Minimum wage increase, other new Colorado laws to take effect in 2018

DENVER — With a new year comes a bunch of new laws in Colorado.

The new laws include a pay bump for those who make minimum wage, new rules for those growing marijuana plants and new laws for anyone caught sending inappropriate messages underage.

Minimum wage increase

As part of Colorado’s plan to increased the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020, the wage will go up to $10.20 on Jan. 1. The minimum wage for tipped employees goes up to $7.18 an hour.

According to a University of Denver study, 20 percent of all households in Colorado will see a pay increase under the plan.

New rules for growing marijuana plants

Starting in 2018, people in residential areas can only grow up to 12 marijuana plants unless local laws have an exception.

Patients with a medical exemption for 24 plants still have to get permission from the city and county governments to grow that many plants in a residential area.

Underage sexting ban

There will be a new law that bans teens from sexting. The bill bars teens from possessing or sharing intimate photos of other teens.

The law would also give prosecutors the option of handing down less severe penalties than a felony. The debate started after several schools had an increase in sexting incidents.

Health care providers must disclose price

The Colorado Legislature is requiring health care providers to disclose prices to the public starting in 2018.

The law also prohibits insurers, government agencies or other entities from penalizing the public, a provider, a facility, an employer or any other person, who pays directly for health care services.

Driver’s can contest license suspension for leaving accident scene

This law will allow drivers who leave the scene of a serious accident to contest the suspension of their driver’s license.

It would allow a probationary license to be issued for the purpose of driving for employment, education or health.

Other laws going into effect