Lakewood state legislator has baby, eyes quick return to session

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DENVER  |  A Colorado lawmaker who gave birth during the legislative session said she plans to return to the Capitol as soon as possible to take votes on the floor.

FILE – In this April 12, 2019, file photo, Colorado State Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, applauds after speaking at a bill signing that allowed Colorado to become the 15th state to adopt a “red flag” law permitting firearms to be taken from people who pose a danger during a ceremony in the state Capitol in Denver. Republicans concerned about losing their grip on political power in certain states have added a new tool to their playbook: the recall election. “It’s our constitutional right to recall,” says Nancy Pallozzi, a Lakewood Republican leading an effort against Sen. Pettersen. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

State Sen. Brittany Pettersen gave birth to Davis James Silverii on Sunday, The Colorado Sun reported.

The Lakewood Democrat is expected to miss at least a month of the 120-day legislative session as she recovers and cares for her child.

“He’s doing amazingly well and so is mom,” Ian Silverii said of his wife and son.

The Colorado Legislature does not have a maternity leave policy. Pettersen cannot vote remotely but said she plans to return to take votes — with her baby.

“Senate leadership is 100% committed to working with Sen. Pettersen and supporting her during this transition,” Democratic Senate President Leroy Garcia said. “Our goal is to promote families and protect diversity in our chamber.”

The Senate Democratic caucus majority decreased to 18-16 with Pettersen’s temporary departure.

All legislation needs at least 18 votes to pass the chamber’s floor, leaving Democrats the task of ensuring no members defect or finding at least one Republican to support each piece of legislation they hope to pass.

Some legislation may be delayed until Pettersen returns if there are doubts about having enough votes to pass, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg said.