New laws will improve broadband access in rural Colorado, permanently implement the DMV kiosk program and provide a new option to record plats digitally.
Grand Junction, CO– Today, Governor Jared Polis signed three bills at the Mesa County Service Center into law. The new laws improve broadband access in rural areas, continue the successful DMV kiosk program and allow county clerks to record plats digitally.
HB20-1137, sponsored by Representatives Julie McCluskie and Matt Soper, helps small rural communities get the resources they need to develop and establish broadband technology. Under the law, broadband grant applicants may submit a proposal to the broadband deployment board for consideration certifying that the applicant operates in an underserved area. The board will be required to give preference to areas that are significantly underserved.
“Now more than ever, rural Colorado communities need access to broadband internet services,” said Representative Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. “Students and families are working from home, and too many Coloradans in rural areas do not have access to broadband. This law will give small, underserved communities a greater voice in securing broadband grant funds from the state.”
Representatives Matt Gray and Terri Carver sponsored SB20-035, which expands and makes permanent the pilot DMV kiosk program. Currently, kiosks can issue driver’s licenses, register motor vehicles or issue certificates of title. The bill expands the functions of the kiosks to include telephone or internet services and also eliminates the $3.00 service fee and adds data security and accessibility requirements.
“The kiosk program has proven to be a convenient tool for Coloradans to get their business done at the DMV,” said Representative Matt Gray, D-Broomfield. “During these times, it’s more important than ever to ensure that Coloradans can social distance and access the services they need.”
Sponsored by Representatives Shannon Bird and Perry Will, HB20-1318 gives county clerks and recorders the authority to receive and preserve original plats in electronic format. County clerks and recorders may save original copies of plats in either the original or digital format. If they chose to save it in digital format, the plats must be digitized or scanned. By storing plats electronically, counties can reduce the time expenditure that it takes to process plats.
Both SB20-035 and HB20-1318 provide essential government services without requiring in-person, physical interaction, helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado.
“It’s time for Colorado to embrace the technology that is readily available to us,” said Representative Shannon Bird, D-Westminster. “This law will increase the efficiency of storing plat files while also providing a secure, readily available method for accessing these important documents. It will save thousands of dollars per new housing development, translating into lower costs for new housing.”