Colorado Legislature pauses over COVID-19 fears

67

DENVER | Colorado lawmakers paused their legislative session on Saturday over fears of the coronavirus outbreak and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

The legislature passed a resolution to take a two-week recess . It comes 67 days into the 120-day legislative session, with the budget and several major bills pending or yet to be introduced.

“COVID-19 has gone from a concern to an urgent, pervasive and incredibly important issue for all of us in the legislature to address quickly,” said House Speaker KC Becker, a Boulder Democrat,

Becker acknowledged the recess could last longer than two weeks. Lawmakers must pass a budget by June 30.

“This is about doing what’s right for the people of Colorado,” said Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, a Parker Republican.

Lawmakers are also asking the state Supreme Court for clarity on whether the session must be conducted over 120 consecutive days, or if they can continue the session where they left off.

Dozens of people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Colorado, and one person has died.

The virus usually causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But some people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can be hit with more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.