The Colorado General Assembly will convene for a special session to pass COVID-19 relief legislation that will boost small businesses, increase access to child care, help Coloradans pay their rent or mortgage, and improve broadband options for students in rural communities.
“With COVID-19 cases reaching daily new records and winter just around the corner, Coloradans can’t wait any longer for Congress to provide relief--they need us to act now to help small businesses, families, and students get through the challenging months ahead,” said Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. “In partnership with the governor, we will convene a special legislative session to pass a relief package that supports jobs, helps Coloradans avoid eviction or foreclosure, and expands access to safe child care options.”
“This epidemic has torn through our country with unmatched aggression and unrelenting persistence. It has claimed the lives of more than 247,000 Americans and left families ripped apart. Yet the loss of life is only one piece of the devastation. People have lost their jobs, their life savings, their family businesses, and not least of all their hope. Coloradans cannot wait another moment, and neither should we. We need to act urgently to bring relief to the people of our state. So we have decided to pull every lever, find every dime, and use every tool in our toolbox to make it happen,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo.
“After passing a robust COVID relief package this spring and working with the governor to provide $375 in one-time support to hundreds of thousands of Coloradans, we’re ready to get back to work to support small businesses and the Coloradans who have been hit hardest by this pandemic,” said Speaker-designate Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “We need an economic recovery where every Coloradan has a fair shot, but this can’t happen if restaurants and bars close, families lose their homes, students can’t get online, and daycare centers shutter. We need to act now to bridge the gap where Washington has failed, or our economy will falter.”
“People need help and they need it now. They can’t wait another 3 months for us to reconvene the legislature, their situations are too dire, too desperate. It is our responsibility as state leaders to do absolutely everything in our power to alleviate the pain and suffering our students, parents, and small businesses are experiencing,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder. “We refuse to sit on our hands while Congress fails to do its job. So we hope this targeted relief package will bridge the gap and keep families fed and rents paid until additional federal relief is available.”
Legislative leadership anticipates passing legislation that cuts taxes for small businesses, provides significant resources to help Coloradans pay their rent or mortgage, and boosts support for early childhood services to preserve and expand access to safe and affordable child care.
The legislature will convene with the same composition and legislative leadership as the 2020 regular legislative session. The governor will set the general legislative topics for consideration during the session, and members will craft legislation that meets the shared objective of stimulating Colorado’s economy.
Lawmakers will have the option of participating remotely for floor work; there will be limited committee work, and other measures will be adopted to mitigate the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. Additional tools will be available to enhance safety in the building, such as improved testing protocols and increased social distancing.