A couple of weeks ago I informed you of one of the major concerns with the Legislature adjourning for the coronavirus. Both chambers passed HJR 20-1006 “Concerning a request to the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado to render its opinion upon a question regarding section 7 of article V of the state constitution.”
We were asking the Supreme Court to “Please tell us if what we are doing is OK in terms of interrupting the 120 continuous day session, or do we have to extend the session to aggregate a total of 120 days?” On April Fool’s Day (how ironic was that?) we received the opinion.
The briefs filed on the question were clearly partisan. The Democrats lined up their legal team behind Governor Polis and Attorney General Weiser to argue for 120 cumulative days, obviously to allow as much time as possible for the Democrat-dominated legislature to pass more bills.
The Republicans had to rely upon Senator Bob Gardner’s efforts to assemble an attorney team to battle the Attorney General’s office. The Republicans argued for 120 consecutive days to shorten the session and, consequently, limit the number of bills passed.
Surprise. The court ruled 4-3 in favor of theDemocrats.
When the coronavirus cloud passes over, the Legislature will have plenty of days to make up lost time.
As you are painfully aware, we are still in the dark shadow of the coronavirus storm cloud. The cloud continues to shroud us with concerns over personal and family safety, loss of lives, loss of jobs, economic security and long-term financial stability.
When we are overwhelmed with issues of personal survival, it is easy to lose sight of our blessings. As you look for a silver lining around this cloud, consider the following that I found in my archives, but it is still appropriate today:
• If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy.
• If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare, even in the United States.
• If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, although most do not.
• If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world.
• If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.
• If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people world-wide who will not survive the week.
• In these troubled times, if you own a Bible, you are ahead of one third of the world who does not even have access to one.
• If can read this column, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world who cannot read anything at all.
• And finally, how sweet is it not to be bombarded by political ads? We are still truly blessed.
In times of crisis, we tend to look at everyday things differently. This past week I heard someone comment, “I kind of like actually talking to people on the phone rather than texting, it’s nice to hear a voice.”
Being a “non-techie,” my thought was “Duh?” Humans are supposed to talk to one another. Just another reason why I refer to social media as “anti-social” media.
The recess period continues at the Capitol. Originally, the Legislature passed a resolution to adjourn for two weeks. When the two weeks expired, an agreement to stay adjourned until the all clear was given fell through. As a result, the House gaveled back in and recessed again for three days due to a lack of a quorum being present.
Finally, someone on a higher pay level than myself decided we would put out a press release stating the House would be in recess due to a lack of a quorum for an indefinite period of time. Since the Supreme Court ruled we can meet for 120 cumulative days, we will eventually meet again. The question still remains, “When?”
Because we are not in session, my interaction with folks who might know the answers to many of our questions is limited. I will still try to help in any way possible. Feel free to call my office in the Capitol at 303-866-2747, or send me an e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.