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Colorado Capitol shutdown imminent as lawmakers prepare must-pass legislation

Jesse Paul and John Frank, Colorado Sun
The Colorado state Capitol building. (John Ingold, The Colorado Sun)

In the clearest sign yet that the Colorado legislature is nearing a temporary shut down in response to the new coronavirus, top lawmakers on Thursday rushed toward votes on legislation they say must pass before a recess. 

The stoppage, which legislative leaders say is imminent, could come as soon as this weekend after the General Assembly ties off loose ends. 

A new bill introduced Thursday afternoon will allow the state’s political parties to delay assemblies and conventions — scheduled to begin Saturday — because of the coronavirus. The measure also gives them leeway to consider remote voting methods in order to avoid convening large crowds with populations vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The House rushed the measure — House Bill 1359 —  through its first two votes hours after introduction on Thursday evening in order to allow for final passage in the Senate as soon as Saturday. Leadership says it must pass before they break and told lawmakers to prepare to return to the Capitol on Saturday.

“We are on the fastest track that we can be,” House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, told reporters. “This isn’t like just canceling school or canceling an event. We have to make sure we are thinking through the bills that we must pass and we are thinking through what we must do to go into recess. We’re in the process of just getting our house in order.” 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.


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