News and Updates 

August

 

8/20/20


Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order ordering temporary fire restrictions across the State to reduce the risk of new fires and protect health and safety. Restrictions include certain outdoor fires, fireworks, and explosives. 


The Governor also extended an Executive Order authorizing the executive directors of certain State agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents.

 

8/17/20
 

Governor Jared Polis extended Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Governor extended an Executive Order suspending certain statutes to increase the Medicaid home health workforce and to eliminate cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees, as well as an Executive Order concerning the criminal justice system

 

8/14/20

 

Governor Jared Polis today extended and amended an Executive Order requiring Coloradans to wear face coverings. 


The amendment clarifies that individuals performing life rites are exempt from the face covering mandate while a life rite is being performed. “Life rites” include wedding ceremonies, graduations, funeral services, baptisms, bris ceremonies, and other religious ceremonies.


The Executive Order expires 30 days from August 14. 

 

8/13/20

 

Governor Jared Polis extended an Executive Order suspending statutes to allow the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado. 

 

8/12/20

Today, Results for America and the National Governors Association highlighted Colorado’s exemplary use of evidence and data to improve results for Coloradans.

 

Results for America, a national nonprofit focused on helping government leaders improve results by investing in what works, released the 2020 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence, which showcases 169 examples of data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems in 35 states across the country. Colorado was recognized as a Leading State for the second consecutive year.


“In Colorado, we strive to be as efficient and effective as possible in delivering critical services to the people of our state. For my administration, that means creating a culture of accountability, and using the latest data and information to drive our decisions,” said Governor Jared Polis of Colorado. “This has also been true for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the recognition, and will continue working to provide even better services for Coloradans.” 


Colorado has served as a national model for using data to inform the way it does business. By building off of the Governor’s Dashboard launched in 2019, the state has demonstrated a continued commitment to harnessing data and evidence to meet its four high-priority, “bold” strategic goals. Colorado has made achieving these goals a statewide effort by creating cabinet working groups to support these efforts and explicitly linking them to the governor’s annual budget. Colorado also incorporates data and evidence into the annual budget process to reinforce the state’s commitment to prioritizing funding for those interventions that are most likely to achieve the best results for its residents. Taken together, the coordination of statewide goal-setting, performance measurement, and budgeting ensure state agencies’ spending and operations are aligned around achieving a singular set of state priorities.  


“The COVID-19 crisis underscores the critical importance of using evidence and data to drive decision-making at every level of government,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “The 2020 State Standard of Excellence illustrates how many governors and state agency leaders around the country and across the political spectrum are rising to the occasion and investing in what works to meet the urgent needs of their residents.”

 

The 2020 State Standard of Excellence highlights how state governments can respond more effectively to crises when they incorporate evidence into their decision-making. In recent months, all 50 states have elevated the importance of data in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by creating public-facing dashboards to track key health and economic indicators in their states. States with strong existing capacity to leverage data are better positioned to respond rapidly to COVID-19 and focus their efforts on addressing the pandemic’s disproportionate effects on communities of color. Further, the 2020 State Standard of Excellence features a growing number of states that have invested in evidence-based budgeting, a key lever for funding what works in the face of a recession. 

 

“America’s governors are committed to making a measurable, positive difference in the states and territories they serve,” said Timothy Blute, Director of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. “They are using data to inform their responses to COVID-19 to promote the physical and economic health of their residents, and the 2020 State Standard of Excellence recognizes the critical role of data and evidence in state policymaking in this most challenging time.”

 

Colorado has participated in Results for America and the National Governors Association’s What Works Bootcamp training series. These peer-learning opportunities convene senior leaders in governors’ offices to advance the use of evidence and data in order to improve results and are designed to equip top state decision-makers with the high-level tools they need to improve enterprise-wide performance and invest in evidence-based policymaking to help their governor’s deliver results for residents. 


For more information about how states are building data and evidence capacity, state leaders can refer to Results for America’s Blueprint for Delivering Results in State Government, which serves as an implementation guide for the State Standard of Excellence.

