GRAND JUNCTION – Republican Senator Ray Scott is inviting Mesa County residents who want to take part in their state government to join him at Colorado Mesa University while he participates remotely in Senate Floor proceedings for the rest of the legislative session.
When the General Assembly resumed on May 26, participation in legislative proceedings began to look much different. Seating in the House and Senate chambers was limited to allow for social distancing and anyone entering the capitol has a health screening, temperature check and must wear a mask.
Anyone wishing to participate in committee hearings must preregister to speak, and remote call-in testimony is no longer accepted because the call-in facilities are shut down. In a more controversial move, both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted along party lines to allow legislators to vote remotely from home on matters that are debated on the floor.
Scott said the process is supposed to be accessible and belong to the people, so he decided to find a way to do just that, he said, by bringing the legislative process to his constituents.
Scott, who has asthma and is at a higher risk for Covid-19, was still attending in person, until the changes. He said he decided to stay home because this was a great opportunity to bring the capitol to his constituents, who on a good day’s drive are at least four hours from ever participating in person.
“All Coloradans have lost the ability to be involved inside the state capitol on a normal basis,” Scott said. “I wanted to give back their voice in the legislative process.”
On Monday and Tuesday, Scott will have forums at the university that are open for the public to join him. They will be able to watch the process, and interact with Scott as bills are debated and considered.
“It is a unique opportunity for constituents to sit with their senator and watch the process,” Scott said. “I hope that our community makes use of this opportunity and shows my colleagues in Denver that the legislative process is open and accountable government are critical to Mesa County.”
The events will be held at 9:30 a.m., Monday and Tuesday at Colorado Mesa University, 1100 North Ave. in Grand Junction. Tickets are free but are limited to the first 20 registrants. Tickets are available through Eventbrite so that the university can prepare a social distancing atmosphere.
For more information and to obtain tickets visit Scott’s Facebook page.