Denver, CO — Governor Jared Polis today signed four bills into law to facilitate donations to food pantries, expand access to critical housing services for at-risk youth and permanently allow remote notary services.
SB20-090, sponsored by Representatives Daneya Esgar and Brianna Titone, helps at-risk Colorado youth by allowing youth over the age of 15 to consent to receive shelter or other services from a licensed homeless youth shelter. SB20-106, sponsored by Representatives Cathy Kipp and Brianna Titone, allows food pantries to expand their sources for goods by allowing food donations from correctional facilities and agricultural producers.
“With our state facing devastating budget cuts, we should do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable Coloradans during this pandemic,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada. “The bills signed today will help ensure that at-risk Colorado youth have a roof to sleep under and can access the services they need, and will expand options for food pantries to help them meet the needs of our communities.”
“Too many at-risk youth who end up homeless in our state don’t have access to shelter or services,” said Rep. Cathy Kipp, D-Fort Collins. “This new law will mean more of our youth have the housing and support they need to stay safe.”
“With over half a million Coloradans seeking health insurance and unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is clearly a serious need in our communities for food support, and our food pantries are stepping up to help,” said Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “We’re making it easier for our food pantries to get food donations so they can help Coloradans through this crisis.”
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to necessitate the limitation of public interactions, SB20-096, sponsored by Representatives Monica Duran and Terri Carver, facilitates the process for individuals who need to have documents notarized. Rather than requiring an individual to show up in person, the bill allows for remote notarization via video as an option, and includes guardrails to protect consumer privacy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, which means it’s still important to social distance and reduce unnecessary interactions,” said Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “Notarization is an important service that people rely on, and this bill will make it easier and safer for Coloradans to have their documents notarized.”
The governor also signed SB20-042, sponsored by Representative Jonathan Singer, which extends the Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems and broadens its focus to include behavioral health and thus treatment for substance use disorders.
“I’m proud of the important work this committee has done to improve mental health services in our criminal and juvenile justice system,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont. “It’s clear there’s more work to do, and I am grateful that the legislature and community partners will continue to work together and reduce our recidivism rate by expanding access to critical behavioral health services.”