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
- Restructures powers for market examinations of insurance companies.
- Municipal courts need to be made aware of persons detained on municipal holds within four hours. The bill also sets other requirements for handling municipal holds.
- Most health benefits plans must provide coverage for severe protein allergic conditions.
- Health insurers must develop standards for selecting health care providers for its network and tiering providers within a tiered network.
- Continues motorcycle operator safety training program, transfers operation to chief of the Colorado State Patrol.
- Modifies the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.