Jun 21, 2021 - News
Colorado looks to lift COVID-19 emergency declaration
Data: National Academy for State Health Policy and governors' offices; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is "actively looking" at ending the COVID-19 state of emergency, a top administration official says, following the lead of other states that are declaring an end to the pandemic.

Why it matters: In addition to the symbolic importance, lifting emergency orders means the end to some safety nets, such as expanded assistance and certain housing protections, Axios' Marisa Fernandez and Tina Reed write.

The big picture: Soon, more than half the states will have ended their formal emergency declarations for the pandemic — which could have ripple effects across the economy.

  • Colorado's current emergency executive order runs through July 11. It's unclear if Polis would lift it before then, or simply not renew it once it expires.

Between the lines: Polis is facing pressure from both sides on the issue.

  • Liberal advocates worry pulling back too soon will leave vulnerable populations in a difficult spot without additional aid.
  • Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers pressed repeatedly in the last year to curtail the governor's emergency powers, but Polis' Democratic allies in the Legislature blocked the effort.

What's new: Republican state Rep. Kim Ransom pressed a top Polis administration official on the issue Friday, saying the state's improving economic picture means she has "a tough time saying we are in a state of emergency."

  • Lauren Larson, the governor's budget chief, said Colorado is about ready to end the state of emergency, but said a cautious approach is needed because of issues related to financial aid.
  • Last week, Polis told the Denver Post that he believes that "in general, the time for these emergency actions is over, or near over."
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