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Colorado Supreme Court set to weigh in on General Assembly session question

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Derek Draplin | The Center Square

The Colorado Supreme Court is set to clarify if the General Assembly can make up the days it misses due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The General Assembly passed a joint resolution on Saturday to temporarily adjourn for two weeks. The state Constitution gives the legislature a maximum of 120 days to complete its session, but lawmakers are unclear on whether or not days can be made up.

Lawmakers also passed House Joint Resolution 1006, which asks the Supreme Court “to clarify the General Assembly’s ability to count legislative days non-consecutively.” 

The Supreme Court accepted the legislature’s interrogatory Monday night. Briefs to the court are due by March 24, the court said. 

House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, said Tuesday she’s “glad they quickly decided to take up this constitutional question. There’s a lot of work we will need to do.”

The General Assembly has more than 350 pending bills and has yet to set the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

A Legislative Council Staff forecast released Monday cut general fund revenue projections by almost $400 million in fiscal year 2019-20 and $750 million in fiscal year 2020-21 due to the virus outbreak and the effects it’s likely to have on the economy. Another forecast by the Office of State Planning and Budgeting projects the state’s general fund revenue will be reduced by $301.2 million in fiscal year 2020. 

Gov. Jared Polis, however, cautioned Monday that he “wouldn’t put much stock in any economic forecast, although we know the news isn’t good.”  

“We’re doing everything we can to minimize the long-term economic impact of this global pandemic and ensure that Colorado is prepared to come back stronger than before when this crisis is over,” he added.