State Legislature Addressed Time-Sensitive Bills Before COVID Hiatus
After a brief start to the 2021 Colorado Legislative Session that lasted just three days, legislators are on COVID-19 hiatus, likely until mid-February.
Plastic dividers between desks, socially distanced staff and press, and quiet halls marked the unusually muted first week under the golden dome, which, under normal circumstances, begins in January and continues 120 consecutive days until adjournment in May. Seven priority and time sensitive bills were passed, including modifying the COVID-19 relief for small businesses (SB21-001) and allowing legislators to participate electronically during a declared disaster emergency (HB21-1003).
What's to come
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a reckoning with how Colorado's legislature does business. The 2020 session adjourned abruptly last March in the first waves of the virus and returned to vastly different priorities in late spring. It is still unclear whether the session will be extended this year to accommodate the current hiatus and safe participation in the legislative process by stakeholders and the public remains a challenge.
Why it matters to you
Upon reconvening, the legislature is anticipated to prioritize COVID-19 relief, healthcare cost reduction measures, the Governor's Behavioral Health Task Force, and balancing the state budget.