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A look at the new laws kicking in starting on Jan. 1 in Colorado

Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 27, 2019

DENVER — A new year not only means new beginnings but also the start of several new laws in Colorado. Here’s a rundown of the new laws going into effect starting Jan. 1.

Extreme Risk Protection Order (also know as the Red Flag law)

This is by far one of the most controversial bills of the past legislative session. It allows a judge to temporarily take firearms away from someone who is considered to pose a risk to themselves or others.

The bill was supported by Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock in the wake of the New Year’s Day death of Deputy Zack Parrish but opposed by numerous other sheriffs and counties.

Some counties and cities have gone so far as to declare themselves second amendment sanctuary cities, saying they will not enforce the new law. Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners group, filed a lawsuit against the law.

Read the full law text here.

Out-of-Network Health Care Services

This is a law that’s aimed to end surprise medical bills for patients by requiring providers to show more price transparency.

The law comes after some patients found that they were being charged out-of-network prices for some services despite the fact that they were at an in-network facility because certain specialists or doctors were considered out-of-network.

Read the full law text here.

Reduce InsulinPrices

This law will cap the cost of insulin for people who are insured to $100 per 30-day supply. It also requires the state to investigate the pricing of insulin and submit a report to the legislature, governor and others. That investigation has already begun.

Almost 20,000 people in Colorado are diagnosed with diabetes each year, according to the law’s text, and insulin prices have risen 555 percent over the past 14 years.

The law applies to health care coverage plans issues or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

Read the full law text here.

Identity Documents For Transgender Persons

This law is also known as Jude’s law for the transgender teen who has spent years fighting for it at the Colorado state capitol.

It allow transgender people to change their birth certificates to match with their identities. Instead of receiving an amended birth certificate, they will be allowed to obtain a new one so that they are not outed for being transgender by whoever they show the birth certificate to.

Read the full law text here.

Local Government Minimum Wage

This new law allows cities and counties to set their own minimum wage for employees.

By allowing cities and counties to do so, supporters say it will allow cities like Denver, where the cost of living is higher, to raise the minimum wage standards at a quicker rate than other places like the Eastern Plains, where things like housing are more affordable.

Denver has already announced its intentions to raise the minimum wage for employees to $15 an hour.

Read the full law text here.

Retail Food Establishments Inspection And Suspension

This bill changes the Food Protection Act to tighten the rules on restaurants and other food vendors.

It creates a new civil penalty process for establishments that are found to be in violation of the rules. It also changes the process that inspection results are communicated.

Beyond that, the new law says food establishments found to be in violation of four of five inspections in a 12-month period are subject to civil penalties and a suspension of their license.

Read the full law text here.

Marijuana Hospitality Establishments

This allows the state licensing authority to establish a license for creating marijuana hospitality establishments.

It also sets requirements and prohibitions for the new hospitality spaces and requires the state licensing authority to come up with rules to govern the new marijuana hospitality establishment licenses and hospitality space.

Read the full law text here.

Landlord And Tenant Duties Regarding Bed Bugs

This law better clarifies the responsibilities of landlords and tenants when it comes to reporting and dealing with bed bugs. The tenants are required to promptly notify landlords when they suspect there are bed bugs present in the unit.

Landlords, in turn, are required to have someone inspect the unit within 96 hours and, if bed bugs are found, neighboring units must also be inspected. They are also responsible for the costs associated with eradicating the unit of the pests.

Read the full law text here.

Plumbing Inspections Ensure Compliance

This law changes the requirements for plumbers to renew or reinstate their license.

Plumbers with a license that has been expired for more than two years must demonstrate their competency by providing a license in good standing from another state and proof that they are actively working or pass a plumbing exam.

Read the full law text here.

Peer-to-Peer Motor Vehicle Sharing Program

This is a law that regulates car sharing programs by requiring higher insurance coverage. It also prohibits an insurer from refusing to cover a car only used for car sharing.

Beyond that, the law requires record keeping of the car shares as well as emergency numbers for roadside assistance to be provided in the vehicle.

Read the full law text here.

Disclosure of Insurance Liability Coverage

This law changes the way insurance claims are handled by requiring insurance companies to provide drivers notice within 30 days of receiving a claim. That notice must include the name of the insurer, the name of the insured party, the limits of the liability, and a copy of the policy.

In turn, that information will be shared with the claimant.

Read the full law text here.

Bonus: Two new regulations

The Department of Revenue has set new regulations on marijuana vaping products. Starting in the New Year, Vitamin E Acetate, Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT Oil) are banned from being added to marijuana vaping products.

Some of these chemicals are believed to be contributing factors to the vaping related illnesses that have sickened some smokers.

Meanwhile, Colorado state parks are moving to a camping reservation system. Before campers put up their tents, they must register for a camping spot.