Buentello Bills Become Effective Today

Several of Representative Bri Buentello’s priority bills from the 2020 legislative session become effective today 

DENVER, CO — Four crucial new laws sponsored by Representative Bri Buentello go into effect today. These new laws will support rural law enforcement, boost rural economies, make public schools more energy efficient and ensure that disabled veterans can more easily access some of the benefits they are entitled to. 

“This was a session unlike any other, but I’m excited that I was able to deliver results for Pueblo and rural Colorado as a whole,” said Representative Bri Buentello, D-Pueblo. “Rural economies like ours need a boost during these difficult times, and I’m confident that the REDI grant program will help get us through this crisis and on the path towards greater prosperity for rural Colorado. I’m also proud that two of my bills to support aspiring law enforcement officers and disabled veterans became effective today.”

Two of the Buentello bills going into effect today are designed to support rural Colorado through economic development and Peace Officer training. SB20-002, also sponsored by Representative Barbara McLachlan of Durango, strengthens and cements the successful Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) program to spur rural economies. HB20-1229 establishes a scholarship fund for rural and small communities to assist in paying for the cost of aspiring police officers to attend an approved basic law enforcement training academy.

Finally, SB20-069, also sponsored by Senate President Leroy Garcia of Pueblo, will allow veterans to more easily access State Parks free of charge. Currently, Colorado veterans who display a disabled license plate receive free access to Colorado’s state parks or recreation area, but veterans who cannot, or do not, drive are unable to take advantage of free state park access. Now, under SB20-069, disabled veterans will be able to enjoy free access to Colorado’s state parks without having to first acquire a license plate.

SB20-124, also going into effect today, will help Colorado’s public schools become more energy efficient. Under current law, the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program uses a specific set of guidelines when reviewing applications for grant funding for capital repairs or improvements. This new law will add a guideline to consult with the local electric utility on energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, and distributed generation opportunities.