The Colorado Capitol looked and sounded very different on Tuesday as state lawmakers returned for the first time in more than two months.
From difficulties hearing caused by legislators trying to talk through face masks to new plexiglass barriers placed between every desk in the House of Representatives, the legislature is adapting to new safety measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But the new one-way stairwells and other obstacles pale in comparison to the biggest challenge lawmakers face:
Passing a budget that includes a $3.3 billion shortfall caused by the impacts of the coronavirus.
When they gaveled in their new session, lawmakers could hear the sound of protestors in school buses and other vehicles honking as they drove around the building to oppose nearly $1 billion in proposed cuts to the state's education budget.
Lawmakers expect to be in the building for three weeks.
Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado.