Almost 170 laws passed during this year’s legislative session come into force

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Of the 502 laws passed in Colorado’s 2021 legislative session, 169 come into force today. These laws include laws to combat climate change, reduce gun violence, and promote financial literacy in high schools. The legislation will also create a Special Olympics license plate.

“Today, Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws are more inclusive and insurers can no longer use consumer data to discriminate,” said Daneya Esgar, House Majority Leader in a statement. Press release today. “Communities in our state will begin to see improved mental health services and better schools, and more Coloradians will be able to visit our state parks for less money. ”

Colorado House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. (Colorado House Democrats)

Several of the bills coming into force today were sponsored by Esgar, who represents Pueblo, including Bill 21-1108, which adds the terms “gender expression” and “gender identity” to laws prohibiting discrimination against protected classes. This bill was also sponsored by Senator Dominick Moreno, who represents North Denver.

Senate Bill 21-78, which requires a person to report the loss or theft of a firearm to law enforcement within five days of discovering the firearm has been lost or stolen, is among the bills that come in in force today. The first offense for failing to report a lost or stolen firearm is a civil offense with a fine of $ 25. The next offense is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $ 500. This bill was sponsored by Senators Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Jessie Danielson, and Representatives Tom Sullivan and Leslie Herod.

Sponsored by Rep. Dylan Roberts, Senator Kerry Donovan and Jaquez Lewis, The House of Prescription Insulin Pricing and Access invoice that comes into force today clarifies that the current law, which sets a cap of $ 100 on a person’s monthly supply of prescription insulin, applies to the entire insulin supply of the person, regardless of how many prescriptions a person has.

Senate Bill 21-129 demands that the state department of social services establish a pilot veteran suicide prevention program. The goal of this program is to provide “free, stigma-free, confidential and effective behavioral health treatment” to reduce the suicide rate and suicidal ideation among veterans. This act, sponsored by Senate Speaker Leroy Garcia and Representative David Ortiz, provides the Colorado Department of Social Services $ 1.7 million to implement the program.

Bill 21-1200 demands that the Colorado Board of Education review current financial literacy standards for high school students. High schools are required by law to educate students and their families about the importance of completing the Free Federal Student Aid Application, or FAFSA, and providing assistance if students or families request help.

Introduced on March 4, Bill 21-1173 prohibits state universities from using inherited preferences as admission criteria. Schools are allowed to interview students about relationships with former school students to collect data.

Bill 21-1065 allows private employers to give preference to a veteran of the National Guard or the armed forces and the spouse of a soldier killed in the line of duty, when hiring employees. The veteran or the spouse of a killed member must be as qualified as the other candidates to qualify for the preference. The Veterans Hiring Preference Act was sponsored by Ortiz and Garcia.

Bill 21-1160, or the Dog and Cat in Pet Facilities Act, requires animal shelters to give each dog and cat held in the shelter “timely veterinary care to treat and prevent pain and unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering ”. The law also requires that shelters meet the behavioral needs of dogs or cats held in shelters to ensure that the animal is not “housed or kept in a way that promotes stereotypical or self-injurious behavior. “.

naturalized citizen
Heivan Garcia d’Avon, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico, stands with an American flag on September 16, 2020, the day of his naturalization ceremony at Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction. (Courtesy of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)

Bill 21-1194 creates the Immigration Legal Defense Fund, which allocates $ 100,000 to the fund for the state’s 2021-2022 fiscal year. The fund, administered by the Ministry of Labor and Employment, is awarded to non-profit organizations that provide representation, legal advice and advice to clients involved in immigration proceedings. This bill was sponsored by Representatives Kerry Tipper and Naquetta Ricks, and Senator Dominick Moreno, and requires organizations that receive grants from the Immigration Legal Defense Fund to declare to whom the money has gone and to what services he provided.

Presented May 18, Bill 21-1323 creates a Special Olympics Colorado license plate for individuals who donate to a qualified Colorado-based nonprofit organization that provides athletic training for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The Special Olympics license plate legislation allocates $ 13,460 to the DMV to implement the law for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Under the previous law, a high school teacher who had sexual contact with a student 18 years of age or older did not necessarily have committed a crime. Sebill 21-017, or the The Educator Sexual Contact Act states that a teacher who subjects a high school student 18 years of age or older to “sexual intrusion or sexual penetration” has committed the crime of abuse of public trust, a Class 1 offense, by an educator if the teacher is at least four years older than the student. By law, student consent is not a defense against the crime of abuse of public trust.

School districts are required by law to report if an employee is fired or resigns over allegations of sexual acts with a student 18 years of age or older, if the allegations are supported by “a preponderance of evidence.”

The law also requires public schools to confirm with the Department of Education, before hiring an employee, that the potential new employee has not been fired or resigned from a previous school based on allegations of sexual acts with a student 18 years of age or older.

The Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act, Where Senate Bill 21-88, creates a legal cause of action for victims of sexual misconduct that occurred when the victim was under the age of 18. The law allows the victim to bring a civil action against the person who committed the sexual misconduct and against the organization that operates or manages a youth-related activity or program if “the organization knew or should have known that” there was a risk of sexual misconduct against minors and that the sexual misconduct occurred while the victim was participating in a youth program run by the organization ”.

By law, the cause of action is available for a victim who occurred on or after January 1, 1960. Victims of sexual misconduct that occurred between January 1, 1960 and January 1, 2022, must take action before January 1. January 1, 2025. There is no time limit for a victim to file a sexual misconduct complaint that occurs on or after January 1, 2022. This bill was sponsored by Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Matt Soper, and Senators Fields and Danielson.

Colorado’s legislative session began on January 13 and ended on June 12. Colorado House Democrats released a full list of laws that came into effect today.

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