 

8/11/20

 

Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado’s legislative leadership today called on the U.S. Senate to pass a real relief package that provides support to Colorado schools and state and local governments and extends unemployment insurance for Coloradans in response to the challenges created by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

 

“Hardworking Colorado families need real relief and our schools and local governments need additional resources to effectively respond to the unique challenges of this pandemic. Without new federal support, our economy and small businesses will continue to teeter on the edge of a cliff,” said Governor Jared Polis.“We appreciate the collaborative, bipartisan efforts our federal delegation has taken to this point and urge the Senate to move quickly on a real relief package.”

 

The country is facing mounting challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. House approved a COVID-19 relief package weeks ago but the U.S. Senate is currently on recess for the next few weeks. 

 

“Congress must quickly approve a meaningful coronavirus relief package, as thousands of hardworking Coloradans agonize over their economic security and wonder how they will make ends meet,” said House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. “Without additional aid to states and local governments, an extension of unemployment assistance, and support for our schools, Colorado will be forced to reduce services for those who need them the most, school districts will face crippling budget shortfalls, and hardworking families will be left behind.”

 

“Colorado has no time to waste–-we need Congress to pass a robust COVID relief package as soon as possible,” said House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “The Federal support that our state has received so far has made an enormous difference in the lives of teachers, students, and everyday Coloradans dealing with the fallout of this pandemic. But it has not been enough. Today we’re calling on Congress to deliver a relief package that includes significant direct aid to state and local governments, robust education funding, and an extension of the unemployment benefits that have kept many Colorado families afloat over the past few months.”

 

“Playing power games with people’s lives is unacceptable,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “The US House passed a bill to help working families, schools, and small businesses months ago, but this critical legislation has been completely stonewalled. Now, everyday that goes by more and more people and institutions are at risk of collapse. We need true, selfless leadership that puts the wellbeing of hardworking Americans above political agendas. That means immediately boosting federal pandemic response efforts and renewing key programs like unemployment assistance. Otherwise, the consequences borne by our most vulnerable will be excruciating and potentially unrecoverable.”  

Last week before the Senate recessed, Gov. Polis and State Treasurer Dave Young sent a letter to Colorado’s Congressional Delegation calling on them to support a number of key areas that are critical to Coloradans, to act on a bipartisan relief package that addresses these issues instead of President Trump taking executive measures that increases pressure on state and local governments. 

 

“Untold numbers of people are facing homelessness, food insecurity, and utility shut-offs because Congress refuses to act,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder. “The funds already allocated have been incredibly helpful in lessening the blow for so many families, but the truth is, they are not nearly enough. Our schools are struggling, our businesses are underwater, and our residents are unable to make ends meet. State relief is the only way we will be able to survive this devastating downturn. It’s time to put politics aside and pass a comprehensive stimulus package that America needs to weather this storm.”

 

House and Senate Democrats have repeatedly called on Congress to provide additional aid to states and local governments, including in a July 31 letter to the Colorado congressional delegation in which the caucuses also urged Washington to extend unemployment assistance, support school districts, and provide housing, utility, nutrition, and small business assistance.

 

8/10/20

 

Governor Jared Polis visited two new, quick, easy, and free community testing sites that opened today in Adams County and Aurora. Gov. Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and was also tested for COVID-19 in Adams County this afternoon. He was joined by local, county, state officials, and public health officials at both locations. 

 

“Testing is a critical part of ensuring we can manage the spread of this virus and I’m glad that these two new sites are now open. Testing is now free, quick, and easy for everyone at the Aurora Sports Complex and Water World,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We want to continue empowering our local public health agencies to respond effectively to the needs of their communities. With these new sites, we are tapping into the culture of collaboration that exists across Colorado to increase the foundational elements in the fight against COVID-19. Testing, isolation, and contact tracing are the primary tools we have at this critical time in the fight against this virus.”

 

Both the sites in Aurora and Adams County are completely free to the public and Coloradans should receive their results in four days or less. 

 

The new testing site in Aurora is at the Aurora Sports Park. Referrals and health insurance or identification are not needed to be tested. 

