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*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
► The entire Metro Denver area is nearing lockdown status because of the coronavirus outbreak. Stay-at-home orders have been issued from the Tri-County Public Health Department (Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties), as well as Jefferson County Public Health and Boulder County Public Health (the City of Denver began its stay-at-home order on Tuesday evening). The Metro Denver population, depending on how you measure it, includes about 3 million people — or more than half of the 5.6 million residents of Colorado.
Colorado’s most populous cities without a stay-at-home order include Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs. The City of Fort Collins is apparently waiting on Larimer County to make a decision on a stay-at-home order. Colorado Springs is likewise leaving that decision to El Paso County officials.
A stay-at-home order has also been issued for Aspen; visitors to the resort area have been asked to leave.
► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has been self-quarantining for the last week out of concern that he had interactions with people who had tested positive for COVID-19. Gardner says that he has not yet been tested for the virus, but as The Daily Beast reports, he damn well needs to be:
Last week, Sen. Cory Gardner walked up to a group of Capitol Hill reporters to share information with them about bills he was sponsoring to counter the coronavirus outbreak. According to people who witnessed the encounter, in order to separate the sheets of paper, the Colorado Republican licked his finger and thumbed the pages before handing them off to reporters to pass around. [Pols emphasis]
Several hours later, he was in self-imposed quarantine.
Gardner began his self-quarantine on March 17, and now he’s back?
.@SenCoryGardner is out of quarantine and now speaking on the Senate floor.
— Caitlyn Kim (@caitlynkim) March 25, 2020
► This is President Trump’s Coronavirus. Don’t argue with us — that’s what the White House is calling it.
► Senate and White House leaders have reached agreement on a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. As The Washington Post reports:
The Senate is aiming to vote Wednesday on a $2 trillion stimulus package that is designed to flood the U.S. economy with money in an effort to stabilize households and businesses that have been floored by the coronavirus outbreak.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the breakthrough on the Senate floor around 1:30 a.m., after a long day of talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials.
Senate aides were still scrambling to write the legislation, and House Democrats were expected to take it up no sooner than Thursday. Despite a brief burst of optimism about the landmark deal, they were still dealing with extreme pressure from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to make changes, as he alleged his state needed much more aid.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) breaks down the ins and outs of this debate in an epic Twitter thread. Democrats had been negotiating for more money to go to American families and small businesses, while Republicans insisted on bigger checks for big business. Check out this Politico story for more details on differences between a Democratic and Republican bailout plan.
If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…
SERIOUSLY, THERE WILL BE NON-CORONAVIRUS NEWS MOMENTARILY…
► Another day, another batch of lies from POTUS:
This isn’t true; and there are few things more dangerous than a president or top official saying something like this to a scared public. Most people still can’t get tests. https://t.co/3RA7JKTiRL
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 25, 2020
► Conversations about remote voting in Congress continue to ramp up. Colorado Public Radio has the latest on a subject that we discussed with Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) in last week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Show.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) took to the Senate floor on Monday to rip into the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. From CBS4 Denver:
“We are failing, Mr. President. We are failing to address the seriousness of the public health crisis this country is facing, and we are going to rue the day that we said it was the hospitals’ problem to solve. That it was the governors’ problems to solve. That it was the states’ problems to solve,” said Bennet.
“How can we be this foolish?” asked Bennet in comments directed toward the White House.
► Colorado Public Radio provides an inside look at what things are like in the office of Governor Jared Polis.
► Governor Polis is asking Safeway and King Soopers to implement more safety measures in grocery stores.
► The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is responding to criticism from House Minority Leader Patrick Neville regarding a two-day waiting period for firearm purchases.
► The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has been inundated with unemployment insurance requests and is asking people to stagger their reporting time. Those efforts have helped relieve the overload pressure on the CDLE website.
► The State of Colorado has a backlog of COVID-19 tests waiting to be processed.
