New Colorado laws starting Jan. 1

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DENVER -- January will bring a lot of change. A new president, a new Congress and new Colorado state laws.

Minimum wage

Perhaps the biggest change coming Jan. 1 is the increase in minimum wage. Voters approved a constitutional hike in November to gradually raise the wage to $12 an hour in 2020. On Jan. 1, the minimum wage will go from $8.31 to $9.30.

HOV lanes

If you are a commuter between Boulder and Denver on the Interstate 25 corridor or Highway 36, beginning Jan. 1, you will need a driver and two passengers to receive a free ride via a transponder. It previously was one driver and one passenger.

Grocery store beer

One of the biggest changes will be how grocery stores take advantage of the new liquor laws. In May, the General Assembly passed the biggest change to liquor codes since Prohibition.  Currently, grocers can have one store sell full strength beer and liquor. In 2017, they could add four more stores if they buy out current liquor stores nearby under certain conditions.

Personnel files

A bill passed making it easier for employees to view their personnel file. Currently, some businesses kept that private.

Medical marijuana

Some new restrictions will take effect regarding who can administer medical marijuana. Primary caregivers remain able.

Medical aid in dying 

While it technically is already the law, 2017 will likely see the first Colorado patient take their own life legally because of a terminal diagnosis. Coloradans voted in favor of the measure in November.

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