DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Supreme Court is reviewing the suspension of the state’s legislative session due to the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the court is taking up the question of whether the General Assembly can suspend the session and pick up where it left off at a later point.
Members of the Colorado State House and Senate voted Saturday to suspend activities in the current legislative session due to public health concerns. The session is tentatively scheduled to resume on Monday, March 30th.
The court will decide whether legislative days are counted consecutively during an emergency declaration regardless of if the legislature meets, or if the session can be extended beyond May 6. The answer would help resolve questions about legislation passed once the General Assembly reconvenes.
“The Constitution gives the legislature 120 calendar days to accomplish the important work our constituents elected us to do,” said Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. “We are in an impossible situation of either not taking care of the public’s needs by not passing critical legislation, or not taking care of the public’s needs by continuing our work in the middle of a public health emergency. I’m glad that the court has acted rapidly to take up this question, and hope they will see the wisdom in allowing us to suspend operations during this crisis and come back to continue our work when appropriate.”
The General Assembly passed bipartisan interrogatories Saturday and the court will be accepting briefs on the case over the next week. Interested parties may file a brief by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday March 24. The Colorado Supreme Court case number is 2020SA100.