Monday marked Sine Die (fancy Latin for ‘end of session’) for the 2020 Legislative Session. No one could’ve anticipated what this session turned out to be, but it was one for the history books.
Halfway through Session, COVID-19 outbreaks developed across Colorado. Things changed quickly, and we were forced to adapt as best as we could during the unprecedented time. To protect those in the Capitol, we went on an extended recess and continued to work from home, watching with despair as the conditions of our communities and our economy continued to worsen. Over the course of a few months’ worth of Zoom meetings and conference calls, we developed a new agenda to help Colorado get back on its feet. On May 26th, we reentered the Colorado Capitol and got to work in what turned out to be one of the most chaotic, yet productive, legislative sessions in Colorado history.
From a devastating global pandemic to unspeakable acts of police violence – our communities have been bruised in more ways than one. Small mom-and-pop businesses have felt the economic impacts of closed doors, and are now rethinking how they do business. The murder of George Floyd sparked outrage across the country, including on the steps of the Colorado Capitol. We listened, and most importantly, we acted. We quickly passed what is likely the most sweeping police reform bill in the country.
Despite the unprecedented challenges we faced this session, our Democratic majority rose to the occasion and exemplified what true leadership in a time of crisis should mean. Together, we accomplished so much for our state. But we know there is more work to do to protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of Coloradans. That work must continue.
Here’s a quick look at what I consider some of our biggest achievements of the 2020 legislative session:
We referred a measure to the ballot which, if successful, would create a new nicotine tax that would generate revenue for health care, early childhood education, housing relief, and smoking prevention programs.
Yes, we accomplished an immense amount for our state over these past six months. However, we will continue to feel the economic and public health impacts of this crisis for years to come. We now must fight harder than ever for structural reforms to create a more resilient Colorado where all have access to world-class education, clean air and water, and attainable housing that doesn’t threaten economic security. We earned a day or two off, but the future of our state depends on us not letting up.