► Colorado Public Radio asks Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation about what questions they are hearing most from constituents. Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) answered similar questions last week during an appearance on The Get More Smarter Podcast.
► The Colorado Apartment Association wants landlords to halt evictions and put a hold on late fees through the end of April.
► Colorado launched an emergency child care program for families of hospital staff and first responders.
► The State of Colorado extended the enrollment period for healthcare coverage via the state marketplace.
► Traffic through security checkpoints at Denver International Airport is down 67% from the same time last year.
► As Westword reports, RTD has made significant temporary service cuts:
On March 24, the agency’s board of directors voted unanimously to adopt a temporary service plan that will reduce bus service to a Saturday schedule and rail service to Sunday levels, meaning less frequency on most routes and the complete suspension of some others. The changes will take effect on April 19, and for now, at least, the agency’s plan wouldn’t fully restore service until September 20…
…Many RTD buses and trains have run empty in recent days, as a gradual series of shutdown orders from state and local officials brought daily life in the Denver area to a halt. According to data released by the agency this week, system-wide ridership fell off a cliff starting on March 12, declining by as much as 70 percent below normal levels.
HERE IT IS: POLITICAL NEWS THAT IS NOT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS…
► The main Senate Republican Super PAC booked $67 million in television advertising for the fall. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, considered among the most vulnerable Senate Republicans in 2020, didn’t rate a top investment:
The ad reservations by Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) include $21.8 million in North Carolina, $12.6 million in Iowa, $10.8 million in Kentucky, $9.2 million in Arizona, $7.2 million in Maine and $5.5 million in Colorado. Senate Republicans are fighting off well-funded Democratic challengers in all of those states.
The ads are expected to begin running the day after Labor Day.
► Sports betting becomes legal in Colorado on May 1. You might be stuck wagering on paper-rock-scissors in the immediate future.
► Whether or not the Colorado legislature can reconvene its current session (after taking a two-week recess because of the virus outbreak) is a question that is now in the hands of the courts. From Colorado Public Radio:
The legislature took the unprecedented step to suspend the session for at least two weeks amid the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. They’re expected to return next week just long enough to vote to extend the break.
On Tuesday, Republicans and Democrats submitted their arguments to the Colorado Supreme Court on a rule that will determine how long they’re able to keep working after they get back.
The state constitution requires the legislature to conclude its work 120 days after convening; this year that’s May 6. All sides agree that over the years the requirement has been interpreted to mean 120 consecutive days, essentially a fourth month-long session. But the political parties have opposing views on whether that endpoint still applies when the session has to temporarily pause during a declared state of emergency.
The issue essentially revolves around the 120-day session language written into the Colorado Constitution. Democratic lawmakers believe that the language allows them to reconvene after an emergency recess; Republicans, however, argue that the law only allows for a 120-day session of consecutive days.
► Chris Cillizza of CNN tries to understand why Bernie Sanders is still running for President. Sanders would need to win at least 60% of all remaining delegates in order to catch Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, so why keep running?
The short answer is because he can. The coronavirus — and the subsequent shuttering of states and major portions of society to stop its spread — has effectively frozen the Democratic race.
States have scrambled to postpone their primaries from spring until summer in hopes that the coronavirus will have significantly lessened by them. In fact, aside from the Wisconsin primary set for April 7 (and apparently still planning to be held) there isn’t another major primary day until April 28 when New York and Pennsylvania are scheduled to vote. (It’s hard to imagine New York will keep the primary where it is given the state’s status as the epicenter of the coronavirus in the US.)
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Senator Cory Gardner, forever chasing his own tail.
► At least this Pennsylvania Republican isn’t your state lawmaker.
► Colorado extended the deadline for income tax filing from April 15 to July 15. The federal government had already moved “tax day” to July 15.
► Republican governors are increasingly tuning out President Trump and listening to their own experts.
► Want more? Check out The Get More Smarter Podcast: