HERE , and CNN HERE
Small Businesses Are Drowning In Coronavirus Expenses
Expenses are piling up for cash-strapped small businesses as they invest in what it takes to lure customers and workers back into shops: fancy air filters, plexiglass shields, and stockpiles of PPE. Some small business owners are spending the equivalent of a month's worth of profit on precautionary equipment. Nationally, many businesses are taking steps forward — doling out cash to retrofit restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores and other establishments. But they're simultaneously preparing to take steps back — or to close for good — if cases spike again. Read More from Axios HERE
First Phase 3 Test Of Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate Begins In US
An investigational vaccine developed by drugmaker Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began phase three trials on Monday, becoming the first U.S. candidate to reach that step in testing. About 30,000 adult volunteers are set to be enrolled in the trial, which added that the first patient was dosed at a site in Savannah, Ga. A trial group will receive two 100 microgram injections of the candidate while a control group receives a placebo, both about four weeks apart, the network noted. Read More from The Hill HERE
It's Not Over When The Vaccine Arrives
The first coronavirus vaccine may arrive soon, but it’s unlikely to be the knockout punch you may be hoping for. The end of this global pandemic almost certainly rests with a vaccine. Experts caution, however, that it’s important to have realistic expectations about how much the first vaccines across the finish line will — and won’t — be able to accomplish. Work on a coronavirus vaccine is moving at an unprecedented pace. There are nearly 200 candidates in development, 27 are being tested in humans and a handful are already in an advanced phase of clinical trials. Read More from Axios HERE
How To Test More People For Coronavirus Without Actually Needing More Tests
Americans are waiting longer to get their coronavirus test results, with major labs reporting turnaround times as long as two weeks. Testing capacity has failed to keep pace with increased demand, but public health researchers think they have a way to quickly and sharply increase capacity in many states. Instead of running a test for each person, laboratories could pool together tests from small groups of people and analyze them all at once. Read More from The New York Times HERE
Lawmakers From Both Parties Seek Greater Vaccine Oversight
As the first U.S.-developed coronavirus vaccine reaches a critical stage in the trial process, a bipartisan group of lawmakers asked a watchdog to keep closer tabs on the Trump administration's multi-billion plan to develop and distribute a vaccine by early next year. Read More from Government Executive HERE  
Google To Keep Employees Home Until Summer 2021 Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Google will keep its employees home until at least next July, making the search-engine giant the first major U.S. corporation to formalize such an extended timetable in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The move will affect nearly all of the roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet Inc. Read More from The Wall Street Journal HERE
Trump Administration Sending More Federal Agents To Reinforce Portland Courthouse
The Trump administration is sending more federal agents to Portland, Ore., as officials consider pushing back harder and farther against the growing crowds and nightly clashes with protesters, vandals and rioters, The Washington Post has learned. To strengthen federal forces arrayed around the city’s downtown courthouse, the U.S. Marshals Service decided last week to send 100 deputy U.S. Marshals to Portland. The personnel began arriving Thursday night. More from The Washington Post HERE
Robert O'Brien, Trump's National Security Adviser, Tests Positive For Coronavirus
President Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House announced on Monday. "National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien tested positive for COVID-19. He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off-site. There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted," the White House said in a statement. Read More from NPR HERE
100 Days Out, Parties Fear Chaotic Election; 9 Things That Could Change the Race
A little more than three months before November’s election, partisans who back both President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are growing anxious over what they see as the mounting potential for a chaotic contest marred by disenfranchised voters, administration errors and mountains of litigation. With a majority of Americans disapproving of the way President Trump is handling the coronavirus pandemic, Biden has jumped to an 8-point lead in an average of the national polls. A lot can happen between now and November. Here are nine things to keep an eye on that can change the dynamics of the race. Read More from The Hill HERE and NPR HERE
How The Pandemic Could Force A Generation Of Mothers Out Of The Workforce
From FiveThirtyEight, "What comes next could have disproportionate — and long-lasting — effects on the careers of countless women across the country. Studies have shown that women already shoulder much of the burden of caring for and educating their children at home; now, they’re also more likely than men to have lost their jobs thanks to the pandemic. And the collapse of the child care and public education infrastructure that so many parents rely on will only magnify these problems, even pushing some women out of the labor force entirely." Read More from FiveThirtyEight HERE
Here's How Back To School Might Look In The New Normal
The students are met at the school door with a thermometer and a health quiz, answering questions like "Are you feeling sick today?" Once they pass this quiz, the students in this summer enrichment program outside St. Louis proceed to folding chairs spread 10 feet apart across the gymnasium to eat breakfast alone. Read More from NPR HERE
The Pandemic Is Widening Educational Inequality
Even before the pandemic sent pupils packing, there was a large gap in achievement between rich and poor students. After months of coronavirus-induced school closures, that gap has no doubt grown even wider. With kids banned from classrooms, most learning has moved online. Well-off children, meanwhile, are far more likely to have access to the necessary kit, including laptops and reliable broadband internet access. To reach the learning materials provided, many poorer ones have to compete with other family members for access to a sole laptop, or use their smartphones. Some have to forgo lessons entirely. This is a problem for rich and poor countries alike. America’s education department reckons that nearly one in eight children do not have internet access via a desktop or laptop at home. Read More from The Economist HERE
The Future Of Our Food Supply
If the early days of grocery shopping during coronavirus are remembered for empty shelves and flour hoarding, our present-day food system might be characterized by lines. Lines are a symbol of the burdens of the pandemic, as more people wind down blocks waiting for food aid. They’re also a sign of our adaptation, with socially distanced queues of people waiting to enter stores, and separate check-outs for delivery workers buying groceries on behalf of somebody else. How we get our groceries is a visible stand-in for a food system in flux. As with so many things, we’re confronting pre-existing problems that have only been exacerbated by coronavirus, from food accessibility and affordability, to supporting local food suppliers, to improving conditions for the food workforce. Read More from CityLab HERE
First Came The Virus. Next Come The Storms
In March, as the country watched a strange new disease spread from coast to coast, leading researchers at Colorado State University released their annual forecast for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. Their predictions were not comforting: an “above average” season, with an estimated four major storms (Category 3 or higher) and a nearly 70 percent chance that at least one of those major storms strikes the U.S. coast. Responding to a major storm amid an ongoing pandemic would present huge challenges. 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.