UPDATE: The Denver Post’s Alex Burness:
Lawmakers tentatively plan to return to work March 30, but they acknowledge there’s a high chance they’ll have to extend the recess beyond that date.
This step seemed unthinkable to many lawmakers as recently as late last week, when the state’s first known coronavirus case was announced. By early this week, well before the first Coloradan died of coronavirus, it had begun to feel inevitable.
“COVID-19 has gone from a concern to an urgent, pervasive and incredibly important issue for all of us in the legislature to address quickly,” House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, told the chamber Saturday morning.
House Majority Leader Alec Garnett:
After a very hard week, leadership in the legislature has decided to temporarily suspend the General Assembly. We made this decision to protect the public, our state employees and our colleagues. The work we do in this building matters deeply to the people of our state, and this decision was made with the recognition that there is a moral high ground that we must always consider when we are faced with unprecedented situations and decisions like this. We knew that the Legislature needed to set an example for the rest of the state in the face of this public health situation.
Experts have clearly expressed that social distancing is the most important tool we have to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19. To protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and immuno-compromised, we must lead by example.
When it is appropriate, we will come back and continue the important work that we were elected to do. We are all closely monitoring the situation and leadership is in close contact with state agencies and the governor’s office. We will continue to be informed by expert opinions and science. We are also closely watching the actions and recommendations of other states and the federal government.
— COHouseDems (@COHouseDem) March 14, 2020
And with that, unfortunate history is made. To be updated.