Capitol Update: the 73rd Colorado General Assembly meets and recesses all in three days
This past Wednesday, the Colorado General Assembly officially kicked off the 2021 legislative session. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start to this session looked dramatically different than any year prior. Legislative leadership in both the State House and Senate decided to meet for just three days this week to swear in new members and pass urgent legislation before pausing the session until mid-February. This is similar to the halt taken when the pandemic hit last year, and the legislature decided to pause in mid-March and then reconvene at the end of May.
Typically, the legislative session runs for 120 days from early January to early May. However, the legislature received approval from the State Supreme Court last year to recess again due to the current public health emergency. This meant the pomp and circumstance that would normally accompany an opening week was absent, the Capitol halls were largely empty, and the Governor has opted to give his State-of-State speech in February rather than on the second day as is customary.
So what should we be doing during this pause? Typically, it would be full steam ahead at the Capitol these first two months of the year. If the elected officials are not meeting, how can we keep pushing the needle to help kids and families? Our plan: continue to craft good policy and strengthen relationships as best we can. We are viewing this as a great opportunity to make sure we have our ducks in a row and that we continue to round out robust, meaningful policy change with input from our partners.
Speaking of partners, this will also be a good time to strengthen our relationships with our advocacy friends and legislators, and a great chance to establish new relationships with those just coming into office. We look forward to using this time to make sure we are in the best position possible to affect change for Colorado’s kids when the legislature does come back later next month– and we are here to be a resource for you. Please feel free to reach out if you would like any help connecting with a legislator.
We will continue to bring you the latest information from the Capitol in future editions of KidsFlash. Be sure to check back each week to see how you can stay engaged.