 

The Adams County site at Water World will be able to test up to 2,500 Coloradans per day, and their goal is that it will take up to twenty minutes from when someone pulls into the testing site to when they leave. Information will also be Farsi, Hmong and Spanishprovided in multiple languages to ensure that Adams County residents can get the information they need on this new site. 

The Governor continued to emphasize the importance of local public health agencies and local communities in slowing the spread of the virus and responding at the local level. The Governor wants to give local communities the tools they need to handle this pandemic, and the flexibility to relax restrictions if they hit certain objective benchmarks to reduce the prevalence of viral spread. The alternative to a local response could potentially be a unilateral, statewide action that could further impact Colorado’s economy. 


View the Aurora news conference here and the Adams County news conference here

 

8/9/20

 

Governor Jared Polis extended Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order extending relief to public utility customers to mitigate, respond to, and recover from the current economic disruption due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado. 

 

The Governor extended an Executive Order providing boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. 

 

8/6/20

 

Governor Jared Polis extended an Executive Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

The Governor signed an Executive Order extending the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to the presence of COVID-19.

 

8/4/20

 

Governor Jared Polis and Treasurer Dave Young today sent a letter urging members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation to provide additional funding in the next stimulus package in areas that will protect the health and wellbeing of Coloradans. 

 

“We want to reiterate our appreciation for the CARES Act funding and direct, immediate aid that was necessary. This funding was crucial in providing relief to families and small businesses, unemployment benefits and support, and additional funding for state and local aid. However, we believe there are more critical steps that must be taken as soon as possible to address the continuing critical needs and move Colorado forward and ensure the health of our population,” Gov. Polis and Treasurer Young write in the letter. 


Those areas include:

  • Economic Security 

  • Child Care and Education 

  • Health care 

  • Housing

  • Clean Energy Economy

  • Environment and Natural Resources 

  • Agriculture

  • Immigration 

 

"These essential services exist to help our most vulnerable populations and it is our duty as Government officials to ensure that they are not interrupted," said CO Treasurer Dave Young. "Without financial relief directly from the Federal Government, we will see essential services cut and the delivery of services compromised at a time when Coloradans need them the most."

 

“We want to sincerely thank you for your work in Congress to provide necessary relief for Coloradans. We remain committed to ensuring our state and local governments receive the assistance we need to continue COVID-19 response and keep Coloradans safe and healthy during this unprecedented time,” the letter continues. 

 

In particular, the Governor and Treasurer highlight:

  • Expansion and Extension of Food Assistance to Colorado Families 

  • Additional Funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) 

  • Low-income Heat and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

  • Support for Child Care and Early Childhood Education

  • Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act

  • National Health Service Corps Funding (NHSC)

  • Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP)

  • Federal Support for Rural Housing 

  • Support for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness

  • Federal Support for Colorado’s Clean Energy Economy

  • Federal Support for State and Local Environmental Health and Resource Responsibilities  

  • Agriculture, Farming and Ranching Support

  • Automatic Extension of Work-Authorization and Other Immigration Statuses


Read the full letter. 

 

8/3/20

 

Governor Polis has continued to advocate for the extension of the Colorado National Guard’s deployment to help the State and local communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and today the White House announced the deployment would be extended until December 31, 2020. Earlier this year, Gov. Polis urged the President to continue to extend the deployment. 


“I spoke to Vice President Mike Pence this weekend about the amazing and selfless work the National Guard is doing supporting testing in Colorado’s local communities and explained how we need their help through the end of the year. I am glad that today the administration acted to extend the National Guard until the end of 2020,” said Governor Polis.


Last week, the Colorado National Guard reached a testing milestone in support of the State’s ongoing COVID-19 testing across Colorado. The Joint Task Force-Centennial’s Task Force Test Support has tested more than 20,000 Coloradans at 122 testing sites in 28 counties and 34 cities.


As an Executive Committee member, Gov. Polis also supported a call by the National Governor’s Association today strongly urging the President to authorize an extension of Title 32. In May, the Governor’s urged the President to continue to extend the use of Title 32 as part of COVID-19 recovery.

© 2018 Susan Lontine