05-27-20 Colorado Senate Approves Rule Change to Allow for Remote Voting

Colorado Senate Approves Rule Change to Allow for Remote Voting

SR 20-005 promotes protections and fair representation for legislators & constituents

Denver, CO – Today the Senate approved a rule change to allow for remote participation for members that are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or are in high-risk categories.

“This is a historic moment for Colorado. For the first time, not only have we had the necessity, but also the means to allow remote participation in Government,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, (D-Pueblo). “Many people of Colorado are experiencing extreme hardship due to this public health crisis and need their legislative leaders to return to lawmaking and pass protections for them and their families. At the same time, there still exists a clear and present danger from COVID-19–– making it critical that we adopt flexible, adaptive policies that allow institutions to continue essential business while protecting vulnerable participants.” 

The resolution passed specifies that the President may permit a Senator to participate remotely during a declared public health disaster emergency if any of the following conditions are met by the requesting Senator: The Senator is in an increased risk group for COVID-19, which may include individuals who have preexisting health conditions of who are 65 years of age or older

The Senator has a member in the Senator’s household who is in an increased risk group and the Senator cannot reasonably avoid coming into contact with that individual during the time period the Senator would bee coming to the Capitol
The Senator is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or is in quarantine for possible exposure to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19

“By allowing for limited remote participation, we will be ensuring that every constituency of Colorado receives fair representation during this unprecedented time,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, (D-Boulder). “There is nothing about this situation we are living in that is ideal. People are losing loved ones at rates greater than the Vietnam and Korean Wars put together. That is why measures are being taken all over the world, not just in this body, to protect people. Thankfully, technological advances allow us to prioritize people’s health, while at the same time working to get small businesses and families the relief they desperately need.” 

The rule change allows members who are participating remotely to vote in matters taken up by the Senate chamber as a whole such as the third reading and final passage of bills, motions, and amendments. However, it does not allow for the remote participation in committees of reference.

The change will take effect immediately. Click here to learn more.

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About the Colorado Senate Democrats
The 19-member Senate Democratic Caucus for the 2020 legislative session includes Senators Leroy Garcia, Kerry Donovan, Pete Lee, Tammy Story, Julie Gonzales, Stephen Fenberg, Rachel Zenzinger, Jessie Danielson, Dominick Moreno, Brittany Pettersen, Jeff Bridges, Faith Winter, Nancy Todd, Joann Ginal, Mike Foote, Angela Williams, Rhonda Fields, Chris Hansen and Robert Rodriguez.