COVID-19 Questions & answers about the statewide mandatory mask order flyer  

  • Democrat/Republican split in House of Representatives: 41/24
  • Democrat/Republican split in the Senate: 19/16
  • Number of days met: 84
  • Number of days left under 120 limit: 36
  • Number of days in recess: 72 days
  • Number of bills, resolutions, and memorials introduced during the 2020 Legislative Session: 710
  • Number of bills signed by the Governor: 326
  • Number of bills vetoed as of June 16, 2020: 3
  • Last day for the Governor to act: July 15, 2020


Legislative Session


Governor Polis issued three vetoes to bills passed in the 2020 legislative session.  He signed 326 bills into law. He issued veto letters for HB20-1207 Sunset Regulation of Private Investigators, SB20-051 License Plate Expiration on Change of Ownership, and HB20-1085 Prevention of Substance Use Disorders.   In the veto letter for HB20-1207, Sunset Regulation of Private Investigators, he said that oftentimes licensing does not provide more consumer protection than other measures.  In the veto letter he wrote that, “Too often it is used to protect existing professionals within an occupation against competition from newcomers entering that occupation.”  SB20-051 would have required a new license plate to be issued when a vehicle is sold from one owner to another.  In the veto letter, Governor Polis cited the costs to the Department of Revenue to manufacture additional license plates as the reason for the veto rather than the policy objectives of increasing vehicle registration compliance.  HB20-1085 came out of the Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Committee and contained a number of provisions including extending opioid prescribing limits and extending the requirement that providers check the Prescription Drug Management Program before prescribing a second fill prescription for opioids.  In a statement he issued when he signed HB20-1158, he declared that he would not sign any additional bills that would implement mandates on health insurers to cover certain procedures or treatments.    He vetoed HB20-1085 because of the mandates on insurance companies to cover alternative treatments to opioids and to cover one atypical opioid.   At the end of the letter, Governor Polis directed the Commissioner of Insurance to work with legislators to craft a bill for the 2021 session that designs a third party actuarial analysis process to determine the cost implications of bills that propose insurance mandates. 


Governor Action Bill Tracker:


COVID-19 Update


As in most states around the country, Colorado has seen an uptick in the number of new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.  Data shows an increase in the rate of new COVID-19 case.  Hospitalizations have also seen an increase.  One of the trends with new cases is that most new case are occurring in people with ages under 40.  Infections in older adults remain low.   Adults age 40 and up are making up a higher proportion of the hospitalizations.  Today given the increase in COVID-19 cases, Governor Polis announced a statewide mask mandate requiring everyone age 10 and up to wear masks when inside buildings open to the public.  This includes public transit, taxis and ride sharing.  There are exemptions for when people are seated at a restaurant, for those who are hearing disabled, exercising alone, to temporarily remove a mask to identify individuals, public safety, and individuals giving a speech.  During the press conference today, Governor Polis alsoannounced that his administration would not process variance requests for two weeks.  Counties across the state are at various levels of reopening depending on their level of COVID-19 cases and local hospital capacity.  For the next two weeks CDPHE won’t handle variance requests that counties submit to further ease restrictions set at the state level.   


Governor Polis continues to extend many of the previously issued executive orders and significantly amended one EO.  Governor Polis issued executive order128 amending executive order 065 in light of a lawsuit, eliminating most provisions of the EO.  EO 128 struck the provisions from 065 that allowed petitions for ballot measures to be gathered via email or mail in petitions.  The Colorado Supreme Court issued a decision earlier in July that found those provisions were unconstitutional.    What is left is a suspension of the requirement that signature petitions are submitted within 6 months from when the ballot title is set.  The deadline for all ballot measure campaigns to submit signatures is August 3, 2020, three months before the November election. 


Responding to COVID-19 was a major theme of legislation passed in the second half of the 2020 legislative session.  Bills that passed extended telehealth protections, required employers to provide paid sick leave, gave protections to whistleblowers, implemented consumer protections against price gouging during a disaster emergency, provided supports for small businesses, and more.  Following Governor Polis signing into law SB20-205 Sick Leave for Employees and HB20-1415 Whistleblower Protections Public Health Emergencies, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment issued guidance to help businesses implement the two laws that went into effect upon signature.    HB20-1415 prohibits employers from raising public health concerns about their place of employment.  The INFO for HB20-1415 goes through who is covered under the whistleblower protections and what actions by employees are protected.  CDLE issued two pieces of guidance for SB20-205, INFO 6A, which outlines necessary actions by employers in 2020 and INFO 6B which outlines requirements for employers to take after January 1, 2021.  In 2020, employers have to provide paid sick leave for employees if they have COVID-19 symptoms, have been ordered to quarantine, or are taking care of someone sick with COVID-19.   In 2021, employers will have to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 48 hours per year.    Employers with 15 or fewer employees have until 2022 to implement that provision.  The INFO notes outline what documentation is required to take paid sick leave and other administrative requirements.  


  • 38,155 cases
  • 413,187 people tested
  • 1,744 deaths among cases
  • 1,601 deaths due to COVID-19


Governor Jared Polis today announced that Rick Palacio will serve as the Interim Chief of Staff in place of Chief of Staff Lisa Kaufmann who is on maternity leave until she returns full time in November.   Kauffman, co-founder of New Era Colorado, worked on Governor Polis’s campaigns for Congress and his Gubernatorial campaign.  She has served as Chief of Staff for Governor Polis since his inauguration in 2018.  Palacio is the Managing Partner of the Majority Institute, a research and polling firm.   He has previously served as the Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party.