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Colorado Senate president Leroy Garcia (D – Pueblo) briefly convened the Colorado General Assembly this morning, in order to extend the legislature’s temporary suspension due to the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis. The move was taken due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, as well as Governor Jared Polis’s stay-at-home executive order to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Colorado State Capitol. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

“With the continued spread of COVID-19 throughout Colorado, it is unsafe for us to officially reconvene the legislature at this time. Our work at the Capitol is critically important but not more important than the health and safety of our communities,” said Garcia, who is a practicing paramedic. “I would be remiss not to drive home the dire nature of this pandemic and just how important it is to reduce transmission. It is clear that those who are advocating for anything less than complete compliance with the Governor’s orders along with the advice of Dr. Fauci and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), are painfully out of touch with the severity of this situation.”

The decision was made under Article V, Section 11 of the Colorado Constitution. In accordance with the guidance of public health experts, no reconvening date has yet been set for legislators to return to the capital.

“In the face of unprecedented risk to our community, the best thing we can do is support our medical professionals by staying home. We need to lead by example and honor the courageous work being done on the front lines, not rigidly cling to technicalities,” said Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder). “There will be a time to return to do the people’s work that gets Colorado back on its feet, but for now we need to listen to our public health experts and work to ensure they have the resources and equipment they need to save lives.”