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Colorado lawmakers race through short start to 2021 session

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers are moving quickly to adjust a handful of pandemic-related laws before their abbreviated three-day start to the 2021 session ends on Friday.

Colorado Politics reports that the House approved four bills and advanced two Senate bills on Thursday. The House legislation includes providing for electronic execution of wills, remote lawmaker attendance at committee hearings and restoring certain business tax deductions for pandemic-related losses.

House lawmakers tentatively endorsed Senate legislation calling for a three-month extension of certain protections against debt collection; allowing local governments more time to distribute COVID-19 relief aid; and removing race-based criteria for $4 million in aid to small businesses. Those criteria have been challenged in court. Lawmakers want to ensure that minority-owned firms disproportionately impacted by the pandemic get the aid as originally intended when the Legislature approved it in a December special session.

House lawmakers also advanced a Senate bill to reinstate a law regulating occupational therapists that expired last year.

Legislators expected to conclude their work Friday and adjourn until Feb. 16 because of coronavirus safety concerns. Key panels, including the Joint Budget Committee, will work during the break. More COVID relief and restoring K-12 and higher education funding top the 2021 agenda.

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