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General Assembly Convenes 73rd Session

Senate Democrats introduce timely legislation before temporary recess

DENVER, CO - Today, Colorado lawmakers kicked off the first regular session of the 73rd General Assembly –swearing in new members and considering three bills aimed at addressing timely policies before temporarily adjourning on Friday. 

The following bills were heard and unanimously passed out of the Senate Finance Committee: 

  • SB21-001: Modify COVID-19 Relief Programs For Small Business. This bill, sponsored by Senators Winter & Priola, makes minor tweaks to the COVID-19 small and minority business relief program that was established in last year’s special session, to allow relief payments to be more efficiently allocated to disproportionately impacted businesses.

  • SB21-002: Extending Limitations on Debt Collection Actions. This bill, sponsored by Senators Winter & Gonzales, extends the time in which debtors experiencing a COVID emergency may have debt collections suspended by 120 days.

  • SB21-003: Recreate Occupational Therapy Practice Act. This bill sponsored by Senator Fields and Minority Leader Holbert, recreates the Occupational Therapy Practice Act to allow continuity in occupational therapy regulations after the Act expired in September of 2020.

In addition to considering the bills listed above, the Senate approved resolutions that refined Senate rules to accommodate remote participation in committees, as well as clarified protocol around states of emergency. 

Our goal with these three days is to meet for as little amount of time as possible, and to only address essential items that we can pass quickly,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo). “Of course, there are many more priorities that we will tackle when we reconvene in February, but given the state of the pandemic, we do not feel that we can safely gather for much longer at this time.”

“COVID relief has been and will continue to remain our top priority,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder). “As we wait for COVID cases to decline, we are committed to working on additional relief legislation as well as strategies to increase vaccine distribution so that Colorado can recover quickly and build back stronger.”

The legislature is planning to adjourn on Friday, January 15th, and is tentatively set to reconvene in mid-February. Throughout the legislative recess, the Joint Budget Committee will continue to convene, as well as select committees that are statutorily required to receive SMART Act briefings from executive branch departments. Additionally, legislators will continue conducting sunset hearings in order to stay on top of the approaching expirations of certain programs, boards, and commissions.