DENVER, CO — 126 new laws passed during the 2020 legislative session will go into effect today, including laws to help Coloradans succeed professionally and academically and laws to ensure that our state is prepared to deal with the crises we face today and those that may occur in the future.
“Despite a budget crisis, an interrupted session, and a global pandemic, we accomplished a great deal for the people of Colorado this year,” said Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. “From giving rural economies the boost they need to persevere through COVID and beyond, to creating professional and educational opportunities for Colorado’s young people, we worked to make real change for real people this year. I’m proud that the bills going into effect today will make us better prepared to respond to the changing needs and challenges facing our people.”
“This year has taught us that we can’t always plan for the issues we’ll have to face in the future, but we can certainly do our best to set ourselves up for success,” said Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “I’m proud that by making it easier to access wildfire risk mitigation grants and donate food to those who need it most, as well as giving our troops a pay raise when they support us in the toughest of times, we’re helping to make Colorado even more resilient in the years to come.”
New laws to deal with the crises facing our state, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-present threat of wildfires are going into effect today:
- Representatives Tony Exum, Sr.’s bipartisan SB20-091, which would increase the minimum daily pay for state military forces when they are called to serve during emergencies.
- SB20-090, sponsored by Representatives Daneya Esgar and Brianna Titone, which allows food pantries to expand their sources for goods by allowing food donations from correctional facilities and agricultural producers.
- Representative Julie McCluskies bipartisan HB20-1057, which makes it easier for lower-income communities, nonprofits and fire districts to receive wildfire risk mitigation grants.
- As Colorado families continue to adjust to the new normal of working from home and online classes, Rep. Dylan Roberts’ bipartisan SB20-126 will expand and improve access to childcare for Coloradans by ensuring that homeowner associations can’t prohibit the operation of a licensed family child care facility so long as the facility complies with other HOA regulations applicable to all residents.
Among the bills going into effect today are several laws to support rural Colorado recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the lingering effects of the last recession:
- HB20-1003, the bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Dylan Roberts, will expand on the successful Rural Jump-Start program to help boost economic development in rural Colorado.
- SB20-002, sponsored by Representatives Barbara McLachlan and Bri Buentello, strengthens and cements the successful Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) to ensure that the program continues and make improvements to spur rural economies.
- The bipartisan HB20-1137, sponsored by Representative Julie McCluskie, helps small rural communities get the resources they need to develop and establish broadband technology, which is even more important amidst the pandemic.
Many big ticket items from the 2020 legislative session will go into effect today, including:
- The Crown Act, sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Janet Buckner, which seeks to prevent discrimination on the basis of hairstyle.
- HB20-1031, Representative Adrienne Benavidez and Kyle Mullica’s bill to replace Columbus Day with a new state holiday honoring Frances Xavier Cabrini. The new holiday will be celebrated later this year on October 5.
Lastly, three major bills to expand professional opportunities and help all Coloradans succeed become effective today:
- Two bills sponsored by Representative Tom Sullivan, SB20-081 and SB20-120, will improve apprenticeship programs and make it easier for students to access and complete these apprenticeships, leading them to greater opportunities and good, well-paying jobs in the future.
- SB20-006, the bipartisan bill sponsored by Representative Cathy Kipp, will expand access to higher education for Colorado’s students by improving and bolstering the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI).
The full list of bills and their effective dates can be found on page viii of the 2020 legislative digest.