DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis is calling for a special session of the state Legislature to tackle issues like coronavirus relief for businesses and those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Polis made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Polis said that the special session could be called as early as Nov. 30. He reiterated on Tuesday that the session would be short.
CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd broke the news Monday night that Polis would call for a special session, as Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on COVID-19 relief legislation.
#BREAKING: Multiple sources tell me the Governor will announce a special session tomorrow afternoon. It will take place in the next couple weeks. Plan is to pass COVID relief bills to help individuals and small businesses.@CBSDenver #copolitics
— Shaun Boyd (@CBS4Shaun) November 17, 2020
“This trend cannot continue,” said Polis. “In Colorado, we have to stop this exponential growth.”
During the news conference, Polis said that in the past week, Colorado has gone from 3,500 coronavirus cases a day to 5,100.
“There are more Coloradans hospitalized today from COVID than in March or April,” said Polis. “You should avoid interacting with people outside of your household.”
Polis said that the special session will include the following:
- Small business relief package
- Housing and rental assistance
- Support for child care providers
- Expanding broadband access for students and educators
“While the measures that are being discussing in the special session are urgent and important right now, the state needs help from the federal government,” said Polis.
“With COVID-19 cases reaching daily new records and winter just around the corner, Coloradans can’t wait any longer for Congress to provide relief–they need us to act now to help small businesses, families and students get through the challenging months ahead,” said Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, in a statement. “In partnership with the governor, we will convene a special legislative session to pass a relief package that supports jobs, helps Coloradans avoid eviction or foreclosure, and expands access to safe child care options.”
“This epidemic has torn through our country with unmatched aggression and unrelenting persistence. It has claimed the lives of more than 247,000 Americans and left families ripped apart. Yet the loss of life is only one piece of the devastation. People have lost their jobs, their life savings, their family businesses, and not least of all their hope. These Coloradans cannot wait another moment, and neither should we. We need to act urgently to bring relief to the people of our state. So we have decided to pull every lever, find every dime, and use every tool in our toolbox to make it happen,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, in a statement.
The state Legislature will convene with the same leadership as the 2020 regular session. Lawmakers will have the option of participating remotely for floor work as well as other measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.