Colorado’s Special Session To Take On Coronavirus Relief Starts Nov. 30

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A woman peers into the Colorado State Captiol rotunda. March 12, 2020.

The previously announced special COVID-19 legislative session to discuss a stimulus relief package to aid bars, restaurants, tenants, landlords and students now has a start date. Lawmakers will be called back to the Colorado Capitol on Nov. 30 at 10 a.m.

Gov. Jared Polis signed the formal executive order Thursday. He said people are “living in a moment of unprecedented urgency” and the state must do something since federal relief efforts are stalled.

“We will act to support our small businesses who face challenging months ahead, provide relief to hardworking people, support child care, and improve broadband access for students and educators,” Polis said in a statement. “I thank legislative leadership for their support and collaboration during this challenging time for our state.”

There are seven action items that the governor wants the special session to address:

  1. Small Business Relief
  2. Child Care Support
  3. Housing And Direct Rental Assistance
  4. Increasing Broadband Access
  5. Food Insecurity
  6. Utility Assistance
  7. Public Health Response

Polis has noted the state’s “exponential growth” in new cases and called on Coloradans to avoid gatherings and cancel plans — but officials have taken pains to avoid a lockdown order. Instead, 15 counties have moved to a “red phase” that has closed indoor dining and bars and limited gyms to 10 percent capacity.

The latest unemployment claims for the week that ended on Nov. 14, show that 9,171 workers have filed for benefits. The number of new claims has continued to climb since mid-October and the latest figure is up 22 percent compared to the previous week. The most recent data show that the top two industries that lead the new claims are accommodation and food services, followed by construction.

In a statement, incoming Democratic Speaker Alex Garnett said that “families, restaurants, bars and small businesses can’t wait any longer for help — they need relief to get through the challenging months ahead.”

The next regular session for lawmakers is scheduled to begin on Jan. 13, 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report