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Politics
KUNC is a member of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

Colorado Lawmakers Will Delay Their Work In 2021 Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

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Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage
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Colorado lawmakers returned to the Capitol during a surge in coronavirus cases to pass a stimulus package worth more than $200 million.

Colorado's upcoming legislative session will not kick into high gear until at least mid-February because lawmakers do not want to hold large gatherings during the pandemic.

Democrats say the plan is still to gavel in the session as scheduled on Jan. 13, but only to swear in new members and address any urgent business.

Lawmakers say they will then go into a recess until at least Feb. 16 to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said the arrival of the vaccine is promising, but the pandemic is "far from over."

"As our state works to administer the vaccine over the next several months, we must remain cautious and do everything we can to limit large gatherings and potential super spreader events," Fenberg said in a written statement. "With that in mind, we have decided that the most responsible way to ensure the health of the public, as well as our legislative staff, is to delay session until we can more safely reconvene."

Lawmakers wrapped up a three-day special session earlier this month after passing more than $240 million in coronavirus relief funds.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled this year the 120 days of the legislative session do not have to run consecutively, giving lawmakers more flexibility to extend their session into the spring and summer.