The bill authorizes the executive committee of the legislative council (executive committee) to allow electronic participation in legislative proceedings during a declared disaster emergency caused by a public health emergency infecting or exposing a great number of people to disease, agents, toxins, or other such threats, and, if it is allowed, to establish policies governing such electronic participation.
A member participating electronically is entitled to receive a per diem on the same basis as a member participating in person. If a member cannot participate electronically from the member's home due to a technological limitation, the member may receive reimbursement for travel expenses to an alternate location to allow the member to participate electronically. The amount of the reimbursement cannot exceed the amount the member would customarily receive for travel expenses to Denver to participate in person. A member is not entitled to reimbursement for any other expenses incurred in connection with electronic participation.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first regular session of the seventy-third general assembly, the bill allows joint committees of reference that are required to hold hearings commonly referred to as SMART Act hearings to conduct the hearings at any time after the general assembly convenes, including while the general assembly is temporarily adjourned. Legislators, departments, and the public may participate remotely in accordance with policies established by the executive committee or the joint rules of the senate and house of representatives.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)