The Capitol is shut down, but Colorado lawmakers are crafting legislation to address coronavirus |

The Capitol is shut down, but Colorado lawmakers are crafting legislation to address coronavirus

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

Even with the Capitol closed indefinitely and the legislative session in limbo, Colorado lawmakers are working behind the scenes on legislation to address the new coronavirus outbreak.

One of the new priorities includes action to accelerate a pay hike for Colorado National Guard members activated in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation Wednesday to increase the minimum pay from the current rate of $1.67 an hour, but it won’t take effect for months.

In response to a Colorado Sun story, Democratic and Republican legislative leaders said they support a move to fast-forward the increase. “That’s something we could do and would want to do,” said House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder.

The General Assembly temporarily recessed the legislative session to March 30, but it’s increasingly unlikely the term will actually resume then. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising against gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks and Polis is considering other social distancing mandates.

In a call with reporters Wednesday, Becker said the legislature could “just gavel in and gavel out again” and extend the break. A big factor is pending legal guidance from the Colorado Supreme Court about whether the 120-day session can extend past the scheduled May 6 adjournment date.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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