COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) Lawmakers in Colorado passed more than 400 laws during 2019. We're taking a look at some of the laws that will take effect on January 1, 2020.
Lowering health care costs and protecting consumers
This law requires transparency among medical practices, letting the patient know if their treatment is covered by their insurance at a particular medical practice. According to lawmakers sometimes when people go to the hospital they think that hospital is in-network for their insurance they have. Then later that person gets a surprise bill in the mail that some charges were not covered in-network.
Lawmakers also voted to put a cap on insulin prices. The average cost of insulin is about $400 a month. This law puts a cap of $100 a month for people using insulin who have Type 1 diabetes. Legislators say this is crucial for people with Type 1 diabetes and allows them to afford their prescriptions. Some people living with diabetes have to ration their insulin because the cost is so high. This law will allow them to not have to choose between buying their insulin and taking care of themselves or others.
Increasing and protecting wages
Right now if you illegally withhold someone's wage it's a misdemeanor. This bill changes that so if someone withholds $2,000 or more illegally of an employee's wage, it is considered felony theft. Lawmakers tell us they hope this will put a stop to it and encourage lawyers and attorneys to take those cases to court.
Saving lives from gun violence
In April lawmakers passed the Red Flag law. It allows family, friends, and law enforcement to get a court order from a judge to have guns taken from people deemed a threat to themselves or others. Law enforcement will temporarily take the weapons until the person can prove they no longer pose a risk. State Representatives say this will not only save citizen's lives but also keep our law enforcement safe. This is the most significant gun legislation since background checks and ammunition magazine limits were enacted in 2013. This law has been controversial in the state. Several sheriffs across Colorado, including El Paso County, do not support the law and plan to fight it.
Expanding the rights of transgender Coloradans
This law will allow transgender Coloradans to change the gender on their birth certificates to correspond with their gender identity. It also removes the publication requirement, making the process safer and more private. Lawmakers say this allows people to have the opportunity to be okay with who they identify as.
Updating marijuana regulations
This allows a license holder to continue to operate their business until a renewal application is processed. According to lawmakers, it facilities investment and growth in the industry by creating new ownership definitions that will allow Colorado companies to thrive in developing national and international legal cannabis marketplace.
Beginning the first of the year the program First Step will give every child born or adopted in Colorado a $100 contribution to their CollegeInvest 529 college savings account. The program is funded and administered by CollegeInvest without using taxpayer dollars. Colorado Governor Jared Polis, says he's committed to investing in education and focusing on driving down costs for college.