House & Senate Chambers Are Closed

Caution tape is draped around what’s normally a busy cafeteria at the Colorado Capitol. The areas generally bustling-with-activity are draped in caution tape. The lobbies outside of the House and Senate lawmakers are closed.  Railings in the Colorado Capitol corridors are mostly empty.  Search homes for sale in Flying Horse Colorado Springs at http://www.rehava.com

COVID-19 Causes Concern for Lawmakers

Coronavirus has, at the very least, relocated statehouse deal making lawmakers.  It also affected legislative staff and journalists who were granted access to COVID-19 vaccines.  The staff received vaccinations ahead of the resumption of the 2020 lawmaking term on Tuesday. Lobbyists were not given that privilege.  As a result, many of them are trying to limit their time in the once-bustling statehouse.

That means informal conversations and “do-you-have-a-minute” meetings, will likely happen infrequently this year.  And lobbyists often have more policy expertise and experience at the Capitol than Colorado’s part-time lawmakers.

Resolving Problems

“The way that problems get solved at the Capitol is you bump into the other side in the hallway and you get talking,” said Scott Wasserman.  Wasserman runs the Bell Policy Center, a liberal economic advocacy and research organization. “I really worry about the lack of casual, informal back-and-forth. It’s going to make the sausage-making really difficult.”

The most powerful people at the statehouse this year will be those with a coronavirus vaccination and a deep Rolodex. “The people who have the upper hand are the people who have these legislators’ cell phone (numbers),” said Hannah Collazo.  Hannah runs Environment Colorado and plans to avoid the Capitol as much as possible this year out of health concerns.

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