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State Response to COVID-19

Apr 6, 2020

Actions by the Governor's Office

Executive and Public Health Orders 

Governor Polis has taken several executive and public health actions to respond to the spread of COVID-19.

Legislative Council has posted a summary of the orders issued through June 2020.

On March 24, we sent a letter to Governor Polis asking for more assistance for nonprofits including loosening state rules for grants and contracts, ensuring all nonprofits can access unemployment assistance, and ensuring nonprofit participation on COVID-19 task forces.

Letter to Governor Polis 

Response by Local Governments

On behalf of Colorado Health Foundation, CRL Associates has create a Google sheet to track actions by local governments.

Guidance from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE)

As directed by the March 11 Executive Order, CDLE has issued guidance and taken several actions related to COVID-19 including the following:

  • encouraging all employers to use paid leave, telework, or CDLE's Work-Share program before implementing temporary layoffs; 
  • allowing all workers experiencing a reduction of wages and hours due to the virus to file unemployment claims;  
  • adopting an emergency rule requiring employers in covered industries to provide up to 4 days of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms being tested for COVID-19
    • Covered industries include leisure and hospitality; arts, education and recreation; food services; child care; education; home health; nursing homes and community living facilities.
    • the requirement is not on top of sick leave an employer already provides and does not cover wage replacement should an employee be required to be quarantined or self isolate. 

Charitable Giving and Supports for Organizations Helping with Response and Recovery

On March 18, the Governor issued a press release in partnership with Mile High United Way, Gary Community Investments, and Philanthropy Colorado announcing the following resources for Coloradans:

Colorado Department of Revenue

Colorado Secretary of State

On April 3, the Colorado Secretary of State announced that the deadline for filing charitable solicitations reports is now August 15, 2020 for nonprofits ordinarily required to file between April 1 and July 15 of 2020.

Colorado General Assembly 

On March 14, the Colorado General Assembly announced a recess until March 30, which has since been extended until April 2. With the exception of certain committees, including the Joint Budget Committee, the General Assembly is not meeting as a legislative body in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 at the Capitol. 

Because most legislative committees are not meeting, nonprofit leaders will be unable to provide testimony to the General Assembly at public hearings for the time being. Bills making their way through the legislative process are on hold until the legislature re-convenes. Legislators can still be reached by phone and email and public hearings on bills will likely be resumed when the recess is over.

Colorado's constitution authorizes the General Assembly to meet up to 120 consecutive days during a regular legislative session. House and Senate leaders have submitted an interrogatory to request guidance from the Colorado Supreme Court on whether the date of adjournment must be Wednesday May 6. If the General Assembly is not allowed to extend the end date for the 2020 regular session, then legislators will have a shorter timeline to complete their work, including passage of the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 budget.

In addition, economists from Legislative Council and the Office of State Planning and Budgeting project reduced tax revenues in the March 2020 forecast compared to the December 2019 forecast. Spending cuts may be needed to bring the FY '20-21 budget into balance and bills that increase state expenditures or reduce revenues may face more challenges when the General Assembly re-convenes. The Governor could call a special session after May 6 to address certain issues not completed during the 2020 regular legislative session.