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Colorado lawmakers to start, then pause session due to virus

December 21, 2020 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers will pause their upcoming new legislative session soon after convening in January as they wait for COVID-19 cases to subside, Democratic leaders said Monday.

Lawmakers will begin the new session Jan. 13 and address any urgent business and required actions, like swearing in new members, as quickly as possible before temporarily going into recess, Senate President Leroy Garcia, incoming House Speaker Alec Garnett and others leaders said in a joint announcement.

The tentative plan is to reconvene Feb. 16 when leaders hope the peak of the coronavirus pandemic will have subsided and there will be less of a health risk for those at the state Capitol. However, they said that lawmakers would resume work earlier that if there is an emergency that requires immediate attention.

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Earlier this month, lawmakers wrapped up a short special session to approve assistance to restaurants and food pantries struggling to keep their doors open during the pandemic.

Garcia said that planning and coordination made that session very effective.

“Now as we approach our regular session, we are committed to acting with the same precision and forethought – diligently prioritizing what matters most to our state and completing mission-critical work before temporarily exiting the building,” he said.