Colorado Republicans denounce Polis’ statewide stay-home order

A majority of Colorado Senate Republicans sent Gov. Jared Polis a letter Friday denouncing his decision to enact a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter comes the same week some of those lawmakers sent a letter to Douglas County commissioners urging them to cut ties with a public health organization that planned to issue a stay-at-home order in Douglas County.

Fourteen of Colorado’s 16 Republican senators signed Friday’s letter to the governor. Sens. Jack Tate, a Centennial Republican, and Kevin Priola, a Henderson Republican, were notably absent from the list.

“Despite many of our constituents’ expressed concerns over the last two weeks, we have resisted publicly critiquing you, your office, and your efforts, but we must formally express to you our disappointment in your “Stay-at-Home” order issued on Wednesday afternoon,” the letter stated.

The lawmakers said they were disappointed that Polis did not engage them in the decision and asserted that the governor did not present facts to back his decision. There appears to be a disconnect between his order and what rural residents are seeing, they said.

“It is our sincere belief, Governor Polis, that your actions on Wednesday have potentially sown discord and fear in Coloradans that are seeking clarity from their elected officials at this time of despair,” they wrote. “Elements of the order, especially those directing individuals to report on their neighbors, may have the unintended effect of breaking the bonds of community unity.”

The lawmakers said they were still were committed to working with the governor through the crisis.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the governor’s office said Polis is thankful for lawmakers’ commitment to protecting Coloradans.

“These are painful and heavy decisions for any elected official including Governor Polis, and they are being made in real time as we receive the most up-to-date data from across Colorado,” wrote Conor Cahill.

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