Colorado Capitol Coverage

State Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder, is nearing the end of her two-year tenure as Colorado’s Speaker of the House. It's been an eventful time at the Capitol. Becker was part of a historic effort to expel a fellow lawmaker for sexual harassment. And this month, she presided over what many are calling the strangest legislative session in history. 

Gov. Jared Polis on Monday signed what he is calling is the most difficult budget in state history because of the impacts of COVID-19.

There were no large banners celebrating legislative accomplishments like there were last year.

And when the lean budget goes into effect July 1, Colorado's public schools will take one of the biggest hits, with more than $500 million missing from their budgets.

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday signed a set of police reforms into law, saying they were a "long overdue moment of national reflection."

The bipartisan law is Colorado's response to protests sparked by the death of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people who have been killed by law enforcement.

Colorado House Speaker KC Becker choked up Friday as she announced that a sweeping set of police reforms had passed with strong bipartisan support.

Then the sound of thunderous applause erupted in the House chamber as lawmakers advanced their response to several days of protests against police brutality.

As large protests against police brutality continue around the nation, Democratic lawmakers at the state Capitol are advancing a bill they say will help prevent deadly police encounters in Colorado.

It wasn’t too long ago that former Gov. John Hickenlooper was shaking hands and kissing babies in Iowa during his short-lived presidential campaign. Now he spends hours talking into an iPad taped to a stack of wedding photo albums in his family room.

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Colorado Governore Jared Polis

Colorado is no longer under a statewide stay at home order, but Governor Jared Polis is warning residents he might have to bring back restrictions if they are not careful and coronavirus cases spike again.

Colorado House Speaker KC Becker took to Twitter on Monday to vent about the grim task she and other state lawmakers will face next month when they return to the Capitol to try and write a budget during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the tiny mountain town of Ophir in southwest Colorado, residents riding out the coronavirus pandemic at home are sending another round of thank you notes to Brian Morgan, who worked tirelessly to get the community connected to high-speed internet just two years ago.

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kenneth W. Norman

Governor Jared Polis says all workers in critical buildings such as grocery stores and nursing homes will now be required to wear face masks. His executive order comes after there have been coronavirus outbreaks in at least fifteen nursing homes and residential care facilities around the state.

Frustration with stay-at-home orders is mounting in many parts of the country. In Colorado, protesters gathered Sunday afternoon on a hillside in front of the state capitol in Denver.

"I'm watching businesses close. I'm watching friends lose their incomes," protester Deesa Hurt told Colorado Public Radio. "We just want to reopen Colorado. That's all we want."

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, Colorado Democrats and Republicans will log on to their first-ever virtual state assemblies today. KDNK’s Scott Franz has more on what’s at stake.

Scott Franz

Governor Jared Polis is giving residents a glimpse of what life will look like when the stay at home order is lifted as soon as April 27th.

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Xnatedawgx / CC BY-SA

Governor Jared Polis is urging hotel owners to open their rooms to people who are experiencing homelessness. He says the abundance of empty rooms should be used to keep some of Colorado’s most vulnerable residents healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a normal April, the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver hosts a car show and business conferences this time of year.

But this week, construction crews are working inside to put 2,000 hospital beds in the convention center to accomodate a possible surge of COVID-19 cases.

Colorado's economic forecast is growing increasingly gloomy as a record number of residents file for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. The state's ski areas and other major businesses remain closed. While lawmakers are staying away from a dark and empty Capitol building, they still need to write a budget before June 30.

Wearing masks in a nearly empty hearing room at the state Capitol on Wednesday, top lawmakers said they want to resume their session on May 18.

But they are also working on a backup plan that would let them pass a budget and other critical bills remotely if it's still not safe to return.

Aron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post Pool Photo


  In a rare statewide address, Gov. Jared Polis said he is extending Colorado's stay-at-home order another two weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Jared Polis is urging all residents to wear cloth masks or scarves if they need to leave their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Polis says wearing the masks at grocery stores and on walks will slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow Colorado to lift its stay-at-home order sooner.

US Dept of Defense / Airman 1st Class Nicholas Dutton

Colorado’s coronavirus response team is racing to add thousands of additional hospital beds to handle a projected surge of new cases in the coming weeks. KUNC’s Scott Franz has more.

Gov. Jared Polis is defending his decision to issue a stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

During a news conference Friday, he said state health officials told him that if he didn't take aggressive action to keep residents isolated from one another, COVID-19 could kill as many as 33,000 Coloradans by June 1.

As of Thursday morning, Gov. Jared Polis' statewide stay-at-home order is in full effect. Polis said the state's previous social distancing efforts have not been effective at slowing the virus. So what can and can't you do under the new order? What jobs are considered essential?

Here's the basic rundown.

To help curb the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Jared Polis has issued a statewide stay-at-home order that goes into effect Thursday morning at 6 a.m.

Coloradans will still be able to go outside to get groceries, take walks and care for loved ones. But Polis is ordering most of the state’s 5.7 million residents to stay at home at all other times.

The order does not apply to essential workers like doctors and first responders.

The halls of the state Capitol are so quiet and empty during the coronavirus pandemic, some state patrol troopers have been spotted biking through the halls outside of the governor's office.

But while the building is closed to the public indefinitely and lawmakers remain away on an emergency recess that is likely to extend into April, party leaders are still waging a high-stakes political battle behind the scenes.

Gov. Jared Polis has signed a bill abolishing the death penalty in Colorado.

The governor also announced Monday he has commuted the sentences of three men currently on death row to life in prison without parole.

In another effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, Gov. Jared Polis is ordering most businesses in the state to reduce the number of workers they allow at the office by 50%. The executive order was announced during a news conference Sunday.

He's also encouraging residents to remain at home except to get supplies, care for loved ones, drive to work or engage in outdoor recreation at a safe distance.

The state of Colorado has launched a new relief fund and volunteer website to help residents who are being affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Residents can contribute and sign up to volunteer at www.helpcoloradonow.org.

Gov. Jared Polis is not ruling out the possibility of ordering some Colorado residents to shelter in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters from a podium that was wiped down with disinfecting wipes in a state Capitol building that is closed to the public indefinitely, Polis said stricter social distancing rules will likely be announced soon.

Colorado economists are dramatically cutting the state's revenue forecast because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move will leave state lawmakers with several tough budget choices when they return from an emergency recess during the pandemic.

Speaking in an eerily quiet state Capitol building that had closed to the public for a deep clean, Gov. Jared Polis ordered Monday that all bars and restaurants in the state close their dining areas for at least 30 days to help curb the spread of coronavirus. 

He also ordered the closure of large gathering places, such as casinos, theaters and gyms. Take-out and delivery service can continue.

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