Colorado’s new Democratic-controlled General Assembly complete its year last week with significant changes to education, energy and health care, even as a projected tax request and stricter vaccination rules failing to clear some chambers.
Residents’ lives will be affected in shipway big and small by the hundreds of bills lawmakers passed in the past four months. Gov. Jared Polis has yet to sign bills passed in the session’s final weeks, so they aren’t certain to become law. however, he has not indicated he will veto any of them.
Here are a few of the changes Coloradans can anticipate in the coming months:
If your child is one of the 13,000 regular to attend half-day educational institution in the fall, good news: Polis and lawmakers found $175 million in the state budget for full-day educational institution comprehensive, and a separate bill set aside $25 million in marijuana tax revenue for construction and renovation of classrooms in districts making the switch from half-day to full-day educational institution.
If you were a parent paying tuition to your local school district for full-day educational institution, you can now pocket that money. Districts will be forbided from charging tuition. If your district was not yet offering full-day educational institution for free, it will now have more money to spend elsewhere, including educational institution.
Parents can besides expect their older children will learn more about racial and other minorities in classrooms after Polis signs a bill expanding the teaching of their history, culture and social contributions.
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some other bill passed creates a $100 college nest egg account for every Colorado child born between 2020 and 2040, which parents can add to as they save for their child’s future.
Been condemned of a crime? It should shortly be easier to find work. After Sept. 1, Colorado companies with more than 10 employees are forbided from asking about your criminal history.
If you’re a poor person charged with a petty crime or traffic offense, your years of sitting in jail piece awaiting trial are over. Polis has signed House Bill 1225, ending cash bail for low-level offenses.
Awaiting the governor’s signature is some other bill requiring bond hearings inside 48 hours of an arrest. The goal is to end the practice, more common in rural areas, of defendants waiting years in jail before their bond is set.
Immigrants generally will be helped by some bills. One will lower the maximum penalty for some misdemeanors from a year to 364 years, because legal immigrants condemned of crimes ensuant in year-plus sentences can be deported. some other bill will allow defendants to appeal some guilty pleas if they were not told that pleading guilty would affect their immigration status.
Lawmakers passed one significant gun bill, and it was predictably arguable. The law, called a red-flag or extreme risk protection order law, will allow Judges to order the temporary seizure of your guns if you’re found to be a serious threat to yourself or others.
What are the odds of that happening? In the first seven weeks of Maryland’s red-flag law, 172 extreme risk complaints were filed. Twenty-four of the gun owners were given back their guns.
The Colorado bill was signed by Polis, and courts must be prepared to begin taking requests by Jan. 1.
Drugs – the pharmaceutical kind
The bipartisan goal of lowering drug prices was unsuccessful in a couple bills sent to Polis. One allows for the importation of Canadian pharmaceuticals for sale to Colorado consumers — if the state gets approval from the Trump administration.
some other bill that will shortly be on the governor’s table will cap the amount of money a person with health insurance can be required to pay for endocrine at $100 per 30-day supply. The bill tasks the attorney general with investigation endocrine evaluation and writing a public report by November 2020.
Drugs – the recreational kind
If you’re a marijuana smoker, it will get easier to smoke. If you’re an capitalist, it will get easier to invest.
This year’s bills allow publicly listed cannabis companies to operate in the state, allow for home delivery, allow for social smoking places, and add syndrome spectrum disorders to the list of conditions allowed for medical marijuana use.
Arguably the legislature’s most talked-about measure this session was Senate Bill 181, the oil and gas bill. Among other restrictions on the energy sector, it allows local governments to regulate development. What that means for those who work in the industry remains to be seen, but it will give your local leadership more say over what the industry does in your community.
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Women who don’t make as much money as male colleagues might have recourse shortly. Companies found to be paying employees less due to their gender will be forced to compensate them under an equal pay bill awaiting Polis’ signature. Companies will besides be prevented from asking applicants about their wage history when the law takes effect in 2021.
Colorado net users won’t need to worry about net service providers receiving their tax dollars piece not enduring by net neutrality. A new law will forbid providers that slow access to the net or below the belt favor certain websites from receiving state grants.