House Passes Bill to Provide Political Parties Flexibility on Timing During COVID-19 Outbreak

DENVER, CO — The House today passed HB20-1359, sponsored by Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver, and Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, in order to provide political parties flexibility to safely continue the primary process during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation is part of several steps the General Assembly is taking to prepare for a potential recess in the session.

“While we work to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Colorado, our democratic process needs to be able to continue in the safest way possible,” said Majority Leader Alec Garnett,D-Denver. “This bill takes into consideration that large groups of delegates would have to meet in public gatherings and that many of these delegates are members of high-risk populations that are vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. Please follow the advice of medical and public health experts who have urged us all to take simple precautions.”

With county assemblies beginning as early as this weekend, legislation is needed urgently to allow parties the flexibility to ensure that the process can continue without requiring a high number of at-risk individuals to meet in large public gatherings, often held in schools. HB20-1359 extends various deadlines related to ballot access requirements in 2020. It allows political parties to amend their bylaws as needed during 2020 to allow remote participation in assemblies and conventions and to fill vacancies. Delegates to assemblies may participate remotely if allowed by the party, and parties may reduce or waive any quorum requirements to allow assemblies to proceed. The modifications are repealed effective December 31, 2020