Bills to provide free state park access for disabled veterans and create scholarships for rural law enforcement for officer training pass committees 

Denver, CO– Earlier today, the House Committee on Rural Affairs and Agriculture unanimously passed Representative Bri Buentello’s legislation to provide free state park access for all Colorado disabled veterans. This afternoon, the Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced Rep. Buentello’s bill to provide scholarships for rural law enforcement agencies to pay for the cost of sending potential officers to training academies. 

“Veterans have sacrificed so much in service to our country,” said Rep. Buentello, D-Pueblo. “Our state parks are beautiful, and every veteran should be able to enjoy them without cost. They fought to protect this land. It’s only right they get to access it for free.”      

Currently, Colorado veterans who display a disabled license plate receive free access to Colorado’s state parks or recreation areas. Veterans who cannot, or do not, drive are unable to take advantage of free state park access. 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.

“Rural and small communities all across Colorado are in need of police officers, but obtaining the P.O.S.T. requirements can be cost-prohibitive in many cases,” said Rep. Buentello. “Today, we’re one step closer to giving these communities the resources that they need to train the next generation of men and women who will keep our communities safe.”           

HB20-1229 would establish a scholarship fund for rural and small communities to assist in paying for the cost of potential police officers to attend an approved basic law enforcement training academy. The cost of basic training that satisfies the peace officers’ standards and training (P.O.S.T.) requirements can cost thousands of dollars, which is especially prohibitive to potential candidates in rural areas where funds can be scarce. 

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